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Publisher's Summary

A story spanning centuries. A long awaited revenge.

In London, journalist Jo Clifford plans to debunk the belief in past lives in a hard-hitting magazine piece. But her scepticism is shaken when a hypnotist forces her to relive the experiences of Matilda, Lady of Hay, a noblewoman during the reign of King John.

She learns of Matilda's unhappy marriage, her love for the handsome Richard de Clare and the brutal death threats handed out by King John, before it becomes clear that Jo’s past and present are inevitably entwined. She realises that 800 years on, Matilda’s story of secret passion and unspeakable treachery is about to repeat itself....

Barbara Erskine’s iconic debut novel still delights generations of readers and listeners 30 years after its first publication.

©2021 Barbara Erskine (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"The author's storytelling talent is undeniable. Barbara Erskine can make us feel the cold, smell the filth and experience some of the fear of the power of evil men." (The Times)

"Unusual, intriguing, cleverly handled and gripping." (The Good Book Guide)

"Convincing and extremely colourful." (The Mail)

What listeners say about Lady of Hay

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Lady Of Hay

Absolutely amazing!
Love, love, love this book.
The reader did a fantastic job, I felt at times that I was there amongst.

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  • thedogwitch
  • 26-03-2021

Let down by narratio

Narrator had a strange way of intonating which became annoying.
However, it is a great story.


2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-04-2021

Excellent story but narration is off putting

I love the story but find it difficult to listen to it because of the narration. Just frustrating listening to the intonations of the sentences which is unusual. I would prefer if the narrator had some more pauses for breath in the long sentences.

1 person found this helpful

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  • sally jayne hyde
  • 05-04-2021

Highly recommend

This book was absolutely amazing!Im gutted its finished,love the historical element,fascinating and clever storyline mixing fact with fiction ,i couldnt stop listening.I have listened to other of the authors publications but this was by far the best.Im definitely going to buy another as my next listen.Highly recommend!

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 30-03-2021

Shame about the narrator

I have loved this book since I first read it when it was first published.
I was really looking forward to revisiting it in audible for but, sadly, the narrator spoilt it for me. 7 chapters in and I’m struggling.
This could have been done so much better.
The character and spirit of Matilda de Broase is lost in a flat, boring monologue with no interpretation of sentence or meaning and Richard de Clare sounds like a character from Blackadder!
Such a shame.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-03-2021

Good story but narrator is really not !

I love Barbara Erskine books and was thrilled when this became available in audible books, however the narrator is extremely off putting and keeps acting the voices in a very irritating and unusual manner.

1 person found this helpful

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  • crochetdiva
  • 10-03-2021

A true masterpiece

I was a little daunted by the length of this book, but I also hate abridged versions of any tome.

This is a masterpiece, not only of history, but the people come to life under excellent narration. The story flows throughout, with never a pause in the action. Matilda will be forever in my head now, and my heart, as a tigress with her children.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Karen O'Neill-Brown
  • 26-05-2021

Good Story, dreadful narration

I am struggling to continue with this book due to the weird narration. She uses strange and unnatural inflection, particularly when narrating conversation, which seems to make every character, even the good guys, sound like a pantomime villain. The story is good, as is Barbara Erskine's novels always are, but the narration is spoiling the story for me.

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  • E. Barker
  • 16-05-2021

Had to give up

Very rarely do I give up on a book but I couldn’t stand another minute. The narrator just wound me up with every word she said. It was like a comedy sketch in places with her tone and pace, it drove me mad! No idea about the story because couldn’t get passed the performance. Try a sample first!

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  • Helen R.
  • 03-05-2021

Excellent read

I found the story compelling and very difficult to put down. The narrator was fluent and expressive.

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  • Sal
  • 02-05-2021

Dated attitude to women

This may have been a classic in it's day but it hasn't aged well. The way women are treated by men in this book, particularly the story set in the 1980s, is awful. Jo is raped and sexually abused by her lover but rather than calling the police she constantly excuses this behaviour. It was written like a great love story but it felt more like constant abuse to me.
The story of Matilda was a little better, but even that seemed to revel in long drawn out scenes of sexual abuse. From what I've read about the real Matilda she seems to have been a remarkable woman but that doesn't come across in this book.
Added to this was a poor narrator who struggled with Welsh pronunciation and made all her men sound like sleazy villains. Then again, most of them were!

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