Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva
by Eliza Redgold
Publication Date: July 14, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Formats: Ebook, Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction
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.
Lady Godiva of Coventry was raised both as daughter and son and is fiercely loyal to her people and lands. When her parents unexpectedly die, their absence leaves Coventry open to attack from the Dane, Thurkilll the Tall. When Lord Leofric of Mercia arrives with aid, Godiva wholeheartedly accepts, thinking of nothing but her people and her home. Godiva’s trusted knight; Edmund has warned her that Leofric’s aid will not come without a price. When Leofric names his price, Godiva again only thinks of the safety of her people. With a new union, Leofric and Godiva have more of a business agreement and a battle of wills than a marriage, but with Godiva’s spirit, Leofric may be the one who falls.
I did not know much about Lady Godiva going into this book, other than her naked ride. However, I was hooked from the prologue and Lady Godiva is my new hero. I loved Godiva's spirit and personality, how she would do anything for her people. Godiva's character was created to be strong, an actual warrior who fought with her people, intelligent and a good politician during a tumultuous and dangerous time. I especially loved that she made the best of the situation and became a peace weaver, with the beautiful term fripwebba. The writing was enchanting and endearing, making the characters and this time period come alive. Sometimes I find it hard to relate to people so long ago, but Godiva, Leofric, Edmund and Aine all felt like people I could relate to. This story is about so much more than the famous naked ride, it is about a woman with immense strength, courage, and bravery that saved her people and eventually herself.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
“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)
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ELIZA 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+.