Mastodon The Writing Desk: Book Review: Women of the Anarchy, by Sharon Bennett Connolly ~ A Compelling Narrative with Historical Insight.

3 February 2024

Book Review: Women of the Anarchy, by Sharon Bennett Connolly ~ A Compelling Narrative with Historical Insight.


Available from Amazon UK and 
for pre-order Amazon US

The story of the Anarchy from the unique perspective of the two women at the center of the struggle for the crown.

I'd never really understood the civil war known as 'The Anarchy', until now. Sharon Bennett Connolly shows her passion for the subject and her skill at translating meticulous research into a compelling narrative.

People could be forgive for confusing Empress Matilda or 'Maud' with her cousin, Queen Matilda, wife of the 'usurper',  King Stephen. As the surviving legitimate child of King Henry I, Empress Matilda fights for her birthright and that of her children. 

Sharon Bennett Connolly avoids portraying these women as pawns or victims, but reveals complex characters, driven by ambition, love, faith, and an inspiring determination to take control of their own destinies. We see their vulnerabilities and triumphs, their moments of weakness and resilience, creating a deeply human and relatable portrait of these women's lives.

I recommend Women of the Anarchy to anyone with an interest in understanding more about how these remarkable and the often-overlooked women shaped their era and paved the way for those who followed.

Tony Riches

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About the Author

Sharon Bennett Connolly FRHistS is the best-selling author of 4 non-fiction history books, including Heroines of the Medieval World, Silk and the Sword: The Women of the Norman Conquest, Ladies of Magna Carta: Women of Influence in Thirteenth Century England, and Defenders of the Norman Crown: Rise and Fall of the Warenne Earls of Surrey. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Sharon has studied history academically and just for fun – and has even worked as a tour guide at a castle. She also writes the popular history blog, www.historytheinterestingbits.com. Sharon regularly gives talks on women's history; she is a feature writer for All About History magazine and her TV work includes Australian Television's 'Who Do You Think You Are?' Find out more from Sharon's Blog and find her on Facebook, Bluesky and Twitter @Thehistorybits

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