know her name. We know of her naked ride. We don’t know her true
all know the legend of Lady Godiva, who famously rode naked through
the streets of Coventry, covered only by her long, flowing hair. So
the story goes, she begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to lift
a high tax on her people, who would starve if forced to pay. Lord
Leofric demanded a forfeit: that Godiva ride naked on horseback
through the town. There are various endings to Godiva’s ride, that
all the people of Coventry closed their doors and refused to look
upon their liege lady (except for ‘peeping Tom’) and that her
husband, in remorse, lifted the tax.
an original version of Godiva’s tale with a twist that may be closer
to the truth: by the end of his life Leofric had fallen deeply in
love with Lady Godiva. A tale of legendary courage and extraordinary
an epic story new voice.
MY TAKE: I definitely prefer this version of Godiva’s story to any I’ve read in the past! Eliza Redgold has brought us a lovely, lyrical tale that puts Godiva’s naked ride through Coventry into a whole new light.
I was familiar with this story and the poem from Tennyson that immortalized it, but I never knew much more than that. It was fascinating for me to learn so much of the back story and some of the other characters and “off-shoots” such as the origins of the “Peeping Tom”.
It made me happy to think that Leofric might have felt remorse at forcing Godiva to make the ride. Their relationship was an interesting one and I enjoyed watching it grow and change as they came to learn more about each other. Their different upbringings and outlooks make for some colorful and volatile exchanges, but their attraction and feelings for each other were apparent from the star`
The other characters were well written and added much to the story. Edmund is such a wild-card through most of the journey. I wasn’t sure which way he was going until close to the end.
The theme and threads of Saxon heritage and history were obviously well-researched. The actual history and the fictional parts were blended seamlessly into a beautiful story that is easy to read and hard to put down. I highly recommend it!
Godiva is more than an historical figure. She’s a true legend.
of Coventry’s story is shrouded in history and mystery. Further
back in time than the real-life eleventh century Countess Godgyfu,
Lady Godiva is connected to ancient tales of saints and goddesses.
Her story has lasted for thousands of years, to be transformed and
to legend, Lady Godiva begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to
lift a high tax on her people, who would starve if forced to pay. He
cruelly demanded a forfeit: that Godiva ride naked on horseback
through the town. Though the legend has lasted for centuries, there’s
dispute over exactly what if anything Godiva wore on her famous ride,
or even if it occurred. Historical fact and a good story don’t
always go hand in hand. Some historians certainly call it a myth. Yet
there’s no doubt that Lady Godiva was a real person who lived in
century Anglo-Saxon Engla-lond. Whatever the facts, she has remained
(in the Anglo-Saxon version of her name) spent some of her life in
what is now called the British Midlands. Anglo-Saxon Engla-lond was a
tough time and place for a woman. Constant Danish invasion by those
later called Vikings, though the Saxons called them Danes, occurred
many times in the 10th
suggest that Godiva was more than equal to the challenges of her day.
Her name appears in records as the only female landowner who retained
her lands not only against the Danes but also later against the
Norman invasion of 1066. It was also the right of Saxon noblewomen to
approve their own husband – upheld by a ruling of King Canute, the
Danish King on the throne in England at the time I set Godiva’s
has been hard on Godiva’s husband, Lord Leofric of Mercia. In the
legend Leofric is definitely the villain of the piece, ready to
impose heavy taxes and to ignobly allow his wife to carry out her
daring ride. Yet historical documents reveal that by the end of his
life, Lord Leofric was a changed man. Ancient records suggest their
marriage was a strong one, and may indeed have been a love match.
Together they supported monasteries, built abbeys and churches, and
aided the poor. The original cathedral in Coventry was founded by
Godiva and Leofric.
the legend of Lady Godiva’s ride that has stood the test of time.
Rides as penitents like the one Godiva undertook were practiced in
that period – though Godiva’s nakedness was certainly unique. By
all accounts, whether fact or fiction, she was a unique woman. Her
courage continues to inspire us, her story to be told, even after a
Redgold is based upon the old, Gaelic meaning of her
name, Dr Elizabeth Reid Boyd. English
folklore has it that if you help a fairy, you will be rewarded with
red gold. She has presented academic papers on women and romance and
is a contributor to the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Romance Fiction.
She was born in Irvine, Scotland on Marymass Day and currently lives
is generously gifting one lucky winner a $20 gift card to either
Amazon or Barnes & Noble! Be sure to enter below and then check
out all of the other stops to learn more about this great book and
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~~~~~ Disclaimer: All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own. I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links. I may receive books in order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review – only a completely honest one. Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.