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Preface. her occasional abode in that nunnery. This “convent log-book," as it has been pleasantly termed by one of our reviewers, admits us fully within the grate, and puts us in possession of things that were never intended to be whispered without the walls of that mysterious little world. Much additional light is thrown on the personal history of the exiled royal family, by the incidents that have been there chronicled from the queen's own lips. The fidelity of the statements is verified by their strict agreement with other documents, of the existence of which the sister of Chaillot could not have been aware. also permitted to take transcripts of upwards of two hundred original autograph letters of this queen; to which correspondence we are indebted for many touching pictures of the domestic life of the fallen queen and her children, during their residence in the château of St. Germain. Some of the letters have been literally steeped in the tears of the royal writer, especially those which she wrote after the battle of La Hogue, during the absence of king James, when she was in hourly expectation of the birth of her youngest child, and, finally, in her last utter desolation.

The friendly assistance rendered by M. Michelet, in the prosecution of our researches, in the archives of France, demands our grateful acknowledgments. We are also indebted to M. Guizot for inedited documents and royal letters from the Archives des Affaires Etrangères ; nor must the kindness of M. Champollion be forgotten, nor the service rendered by him in the discovery and communication of a large portfolio of inedited Stuart papers, from the archives of St. Germain.

We cannot take our leave of the gentle readers who have kindly cheered us on our toilsome track, by the unqualified approbation with which they have greeted every fresh volume, without expressing the satisfaction it has given us to be able to afford mingled pleasure and instruction to so extensive a circle of friends—friends who, though personally unknown to us, have loved us, confided in our integrity, brought our Queens into their domestic circles, associated them with the sacred joys of home, and sent them as pledges of affection to their dear ones far away, even to the remotest corners of the world. We should be undeserving of the popularity with which this work has been honoured, if we could look upon it with apathy; but we regard it as God's blessing on our labours, and their sweetest reward.

I am now enabled to gratify a long-cherished wish, by republishing

this work at a price which will, I trust, bring it within the reac readers of all classes.

I have used the plural we, because I speak not only in my own n: but in that of my sister, whose share in this work I am espec: desirous to notice to the world, although she refuses to allow her n to appear on the title-page with that of

AGNES STRICKLANI

REYDON HALL, SUFFOLK,

October, 1864.

CONTENTS.

MATILDA OF FLANDERS,

QUEEN OF WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR.

PAGB

15

(With a Portrait. See Frontispiece.)
CHAPTER 1.– Title of Queen-Regina–Matilda first so called— Her descent from Alfred

Parents-Education-Learning - Beauty-Character-Skill in embroidery-Sought
in marriage by William of Normandy-His passionate love-Unsuccessful courtship
-Brihtric Meaw, the English envoy- Matilda's love for him—Perseverance of
William of Normandy-Furious conduct of William to Matilda-Their marriage -
Rich apparel-William's early life-William and Matilda excommunicated Dis-
pensation-Matilda's taste for architecture, Matilda's sister married to Tostig-
Birth of Matilda's eldest son-Harold's visit-Betrothed to Matilda's daughter-Wil-
liam's invasion of England Letter to Matilda's brother—Matilda appointed regent
of Normandy-Her son Robert-Happy arrival of Matilda in the Mora—Ship pre-
sented by her-William sails in it to England—Matilda's delineations—Battle of

Hastings—News of victory brought to Matilda—Our Lady of Good Tidings.
CHAPTER II.—Matilda assumes the title of queen of England in Normandy-Her re-

gency there—Patronage of learning-Charities-Her vengeance on Brihtric Meaw-
Obtains his lands–His imprisonment-Death in prison-William's court at Birk-
hamstead — Triumphant return to Normandy - Matilda awaits his landing -
Triumphal Norman progresses-Revolts in England - William re-appoints Matilda
regent—Embarks for England in a storm-William sends for Matilda-She arrives
in England with her children-Her coronation at Winchester-Champion at her
coronation-Birth of her son Henry-Bayeux tapestry—The dwarf artist, Turold-
Matilda's daughter-Revolt of the English-Queen Matilda's return to Normandy
- Regent there the third time-- Her passionate love for her eldest son-Death of
her father-Dissensions of her brothers-Ill effects of her absence-Separate govern-
ments of William and Matilda–King of France attacks Matilda-Her able governe
ment - Discontent of Norman ladies — Scandalous reports — William's supposed
conjugal infidelity-Matilda's cruelty to her rival – Duke of Bretagne invades Nor-
mandy-Marriage with Matilda's second daughter-Dissensions in the royal family
- Matilda’s partiality to her son Robert-Her

second son, prince Richard—His death

New Forest.

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Contents.

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Matilda's descent from Saxon kings-Her mother a Saxón princess Her father—Matilda

espoused to Stephen of Blois Residence at Tower-Royal-Matilda's popularity in
London—Stephen seizes the throne Birth of prince Eustace-Coronation of Matilda
-Queen left regent-Disasters-Queen besieges Dover-castleMediates peace with her
uncle Empress Matilda lands in England-Henry of Blois-Civil war_Queen goes
to France Marriage of her young heir-Raises an army-Stephen captured-Arro-
gance of the empress-Queen's grief-Exertions in Stephen's causeQueen Matilda
writes to Bishop Blois-Her supplication for Stephen's liberty-Obduracy of the
empresa, Queen appeals to arms Empress in Winchester-Her seal-Insult's Lon-
doners-Driven from London-Successes of the queen-Takes Winchester-Escape of
the empress Earl of Gloucester taken—Exchanged for Stephen-Illness of king
Stephen-Empress escapes from Oxford-Her son—Decline of the empress's cause
Queen Matilda founds St. Katherine by the Tower-Death of the queen-Burial
TombEpitaph-Children-Eustace—Death of king Stephen--Burial by his queen
--Exhumation of their bodies

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