Although I have always been interested in British history, I have only recently discovered Alison Weir‘s books. This one, Queens of the Conquest, is the first of a four-volume series the author has planned. Weir does extensive research of each of her subjects, in order to provide exhaustive detail for the reader, and this volume is no different. While not a textbook, Queens of the Conquest contains information for serious study of the time period.
Lovers of British history will enjoy this all-encompassing account of the queens during the time of the Normans, beginning with with the story of Matilda of Flanders, wife of William the Conquor, and continuing with Matilda of Scotland (“Edith”), first wife of Henry I, and Adelaiza of Louvain, second wife of wife of Henry I, Matilda of Boulogne, wife of Stephen, and the Empress Maud (also named Matilda) who was chosen by her father, Henry I to succeed him, but was rejected because she was a woman.
I wrote about the tragic story of Maud in the historical fiction book, The Fatal Crown, whose author admits to taking some liberties with the calendar and a few obscure facts to make a more interesting story. Weir, however, writes non-fiction, and, therefore, conducts extensive historical research. Queens of the Conquest is quite lengthy, but if you are a history lover as I am, you will enjoy every page. I am already looking forward to the next volumes in this series.