A Place Beyond Courage - Elizabeth ChadwickLondon: Sphere, 2007, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Good Dust Wrapper.
Signed by the author on the title page — unverified and reflected as such in the lack of premium.
From the cover: “The 1130s mark the twilight years of the long, peaceful reign of King Henry, son of William of Normandy. Yet it seems his legacy will not uphold that peace. For who will succeed him? His daughter Matilda, ex-Empress of the Holy Roman Empire, his nephew Stephen, or even his infant grandson Henry? It’s an uneasy time for those vying for position at court. An unease that turns into fear when Henry dies without naming his heir.
For John FitzGilbert, the king’s Marshal, the normal jostling for position and favour takes on a new urgency. Along with many other nobles, he swears allegiance to Stephen but he has enemies at court and soon his position becomes untenable and he must either join the Empress Matilda’s faction or lose all. He cannot even take succour from his marriage. His wife, the pliant, pious Aline, is no match for a man renowned for his looks, energy and fearlessness and she struggles to cope in the storms unleashed upon them by civil war, especially when John is badly wounded in a fight with opposing forces.
John recovers and realises that to protect his lands and his heirs, his only option is to divorce Aline and take a new wife — Sybilla, sister of his enemy, Patrick of Salisbury. It’s a strategic move, but it swiftly becomes something more, for Sybilla is quick, intelligent and possesses all the joy and vibrancy lacking in his first wife.
However, both Sybilla and John are about to be tested to the limit. As the fight for England’s crown continues, John’s castle at Newbury becomes pivotal, and in order to buy the time that is needed he is forced to make a terrible sacrifice…”