Godwine Kingmaker

Godwine Kingmaker[KINDLE] ❆ Godwine Kingmaker Author Mercedes Rochelle – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk Harold Godwineson the Last Anglo Saxon King owed everything to his father Who was this Godwine first Earl of Wessex and known as the Kingmaker Was he an unscrupulous schemer using King and Witan to ga Harold Godwineson the Last Anglo Saxon King owed everything to his father Who was this Godwine first Earl of Wessex and known as the Kingmaker Was he an unscrupulous schemer using King and Witan to gain power Or was he the greatest of all Saxon Earls protector of the English against the hated Normans The answer depends on who you ask He was befriended by the Danes raised up by Canute the Great given an Earldom and a wife from the highest Danish ranks He sired nine children among them four Earls a ueen and a future King Along with his power came a struggle to keep his enemies at bay and Godwine's best efforts were brought down by the misdeeds of his eldest son Swegn Although he became father in law to a reluctant Edward the Confessor his fortunes dwindled as the Normans gained prominence at court Driven into exile Godwine regathered his forces and came back even stronger only to discover that his second son Harold was destined to surpass him in renown and glory. I am the Author This is a longer synopsisThe life of Earl Godwine presents us with one of the enduring enigmas of English history For years historians gleefully castigated Godwine as the grasping unscrupulous traitor using king and Witan to gain power But on the other hand Godwine was seen by many as the greatest of all the Saxon Earls protector of English rights against the influx of hated Normans in Edward the Confessor's court He was the father and guide of Harold Godwineson last of the Saxon kings How can one man encompass so many contradictory roles? Part of Godwine's fascination is his unknown origin This powerful earl who shared the rule of four fifths of England with his sons may very well have been of common birth His spectacular rise to power alongside the Danish King Canute was worthy of note even to his contemporaries At first he may have seemed a traitor yet after a typically savage beginning Canute's nineteen year long reign proved to be remarkably peaceful and the Danish King sought to use Godwine as an example of his willingness to embrace his subjects The early part of the book portrays Canute's struggle against Edmund Ironside in 1016 as he repeatedly laid siege to London and fought battles against the Anglo Saxons Many of the decisive moves were orchestrated by the traitor Eadric Streaona who eventually murdered Ironside and met his own death at the hands of the Danish King Godwine's role in this period was minor but he was in Canute's entourage and uickly gained favor with the KingEarly in his career Godwine was created Earl of Wessex The King gave him a noble woman Gytha in marriage who came unwillingly to his bed but allowed herself to be won over and produced many children The eldest Swegn was born under the cloud of his parents' antagonism and he grew up to be difficult and tempestuous; his erratic behavior created major problems for his father and family The second son Harold was the favorite and the third son Tostig was envious of his elder brothers; the rivalry between the sons would end in disaster leading to Part Two THE SONS OF GODWINE King Canute lived until 1035 and was succeeded after much debate by his natural son Harold Harefoot His rightful and declared heir Harthacnut was in Denmark struggling to retain that throne Godwine favored Harthacnut and even managed to hold Wessex for him but eventually had to abandon his cause In the midst of all the trouble Alfred and Edward half brothers of Edmund Ironside who had grown up as exiles in Normandy thought the time was right to push their own claims They sailed separately to England; Edward's landing was hindered and he turned back to Normandy Alfred however disembarked in Godwine's earldom with 600 of his men Godwine met with the newcomers and settled them comfortably in the town for the night After he left a contingent of soldiers stormed the town taking all of them prisoner; they tortured and killed the men and carried Alfred off His eyes were put out though his enemies butchered him so badly that Alfred soon died from the wounds Although it was known that Harold Harefoot's men did the gruesome deed Godwine's name was forever linked with the murderers Nonetheless he carried on as the earl of Wessex Harold Harefoot died within four years and was succeeded finally by Harthacnut He too died within a few years but before his end Edward was summoned from Normandy and treated as the heir Even at Harthacnut's death the succession was not firm But