We all know that tales of Lady Godiva an 11th century Anglo Saxon noblewoman who, rode naked through the streets of Coventry in order to gain a remission of the oppressive taxation imposed by her husband on his tenants.Daniel Donoghue, a Professor of English at Harvard University, has quoted remarkably about Lady GodivaWould anyone remember the story of Godiva if she lowered Coventry s taxes without taking her clothes off It s true, maybe, we won t even remember her good deeds, since with a negative act she tried to instill and restore the good among her countrymen, and we remembered her as the bad woman who created history And the author, Nicole Galland, who is an award winner screenwriter, has captured Godiva s tales in her new book, Godiva dating back to some 11th century in the very English kingdom where she portrayed those women who created history by getting entitled as pagan , meaning irreligious.Thanks to the author and her publicist, for sending me over a review copy of the book Lady Godiva and her nun friend, Mother Edgiva were two most popular woman of their times, Countess Godiva was known for her cheap tricks she used to manipulate powerful men with false promises to support her husband, Leofric, Earl of Mercia Whereas Mother Edgiva was a pure virginal woman who was quite famous for her herbal medicinal treatments and of course due to her wisdom Together with her husband, Godiva founded and endowed a Benedictine monastery at Coventry But when the evil minded king wanted to enforce a tax system on the peasants of Coventry, Godiva not only disregards his opinion but also humiliates him, so the king punishes her by forcing her to ride naked on a horse from the town of Coventry to the gate of monastery, if she wanted to her province to be tax free Whereas, Edgiva, being a nun, sleeps with another Earl named Sweyn and falls pregnant with his baby.These two notorious ladies shake the legends, by creating history with their negative acts The story sounds good, but unfortunately, the author could not create an interest on her readers, hence the tale became quite boring and bit lengthy Even the narration fell short and somewhat became pretty mundane The characters are thoroughly drawn from the pages of history book, and over the author has strikingly gripped Godiva s charm and impulsive attitude with her words Well according to me, the book could have been much better and Godiva could have come to life with author s carefully chosen words Read this book, if you want to learn about Godiva s hardships and tantrums in the 11th century. No thank you.Godiva spends the whole book preening over how clever and smart and better than everyone she is and expects us lowly readers to just fall at her feet.On the whole, the book has the whiff of mediocre fanfiction, the type where all conflicts are just too easily solved, all bad guys are just too evil and too stupid, and all good guys are just too nauseating for words. I chose to DNF at 23% after the following infuriating quotes pushed me over the to finish or not to finish edge It is every man s nature to take advantage of a woman s frailty But most of us are able to resist the impulse when required and Barren women have no sexual appetites To those I say I utterly reject that all women are inherently frail and up for ravishment, as well as that all men are just animals who have no brains aside from SEX How flattering That quote is from the lovely Renae because I am too frustrated to formulate real thoughts Am I supposed to like these characters Root for them Because any chance that Sweyn would remain anything but a source of aggravation ended as soon as those quotes came into the story.Also the idea that women unable to bear children are free from sexual urges NO Sexuality has nothing to do with the ability to bear children None Whatsoever.A valid point may be made that the author may be trying to convey typical thoughts from the first millennium the novel is set in 1040 s England , but to my mind there are better ways to do such a thing without being anachronistic Godiva herself could have made of an effort to refute both claims, but abandons the effort to focus instead on a pseudo seduction of the man who uttered both Godiva does focus on some very fascinating and forgotten characters in English history King Edward the Confessor, Godwin, Earl of Wessex , but they alone are not enough to convince me to go on I have Google for that I ve read Galland before, but this particular story was a wash for me I wasn t a huge fan of The Fool s Tale, but it didn t irritate me to the point of not finishing.Besides the quotes, I had a few issues that rapidly became and problematic as the novel went on Godiva herself tried to be an empowered woman who uses her sexuality to further her husband s and friend s goals, but it came off as uncomfortable and far too obvious a ploy There is no subtlety to be found in her machinations around the court s noblemen Her friend from childhood with royal ties and a bleeding heart for the poor managed to be too sanctimonious, even for an Abbess Godiva s husband s approval of Godiva s use of flirtation and manipulation didn t ring true for the attitude of a powerful English nobleman.No rating because I didn t make to 50% where I usually feel a rating is warranted even for a DNF This was just not for me. Blown away by this book I was expecting a historical fiction about a woman who to repeal a tax, rode a horse naked through a town a very long time ago I got that, but I