Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Review - Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva by Eliza Redgold + Giveaway

I'm really excited to welcome Eliza Redgold to One Book Shy of a Full Shelf today as she tours with her fantastic new story, Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva

Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva by Eliza Redgold

AUTHOR:    Eliza Redgold
INFO:    Fiction, 320 pages
PUBLISHED:   St. Martins Griffin, 2015 
SOURCE:   Received from Publisher for Review

FROM GOODREADS:   We know her name. We know of her naked ride. We don't know her true story.

We all know the legend of Lady Godiva, who famously rode naked through the streets of Coventry, covered only by her long, flowing hair. So the story goes, she begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to lift a high tax on her people, who would starve if forced to pay. Lord Leofric demanded a forfeit: that Godiva ride naked on horseback through the town. There are various endings to Godiva's ride, that all the people of Coventry closed their doors and refused to look upon their liege lady (except for ‘peeping Tom') and that her husband, in remorse, lifted the tax. 

Naked is an original version of Godiva's tale with a twist that may be closer to the truth: by the end of his life Leofric had fallen deeply in love with Lady Godiva. A tale of legendary courage and extraordinary passion,Naked brings an epic story new voice.

Goddess Fish promotions Naked by Eliza Redgold

MY TAKE:    I definitely prefer this version of Godiva's story to any I've read in the past! Eliza Redgold has brought us a lovely, lyrical tale that puts Godiva's naked ride through Coventry into a whole new light. 

I was familiar with this story and the poem from Tennyson that immortalized it, but I never knew much more than that. It was fascinating for me to learn so much of the back story and some of the other characters and "off-shoots" such as the origins of the "Peeping Tom".  

It made me happy to think that Leofric might have felt remorse at forcing Godiva to make the ride. Their relationship was an interesting one and I enjoyed watching it grow and change as they came to learn more about each other. Their different upbringings and outlooks make for some colorful and volatile exchanges, but their attraction and feelings for each other were apparent from the star` 

The other characters were well written and added much to the story. Edmund is such a wild-card through most of the journey. I wasn't sure which way he was going until close to the end. 

The theme and threads of Saxon heritage and history were obviously well-researched. The actual history and the fictional parts were blended seamlessly into a beautiful story that is easy to read and hard to put down. I highly recommend it!  

Out of 5 JEWELS, I give it:

Available now at:

Lady Godiva: The Woman Behind the Legend

This blog post comes to us from Eliza Redgold, author, academic and unashamed romantic. Her new novel Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva was released by St Martin’s Press in 2015.

Were they real?” I’d asked my mother, half asleep, my arms twining her neck.
Were who real, my sweet heart?”
Beowulf. The heroes of the past.”
They’re as real as you would have them be, Godiva. As real as love or courage or honor or kindness. Though we can’t see these things, they are all that matter.”
Her words floated back to me as the gleeman sang.

Lady Godiva is more than an historical figure. She’s a true legend.
Godiva of Coventry’s story is shrouded in history and mystery. Further back in time than the real-life eleventh century Countess Godgyfu, Lady Godiva is connected to ancient tales of saints and goddesses. Her story has lasted for thousands of years, to be transformed and re-told.
According to legend, Lady Godiva begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to lift a high tax on her people, who would starve if forced to pay. He cruelly demanded a forfeit: that Godiva ride naked on horseback through the town. Though the legend has lasted for centuries, there’s dispute over exactly what if anything Godiva wore on her famous ride, or even if it occurred. Historical fact and a good story don’t always go hand in hand. Some historians certainly call it a myth. Yet there’s no doubt that Lady Godiva was a real person who lived in 11th century Anglo-Saxon Engla-lond. Whatever the facts, she has remained captivating.
Countess Godgyfu (in the Anglo-Saxon version of her name) spent some of her life in what is now called the British Midlands. Anglo-Saxon Engla-lond was a tough time and place for a woman. Constant Danish invasion by those later called Vikings, though the Saxons called them Danes, occurred many times in the 10th and 11th century.
Records suggest that Godiva was more than equal to the challenges of her day. Her name appears in records as the only female landowner who retained her lands not only against the Danes but also later against the Norman invasion of 1066. It was also the right of Saxon noblewomen to approve their own husband – upheld by a ruling of King Canute, the Danish King on the throne in England at the time I set Godiva’s story.
History has been hard on Godiva’s husband, Lord Leofric of Mercia. In the legend Leofric is definitely the villain of the piece, ready to impose heavy taxes and to ignobly allow his wife to carry out her daring ride. Yet historical documents reveal that by the end of his life, Lord Leofric was a changed man. Ancient records suggest their marriage was a strong one, and may indeed have been a love match. Together they supported monasteries, built abbeys and churches, and aided the poor. The original cathedral in Coventry was founded by Godiva and Leofric.
It’s the legend of Lady Godiva’s ride that has stood the test of time. Rides as penitents like the one Godiva undertook were practiced in that period - though Godiva’s nakedness was certainly unique. By all accounts, whether fact or fiction, she was a unique woman. Her courage continues to inspire us, her story to be told, even after a thousand years.

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Thank you Eliza for that lovely look into the history of our heroine!

Eliza Redgold
Eliza Redgold: Biography

ELIZA REDGOLD is an author, academic and unashamed romantic. She writes historical fiction (St Martin’s Press) and romance (Harlequin).

NAKED:A Novel of Lady Godiva was released internationally by St Martin’s Press New York in 2015. Her ‘Romance your Senses’ series of contemporary romances are published by Harlequin. They include Black DiamondsHide and Seek and Wild Flower. Eliza is also contracted to Harlequin Historical for two upcoming Victorian historical romances. Look out for Enticing Benedict Cole in November 2015.

Eliza Redgold is based upon the old, Gaelic meaning of her name, Dr Elizabeth Reid Boyd. English folklore has it that if you help a fairy, you will be rewarded with red gold. She has presented academic papers on women and romance and is a contributor to the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Romance Fiction. She was born in Irvine, Scotland on Marymass Day and currently lives in Australia.


Eliza is generously gifting one lucky winner a $20 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes & Noble! Be sure to enter below and then check out all of the other stops to learn more about this great book and earn more entries into the drawing!

Blog Tour Stops

November 2: Long and Short Reviews
November 4: Behind Closed Doors
November 5: Unabridged Andra's - promo
November 6: Punya Reviews... - promo
November 6: Book-o-Craze - promo
November 9: Musings of a Writer
November 10: The Romantic World of Leigh Anderson 
November 11: One Book Shy of a Full Shelf - review
November 12: Welcome to My World of Dreams
November 13: It's Raining Books
November 16: Hart's Romance Pulse
November 16: Liz Gavin's Blog
November 17: Louise Lyndon Romance Author Hear Me Roar
November 18: Christine Young
November 19: Books Chatter
November 20: The Reading Addict
November 23: Romantic Fanatic
November 24: Katherine Givens: Historical Romance Author
November 25: Queen of the Night Reviews
November 25: Rusticating in the Tropics
November 27: Susana's Morning Room

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