Thursday, May 4, 2017

Review: Elfrida: The First Crowned Queen of England by Elizabeth Norton

In 10th century England, the wife of the king was not necessarily crowned and anointed. This is a much deserved biography on the first queen of England to be crowned, Elfrida (aka Ã†lfthryth, Alfrida, or Elfthryth) who is better remembered for the accusations against her of murdering her step-son to put her own son on the throne. The third wife of Edgar the Peaceful, she was a key figure in the strengthening of the Church in England, and as regent for her young son.

Due to a lack of primary sources, biographies on women of early English history often wind up being more about the people and events around them then about the women themselves, but that did not feel like the case here. Never dull or dry, it gave a thorough view on who Elfrida was and why she not only deserves her own biography, but deserves to be given the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the accusations of murder against her. It really illuminates this period of history too, giving you a complete picture of the politics of the time.

This biography proves that Elfrida's much overlooked story is ripe for a historical drama.



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