Godwine gave his support to Edward notwithstanding the obvious ill will the exile must have borne him concerning Alfred's fate Largely because of Godwine's influence the Witan elected Edward king By now Godwine's power was nearly absolute He married his daughter Eadgyth to king Edward He and his two eldest sons had earldoms essentially ruling in the king's name Edward deferred to Godwine on all serious matters of state Then disaster hit King Edward shook off Godwine's grasp and managed to drive him into exile Edward declared the Godwines outlawed committed his ueen to a nunnery and settled into a new court dominated by his Norman friends But his satisfaction was not long lived; all the English factions hitherto pro and anti Godwine now united in bemoaning their common loss For it was soon discovered how much Godwine had served to keep the Norman wolves at bay Word soon reached the exiles that they would be welcomed back to England at least by the people So they gathered what support they could and boldly sailed up the Thames to Westminster practically daring the king not to take them back into his favor Weak willed as usual Edward bowed to the inevitable and Godwine was reinstalled as earl while the Normans lost no time scattering in all directions Submissive Edward accepted Godwine and family as his own and even developed a real affection for Tostig The King came to depend on Harold treating him so well that to some eyes he was preparing Harold to be his heir But for Godwine life was never the same; the defeat although temporary broke his heart For two years Godwine aged visibly before his wife and children Finally one night while banueting with the king Godwine suffered from a stroke and fell in a swoon never to recover Of course his life was reflected in his son Harold who went on to become King in 1066 the first English monarch not of royal blood But if it were not for the work and deeds of his father Harold Godwineson would never have reigned Godwine Godwineson First Earl of Wessex Possibly from humble beginnings Rose from the ranks Served four kings Powerful and influential Husband to a Danish noble Father to three earls one ueen and England’s last Anglo Saxon king Champion of the English Known as the Kingmaker A force to reckon withTo some he was sly manipulative and unscrupulous A schemer that will not stop at anything to ensure he always had the upper hand This was also the impression I’ve had of Earl Godwine when I first read about him in previous historical books That a man of modest pedigree who had risen to the top and become the king’s confidant is remarkable but I thought his motivations for serving the crown bordered on vested interests and not loyalty In a chaotic era he’d lived in he was an important figure of the realm but reviled too by those he’d sidestepped grievously to stay in power But before Godwine was the Kingmaker he is young innocent and honest; a youthful shepherd yearning for some adventure for some significant change to come into his life That life changing moment suddenly comes when he meets Ulf the brother in law of England’s future king This is how the author Mercedes Rochelle introduced Godwine to us and for me it gave a fascinating glimpse into his life and what kind of a person he had become And as the story maneuvers to show of his reflective side and is obviously partial to his cause it helped us understand the difficult choices he had to makeI just felt the book is too short to cover so much of Godwine’s history There were so many things that happened in his time but a lot of times I had to contend with the book’s fast paced narration and since it’s been a while I last read about the Godwinesons and his contemporaries freuent side trips to Wikipedia was necessary to refresh my memory And I’m a bit sad too that the author did not include my favorite Historical Note Author’s Note for any clarification or useful add on On the whole I enjoyed this incursion again to pre Norman England and am eager to read the rest of the books from the series Note I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book from the author Godwine Kingmaker Part One of The Last Great Saxon Earls is set during the pre conuest of England This is a time frame that I love to read about so I was excited to start reading Godwine Wulfnothson the main character of the book is a fascinating man that I feel the author Mercedes Rochelle gives a plausible history to his life and the choices he made Beginning with the chance meeting of Godwine with Jarl Ulf that leads to his becoming entangled with the Danes and King Canute This chance meeting will lead to great fortune to Godwine but also brings many hard decisions Decisions that walk a fine line between what Godwine knows is the right thing to do and his doing what