Spotlight On – Matilda Empress by Lisa Arin

A novel of the medieval queen who lost her empire and her heart versus woman who almost conquered England

Matilda, a twelfth-century Empress of the Holy Roman Empire and daughter of Henry I, is twenty-four years old and a widow. She returns to inherit her father’s double realm of England and Normandy, but is promptly married against her will to Geoffrey, a minor continental nobleman. Absent from England at the time of her father’s death, Matilda loses her throne to her cousin, Stephen, despite their ongoing and secret love affair.

For almost twenty years, anarchy reigns throughout the empire, and their illicit passion fluctuates between hatred and obsession. The only hope is the Empress’ growing faith and their illegitimate son, whose rightful claim to the English throne could finally halt the bloody, endless war.

In the vein of Philippa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl, Matilda Empress illuminates the real history of the early English monarchs, while exploring what is at stake when a strong woman at the center of great upheaval refuses to play by the rules laid out for her.


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About the Author:
Lise Arin has a BA from Harvard and a PhD from Columbia. She is thrilled to be publishing her first novel of historical fiction, MATILDA EMPRESS, on March 14, 2017. She lives in New York City with her husband and children.

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Top 5 Guilty Pleasures

By Lise Arin, author of Matilda Empress (Archer, March 14, 2017)


  1. Excessive consumption of wine. Yep, every night.  Dinner wouldn’t be relaxing or pleasurable to me without it.  As a result, I can’t do any work after dinner.  Not even during.  And I try not to send emails under the influence.  If I absolutely must write one, I mention the wine, to pre-excuse terrible typos or mere wine-induced stupidity.
  2. Excessive consumption of coffee. Maybe ten cups a day.  Made with espresso, but watered down, into what is called an Americano.  Without it, I’d be sleeping.  I even drink it while exercising, and do not understand why nobody else does.  It has water and caffeine!
  3. Excessive exercising. It is the perfect antidote to sitting still at a desk. Sitting is the new smoking, they say.  And sweating and stretching make me feel whole again.  Indeed, I find it harder and harder to sit still, and am investigating the standing-desk thing.
  4. Excessive time spent on Instagram. No more than anybody else.  Still, I know it’s gotten a little out of hand.  But I love seeing glimpses of the multiplicity and variety of life.  And I love sharing my favorite sunsets, desserts, adventures in parenting and pictures in which I, hopelessly unphotogenic, miraculously look ok.
  5. Excessive wearing of workout clothes, even when not exercising. Pretty much always.  They are flattering, comfortable, washable, fashionable, easily available and empowering.  I don’t understand the hate.


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