This article is about the Empress Matilda, variously the Holy Roman Empress (or so she claimed!), and a contender for the throne of England in the 12th century. One of the few female war-time leaders of the medieval period, even at the end of her long life she was felt to still be a powerful personality, and clearly "of the stock of tyrants". I believe it captures the current academic literature on her life, and is now of featured article standard. Hchc2009 (talk) 16:49, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
"border with France": After I moved things around, I couldn't fit that in comfortably; is it important? (And if so, why?)
"as a result of": the prose would be improved (details on request) by rewording a few of these, particularly where you use the phrase more than once in a paragraph. "After" sometimes works.
I've gone through it again, making some edits. Still supporting. - Dank (push to talk) 19:32, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
Cheers. I've made two minor amendments, but looks good. I've culled some of the "result of"s, as per your recommendation. Many thanks, Hchc2009 (talk) 16:22, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
Source review - spotchecks not done
By ODBN, I assume you mean ODNB? If so, why do you sometimes use that notation and other times include the full citation in footnotes?
Check alphabetization of Bibliography
Be consistent in whether you use London, UK or just London
Bowling Green State or Bowling State Green? Nikkimaria (talk) 22:26, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Nikki, should all be done now. Hchc2009 (talk) 05:27, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
Comments by Johnbod I don't have time for more at the moment, but a read of the first few screens shows some fairly obvious missing links, & a few prose points, as well as historical issues over phrasing. Generally looks pretty good, but needs a polish. Johnbod (talk) 12:12, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
Oppose for now To be clear, I will resume reading the article after being told the polishing has happened, which it hasn't yet. Not yet at FA standard. Please don't ask for a list of "examples" (though there is one example below). That's the nominator's job, not the reviewer's. Johnbod (talk) 11:45, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Fair enough - we're all volunteers here. I won't press you for any details John. Hchc2009 (talk) 12:24, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Support I supported this at the A class review, noting that it was "A well-written and thoroughly researched article". Hawkeye7 (talk) 22:18, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Quick citation comment: Chibnall, Marjorie (2004–13), "Matilda [Matilda of England] (1102–1167), Empress, Consort of Heinrich V", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, retrieved 22 December 2013. is repeated over and over in various footnotes. Might it not be more advisable to move it into the bibliography and supply a shortened "Chibnall 2004–13" in those footnotes? As it is, it's the only full citation like that, and it just sticks out like a sore thumb in an otherwise tidy-looking list of footnotes. Imzadi 1979→ 05:40, 15 April 2014 (UTC) One more thing: "New York City" isn't the name of the largest city in the US. It's just New York, and traditionally in citations it does not need its state ("New York, NY") appended. Imzadi 1979→ 05:43, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Imzadi, NY fixed. The pattern used in the citations is for books, journal articles, etc. to be listed in the bibliography, and for web pages etc. to live as cite webs in the footnotes. Unusually, this article only has one web source, which is why it stands out - but it does follow the pattern used in many other "English medieval kings" biographical articles, and makes it easy for other editors to add in new webpages. Hchc2009 (talk) 06:09, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Support: I have three minor comments:
In the "Death of Henry" section, we are told she "chose to return to Normandy" but then confusingly that she went "back to England" in the next sentence.
In the "Disputes" section, "Normandy castles" might be easier to read as "castles in Normandy".
Note 7 appears to be incomplete. It can probably either be cut completely since the timing is only implicit in the sentence anyway or expanded to explain who says what/when.
With regard to Johnbod's comment above, the prose distinguishing between the many Matildas and at least two Henrys might bear more polishing, but generally I had no trouble following the narrative or understanding the history so am happy to support. DrKiernan (talk) 13:54, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
All done - thanks Kiernan. Hchc2009 (talk) 15:59, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Don't pick fights where none exists. DrKiernan (talk) 16:07, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Comments - reading through - will jot queries below. Cas Liber (talk·contribs) 13:32, 27 April 2014 (UTC)
The Sutton Courtenay article states that she was also thought to have been born in Winchester (?)
There's a tradition in older histories for Winchester, possibly inspired by a slightly dodgy/romanticised piece of writing by the chronicler Wace, but the records now available to historians place her mother pretty convincingly at Sutton Courtenay, and both the current "standard" biographies of the Empress Matilda and her mother, therefore go for Sutton as the birthplace. Do you reckon it would be worth expanding the footnote to explain? Hchc2009 (talk) 14:40, 27 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes I think it is worth a footnote, otherwise I suspect some well-meaning reader will add it at sometime. Also interesting how these stories develop. Cas Liber (talk·contribs) 20:53, 27 April 2014 (UTC)
Will draft and add one in. Hchc2009 (talk) 15:19, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
The first couple of sentences of the Marriage to the Emperor could do with some massaging. I'd make the subject of the two parts of the first sentence align - so something like, "In late 1108 or early 1109, Henry V, then the King of the Romans, sent envoys to Normandy proposing that Matilda marry him, and wrote separately to her (royal) mother on the same matter."