also got an incredibly brave heroine, a nun with a scandal, glimpses into the early days of Christianity taking over paganism and becoming political and corrupt and fantastic bursts of humor.At first, I was put off by the heroine She uses her eyelashes and sexual promises she has no intention of delivering to get her way She ends up rubbing the kind a man not fond of women to begin with the wrong way And when you end up on the king s bad side, there s always repercussions especially when it s a new king who needs desperately to exert some power and influence over someone In Edward s case, it s Godiva.First of all, her and her husband have the most charming and sweetest marriage I m going to say this is one of my favorite couples of all time Her friendship with her abbess friend is not perfect, but is so real I love the conflict they faced, how the are there for each other, even when one s meddling causes problems.Most of all, I love how Godiva handles herself in the end, starting down men will ill intentions, standing up for her people, not showing shame or fear, turning their own bulliness around on them.The novel is also really rich in historical detail At times it was than I needed, namely when it went on and on about towns or the history of some people BUT I ve heard of many of them before so some of it wasn t new to me Some of it was though such as the decorated eggs I had no idea this is how that started.The humor.Godiva has a terrific sense of humor her husband too I highlighted examples, but I fear the review will be too long She s witty, sarcastic, and portrayed like a woman before her time, but it made for great reading.I m not done Full review here I am warning you all now, this is my first review, so beware Spoilers are happening too by the way It shall be hidden for that reason Anywho On to the show So my overall rating for this book is a three Not 3.5, not 2.5, a solid 3 I went into it thinking it was a different time period I am used to reading Historical Fiction is my favorite, however I haven t read anything from this since Beowulf in High School which was skimmed than read , but that it would be worth a try New can turn out to be exciting and lead to a slew of research for a new culture I would grow to love, this did not inspire those feelings for me though.First of all, it took me FOREVER to actually get in to the book and want to keep reading I combated giving up on this book 1 3 of the way in because I just didn t feel any real like for the plot The only thing that kept me reading was Godiva and her behavior She made me laugh 3 Edgiva was also an interesting character Pregnant nuns you know Always hilarious But then Leofric seemed very concocted Not real loyal to the time period I don t imagine an Earl letting his wife rule him as Godiva did Not that I agree with men controlling their wives AT ALL, but it seemed made up to fit the plot and not the time Another thing that dropped my grade of the book was that some of the vocabulary seemed off For example the word flirt was used I understand that this is me nit picking After all no one can be perfect But from what I ve found, the word flirt came about in the mid 16th century That s 500 YEARS after this story would take place That also added to the overall fake feeling I kept getting while reading.Despite those I did enjoy the book once I got further in I was curious what Godiva would choose and how her choices would be condemned, and I was curious about Edey s baby and how that was going to unfold There was a time while reading this book where I felt the need to keep reading, this is why it s gotten a score better than it may actually deserve I tend to be a harsh grader with most things My final words on Godiva by Nicole Galland is this Her characters were semi interesting, the plot had its moments, the ending was generic, but that is all It was okay because it kept me entertained It doesn t inspire me to read books about this culture however, and doesn t make me want to read of Miss Galland Overall is a flat okay.Thank you for reading Find this and other reviews at Godiva Wife of Leofric, Earl of Mercia, the only woman to remain a major landholder in the years following the Conquest, made famous for the most erotic ride never made.That s right folks, well known as the legend is, most scholars agree the ride itself never happened Why you ask Well, the first verified record of the countess exhibitionism was put down in the 13th century, which sounds great until you realize Godiva lived in the 11th century, a fact which makes Roger of Wendover s word for word account of the event inconsequential at best, but why let probable truth get in the way of a good story, eh Being vaguely familiar with the legend I was interested to see how Nicole Galland would fictionalize it and while I wasn t disappointed, I wasn t what you d call blown away Admittedly, I have high expectations of fiction set in this era The Norman Conquest is where I started my love affair with historic fiction and I ve never quite gotten over it so it s really no surprise that the lack of atmospheric detail in Galland s work rubbed me the wrong way Galland efforts aren t bad, but they don t jump from the page or give a real sense of life in this period Galland s leading lady is similarly unconvincing Under Galland s pen, Godiva, who is witnessed standing bare before Sweyn Godwinson by Edward the Confessor and her husband, understands and embraces her femininity, routinely using coquetry and flirtation