Searching the Twelfth Century for The Empress Matilda #FridayFiveChallenge

Welcome to my Friday Five Challenge

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Get yourself a cuppa and give yourself 5 minutes. (Use your own pic or copy mine or anything else like a clock/ stopwatch etc)

In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions from small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

My Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book,

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

(then write a little analysis about your decision)

This week I’m following up a family rumour that relatives may have been living in a house that was originally a hunting lodge for the Empress Matilda (also known as Maud) from the early twelfth century. Written material of that era tends to focus on the battle with Stephen for the throne and I’m looking for a very small domestic detail. I’ve had suggestions to check out the writing of Sharon Penman, so….

10423011 or

Book Description

With this novel Sharon Penman moves to a new set of characters and to 12th Century England and the early civil war between Stephen and his cousin, The Empress Made – A long fight to won the English throne. Stephen was handsome, unreliable and beguiling. Maude was courageous, beautiful and insanely arrogant. They fought for twenty years and devastated England. Their flair for dramatic events and immense catastrophes made sure that they were never boring.

Price; £3.59 kindle £14.88 paperback

Number of reviews; 75, 59 of them are 5*

Would I BUY or PASS?…….BUY


This is a specific search for me because I want to know more about this subject. I’m slightly concerned in that there are two typos in the brief book description, which don’t bode well. The book cover is very busy, but could fit the style of work created by Monks and early manuscript writers. However the style hides the book title with the ornate “W”. Reviewers mention that the kindle copy doesn’t have vital maps and pages that the paperback has. Plus there are a few worrying comments about an overuse of American expression which doesn’t sit well in a book set in medieval England. I’m going to give the paperback a go with my Christmas vouchers.

Here are links to other bloggers taking part in this week’s challenge.

Shelley has a self help book for us this week

Liz has been checking out books for children as Christmas gifts

Cathy has found a murder mystery from Finland with a wintery theme.

12 thoughts on “Searching the Twelfth Century for The Empress Matilda #FridayFiveChallenge

  1. Pingback: Would you BUY or PASS? #Nonfiction #Selfhelp for #FridayFiveChallenge | Shelley Wilson

  2. Pingback: #FridayFiveChallenge ~ Buy or Pass ~ Wolf Winter by Cecilia Eckbäck #histfic | BetweenTheLines

  3. Pingback: #FridayFiveChallenge | Lizannelloyd

  4. I loved this book in spite of the occasional modern language. I agree that the cover is awful but the insides are a good read. BUY!


  5. You mentioned the cover was busy. Yes, I agree with this. Otherwise, it just depends upon what you like. I hope the recipient of your gift loves the book. 🙂
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal – Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews


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