England, 1045. Edward the Confessor is on the throne, and the Normans are circling. Everywhere there is rumour, subterfuge and political intrigue. Edward is childless and the succession is in doubt. Caught up in all this is Leofric, Earl of Mercia, and his wife, Godiva, a landowner in her own right and ruling her estates from Coventry. What happens next is known to anyone who has had a half-decent education in history.
Without question, Leofric and Godiva lived at that time and their granddaughter, Edith, married Gruffydd ap Llewelyn, King of Gwynedd. Whether the story of Godiva’s ride through Coventry, naked and mounted on a white horse to save the people from taxes imposed by the King – the heregeld and successor of the danegeld – is true or just another legend like those of Arthur or Robin Hood matters not, but in this book Nerys Jones has woven a powerful story around it. As the Anglo-Saxon age draws to a close, life in what are now called the Midlands is vividly described, and just as in tales of Arthur and Robin Hood, the reader is swept along with the events taking place and made to want to believe in it.