In 1138, Robert renounced his fealty to the King and declared his support for Matilda, triggering a major regional rebellion in Kent and across the south-west of England, although Robert himself remained in Normandy. - is the renouncing of fealty after the rebelling or the same. If the latter then is duplicated and sentence 1 and 3 of this section should be merged.
The renouncing of fealty was a separate, precursor event to the rebellion; I've tweaked the text to try and clarify this. Hchc2009 (talk) 16:49, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
I think it would flow better if sentence 2 (who/what he is) were moved to sentence 1 and then sentence 1 came next and sentence 1 and 3 were rejigged to flow sequentially and remove one instance of "In 1138,". I am happy to try but does that make sense? Cas Liber (talk·contribs) 20:04, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
I think I can see what you mean... Do you want to give it a go? Hchc2009 (talk) 14:45, 5 May 2014 (UTC)
Something like this, though I don't know enough of the background to massage the events, but at least they are next to each other to give some sort of sequence. Cas Liber (talk·contribs) 20:37, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
the full details of the truce are not known,- change to "agreement" as truce is repeated from the sentence before (and we're interested in what folks agreed to I guess...)
Finally, overall a good read and I think I support its promotion. I think there is a little kneading of some of the paras in the some of the conflict with Stephen segments where names are a bit repetitive but it could be argued that ambiguity would be introduced if reduced too much, but i can't see any prose clangers outstanding. Cas Liber (talk·contribs) 20:37, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
You do not explain that the Duchy means Normandy, which might confuse some readers, and are inconsistent whether Duchy is capitalised.
I think it would be helpful to explain the descent of Stephen and William Clito in order to clarify the nature of their claims.
I've expanded a bit - see what you think. Thanks for the feedback so far. Hchc2009 (talk) 16:34, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
I have the impression that it was the increasing power of the church in insisting on legitimate marriage and succession that would have barred Robert of Gloucester from the throne, rather than English tradition. However, you have to go with the sources.
I have changed one reference to Stephen to make clear that he was Henry's maternal nephew - of course change this if you are not happy with it.
No problem on my side! Hchc2009 (talk) 15:03, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
"Henry convincingly argued that the late King had been wrong to insist that his court take the oath, and suggested that Henry had changed his mind on his deathbed." This is a bit confusing as it refers to two different Henrys.
"to counter the growing Angevin power in the region" - most readers will understand Angevin but it might be better to explain the term.
I've built in an explanation and a link - see if you think if it works. Hchc2009 (talk) 15:03, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
"In England, Stephen's reign started off well, with lavish royal courts" - courts does not sound right to me, but maybe this is my ignorance.
I think it's technically correct, but you're right that it is distracting - I've tweaked a bit. Hchc2009 (talk) 15:03, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
As a general comment, this is an excellent article and clearly of FA standard. I would however have liked to see a bit more on her character and achievements, as discussed for example in the second and third paras of 'Character, historical significance, and posthumous reputation' in the ODNB article.
I'd toyed with whether I'd got the character description balanced right when I was doing the first draft; I think you're right, and will have a look and see if it can't be built up a bit. Hchc2009 (talk) 15:03, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
Comments: A very enjoyable read, and I think this will make a very worthy FA. I have just a few comments before supporting, but my support does not depend on agreeing with everything I say! Sarastro1 (talk) 20:12, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
The section on "Marriage to the Emperor" is not just about her marriage to the Emperor! Maybe a broader title here?
Hmm. I'm less certain there's a problem there; did you ahve something specific in mind? Hchc2009 (talk) 15:10, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
Nothing in particular, and not a big deal anyway. Sarastro1 (talk) 20:15, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
Also in this section, I wonder how typical Matilda's influence/actions as Empress (or whatever she was!) are? Is it worth adding a touch of context? Was this normal, or does it reflect something about her?
I'd like to be able to come back with a snappy "ah, I can tell you all about that", but I'm not exactly sure. :) I'll dig around and see. Hchc2009 (talk) 15:10, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
"In 1122, Henry and probably Matilda were at the Council of Worms, which settled the long-running dispute with the Church by Henry giving up his rights to invest bishops with their episcopal regalia.": This one clangs a bit. I think it tries to do too much in one sentence, and it may be worth splitting. I also wonder what the general reader might make of "Henry giving up his rights to invest bishops with their episcopal regalia" without further comment; with no background it seems a rather silly and minor point. Perhaps a note?
I've broken in half, and linked the dispute bit. Hchc2009 (talk) 15:06, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
"In early 1122, the couple travelled down the Rhine together as Henry continued to suppress the ongoing tensions": I'm not sure "tensions" is the right word here.
"Now aged 23, Matilda had only limited options of how to live the rest of her life.": Doesn't quite sound right; I wonder should it be "limited choices regarding how to live the rest of her life" (and switch "choices" in the next sentence to "options") but not completely convinced that would be an improvement.
