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Lady Godiva


Was there really a Lady Godiva - and did she ride naked through the streets?

She was most certainly not the creation of the marketing department of a certain pricey brand of chocolates, a heavenly product she predated by hundreds of years.  Lady Godiva did exist in 11th century England, but her name was really Godgifu. She was married to Leofric, the hard-nosed tax collector in Coventry, whose policies she deemed unduly harsh.  But did she protest them by a little streaking on horseback?  No source from her time reports that she did and surely someone would have noticed.  In fact, the story was written 150 years later by a monk, who said her husband offered to let up on the peasants if she sacrificed herself on their behalf by riding nude through the streets; thus, spinning a convenient moral on the tale and the lady who gave new meaning to the phrase "bare back riding."