Posted in 12th Century 13th Century Reviews

review: The Scarlet Lion

review: The Scarlet Lion by Elizabeth Chadwick Being the sequel to The Greatest Knight, this novel covers the life of William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke from 1197 to shortly after his death in 1219. While his wife, Isabelle, is busy giving birth to the rest of their ten children, William is settling their estates in Normandy and trying to step lightly in the court of the newly crowned King John. King John has a personality complex best described as pleasantly evil—honeyed words with subtle warnings. He sees William as reaching and ambitious, though deep down he knows he is trustworthy. Even so, John will not make the way easy for him. William treads softly, ever the diplomat and courtier, for the sake of his dynasty….

Continue Reading...
Posted in 12th Century Reviews

review: Lady of the English

Lady of the English by Elizabeth Chadwick When his only son perished in a shipwreck, Henry I was forced to look elsewhere for England’s next monarch. Marrying a much younger woman did not produce another heir and so he began to weigh his other options: his nephew (son of his sister)–weak and already surrounded by factions–or his daughter, the strong willed and intelligent Empress Matilda. Since Matilda offered the chance of continuing his direct line, he married her off to the young Count of Anjou and waited for a grandson to raise as his heir even while promising Matilda the English barons would support her cause should she become queen before her son was of age. Though Matilda did produce the future Henry II, on…

Continue Reading...
Posted in 12th Century Reviews

review: The Greatest Knight

The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick The Greatest Knight, set during a time when tournaments were the rage and war an unfortunate reality, spans the life and times of a humble knight who truly lived by the knight’s code of chivalry. A favorite in the tourney, he quickly made a name for himself and came to the notice of Eleanor of Aquitaine, the Queen of England. William was made tutor of the Young King, Henry, who had (perhaps foolishly) been crowned during his father’s lifetime. Through the many skirmishes between Henry II and his four sons, William stayed loyal to the lord he vowed to serve, though it did not always promote his own best interests. There were many envious of him and his position…

Continue Reading...