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King Stephen and Queen Matilda - An Annotated Bibliography
Appleby, John T.. The Troubled Reign of King Stephen. London.
G. Bell and Sons, Ltd.. 1969
Cronne, H.A.. The Reign of Stephen 1135-1154: Anarchy in England.
London. Weidenfeld and Nicolson. 1970
Cook, Petronelle. Queen Consorts of England: The Power Behind the
Throne. New York. Facts on File, Inc.. 1993
Davis, R.H.C.. King Stephen: 1135-1154. New York. Longman Inc..
1990 (Third Edition)
Giles, J.A. (Ed. & Transl.). William of Malmsbury's Chronicle
of the Kings of England. London. Henry G. Bohn. 1847
Given-Wilson Chris and Curteis, Alice. The Royal Bastards of Medieval
England. London. Routledge & Kegan Paul. 1984
Green, Judith A.. The Aristocracy of Norman England. New York.
Cambridge University Press. 1997
Fraser, Antonia. The Warrior Queens. Markham. Penguin Books.
Potter, K.R..(Transl.). Gesta Stephani: The Deeds of Stephen.
Toronto. Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd.. 1955
Stubbs, William. The Early Plantagenets. New York. Longmans,
Green and Co.. 1909
Williamson, David. Debrett's Kings and Queens of Britain. London,
Webb & Bower Publishers Ltd. 1986
All of the above books deal quite well and fully with most aspects of Stephen's life. Davis's book, being the most recent, should be consulted in conjunction with the others, but it is highly readable and well annotated. The various authors seem to differ on whether or not Matilda's death made Stephen more resigned to peace with Henry or spurred him into action. Either way, she obviously had an impact on his life.
Little has been written about Matilda herself. A brief bio appears in Green's Lives of the Princesses of England, however it's an old work (1830s) and very out of date. Next year John Carmi Parsons will publish a collection of essays entitled Eleanor of Aquitaine: Lord and Lady from St Martin's Press, This collection will include an article by Heather Tanner of the University of Oregon about Matilda, so you might want to keep an eye out for it.
Those of you who read historical romance might find Roberta Gellis's portrayal of her in Bond of Blood both interesting and revealing. Most historical fiction, however, seems to concentrate on the relationship between Stephen and Maud - Jean Plaidy (The Passionate Enemies), Ellen Jones (The Fatal Crown) and Haley Elizabeth Garwood (The Forgotten Queen). All three authors present Stephen and Maud as star-crossed lovers, though none of the contemporary evidence supports such a theory. Garwood apparently even goes as far as to make Matilda a villainess which is unusual as all evidence points to her being a devoted wife. Sharon Kay Penman's novel, When Christ and His Saints Slept covers the entire period in a compelling manner and does not perpetuate the Stephen/Maud as lovers myth.
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