he can to survive Godwine advances under King Canute to the Earldom of Wessex which continues throughout the upheavals in English politics of the time With his strong willed wife Gytha by his side Godwine founds a dynasty Sadly a dynasty bound to end through conuest and war I am really looking forward to book two of this series I hope that Harold Godwine's son will be the main subject Another fascinating man and one with a momentous life I look forward to Mercedes Rochelle's crafting of his story This was the first book I read that has Godwine as the main character and it was great to see things from his perspective We see how he manages to rise from a commoner to one of the most influential men in EnglandI’m in two minds how I felt about this book and probably the biggest reason is that I couldn’t relate to Godwine He’s like I met this total stranger in the forest he seems like a nice fellow so why don’t I join him and turn traitor to my country? Simple as that And off to kill your countymen you go HmmHe falls in love with Gytha who refuses his proposal and acts all haughty anyway and king gives permission to marry her after Gytha’s brother is killed She suspects Godwine is involved in the murder Does it surprise that the marriage starts bit rocky? I just couldn’t understand why he wanted to marry her in the first place I did like to see how they could turn that into a love match later onGodwine was a good hero for the book and it was fascinating to see how he manages to maneuver between difficult political times and different alliances Later in the book we get another view of him when Edward the Confessor comes into picture The story of the early years of the life of the father of the last Anglo Saxon King of England is convincingly re imagined by author Mercedes Rochelle Godwin lived in a perilous time Anglo Saxon England was invaded by the Vikings; political alliances constantly fluctuated between native ruler and invader and survival depended solely on one's political acumen and sword arm Though often maligned Godwin was a survivor and a man of his times and a man who would come to take a prominent role in the changing political direction of Anglo Saxon Egland I cannot recommend this book enough as I enjoy history's villains being brought to light and look forward to the next installment Godwine Kingmaker Part One of the Last Great Saxon Earls is a rich historical novel set in the lesser known period between Alfred the Great spanned so thoroughly by Bernard Cornwell and William the Conueror The intrigues deep intricacies and both family and national ties between Saxons Danes Normans and other Norseman are well woven into a saga deepening the readers’ understanding of the period while at the same time immersing us in the hopes and dreams of the shepherd boy coming into his own Rochelle’s prose is flowing well paced solidly researched and uite readable in bringing this uniue historical figure to lifePerhaps the best part of the book is the tumultuous relationship between Godwine and his wife Gytha She is an ambitious flirt who revels in her independence; when she is wed to Godwine against her wishes she revolts and makes their relationship a living hell Except she is inescapably drawn to him at the same time Godwine both woos and tames her bringing her around to a loving respectful genuine partnership that sustains them both through the rocky trials of being a powerful earl in a country unsure what it wants to be become The romance between the two is steamy and compelling as well as a break from the nonstop scheming and power plays of the potential heirs to the throne of BritainI am voluntarily reviewing this book; many thanks to the author for sharing her copy with me Source Free paperback copy from Mercedes Rochelle and Top Hat Books in exchange for a review Summary Harold Godwineson the Last Anglo Saxon King owed everything to his father Who was this Godwine first Earl of Wessex and known as the Kingmaker? Was he an unscrupulous schemer using King and Witan to gain power? Or was he the greatest of all Saxon Earls protector of the English against the hated Normans? The answer depends on who you ask He was befriended by the Danes raised up by Canute the Great given an Earldom and a wife from the highest Danish ranks He sired nine children among them four Earls a ueen and a future King Along with his power came a struggle to keep his enemies at bay and Godwine’s best efforts were brought down by the misdeeds of his eldest son Swegn Although he became father in law to a reluctant Edward the Confessor his fortunes dwindled as the Normans gained prominence at court Driven into exile Godwine regathered his forces and came back even stronger only to discover that his second son Harold was destined to surpass him in renown