The book that wowed a generation, Lady of Hay has sold over a million copies worldwide.
Jo Clifford, successful journalist, is all set to debunk the idea of past-life regression in her next magazine series. But when she herself submits to a simple hypnotic session, she suddenly finds herself reliving the experiences of Matilda, Lady of Hay, the wife of a baron at the time of King John.
As she learns of Matilda's unhappy marriage, her love for the handsome Richard de Clare and the brutal threats of death at the hands of King John, it becomes clear that Jo's past and present are hopelessly entwined and that, eight hundred years on, a story of secret passion and unspeakable treachery is about to begin again...
©1986 Barbara Erskine (P)2013 HarperCollins Audio
"The author's storytelling talent is undeniable. Barbara Erskine can make us feel the cold, smell the filth and experience some of the fear of the power of evil men." (The Times)
"Unusual, intriguing, cleverly handled and gripping." (The Good Book Guide)
"Fascinating, absorbing, original - all such praise comes easily when describing Barbara Erskine's Lady of Hay. But perhaps the most suitable world is hypnotic." (SHE)
This was the first Barbara Erskine book I read, years ago, and I think her best. Since then the stories gradually became a bit formulaic, but I always returned to re-read this. When I first joined Audible, it was also the first I listened to, and Isla Blair reads it beautifully and had me hooked on audiobooks from around chapter 2. Maude, or Matilda, de Broase is a fascinating character and Erskine's interpretation of her family's relationship with King John is compelling. It's very much a novel but is based on fact - these people did live and much of their lives is documented. The result is a very strong, well headstrong, but 3 dimensional character. I've just listened again, and it is a book you can return to and still enjoy fresh. A fascinating period in history, and the reincarnation aspect is dealt with well. So with 4 for story and 5 for narration, why 3 overall? Purely because it's abridged. I wish Isla Blair could also record the other Erskine book that (nearly) measures up to Lady of Hay, Kingdom of Shadows. It's not listed. But please, unabridged.
This book suffered hugely from being abridged. Most of the wonderful historical discrimination of the medieval lives were cut. We were left with too much physical relationship descriptions. Sad because Barbara Erskine's books capture past times beautifully interwoven with modern. I've got all the other books which are unabridged and they are marvellous.
Surely if it really MUST be abridged (why...?) then it can be done so in a sympathetic manner. Why hoik out great swathes of historical description? One of Erskine's greatest gifts is of bringing the past back to life - something completely missing from this debacle.
No-one could believe in the breathy hysteric portrayed by Isla - she's supposed to be a tough go-getting journalist . And with all of the chopped out bits and the hysterical/erotic overtones would be more at home on the 'Erotic' list. I was almost ashamed when my husband came in the room at a particularly crass bit, I'm not a £2.00 bodice ripper lady.
I got halfway through and gave up.
Thanks for spoiling one of my favourite books.
Isla Blair really needs to learn to pronounce Welsh if she's going to read a book with Welsh dialogue. This is a good story, but I really wish you had the full version! Don't like beloved stories with bits chopped out.
Only if it was unabridged
This is the worst book I've ever had from Audible. It was too short, too confusing and I think half the book was missing. Was such a shame because I love Barbara Erskine books.
Please do not sell as abridged.
No I honestly hated it. It was a waste of money.
I read the "Lady of Hay" many years ago and loved it then but listening to it was a vast improvement.
It has a very happy ending and I loved this as so many of Barbara's books don't.
I just enjoyed listening to the book.
Most of the book is very sad.
Looking forward to the next Barbara Erskine book in the Spring.
Love this book so much that I had read it on kindle but just had to listen to it on here love old time books
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