Category Archives: 12th Century

review: The Lion of Justice

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The Lion of Justice by Jean Plaidy This is the story of Henry I of England, The Lion of Justice, and his wife, Edith Atheling (later called Matilda of Scotland). It begins with Henry’s brother, William Rufus on the throne, and recounts his uninspiring reign. With Rufus’s mysterious death, Henry claims the throne of England before his eldest brother, Robert… Read more »

review: The Queen’s Pawn

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The Queen’s Pawn by Christy English This debut novel, set in late Twelfth century England, covers a handful of years near the end of Henry II’s reign, in which he is fighting his three teenage sons over the power to rule Normandy, Brittany and Aquitaine. Alais, Princess of France and Countess of the Vexin, has been sent to England to… Read more »

review: To Be Queen

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To Be Queen by Christy English This is a re-imagining of the early life and first marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Alienor, as she was known by people of her duchy, was a young girl of eight when her father started grooming her to become Duchess after him. He had no living son, yet he saw welcome cleverness in his… Read more »

review: The Scarlet Lion

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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… Read more »

review: Lady of the English

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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… Read more »

review: The Greatest Knight

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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… Read more »