Elfrida: The First Crowned Queen of England

Overview

• First biography of this forgotten queen of England.
• Huge interest in lives of medieval queens of England, see the success of Helen Castor's She Wolves, Tracy Borman's Matilda and Alison Weir's Isabella.

Contrary to popular belief, Anglo-Saxon England had queens, with the tenth century Elfrida being the most powerful and notorious of them all. She was the first woman to be crowned queen of England, sharing her husband King Edgar’s imperial coronation at Bath in 973. The couple made a love match, with claims ...

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More About This Book

Overview

• First biography of this forgotten queen of England.
• Huge interest in lives of medieval queens of England, see the success of Helen Castor's She Wolves, Tracy Borman's Matilda and Alison Weir's Isabella.

Contrary to popular belief, Anglo-Saxon England had queens, with the tenth century Elfrida being the most powerful and notorious of them all. She was the first woman to be crowned queen of England, sharing her husband King Edgar’s imperial coronation at Bath in 973. The couple made a love match, with claims that they plotted the death of her first husband to ensure that she was free. Edgar divorced his second wife, a former nun, after conducting an adulterous affair with Elfrida, leading to an enmity between the two women that lasted until their deaths.

During her marriage, Elfrida claimed to be the king’s only legitimate wife, but she failed to secure the succession for her son, Ethelred. Elfrida plotted against her stepson, King Edward the Martyr, before arranging his murder at Corfe Castle, where she lived with her son. She then ruled England on behalf of her young son for six years before he expelled her from court. Elfrida was eventually able to return to court but, since he proved himself unable to counter the Viking attacks, she may have come to regret winning the crown for Ethelred the Unready.

Wife, mother, murderer, ruler, crowned queen. The life of Queen Elfrida was filled with drama as she rose to become the most powerful woman in Anglo-Saxon England.

REVIEWS

I'm impressed with Norton's ability to write a biography on a historical character that is both notorious and slight on information. She poured through records, especially from the Anglo-Saxon chronicle of Gaimar. Carefully she ascribed her work. It would have been easy to write a book on the authors thoughts and leanings; instead Norton focused on the facts. She is transparent is stating when something was a probability, or fact.
A strong point of this book is it gave me a better view of life in England during the later years of the Viking raids and before William the Conqueror invaded. These ancient Saxon years when men were valiant and women were damsels. Elfrida was not what I would call a damsel, but an audacious noblewoman and queen
Impressionist Ink

'Does a good job of painting an engaging portrait without descending too much into speculation, as other writers might be tempted to do, while providing an insight into life in England.
All About History magazine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781445614861
  • Publisher: Amberley Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/19/2014
  • Pages: 219
  • Sales rank: 310,288
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

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