and gloryMy Thoughts Before the Norman invaders principally William the Conueror there were the Vikings Four Danish men were kings of England Three of them had brief reigns It was during this period that a transformation of England began I love this period in history especially the Godwine family I am not a fan of Godwine nor will I argue whether he was guilty of the murder of Alfred Edward the Confessor's brother But I do enjoy reading about this historical period I feel it is the diverse personalities of the kings on the throne as well as the dramatic twists in history that add to my interest I had wondered before reading Godwine Kingmaker if the author had a leaning towards a positive or negative portrayal of Godwine? Godwine is shown as a man of ambition He is intelligent and resourceful He seems to be in the right place and introduced to the right people that lead him to a powerful position Holding onto the position and passing down a legacy to his children became treacherous I felt Mercedes Rochelle gave flesh and bone to Godwine He is not overtly good or bad but a man who loved his family and wanted to protect his position and their future I was shown another perspective of Godwine through the eyes of Edward the Confessor Edward did not trust Godwine and this is told in the story to perfection Harold II Godwineson is the son of Godwine He is given a few parts in this book the final chapter points to his dominant future There is only one point I did not like about the book Early in the story the first days of Godwine and Gytha's marriage is clumsy Their marriage at this point is like two bear cubs tumbling over each other they are not connecting and their love scenes are fickle This story line did not work for me I do love early English history Many of the books I’ve read from that time period focus on the kings and many have told the tale of Harold Godwine’s son and the last Anglo Saxon king of England but this is the first book I’ve read that has told the story of Godwine And told that story for the sake of Godwine not as a back drop to Harold’s taleIt starts when Godwine is just a young boy and finds a warrior lost in his woods Even at such a young age he figures out how to take the best advantage of a situation which shows off the sharp wit and intelligence that would carry him through his life as he befriends and becomes important to the Danish King Canute and ultimately becomes the first Earl of Wessex He walks a fine line throughout his life making decisions that sometimes seem uestionableI dove right in to Godwine’s tale – in fact I read this book in a day Ms Rochelle does an excellent job of bringing the reader into Godwine’s world whether he is in that forest with a lamb or on a ship at sea A great man has been create and brought to life from the scraps left to history I will eagerly await the next installment in this series45 By E Thomas Behr PhD author of Blood Brothers Courage and Treachery on the Shores of Tripoli and The Most Bold and Daring Act of the Age A wonderfully executed richly developed historical novelReaders who enjoy tightly written compelling story telling with deeply engaging characters are in for a real treat with Mercedes Rochelle’s Godwine Kingmaker Part One of The Last Great Saxon Earls This is historical fiction in the grand tradition of Hope Muntz’s The Golden Warrior and Mary Stewart’s and T H White’s Arthurian sagasGodwine an18 year old Saxon sheepherder accidentally meets and then befriends a marauding Danish nobleman whom he finds lost and wandering in the thick forest near his Wiltshire home That friendship changes forever not only Godwine’s life but the history of England as wellMercedes Rochelle takes us back into the dim past almost before recorded history when the nation we now know as England was being forged in the fiery crucible of war and treachery Six hundred years before invading Saxons had overrun England when the Roman Empire collapsed Now the Saxons had gone from being conuerors to conuered as incessant waves of ferocious Danes and Norwegian Vikings attacked plundered and eventually settled in England carving out a new kingdom for themselves in bloodGodwine’s father Wulfnoth Thegn of Sussex former commander of the Saxon King Aethelred’s fleet had been wrongly betrayed and disgraced Absent a father’s influence Godwine’s ambition causes him to pledge his loyalty to his new Danish friend Ulf and to Ulf’s lord the Danish king Canute the Great Through his skill in war and politics Godwine rises steadily in authority Within 20 years he has become Earl of Wessex one of the richest and most powerful men in England Lacking royal blood he cannot aspire to the kingship But he does dream of the time when one of his fiercely competitive sons Swegn Harold or Tostig might unite