I've tweaked; see if you think it works. Hchc2009 (talk) 15:06, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
Third paragraph of succession crisis: Perhaps a few too "may"s here?
May be so... :) I've trimmed. Hchc2009 (talk) 15:06, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
"There was the slight problem that Stephen had sworn to support Matilda in 1127": Slight suggests a hint of POV here.
SImilar to above, the "Battle of Lincoln" section is not exclusively about that battle, and I wonder if a more generic title is needed? Sarastro1 (talk) 20:12, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
Support: I think there is one remaining comment of mine (about how typical Matilda's actions were as Empress), but assuming that is addressed, I'm happy to support. This is an excellent article and easily meets the FA criteria in my view. Sarastro1 (talk) 20:15, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
Notes -- aside from resolving Sarastro's recent comments, it looks to me like we need:
An image review
A quick check of half a dozen or so duplinks to see if they're necessary
Plus it might be worth paging Johnbod to see what he thinks now, given that a fair bit of work has gone on since he registered his oppose. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 13:00, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
NB: There's also the general point on needing a bit more on her character, made by Dudley. Hchc2009 (talk) 15:10, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
Following up, assuming the duplinks have been reviewed, Johnbod has been pinged to take another look, and Dudley's point has been actioned, then I'd expect to promote this in the next day or two. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 10:40, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
I've now expanded a bit to cover off Dudley's point. Hchc2009 (talk) 10:45, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
Checked duplinks and pinged Johnbod? Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 14:31, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
If there's a tool for detecting duplinks, happy to apply it! As noted above, I stated I wouldn't push Johnbod for any more detail on his concerns, so I haven't pinged him. Hchc2009 (talk) 14:39, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
By which I presume he means no, he hasn't read through for missing links. My (certainly fairly minor) issues with the openbing sections all seem unchanged, and Investiture Controversy, mentioned above, is still not linked. Johnbod (talk) 14:54, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
See here for the duplink checker. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 15:18, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
I didn't see anything wrong (but recall I don't look at links) after I went through the first time, and again after Johnbod indicated problems, but I just caught a missing "and" and a subject/verb disagreement in the first section. I'll go through it again. - Dank (push to talk) 15:28, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
Checker installed and applied, cheers! Hopefully all caught now. Hchc2009 (talk) 15:44, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
Probably worth identifying in captions what the red dots on the maps represent. Nikkimaria (talk) 13:46, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
And a reference found to answer Sarastro1's question. Hchc2009 (talk)
Support. A first rate article. I do not seem to have looked at the notes before, and I have a few minor points.
Note 6. *"The chronicler Hermann of Tournai gives an account that Matilda gave birth to a child who died, but this account is uncorroborated". Repetition of account. Perhaps "Tournai stated that".
Note 7 "William of Malmesbury described that those present recognised Matilda as the legitimate heir on the basis of her paternal and maternal royal descent; John of Worcester described the inheritance of England as being conditional on Matilda having a legitimate male heir;" I do not like "described that those present", and described is repeated.
Note 14. "Edmund King disagrees about that the Empress received an invitation to Arundel, arguing that she appeared unexpectedly". I do not like "disagrees about that".
This article, which is clearly and rightly on its way to FA, starts off with a bit of a facer: "also known as the Empress Maude". It's the last time the name Maude is mentioned in the article, and one is left wondering why she was also known as the Empress Maude. (I have read my Sellar and Yeatman, but...)
I've added a footnote. Hchc2009 (talk) 08:02, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for that. I've wondered very vaguely about the matter for nearly fifty years on and off, and now I know. Tim rileytalk 12:24, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
Death of Henry
Archbishop Adalbert subsequently convinced Matilda to give him the insignia – the Americanism "convince to" is a surprise here. Anglice, "convince that" and "persuade to". (And at "eventually intervened to convince her to go along with the engagement" later)
This is a very fine article and a pleasure to comment on; more from me tonight or tomorrow, I hope. Tim rileytalk 16:09, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
I have tried and failed to find fault with the rest of this article. May I make just one general and one particular suggestion? As to the former, you are as susceptible as most of us to the lure of the word "however", which nine times out of ten weakens one's prose. There are twelve "howevers" in the article. In such places as "Henry's plans shifted, however, when the Empress Matilda's husband, the Emperor Henry, died" and "In the event that this failed to happen, however, Matilda was now Henry's preferred choice" I'd recommend excising them. The one particular point I'd add relates to the "Government, law and court" section, where "she did not have her own personal chancellor" doesn't convey much unless we know what chancellors did in those days. Presumably some sort of royal chief executive, but a few words to put them in context would be welcome. But these are trivial quibbles, and it gives me much pleasure to support the elevation of this fine article to a deserved Featured status. I learned much and enjoyed the piece greatly. – Tim rileytalk 12:24, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Tim! My natural tendency is to reinforce any sentence with "however", which isn't always great practice! Copy-edited as you've suggested, and I've explained a bit on what the chancellor did. Hchc2009 (talk) 07:13, 22 May 2014 (UTC)