This article accompanies the fable
Historians are a cynical bunch who argue that there is little or no historical evidence to support the idea that the famous ride ever occurred, although they have conceded its myth-making potential. Godiva herself did exist of course. John of Worcester (died c. 1140) praised her Christian virtue as follows:
A century later the legend was rendered a lot more interesting by another monk-chronicler, Roger of Wendover, when he added the dispute between Godiva and Leofric over taxes and the naked ride to the story. From there she never looked back.
For a literary approach, which seems the most sensible: here.