TITLE: Founder, Fighter, Saxon Queen: Aethelflaed, Lady of the Mercians
AUTHOR: Margaret C. Jones
EXPECTED PUBLICATION DATE:
30 August 2018
FORMAT: ARC ebook
NOTE: I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from NetGalley. This review is my honest opinion of the book.
This biography is about Alfred the Great's daughter, Aethelflaed; about ther life and achievements, as well as the world that made her. Aethelflaed was a remarkable women who led armies in battle against the vikings, negotiated treaties, founded shrines and churches, planned towns, and ruled a kingdom in her own right, which involved tax collection and law administration. She also attempted to pass the rule of Mercia to her daughter Aelfwynn. This well-written and well researched book covers the cultural and familial world that shaped Aethelflaed's personality and beliefs. It covers her early life, the years of her marriage, and the world she made after her husband's death. An interesting chapter deals with Aethelflaed's legacy and legand. The book also includes a section of notes that provides a guide of places around the Midlands that still bear traces of Aethelflaed's life and work or have memorial tributes to her, which may be of interest to anyone travelling to this part of England. There are many maps and illustrations, however this book lacks a locality map of where Mercia fits into Greater England and also lacking is a timeline. While I found this biography interesting and accessible ( narrative was distinctly story-like), there was too much speculation on the part of the author, though this appears to be due to the lack of reliable source material for this time period. All-in-all, this is an entertaining and informative, if somewhat superficial, biography of Aethelflaed, Queen of Mercia.
A Brief History of the Anglo-Saxons: The Beginnings of the English Nation by Geoffrey Hindley