Granddaughter of William the Conqueror and of King Malcolm of the Scots, and daughter of Henry I, Matilda fought for the throne of England, arguably hers by right, for nine years, and was denied it largely because she was a woman. Contemporary chroniclers said of her that she was "always superior to feminine softness and with a mind steeled and unbroken in adversity". Most of the serious work on her extraordinary, action-packed life and historical importance lies in untranslated German studies of the last century. In this book Marjorie Chibnall examines her career as a whole, as King Henry's daughter, as the wife and consort of Emperor Henry V, as Countess of Anjou after the emperor's death, and as regent for her son, Henry II. An outstanding biography, pieced together from archival sources all over Europe, it is of value and interest both to scholars and the general reader.
"The first serious study of the career of the Empress Matilda ... Dr Chibnall's aim, ably achieved, has been to reconstruct the outline of Matilda's life, place her in the society and politics of the age, and form an assessment of her character." Times Literary Supplement
"A formidable book about a formidable woman ... based on an extremely thorough understanding of the sources and casts a broad beam of light on the twelfth century." Journal of Ecclesiastical History
"Very satisfying ... written with lucidity and force ... a very valuable addition to the corpus of core texts for any student of Norman and Angevin England." History
"The intention of this book, is to examine Matilda's role in Anglo-Norman history and, as a female heir to the throne, in the history of feudal society. Marjorie Chibnall not only achieves this aim but surpasses it. This is a full biography of a twelfth-century woman who was in the center of power throughout her life and who served in both traditional and nontraditional female roles. It furthers our understanding of the person and of the political history of the Anglo-Norman kingdom. It also is a beautifully written book, one accessible to both scholar and student." Speculum
"This is a biography that is both scholarly and readable." English Historical Review
List of Illustrations.
1. Great by Birth.
2. Greater by Marriage.
3. Political Inheritance.
4. Disputed Succession.
5. Lady of the English.
6. Lordship and Governance in a Divided Realm.
7. Greatest in her Offspring.
8. Personal Patronage.
9. The Empress in History.
Bibliography of Abbreviated Titles.
Number Of Pages: 252
Published: 8th October 1993
Publisher: BLACKWELL PUBL
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2
Weight (kg): 0.35
Edition Number: 1