England under a Saxon kingIn Godwine Kingmaker the past becomes alive Rochelle lets you walk around London and Winchester a thousand years ago And for many readers this is our distant past Here’s the account of the Winter Solstice celebration that has now become our ChristmasInside the great hall the carved Jul log was sprinkled with mead and decorated with dry sprigs of pine and cones As it was lit musicians plucked the strings of their harps and started the singing Soon the hall was echoing with laughter the children filled their shoes with straw carrots and sugar lumps and set them out by the fire to feed Odin’s flying eight legged horse Sleipnir In return Odin wold leave the children small gifts and sweets as a rewardMany authors too many take the easy way out in historical fiction by using third person narration to talk about their characters and the plot at length keeping readers at a distance from the story What I enjoy most about Rochelle’s writing is her skillful use of dialogue to completely immerse the reader in the story It is as if we are in the midst of the action ourselves eavesdropping on the characters But these are complex ambitious men easily provoked to violenceThe night after the battle Ulf was pacing the room He was almost festive which contrasted with Canute’s dangerous brooding Finally Ulf came to a stop with a snap of his fingers “I know Sire How about a game of chess?”At first no one paid particular attention to the game until Canute said “Put my knight back Ulf”Ulf pushed his stool violently back from the table“I want to make another move” the King said“No Your move was finished and cannot be unmade”“And I say you shall”Clenching his fists and then thinking better of it Ulf shoved the board from the table scattering the pieces across the room As he made for the door Canute jeered after him “Are you running away Ulf the coward?”Rochelle’s research into this historic era is impressively comprehensive The small details like how one eats a dripping piece of meat before the invention of forks are wonderful But Rochelle manages the dialogue and the historical context without the artifice of contrived “historic” language These are real people intensely engaged in life love and deathThere is so much to enjoy in this book The battle scenes are suspenseful and gripping and the descriptions of locales are vividly portrayed The female characters notably Godwine’s wife Gytha are just as richly developed Godwine’s and Gytha’s arranged marriage begins in hot fire and freezing ice only ripening over time into deep love If you’re looking for the perfect gift for yourself or your friends to bring light and warmth to a cold winter’s night you can’t do better than Mercedes Rochelle’s Godwine Kingmaker Godwine Kingmaker Godwine Kingmaker Part One of the Last Great Saxon Earls is a real page turner Tracing the life of Godwine whose son history tells us ultimately becomes king of Anglo Saxon England for a brief time in 1066 proves to be an ideal way to weave excellent scholarly research with compelling action and believable characters Mercedes Rochelle contextualizes her academic acumen see the bibliography at the conclusion of the book with exciting battles steamy sex scenes and moments of crisis—both familial and political Indeed the novel shows how the familial IS political and visa versaThe reader is immediately pulled in as a shepherd lad none other than our soon to be powerful hero meets a potentially threatening Dane The action never lets up The novel mainly focuses on Godwine’s perspective though his wife Gytha proves to be a strong figure Initially resentful of their marriage she comes to eagerly welcome him The flavor of the prose can be seen here “Gytha watched the royal cavalcade pass under her window curious than affectionate; she remembered Harthacnut as a spoiled willful child In the old days wanting to keep up appearances her brother Ulf had always treated the boy like a king; this was not necessarily a good idea in every case As she remembered it led to Ulf’s unfortunate demise at the hand of King Canute” The relationship between Ulf whose end is shocking tells us about King Canute’s ruthlessness than Ulf’s inherent virtue Rochelle makes this the point of her novel in easy to follow prose regardless of one’s character a person’s fate lays in the hands of those with power acuired through legal or devious means The novel ends well before the fateful invasion of the Norman Conuest in 1066 setting the reader up for the subseuent two volumes in the seriesI am voluntarily reviewing this book; many thanks to the author for sharing her copy with me

Paperback  Ù Godwine Kingmaker eBook ¿
  • Paperback
  • 351 pages
  • Godwine Kingmaker
  • Mercedes Rochelle
  • English
  • 24 February 2016
  • 9781782798019