Empress Matilda (1102-1167)
After her father, Henry I, died naming her his heir, Matilda’s cousin, Stephen, subsequently took the throne for himself. Matilda never stopped fighting for what was rightfully hers. Though she would never be named Queen of England in her own right, she was able to convince Stephen to name her son, the future Henry II, his successor over his own children.
Choose a book with a protagonist who stands their ground.
I’m going to go with Kate Daniels from the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. Kate is a character with a lot of backbone–she doesn’t give up even when the odds are stacked against her and she’s going up against her own family.
Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204)
Before she married Henry II and became Queen of England in 1152, Eleanor was Queen of France as the wife of Louis VII. She sought an annulment from her marriage to Louis and he eventually agreed because 15 years of marriage had produced no sons, only for Eleanor to go on to have eight children with Henry—five of whom were sons. Ouch!
Choose a book or series in which the heroine has more than one romantic relationship.
Well, I read a lot like this, kind of live for love triangles hahaha. I’ll go with a one of my first loves, the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton. I LOVED this series for a really long time. Probably longer than I should have. I still kind of mean to get back to it some day. Anyway, Anita’s love life in this series can be described as complicated, at best, lol.
Eleanor of Castile (1241-1290)
A keen patron of literature and a successful businesswoman in her own right, Eleanor was Edward I’s first wife. He was so heartbroken when she died that he erected the Eleanor Crosses, 12 stone crosses marking the places where her body rested over night on its journey from Lincolnshire, where she died, to her burial place in London. Three of the crosses still survive today.
Choose a bittersweet book.
I always find Stardust by Neil Gaiman bittersweet at the very end for reasons I won’t go into because spoilers. But those of you who have read it might know what I’m talking about.
Isabella of France (1295-1358)
Often known as the ‘She-Wolf of France’, Isabella was Edward II’s wife. Unfortunately for Edward he wasn’t particularly good at being king, and Isabella soon grew tired of his (possibly homosexual) relationship with his favourite, Hugh Despenser. After she began an affair with English nobleman Roger Mortimer while on a diplomatic mission to France, the pair returned to England with an army and she deposed Edward and acted as regent until their son, the future Edward III, came of age.
Choose a book where the romance overtook the plot.
Struggling with this one because I actually love romance and some of the things I read are more specifically romance in nature so it’s hard to say that something ‘overtook’ the plot… But. Hmmm, maybe Crave by Tracy Wolff? I kind of loved this cheesy teen vampire book but also it probably would have been much better if there wasn’t some serious insta-love followed by a bit of an obsessive romance.
Philippa of Hainault (1310/15-1369)
Queen of England as the wife of Edward III, Philippa was beloved by the English people for her compassion and kindness. The Queen’s College, Oxford, founded in 1341, is named in her honour.
Choose a book set at a university.
Oh! Earlier this year I read Vita Nostra by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko. This was such a weird book, I loved it. It’s set in a university where students are recruited because they have some hidden potential but they’re not really given much explanation for things and their experiences become increasingly strange the longer they’re there.
Joan of Navarre (1368-1437)
Joan was Henry IV’s second wife. Six years after his death, Joan was accused of attempting to poison her stepson, Henry V, through witchcraft and was imprisoned for four years until he ordered her release, just six weeks before he suddenly died.
Choose a book about witches.
Well I just read this one recently and love it so I’m going to pick A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan. I really loved the way this story was told over generations, just…a history of their lives. It’s very much what’s in the title. I also loved that all the women in the book were so very different but all strong in their own way.
That’s a wrap on this tag! As always, not going to tag anyone but if this one looks fun then feel free to tag yourself!