Monday, June 15, 2009
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned...
Truer words were never said when it comes to Matilda of Flanders the wife of William I (the conqueror). Oh wow was she a little tyrant. She was all of 4'2 but man alive beware if you were to have offended her. I have been reading Jean Plaidy's Bastard King and what a tale.
When Matilda was a teenager, ripe for marriage she fell head over heals for a Saxon Ambassador of England named Britric. He was a beautiful blond man with sky blue eyes. She pursued him like crazy and finally she didn't want to wait any longer so she asked him to marry her. He refused, he was betrothed to another in England. She was humiliated!!!! How could he, a mere ambassador refuse a beautiful princess. He did and he left in a hurry to return to England never to return again to Flanders.
Matilda went onto marry William, but secretly brooded over Britric for years. She couldn't wait for William to conquer England so she could be set up as Queen and take her revenge.
William did conquer England, she was Queen. She bided her time and then approached William with an idea of building her own castle. He agreed and left the matter to her. Through some investigation she found out that Britric was a very wealthy man on vast estates. She made her move and seized his estates, all his fortune and had him imprisoned. He had no idea why until right before he was murdered in his cell when his murderer would divulge that Queen Matilda was building a castle on his estates and spending his fortune.
You would think it would end there, oh no! William finally caught onto what his wife had done and was very jealous of the fact that she married him on the rebound so he decided to have an affair to spite her. He was a very faithful husband and never had strayed even when women were offering themselves to him every where he went. He decided upon a beautiful young woman who was the daughter of a Saxon Sheriff. It was basically a one time deal, afterwards he went on his way a little disappointed that he didn't feel avenged. The tragedy was that Matilda received an anonymous note revealing William's affair. In her rage she had the young woman murdered and her face disfigured because William had looked upon her and thought she was beautiful.
Did this upset William, a little, he felt sorry for the young woman, but oh what a wife he had. Matilda was as ruthless as any man and that was very pleasing for William.
William Congreve,the playwrite, who in 1687 coined the phrase "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" must have been inspired by Matilda of Flanders. Yikes!!!!