Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace


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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva Review

02_Naked A Novel of Lady Godiva_CoverNaked: A Novel of Lady Godiva by Eliza Redgold

Publication Date: July 14, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Formats: Ebook, Paperback
Pages: 320
 Genre: Historical Fiction

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We know her name. We know of her naked ride. We don't know her true story. We all know the legend of Lady Godiva, who famously rode naked through the streets of Coventry, covered only by her long, flowing hair. So the story goes, she begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to lift a high tax on her people, who would starve if forced to pay. Lord Leofric demanded a forfeit: that Godiva ride naked on horseback through the town. There are various endings to Godiva's ride, that all the people of Coventry closed their doors and refused to look upon their liege lady (except for 'peeping Tom') and that her husband, in remorse, lifted the tax. Naked is an original version of Godiva's tale with a twist that may be closer to the truth: by the end of his life Leofric had fallen deeply in love with Lady Godiva. A tale of legendary courage and extraordinary passion, Naked brings an epic story new voice.


"Redgold's variation on this enticing legend is often lyrical and offers a satisfying blend of history, lore, and romance." (Booklist) "Breathes new life into the story of the woman who would stop at nothing to protect her land and people." (Romantic Times) "NAKED delivers far more than the famous ride of Lady Godiva. It's a beautifully woven story of love, loyalty, and the determination of a young woman trying to protect her people and their way of life, no matter the price. Godiva is a wonderfully strong woman in an age of dangerous men, and in NAKED, she certainly meets her match!" (Amalia Carosella, author of HELEN OF SPARTA) "A wonderful, romantic retelling of the Lady Godiva legend. There is the colorful Anglo-Saxon backdrop, warriors, battles, peacemaking, desire, revenge and love - everything a fan of medieval romance could desire - plus a strong-willed heroin. Written with a lyrical lilt to her prose, Redgold adds realism to the myth and love to the lusty tale, allowing readers a glimpse into what might have been." (RT Book Reviews)


When the opportunity to read Eliza Regold's novel, Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva, presented itself, I leapt! I love the legend of Lady Godiva, and to have a historical fiction novel in my hands--heaven. I wasn't disappointed. Redgold's telling of the tale of a woman who rode naked on horseback through the center of town is a riveting journey filled with angst, emotion, sacrifice, danger, daring, finding one's self and a great deal of vivid imagery that makes the medieval world come alive.

Lady Godiva is a heroine that I greatly admired, not only because she had the guts to ride naked through town in order to save her people from starvation, but for all she was willing to do for her people, even sacrifice herself. At a young age, she is tested by the savage attack by Thurkill the Tall that leaves her family destroyed and puts her in the center of the battlefield. Her merit tested again and again, and each time we see her grow a little more.

There is also a bit of a love triangle happening here. We know her childhood friend is in love with her and he wanted her to marry him, but she put him off... And along comes Lord Leofric the Earl of Mercia to save the day--and end the life of Thurkill the Tall. Though Edward tempers from loving companion/guard/friend to jealous boar at times, I did feel a little bad for him. But the heart wants what the heart wants, and from the moment Godiva met Leofric, she felt the friction sizzling in the air between them. I loved the fierceness and the gentleness of Leofric, and the way he challenged her and loved her.

The book is very well researched with a plethora of detail in both the landscape, the house, the clothes, the weapons, battles, food, drink, but even riddles, WHICH I LOVE. The writing is fantastic, and flows poetically and beautifully. I look forward to reading more from this author.

I highly recommend this sweeping narrative, with plenty of twists and turns, told from the first-person point-of-view of Godiva, a warrior woman, lover, leader, friend and wife.


03_Eliza Redgold_Author

ABOUT THE AUTHORELIZA REDGOLD is based upon the old, Gaelic meaning of her name, Dr Elizabeth Reid Boyd. English folklore has it that if you help a fairy, you will be rewarded with red gold. She has presented academic papers on women and romance and is a contributor to the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Romance Fiction. As a non-fiction author she is co-author of Body Talk: a Power Guide for Girls and Stay-at-Home Mothers: Dialogues and Debates. She was born in Irvine, Scotland on Marymass Day and currently lives in Australia. For more information visit Eliza Redgold's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Google+.


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Thursday, August 20
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Tuesday, August 25
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To enter to win a copy of Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva or a $50 Amazon Gift Card, please enter via the GLEAM form below. Three winners will be chosen. Rules ñ Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter. ñ Giveaway is open to US residents only. ñ Only one entry per household. ñ All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion ñ Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva Blog Tour

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1 comment:

Eliza Redgold said...

Thank you so much for this wonderful review of NAKED! History Undressed is such a terrific site and I'm a fan of your work too. Here's to peeling back the layers of the past :)