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Founder, Fighter, Saxon Queen (Hardback)

Aethelflaed, Lady of the Mercians

Medieval History Women of History Military History

Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 182
ISBN: 9781526733962
Published: 3rd August 2018
This Week's Best Sellers Rank: #7

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Alfred the Great’s daughter defied all expectations of a well-bred Saxon princess. The first Saxon woman ever to rule a kingdom, Aethelflaed, Lady of the Mercians, led her army in battle against Viking invaders. She further broke with convention by arranging for her daughter to succeed her on the throne of Mercia.

To protect her people and enable her kingdom in the Midlands to prosper, Aethelflaed rebuilt Chester and Gloucester, and built seven entirely new English towns. In so doing she helped shape our world today.

This book brings Aethelflaed’s world to life, from her childhood in time of war to her remarkable work as ruler of Mercia. The final chapter traces her legend, from medieval paintings to novels and contemporary art, illustrating the impact of a legacy that continues to be felt to this day.

Knowing nothing of Aethelflaed before, this book was a joy to read and is chock full of fascinating info on her life, society, culture, and accomplishments. There is only so much that is known about Aethelflaed, and I found that when the author offered conjecture, it was posed as a question instead of just an assumption. Often with history books the author wants us to believe their opinion is the right one. Too often a writer likes to say "probably, they believed such and such." Jones avoids this and is open minded about what may or may not have passed through Aetheflaed's mind. She has infused her book with creative retellings about important moments in Aetheflaed's life, which were in turn important to the eventual unification of England.

NetGalley, reviewed by M. Blackwood

This was overall a well-written and enjoyable book.

NetGalley, reviewed by Leslie Jaszczak

Rating 5 out of 5 stars

The writing is easy to follow and it draws you in. One of the best historical biographies I've read in a long while.

Thoroughly researched and well structured.

NetGalley, reviewed by Sarah English

Jones organises the book more thematically than chronologically, which I think is a good choice, as Aethelflaed is viewed through a variety of lenses: as a woman of her time, as the organiser of military defenses, as Alfred's daughter, and as a subject of contemporary art and fiction. It's a multifaceted view of a fascinating woman.

NetGalley, reviewed by Isis C

I can see what the author was trying to do with Founder, Fighter, Saxon Queen and I admire the idea. I can tell she has done extensive research and is passionate about the subject of Aethelflaed. I did learn a tremendous amount as I was not very familiar with Anglo-Saxon history. The writing is clear and easy to read, enriched with a few quotes, a guide to places where Aethelflaed can be found these days and beautiful illustrations. I also always appreciate notes in a history book.

NetGalley, reviewed by Camille Brown

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Aetheflaed was a Saxon princess. She is known as Lady of the Mercians. She didn't want to be just a princess, she wanted to battle for her people. She didn't just give orders from afar, she was actually with her soldiers in battle. She also made sure her daughter would follow in her footsteps and be a warrior also.

This book has some fascinating facts about her life. As a child, as as a fighter and as a Queen. The author has researched her material extensively, which makes for interesting facts.
I definitely recommend this book. Aetheflaed was an extraordinary woman. A woman that is an example of strength and courage.

NetGalley, reviewed by Doris Vandruff

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Superbly written and very informative I really enjoyed this book. It's difficult to find an accessible and well written non fiction title of this genre, but this book surpassed my expectations. Highly recommended.

NetGalley, reviewed by MARGARET LEONARD

Overall, a good short biography about a historical figure who is often at times forgotten.

NetGalley, reviewed by Serena Stone

All-in-all, this is an entertaining and informative, if somewhat superficial, biography of Aethelflaed, Queen of Mercia.

NetGalley, reviewed by Michaela Kneidinger

If you like Anglo-Saxon history then you’ll probably like this. If you like feminist histories then you’ll definitely like this.

NetGalley, reviewed by Jennifer Orton

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

In all then this is a book that should go down well with many, and bring to life a remarkable woman, not only of her period, but who would also be so today.

NetGalley, reviewed by Martin Dowden
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