Another great article in History Extra, this time by historian Helen Castor on one of England's more enigmatic pseudo-Queens of England - Matilda, Empress and daughter of King Henry I of England (March 2012).
A little snippet for you - read more here @ History Extra:
Matilda’s story left a complex and ambiguous precedent in English politics. Women could pass on the throne to their male heirs, that much was clear, and no principle had been explicitly established to exclude them from the succession.
All that stood in the way of Matilda’s path to the throne, it transpired, was another coup exactly like the one that had made her father king. The result was civil war. Despite her sex, Matilda’s claim was not dismissed out of hand by the nobles she sought to rule.
Matilda is a fascinating character - much has been written about her and her times, most notably, “Queen Emma & Queen Edith: Queenship and Women’s Power in Eleventh-Century England” by Pauline Stafford, and “The Empress Matilda: Queen Consort, Queen Mother and Lady of the English” by Majorie Chibnall.