Matilda Empress by Lise Arin Genre: Historical Fiction

A day in the life of the author?

Dinner is the highlight of my day. Despite the fact that I am an extremely early riser (alarm set at 4:30!), I cannot work once I eat and drink a complete meal. Spare snacks are possible, and a copious amount of coffee is absolutely essential, but my systems all crash after the onrush of a lot of protein, carbs and sugar. Although I certainly pulled all-nighters in college and grad school, and did much homework after bedtime as a teen, the idea of thinking and remembering after dark seems impossible now. Even anticipating and planning dinner puts me off my writing game. It’s as if the physical me and the mental me can’t co-exist.

Matilda, a twelfth-century Empress of the Holy Roman Empire and daughter of Henry I, is twenty-four years old and a widow. She returns to her father's double realm of England and Normandy and is promptly married against her will to Geoffrey, a minor continental nobleman. When she is absent from England at the time of her father's death, Matilda loses her throne to her cousin Stephen despite their ongoing and secret love affair.
For almost twenty years, anarchy reins, and their passion fluctuates between hatred and obsession. The only hope in sight is Matilda and Stephen's two sons, whose rightful claim to the throne may finally end the bloody and endless war.
In the vein of Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl, Matilda Empress follows the real history of the early English monarchs, and what happens when a strong woman at the center of great upheaval refuses to play by the rules laid out for her. 

Lise Arin has a PhD in English Literature from Columbia, and an undergraduate degree in History and Literature from Harvard. She has two children, and lives with her husband in New York City. This is her first novel, although it has been in the making for twenty years. Please follow @lisearin on Instagram and Twitter. 

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