"Lady of the English" Review

"Lady of the English"
by Elizabeth Chadwick

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Release Date: Sep 1, 2011 
Source: sent by publisher

Summary from goodreads.com:  

Royal wives and royal widows, Queen Adeliza and her stepdaughter, Empress Matilda, are the only two women to be titled "Lady of the English," a title that does not come cheap. Adeliza, widowed queen and peacemaker, is married to a warrior who supports Stephen, grandson of the Conqueror. Matilda, daughter of the last king and a fierce fighter, is determined to win her inheritance against all odds and despite all men, including Stephen. Both are women who, in their different ways, will stand and fight for what they know is right. But for Matilda, pride comes before a fall. And for Adeliza, even the deepest love is no proof against fate.

My Review:

For some reason, perhaps because I've enjoyed Chadwick's other books, I feel the need to apologize for my review of this one. I loved "For the King's Favor", partially because it was 'historical fiction' that was also very romantic. Ida and Roger's love story was a huge part of the book and it was told with sensitivity. I also enjoyed "To Defy a King", so I thought Chadwick was one of the few historical fiction authors who didn't use disturbing, loveless sex scenes and abuse for shock value. 

In just the first 100 pages, there was graphic domestic abuse and three of these unsettling bedroom scenes. A book this harsh just isn't for me, I need a more romantic view of things.

I still hold a spot for "For the King's Favor on my keeper shelf, but it might be time for me to part ways with this author.

Bottom Line: A harsh view of medieval days in a grittier style than I had seen from this author before. 

Reader Question: Why are these scenes so prevalent in historical fiction? Do these scenes bother anyone else? I'm sticking with YA historicals and historical romances for awhile just to be safe. 


  1. Hi Carrie,
    Thanks for the straightforward look at this. It made me want to pick it up just to see what you mean. It's a beautiful cover, too, which also makes me want it. I see the little Georgette Heyer book cover which reminds me how much I enjoyed those when I was in my twenties. They'd probably still hold up, so I should go back and try one. They had a good heart. xox

  2. Thanks for the warning, I would have probably picked this book up because of the cover, which is gorgeous but now I'll stay away. I'm sorry you didn't like it. :-(


  3. I did not really mind it since that was the age and this is historical fiction and not romance. So it should be shown

  4. Though I've heard great things about this author, I'm not a fan of the gritty scenes you described. I'd rather read a Medieval romance. Thanks for the warning.

  5. Mmm... no I won't be reading this one I think.
    I have a hard time with historical fiction - I'm a historical romance girl - but I don't like those loveless shocking sex scenes either. :P
    Major turn off for me.

    Thanks for the honest review, you're made of awesomesauce.

  6. I have to say that the summary was confusing on this one for me. That said, I guess the fiction was trying to be realistic. But it's not for me. I'd rather not read about it. I know women were property, even queens, but I'd rather not read about abuse. I'd rather read YA historicals too.


  7. I've never experienced this so I don't know. Love your honesty and I'm so with you. Sounds super intense.


Thanks so much for your lovely comments!