Author(s): Tracy Borman
Matilda, wife of William the Conqueror, was the first woman to be crowned Queen of England and formally recognised as such by her subjects. Beyond this, though, little is known: the chroniclers of the age left us only the faintest clues as to her life. So who was the real Matilda? In this first major biography, Tracy Borman elegantly sifts through the shards of evidence to uncover an extraordinary story. In a dangerous, brutal world of conquest and rebellion, fragile alliances and bitter familial rivalries, Matilda possessed all the attributes required for a woman to thrive. She was born of impeccable lineage, and possessed of a loving and pious nature, she was a paragon of fidelity and motherhood. But strength, intelligence and ambition were also prerequisites to survive in such an environment. This side of her character, coupled with a fiercely independent nature, made Matilda essential to William's rule, giving her unparalleled influence over the king. But while this would provide an inspiring template for future queens, it also led to treachery, revolt and the fracturing of a dynasty. "Matilda" takes us from the courts of Flanders and Normandy to the opulence of royal life in England. Alive with intrigue, rumour and betrayal, it illuminates for the first time the life of an exceptional, brave and complex queen pivotal to the history of England.
The first English biography of the thrilling, tempestuous life of the 'first' Queen of England by a rising star in non-fiction
Tracy Borman studied and taught history at the University of Hull and was awarded a PhD in 1997. She went on to a successful career in heritage and has worked for a range of historic properties and national heritage organisations, including the National Archives and English Heritage. She is now Chief Executive of the Heritage Education Trust and also works part-time for Historic Royal Palaces. Tracy has regularly appeared on television and radio, and has featured in a range of magazine and newspaper articles. She is a regular contributor to history magazines, including articles in BBC History Magazine on the history of beauty and eighteenth-century 'It' Girls'. In addition, she also gives public talks and lectures on a wide range of subjects.