Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Book Review: Queens of the Conquest by Alison Weir

Queens of the Conquest by Alison Weir book cover

AD* | The story of England’s medieval queens is vivid and stirring, packed with tragedy, high drama and even comedy. It is a chronicle of love, murder, war and betrayal, filled with passion, intrigue and sorrow, peopled by a cast of heroines, villains, stateswomen and lovers. In the first volume of this epic new series, Alison Weir strips away centuries of romantic mythology and prejudice to reveal the lives of England’s queens in the century after the Norman Conquest.

Beginning with Matilda of Flanders, who supported William the Conqueror in his invasion of England in 1066, and culminating in the turbulent life of the Empress Maud, who claimed to be the queen of England in her own right and fought a bitter war to that end, the five Norman queens emerge as hugely influential figures and fascinating characters.

Much more than a series of individual biographies, Queens of the Conquest is a seamless tale of interconnected lives and a rich portrait of English history in a time of flux. In Alison Weir’s hands, these five extraordinary women reclaim their rightful roles at the centre of English history.

History has always fascinated me, and I readily welcome the opportunity to learn more about the history of my own country as well as the wider world. However, I don't know a great deal about the Norman period beyond the infamous Battle of Hastings, so for me, this book was the perfect entry point into a brand new historical period. 

Queens of the Conquest focuses on the lives of England's Norman queens. However, these aren't simple biographies, as their lives are interwoven in the text, as in life, to paint a full picture of the queenly narrative at the time. Quotes from chroniclers and key players are interspersed to guide the story, as well as snippets from the queens' own surviving letters. 

Some may say that history is dull or uninteresting, but Alison Weir has succeeded in bringing the story of these remarkable women to life in a wholeheartedly engaging manner. Each chapter is filled with emotion, determination, and the spirit of the queens. From the influential Matilda of Flanders to the troubles of the Empress Maud, each queen is brought to life by the words on the page. 

Queens of the Conquest is a great historical resource and a thoroughly enjoyable book. 

Rating: 4 stars

Queens of the Conquest is available to buy now. 

If you like the sound of this book, you might also enjoy...

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Will you be reading the book? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 

No comments:

Post a Comment