Historical background

  • Earldoms of England
  • The Witan
  • King Aethelred's line
  • Wessex claim
  • Norman claim
  • Tostig Godwinsson
  • Norwegian claim

  • Godiva and the Golden Dragon is a romance--a work of historical fiction. So much that could be said about 11th century England would be an interpretation of events as opposed to a story based on much direct verifiable evidence. The main characters and most of the minor characters in this tale actually lived. Most all of the events of this story, surprising as some may seem to the reader, did indeed happen. Although major events are in appropriate chronological order, and characters are only introduced who did indeed live or that represent persons who could easily have lived, Godiva and the Golden Dragon remains a work of fiction.

    Looking back on the events of the eleventh century, it appears clear that had one or two things happened in just a little different order, the later history of England and perhaps the world might have been radically different. However, without considering the influence of fate, there are still many questions that are left without good answers after almost a thousand years of retrospect and study. It seems that many of these questions might be answered if one hypothesizes that the situations presented in the historical accounts were a bit beyond the control of those who found themselves entangled within the events.

    Impressed within the pages of Godiva and the Golden Dragon are characterizations of the people as they very well may have been. Overall, these characterizations live up to the specifics that are known of each of the real people. The grandchildren of Leofric in Godiva are especially young so that their grandmother is only in her mid to late twenties when she rides through Coventry. This is not inappropriate, since a fifteen year old boy was considered a man in those days. Edwin and Morcar must have been very young, as they were never really portrayed as heroic figures. Also, their sister Aldgyth was probably too young to marry and was just a pawn connecting the house of Mercia first with Wales, and then with Harold and the house of Wessex. Nevertheless, even adding six or seven years onto everyone's age would not require that Godiva and the Golden Dragon change at all.

    Queen Edith did commission a monk from France to write of the life of King Edward, and the tale of Godiva and the Golden Dragon gives that monk the name of Caedwig. In the story, King Edward is not romantically attached to Edith, and hers seems a sad tale. Godiva introduces a relationship between Caedwig and Edith which is not unrealistic. The Welshman Davydd is a fictional character, although it would not have been surprising to have had a Welsh minstrel among the people of Mercia. Thom the tailor appears in later versions of Godiva's legend, but Godiva and the Golden Dragon introduces Aldbald, the craftsman of Coventry, as an important character to bind the entire story together. After all, this is as much a story of the commoners of England as it is a story of Harold Godwinsson and the Lady Godiva.