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Summary

In the first volume of this epic new series, Alison Weir strips away centuries of romantic mythology and prejudice to reveal the lives of England's queens in the century after the Norman Conquest.

Beginning with Matilda of Flanders, who supported William the Conqueror in 1066, to the turbulent life of the Empress Maud, who claimed to be queen of England in her own right and fought a bitter war to that end, the five Norman queens emerge as hugely influential figures and fascinating characters.

©2017 Alison Weir (P)2017 W.F. Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"Known for best-selling historical biographies, Alison Weir is in command of her detail." (Elizabeth Buchan, Daily Mail)
"Weir has a shrewd sense of what will seize the imagination of the keen historical amateur." ( The Independent)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating book but at times difficult to listen

The narrator chops the phrases with strong accent on some syllables and sharp unmelodic intonation. This could be irritating and distracting at times... Towards the end I wasn't noticing this as much but found it difficult to immerse into the story because of this.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

EXCELLENT ENJOYABLE HISTORICAL MEDIEVAL QUEENS

This is an excellent book for anyone who loves English history and as usual is based on the primary source materials Weir researches for the backgrounds of these UK Queens. Narrated clearly and pleasing which helps to keep the interest flowing.

A book for both those with an interest in royal history and whom are academic. Enjoyable and written with a storyline not just a book of historical information.

A long book; so be prepared for weeks of pleasurable informative listening. I love it.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent

Weir achieves a balance between detailed treatment of the 'emotional lives' of five Queens and critical appraisals of her primary sources. A book to be read (and reread) for a deeper appreciation of these women in their time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • s
  • 03-05-18

hard going at times but worth it

hard going at times but worth it
hard going at times but worth it
hard going at times but worth it

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A great book spiled by indadequate narration

Where does Queens of the Conquest rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Pretty high in the Historical Non - Fiction Genre.

What did you like best about this story?

Ms. Weir's unmistakeable style of providing hard information and putting it into context.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Julia Franklin?

Juliet Stevenson can do no wrong.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

It's a history, so not really

Any additional comments?

Ms. Franklin's narration was both stilted and gushingly over - acted. This book is the first in a series and if Ms. Franklin is to narrate the rest of the series, then I shall regretfully pass over it.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Importance of narrator

What disappointed you about Queens of the Conquest?

The style of reader delivery was so irritating that I abandoned this book
Very disappointing

Has Queens of the Conquest put you off other books in this genre?

No

What didn’t you like about Julia Franklin’s performance?

Staccato, jerky, irritating

What character would you cut from Queens of the Conquest?

N.A

Any additional comments?

No

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

A Difficult Period

The concept of a multiple biography of the early Norman Queens sounds an interesting one, the problem is that the material the author has to work on is very limited. She could have gone down the road of reciting the Primary Sources (charters signed, donations to the Church etc.) or she could have gone down the road of unsubstantiated speculation. Unfortunately she opted for both. So we are left with often tedious lists of charitable giving spiced up with often groundless speculation about when Royal couples might have ceased conjugal relations.
I was often reminded of those TV documentaries on archaeology that attempt to reconstruct sculptures of faces from half a skull.
Nice try, but she falls between the two stools of academia and pop history. It's not helped by a very strange reading. Someone clearly "got at" the script and placed random full stops and colons in the middle of sentences. Very odd.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Interesting Book

It's an interesting listen but it is hindered by the narration which is rather clunky with pauses mid sentences. I think this may be a case of poor editing though, which is a shame. If you can get pass the odd pacing then it's a enjoyable listen and a great insight into the era from a different angle.