Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine was one of the leading personalities of the Middle Ages and also one of the most controversial. Eleanor married in turn Louis VII of France and Henry II of England, and was the mother of Richard the Lionheart and King John.
Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine was one of the leading personalities of the Middle Ages, and also one of the most controversial. Having inherited a vast feudal domain stretching from the Loire to the Pyrenees, she was one of the greatest heiresses in history; yet in her own day, she was famous not only for who she was, but also for what she did. In an age when women were treated as mere chattels, she made her own choices, wielded power and won widespread respect.Circumstances, however, dictated that her memory would be sullied by calumny and misunderstanding. Eleanor was no saint. She was beautiful, intelligent and wilful, and in her lifetime there were rumours about her that were not without substance. Her contemporaries were sometimes scandalised by her behaviour. She had been reared in a relaxed and licentious court where the arts of the troubadours flourished, and was even said to have presided over the fabled Courts of Love. Eleanor married in turn Louis VII of France and Henry II of England, and was the mother of Richard the Lionheart and King John. She lived to be 82, but it was only in old age that she triumphed over the adversities and tragedies of her earlier years and became virtual ruler of England.Eleanor has exerted a fascination over writers and biographers for 800 years, but the prevailing myths and legends that attach to her name still tend to obscure the truth. By careful research, Alison Weir has produced a vivid biography with a fresh and provocative perspective on this extraordinary woman.
Alison Weir is one of Britain's top-selling historians. She is the author of numerous works of history and historical fiction, specialising in the medieval and Tudor periods. Her bestselling history books include The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Elizabeth of York and, most recently, The Lost Tudor Princess. Her novels include Innocent Traitor, Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen and Anne Boleyn: A King's Obsession. She is an Honorary Life Patron of Historic Royal Palaces. She is married with two adult children and lives and works in Surrey.
"Her biography reads like a medieval romance, a marvellous intermingling of fact with legend...fascinating...splendid" Literary Review "Weir approaches Eleanor's story with an objective eye and a mass of primary and secondary source material. The result is as vivid as it is informative" The Times "Sensible and eminently readable" Times Literary Supplement "When you finish the book you feel you have been put painlessly (but not necessarily without tears) in possession of the facts of this extraordinary, indefatigable woman, her sufferings and triumphs" -- Bevis Hillier Spectator, Books of the Year "Triumphantly done" Sunday Times
A fascinating account of one of the most alluring figures of the Middle Ages by one of Britain's most respected historians. 20000801
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