...making decisions on the basis of what seems best instead of following some single doctrine or style.
Me in a nutshell!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tuesday Royal Book Review...

I finished The Bastard King by Jean Plaidy and loved it. I am a big fan of hers anyway and this book certainly lived up to her reputation. I have always been fascinated with William I mainly because I descend directly from him no less than 7 or 8 times. This is nothing unusual, he had a lot of children and they had a lot children. Multiply that by 23 generations and you are talking millions of descendants. Nevertheless his story is amazing anyway, because it changed England forever.
William's father Robert the Magnificent, the Duke of Normandy was out riding one day and saw this fair maid washing her clothes in the river. He was simply dumb struck at her beauty. He made inquiries and found out she was the local tanner's daughter. He sent his "boys" out to bring her to him in secret by night. She refused and said if he wants me, have him send me a nice horse and body guard to take me in full view across the castle bridge to him. I'm not going in the back way as some local whore. She had nerve, Robert was not known for his patience. He did as she requested and as they say "the rest is history".

As a result of their love affair, Arlette had two children William and his sister. The Duke loved Arlette, but never married her. He decided to go off to the Holy Land on a pilgrimage to purge his sins and left William as the new Duke of Normandy. William was only 7 years old. William was serious about being Duke and he learned very well the art of warfare, chivalry and government. He prided himself in being a strict but fair ruler.

He married Matilda of Flanders and had 9 children. Matilda was his number one fan and supported him in all his campaigns. He had his eye on the greatest prize, England. His father had failed to conquer England. England was considered the beautiful jewel to obtain. The country side, fertile fields and forests to hunt were very sought after by many nations. William was determined to conquer and rule. He did at a great cost. The Battle of Hastings changed England forever. William was Duke of Normandy, and William I of England. He conquered England with great destruction, but rebuilt her better than before. He brought a united rule to England, built castles, abbeys, and universities. He was a rich man and he invested heavily in the beautification of England.

He became known as the Conqueror throughout Europe because he never lost a battle. He could not be defeated. He was larger than life, however; his life was plagued with betrayal, death, and sorrow. He lost his beloved son, was hated by his other son and betrayed by friends. He had more enemies than friends. He often referred to David in the Old Testament "Live by the sword, die by the sword".

This has been the most enlightening insight into his life. Jean Plaidy makes it a very personal view. William and Matilda are easy to love and hate. I came away from reading this book very emotionally touched.

I give it a ***** review!


  1. I actually didn't think this was one of Plaidy's better books. Have you read The Conqueror by Georgette Heyer (it's recently been reissued). I thought it was pretty good. I have another book about William coming up on my TBR list - The Golden Warrior by Hope Muntz. It's out of print but I've heard good things about it.

  2. This sounds like a great story that I would like to get my hands on! Thanks for the review!

  3. I'm dying to read this one. Thanks for the wonderful review:)

  4. Just a random question...what ever happened to his father who went out on the pilgrimige - did he come back? Just curious. Great review!

  5. I can't believe I left that part out! His father died in Italy on his way home from the pilgrimige leaving William basically in charge and he was like in middle school years. William was leading armies in war in his late teens.

  6. Wonderful review! I love a book that has affected my emotions like that. Well here's one that I'll move up my Plaidy list. Glad you enjoyed it.

  7. Your love of this book shines through. Great review Susie!

  8. Loved the review! I haven't read this Plaidy yet, but I did read Heyer's The Conqueror that misfit mentioned and enjoyed it very much. He was quite a man!

  9. I have all three of the Norman trilogy waiting to be read. Great review!


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