Wednesday 7 August 2013

Elfrida, The First Crowned Queen of England

After a long gap I suddenly seem to have a rush of books coming out, with the hardback of The Boleyn Women and paperbacks for The Anne Boleyn Papers and Bessie Blount being released in recent weeks. I actually have another new book which has just been released - so recently that I haven't actually received my author copies from the publisher yet!

Elfrida, The First Crowned Queen of England is the first biography of Elfrida (or Aelfthryth as she would more correctly be called), the third wife of King Edgar. Elfrida is the first woman to have been crowned as queen of England and was incredibly significant, both as one of the first king's wives to fully assert herself as queen and as virtual ruler of England during her son's minority.

Elfrida will forever be remembered for her claimed role in the murder of her stepson, Edward the Martyr, which became more and more embellished as it was retold. This was not the only murder that she was reputed to have been involved in and a woman did not reach the pinnacle of Anglo-Saxon society without making enemies along the way who were prepared to slander her.

As you know, my work usually focusses on the Tudors. I have always loved the Anglo-Saxons, however, and my work for my degrees in Archaeology at Cambridge and Oxford Universities was focussed on the Anglo-Saxon period. This book was therefore a real labour of love for me, which I have worked on - on and off - for the past eight years. I really hope you enjoy reading about Elfrida - the woman who defined English queenship and was a model who was followed by her successors for centuries to come.


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