By Nicole Galland
(William Morrow & Company, Paperback, 9780062026880, 308pp.)
Publication Date: July 2013
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From the author of The Fool's Tale comes a brilliantly crafted retelling of the legend of Lady Godiva
According to legend, Lady Godiva lifted the unfair taxation of her people by her husband, Leofric, Earl of Mercia, by riding through the streets of Coventry wearing only a smile. It's a story that's kept tongues wagging for nearly a thousand years. But what would drive a lady of the court to take off everything and risk her reputation, her life, even her wardrobe--all for a few peasants' pennies?
In this daringly original, charmingly twisted take on an oft-imagined tale, Nicole Galland exposes a provocative view of Godiva not only in the flesh, but in all her glory. With history exonerating her dear husband, Godiva, helped along by her steadfast companion the abbess Edgiva, defies the tyranny of a new royal villain. Never before has Countess Godiva's ride into infamy--and into an unexpected adventure of romance, deceit, and naked intrigue--been told quite like this.
“This is a wonderful historical novel that proves that all people see themselves as the hero of their own lives.”
-Peter Sagal, host of NPR's Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
“Attention to detail and humor keeps the novel both exhaustive and hilarious...Nicole Galland is exceptionally well versed in the fine nuances of storytelling and illustrating the combustible nature of mixing religion, commerce and war.”
-St. Petersburg Times (Florida)
“At once an idiot’s guide to the tangled geopolitical landscape of 13th century and a clear and stern indictment of contemporary events...Thick with delectable historical details.”
-Martha's Vineyard Times on CROSSED
“[A] funny (really!) look at this disastrous Crusade through the eyes of a wacky Welshman, a pious knight and his half-brother and an Arab princess (who isn’t what she seems) they hope to return to her Egyptian home. It’s a raucous road trip set in the 13th century.”
-New York Post
“A clever novel of courtly love . . . entertains with a flourish.”
“A tasty fictional stew, mixing elements of twelfth-century culture together skillfully to produce a veritable reading feast.”
“An astonishing work of imaginative empathy, buttressed by deep research and enriched by lively storytelling.”
-Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning author