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Matilda, a 12th-century Empress of the Holy Roman Empire and daughter of Henry I, is twenty-four years old and a widow. She returns to her father's double realm of England and Normandy and is promptly married against her will to Geoffrey, a minor continental nobleman. When she is absent from England at the time of her father's death, Matilda loses her throne to her cousin Stephen despite their ongoing and secret love affair.
For almost 20 years, anarchy reins, and their passion fluctuates between hatred and obsession. The only hope in sight is Matilda and Stephen's two sons, whose rightful claim to the throne may finally end the bloody and endless war.
In the vein of Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl, Matilda Empress follows the real history of the early English monarchs, and what happens when strong woman at the center of great upheaval refuses to play by the rules laid out for her.
Lise Arin lives in New York City with her husband and children. She has an undergraduate degree from Harvard and a PhD from Columbia. This is her first novel.