Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Godiva by Nerys Jones

User avatar
Melisende
Reader
Location: Australia

Godiva by Nerys Jones

Postby Melisende » Sun August 31st, 2008, 5:10 am

"Godiva" is the story of the legendary Lady Godiva, Countess of Mercia.

The story opens in 1045 - Edward the Confessor has been on the throne for barely two years, and has just married Edith, daughter of Godwin of Wessex. The Anglo-Saxon Earls are in the ascendant - for the moment.

The first half of the novel deals with the political machinations of the English court - the jostling for power as the new King takes over the government of the Kingdom in the aftermath of the rule of the Danish Kings.

The next part of the story picks up the conflict between Edward and his Earls as the House of Godwin reaches its zenith - and then is brought to heel. We also read about Godiva's "legendary" ride through Coventry in order to relieve the harsh taxation imposed upon it citizens.

The story concludes after the "ride" and with the death of Leofric, Godiva's husband.


Two important points to consider when reading this book:
(1) A knowledge of Anglo-Saxon England, pre-Norman Conquest, is not essential but it does help.
(2) The novel reads as if events take place over a period of one to two years, when in actual fact, events take place over a period of over ten years. Hence the need for some basic background knowledge.

The characters of the novel are real: Edward, Edith, Leofric, Godiva, Godwin, Siward - however, the "true" natures of these characters is open to conjecture. Much of what we know about Edward and Godiva (the two antagonists or protagonists) can be interpreted many ways. The author has adopted a particular stance and has used this to explain certain events. Which, she does in a plausible manner.


Nerys Jones has published widely on Celtic and Welsh medieval topics. However, this is her only fiction novel - she passed away during its publication.

All in all - I did enjoy the novel.
"For my part, I adhere to the maxim of antiquity: The throne is a glorious sepulchre."

Women of History

User avatar
Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Currently reading: The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce & The Poison Bed by E C Fremantle (Pigeonhole)
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favorite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Postby Vanessa » Mon September 1st, 2008, 4:27 pm

Thanks for that review, Melisende. I have this on my TBR pile. I didn't realise that the author had died. That is so sad.

User avatar
Tanzanite
Bibliophile
Location: Northern Virginia
Contact:

Postby Tanzanite » Mon September 1st, 2008, 8:17 pm

I've been wondering if this was any good. Looks like another one to add to the pile!

User avatar
Perdita
Reader
Location: London
Contact:

Postby Perdita » Tue November 11th, 2008, 11:47 am

I'm just reading this one at the moment and it's so good. All the characters, especially Lady Godiva and Edward the Confessor are brought to life and the story itself is un-put-downable. It was the author's first novel so it's such a shame that she died during the publishing of it.

User avatar
EC2
Bibliomaniac
Location: Nottingham UK
Contact:

Postby EC2 » Tue November 11th, 2008, 3:13 pm

I'm so glad this list exists!
I went to look at Godiva at Amazon UK and there's no synopsis and the only review doesn't mention when it's set. The cover looks Edwardian - if it has an era. I would have guessed it was Anglo Saxon, but the Edwardians had a penchant for this sort of name too. So many thanks for the information and the comments!
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

User avatar
Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Tue November 11th, 2008, 3:50 pm

I'm intrigued too. I recall Godiva being mentioned briefly as an aunt or something of Harold Godwinsson's wife Aldith in Harold the King and Anand's Gildenford trilogy. I'd like to read more of that period from another point of view.

User avatar
EC2
Bibliomaniac
Location: Nottingham UK
Contact:

Postby EC2 » Tue November 11th, 2008, 3:57 pm

The 'original' Godiva (wife of Leofric of Mercia) is very famous in English folk history and urban myth for that ride in the nuddy, but the Amazon detail doesn't say whether it's about this particular Godiva or not. So it's good to know that it is about her. If you go to Google images and click on 'Lady Godiva' you'll see what I mean :eek: This url will probably work:
http://images.google.co.uk/images?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&hl=en&q=Lady+Godiva&btnG=Search+Images&gbv=2
Les proz e les vassals

Souvent entre piez de chevals

Kar ja li coard n’I chasront



'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'


Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal



www.elizabethchadwick.com

User avatar
Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Tue November 11th, 2008, 4:23 pm

thanks for the link EC, it works. Although probably not the best for looking at when at the work PC :D :o :eek:

I'll look at it later when I'm home and there's no one likely to pop in and see what's on the screen :p

User avatar
EC2
Bibliomaniac
Location: Nottingham UK
Contact:

Postby EC2 » Tue November 11th, 2008, 4:36 pm

"Misfit" wrote:thanks for the link EC, it works. Although probably not the best for looking at when at the work PC :D :o :eek:

I'll look at it later when I'm home and there's no one likely to pop in and see what's on the screen :p


Sorry about that :) :eek:

I am going to get a bad reputation as someone who sends out rude urls :eek:

Seriously, if you mention Lady Godiva to anyone of my age, and above, or 10 years younger, everyone knows that she supposedly performed the stunt of riding starkers through the streets of Coventry to protest over taxes. So well known has that story become, it's now a part of the national psyche. Protestors today, as well as those looking to history for a topical entertainment angle, will put some naked young woman up on a horse, drape her in a long wig and do the Godiva thing. The pre-Raphaelites seem to have loved her too!
Les proz e les vassals

Souvent entre piez de chevals

Kar ja li coard n’I chasront



'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'


Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal



www.elizabethchadwick.com

User avatar
Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Tue November 11th, 2008, 5:06 pm

I am going to get a bad reputation as someone who sends out rude urls


:D :D Oh well.


Return to “By Author's Last Name G-L”