to manipulate medieval politics So why I ask, does Galland do a one eighty in the second half of the novel, suddenly presenting a shy noblewoman who fears riding nude will endanger her immortal soul and the impact such action would have on what I imagine was an already tarnished reputation Was she the promiscuous siren or the chaste wallflower and am I wrong for wanting continuity in her character either way Galland attempts to explore several themes over the course of the novel, one of which is the relationship between Pagans and Christians in a world where faith is becoming an exceedingly tense political issue Don t get me wrong, I love this idea and think Galland could have touched on some intensely interesting material if she d really developed it, but I can t help feeling it overburdened a narrative that was already encumbered by excessive plot By her own admission, Galland set out to write about the Abbess of Leominster and her love affair with the Earl of Wessex and personally, I would have appreciated that story much than her foray into the Godiva legend Why Because, it s the truth Regulated to supporting roles, Edgiva and Sweyn outshine Galland s headliner They actually journey from one emotional plane to another in a compelling and thought provoking series of events that challenge both their personal beliefs and those of the medieval world Their story, cheapened though it is by the emphasis Galland placed on their contemporary, made this novel worth reading.So, do I or do I not recommend Godiva Well, that depends on what you re looking for There are definitely convincing and coherent pieces on the market, but the book is notable for its depiction of an all but forgotten footnote of English history. I m guessing there are many people out there who knew very little about Lady Godiva than her infamous naked ride like myself This legendary tale was pretty much the only thing that I knew about Godiva before reading this book Galland shows us that there is so much to this lady than just that juicy tale.I love books that take a story or legend that many know so little about and turn it into a full length book On top of reading a great story, you get to learn a little something as well Godiva is about so much than just that infamous ride This book starts out a little slowly but picks up as we learn about the relationships between Godiva and her husband as well as the relationship between Godiva and her best friend, who has become a nun and is hiding a major secret I almost enjoyed the relationship between Godiva and Edgiva than any of the other story lines in the book.I did find myself wanting to learn a little bit about why Godiva takes her famous ride It seems very risky for the time, even for someone of such social stature and someone so outspoken as Lady Godiva Why does she care about the taxes so much Is she trying to prove a point Is she being altruistic We get little bites of what her reasoning may be I really wanted to know Overall, I really enjoyed the story Female friendships are always very interesting to me, especially those of women who have such different lives like Godiva and Edgiva This book is a great jumping off point for those who want to get to know the woman behind the story. Everyone Knows The Legend Of Lady Godiva The Woman Who In Famously Rode Naked On Horseback Through Coventry To Relieve Her People From Unfair Taxation But Why Would A Lady Of The Court Take It All Off And Risk Everything, Including Husband, Home, And Well Being In This Richly Imagined Retelling Of An Oft Told Ancient Tale, Nicole Galland Gives Us Lady Godiva In All Her, Um, Glory, As She And Her Best Friend The Abbess Egdiva And Husband Leofric, Earl Of Mercia Embark On An Adventure Filled With Courtly Intrigue, Deceit, Back Stabbing, And Romance There are some books you simply can t help but love, and for me, Godiva was one of them The cover is what drew me to the book It is simply stunning, but it is Nicole s writing that just made me fall in love.Lady Godiva is a cheeky thing Using her beauty and ability to flirt to help her husband s cause She really came across as a modern forward thinking woman in medieval times.What stood out is how important Godiva was to her husband Her character was so strong and she reminded me a bit of Jacquetta the Duchess of Bedford.Perhaps in a way Lady Godiva paved the way for strong women like Jacquetta in years to come.But she s than just a strong female character, she s meddlesome and she s always getting in trouble Throughout the book she is on King Edward s bad side Though the story of her famous ride is legend than fact, this book gives you an idea of the type of women whose convictions were so strong that she d do something like ride horseback naked through Coventry Nicole takes liberties with the legend, but in her telling of Godiva s story you get get a wonderful picture of a modern woman from medieval time. Godiva by Nicole Galland published in 2013, the year of my TBO tremendous book over buying sat on my shelf for a good time because shortly after purchase, a friend rated it a 1 star I ve read some fairly heavy books of late and it seemed like an opportune time to read something a bit lighter.I made a conscious decision to ignore some of the anachronistic aspects of it which everyone seems to notice I also ignored my feminist instincts to automatically dislike the manipulatively flirtatious women, which Godiva was depicted as By taking these two simple steps I was able to quite enjoy this book.