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Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Christ and His Saints Slept
It was so bad the people said "Christ and His Saints Slept."It was in the 12th century, several generations after the Norman conquest, of England. Civil war raged across the land. Two people battled for the English Crown. One a man and most surprisingly, the other, a woman.
The woman was Maude, daughter of Henry I, who dies without a male heir. He annoints and trains his daughter for the job. She is smart, courageous and yes stubborn. The problem is many of the English barons (this is a feudal system) will not submit to a woman. Mauds cousin usurps the throne and the battle is on, as some of her barons and relatives remain loyal.
Never quite fullfilling her quest, she becomes the "mother" of kings. In effect, through the child she bore to the abusive Count Geoffrey of Breton, a son, the future Henry II, founds the Plantagenet Empire and dynasty. What a remarkable story. What a remarkable woman! I loved it.
This book is the first in a series of eventually to be four volumes, in author Sharon Kay Penman's "Eleanor of Aquitaine" series. If you like historical fiction this is a real good stuff. Penman combines excellent historical background knowledge with realistically drawn characterizations.
I am a not so recently retired social studies teacher and basketball coach. Still hunting birds though now with a camera instead of a gun.
Nature devotee, dog lover, birder, gardener and still all around outdoor adventure seeker.
Troutbirder II is my alter ego. He loves books and history and an opponent of unnecessary, unplanned and unending "preemptive wars", he spent the Bush II years gradually converting to "yellow dog" Democrat.