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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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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Great story awful narration

I have read this book many years ago so was really looking forward to listening to an audible version. I am so disappointed, the narration of this fab story is awful, one of the worst I have ever heard. The narrator reads all the male characters sleezy & condescendingly so you cannot tell who is good or bad . She often reads the story in the wrong context & blandly, most frustrating!!!

7 people found this helpful

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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.

7 people found this helpful

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Let down by narratio

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


7 people found this helpful

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Epic and Gripping Story but…

I read this book years ago and loved it so thought I’d buy the Audible version for my holiday listening. Many times I nearly gave up on it. The extraordinary overly dramatic delivery with strangled sounds and vocal squeals at regular intervals was very off putting. I was always taught to keep your powder dry for when you need it but this narrator makes offering a cup of coffee sound like a life or death event. For me it was a very unsettling and unpleasant listening experience - I just hope others aren’t put off in the same way and miss an excellent novel.

5 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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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!

3 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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Quiet sound excellent story

I read this book 15 years ago (ish) and I had to read it again.

It is a scary ghost story with some challenging topics. Well written and fascinating historical references.

The sound was very quiet, even with my phone and speaker volumes at max it was a challenge to hear the narrator in my works van.

I really enjoyed the fact it was written based in the 1970s and the lack of mobile and computer technology were refreshing.

I am old enough to remember home phones and typewriters and to have a story where a character is not instantly contactable added to the suspense and the realism for me.

I would definately recommend this book. Just do not be in as noisy an environment as I have to suffer.

2 people found this helpful

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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!

2 people found this helpful