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Further reading:

  • The Conquerors:  The Pageant of England - by Thomas B. Costain (1949, Doubleday). Do read at least to the end of Chapter VI for a delightfully piquant suggestion of real motivation. Do NOT get *The Conquering Family: A History of the Plantagenets* (1962, reprinted 1994), which is a shortened version and doesn't get going until Maud's son, Henry II.
    If your local library does not have this book, in the U.S.A. you can go to the library desk and say, "Interlibrary Loan, please."  The library will borrow the book from another library and lend it to you, for the cost of the postage.  Do other countries' library system have this? (Suggested by Pogo)
  • When Christ and His Saints Slept - by Sharon Kay Penman.   Beginning in 1135,with the death of King Henry I, it is the story of the conflict between King Stephen and the Empress Maud and continues through the early years of the reign of Henry II, Maud's son.  It is amazingly accurate historicallly, and I have found it interesting to reread the "Cadfael Chronicles" in time sequence as I go along. It gives a more complete understanding of what is happening in England at the time. (Suggested by Alice Gardner-Boreta)
  • The Story of the English Language - by Mario Pei (1967). This book's first few chapters describe how Old English came to be, how it mutated, and what happened to it when William and his hordes came to stay.
  • The stories of Sister Fidelma - by Peter Tremayne (alias Peter Berresford Ellis). These set of books are based on the life of Sister Fidelma who is a seventh century nun of the community of St. Brigid of Kildare and are historical mysteries along the same lines as the Cadfael series. The current known book titles are
    • Absolution by murder
    • Shroud for the Archbishop
    • Suffer Little Children
    • The Subtle Serpent
    • The Spider's Web
    • Valley of the Shadow

    (Suggested by Victoria Stephans)


Written by SteveC