Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Biography (WOMEN IN HISTORY)

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Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Biography (WOMEN IN HISTORY)

Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Biography (WOMEN IN HISTORY)

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As delicately textured as a twelfth-century tapestry, Weir`s book is exhilarating in its colour, ambition and human warmth. The author exhibits a breathtaking grasp of the physical and cultural context of Queen Eleanor`s life. Her account parades a sequence of extraordinary characters... Above all, there is the heroine, viewed clear-sightedly in all her intoxicating and imperious irresistibility." ( Publishers Weekly, starred review) In 1173, Eleanor’s son “Young” Henry fled to France, apparently to plot against his father and seize the English throne. Eleanor, rumored to be actively supporting her son’s plans against her estranged husband, was arrested and imprisoned for treason. Once apprehended, she spent the next 16 years shuttled between various castles and strongholds in England, suspected of agitating against her husband’s interests and said by some to have played a role in the death of his favorite mistress, Rosamund. Eugene did not, as Eleanor had hoped, grant an annulment. Instead, he attempted to reconcile Eleanor and Louis, confirming the legality of their marriage. He proclaimed that no word could be spoken against it, and that it might not be dissolved under any pretext. He even arranged for Eleanor and Louis to sleep in the same bed. [24] Thus was conceived their second child—not a son, but another daughter, Alix of France. The death of William, one of the king's most powerful vassals, made available the most desirable duchy in France. While presenting a solemn and dignified face to the grieving Aquitainian messengers, Louis exulted when they departed. Rather than act as guardian to the duchess and duchy, he decided to marry the duchess to his 17-year-old heir and bring Aquitaine under the control of the French crown, thereby greatly increasing the power and prominence of France and its ruling family, the House of Capet. Within hours, the king had arranged for his son Louis to be married to Eleanor, with Abbot Suger in charge of the wedding arrangements. Louis was sent to Bordeaux with an escort of 500 knights, along with Abbot Suger, Theobald II, Count of Champagne, and Raoul I, Count of Vermandois.

Alison Weir paints a vibrant portrait of a truly eceptional woman, and provides new insights into her life." ( Koen Pacific) Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122 – April 1, 1204) was a medieval firebrand, and no question about it. These books about Eleanor of Aquitaine are historically-accurate testaments to this strong-willed woman of the Middle Ages. Who is Eleanor of Aquitaine?Hodgson, Natasha (2007). Women, Crusading and the Holy Land in Historical Narrative. Boydell. ISBN 978-1-84383-332-1. Although the Church didn’t allow divorce, there was a loophole for the rich and powerful. This was consanguinity: a degree of kinship, not necessarily close, that rendered a marriage quasi-incestuous and thus displeasing to God. Disgruntled spouses might discover – even after having a daughter together – that they were third cousins. They could then try to persuade the pope to annul the marriage, which he might or might not do. Eugene III did agree to divorce Eleanor and Louis, but only after long resistance. He first required the couple to try to conceive again, resulting in the birth of a second daughter. (A son could have rendered the marriage permanent.) Just eight weeks after the annulment, Eleanor married Henry II of England, a fourth cousin.

This is a chapter in a wider book. It’s a really good chapter as it happens. It’s much more down to earth, rather brutal in refusing to go anywhere that’s not verifiable – and therefore gives Eleanor much less agency. Disappointing though this is, it is a very useful counterpoise to the full biographies. This is the one to go for if you want to know more, but don’t want to to wade through a full biography. It also has he advantage of putting Eleanor in context of the role of Queens that came before and after her in England. Meade, Marion (1977). Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Biography. Hawthorn. ISBN 978-0-8015-2231-4. ; Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Biography; (1991 edition) at Google Books In a century almost exclusively dominated by men Eleanor stands apart and above her contemporaries. Over the course of her life she married two kings and mothered three (two of which actually sat on the Plantagenet throne.) She traveled with her husband to the distant lands of the near east as an active Crusader and came from a court that espoused the virtues of troubadours and poetry. She was a glimmer of light in an otherwise very dark part of history. But despite all of this she created a lot of chaos, she pulled strings and worked actively against her first and second husband and in a way she facilitated the destruction of all she fostered. An interesting character for sure. Above all, history is full of the most riveting stories. I have often been told that my books read like novels, but I assure you that there is nothing made-up in them. The truth as they say is always stranger than fiction, and nowhere does this become more apparent than in history books. I can never understand, therefore, why the makers of historical films feel they have to change the facts.She often acted as Queen Regent for Richard I when he was away from England, which, let’s be honest, was most of the time. This is readable history at its best and a fascinating insight into the mediaeval mind." ( South Wales Evening Post)

This really is a very good book. Marion Meade must be an incredible scholar to pull so much information about her life from such a long time ago. Through it one gets a sense of what life must have been like--at least for the powerful--in the 11th and 12th centuries in western Europe. It is interesting to see how much we know of a woman in that period, and what competence, energy, and ambition she had. A remarkable life, during a period of the world I don't think any of us would want to go live in if we had a choice. In 1137 Duke William X left Poitiers for Bordeaux and took his daughters with him. Upon reaching Bordeaux, he left them in the charge of the archbishop of Bordeaux, one of his few loyal vassals. The duke then set out for the Shrine of Saint James of Compostela in the company of other pilgrims. However, he died on Good Friday of that year (9 April). She outlived all but three of her children, including her favorite son, Richard. I know that wasn’t uncommon for the time, but it still gives me the sads.Ball, Margaret (2006). Duchess of Aquitaine: A Novel of Eleanor. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-1-4299-0139-0. The extraordinary life of Eleanor of Aquitaine is brilliantly recreated by Alison Weir in her winning biography." ( The Good Book Guide) In 1189, when King Henry II died, his Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine was released after sixteen years of imprisonment. Her custodians, Seward, Desmond (1978). Eleanor of Aquitaine: The Mother Queen. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7153-7647-8. ; Eleanor of Aquitaine: The Mother Queen of the Middle Ages (2014 edition) at Google Books At present I am just completing the research for my new book, Henry VIII: King and Court, which is scheduled for publication in June 2001. In this book I mean to present a detailed and comprehensive study of Henry VIII set within the context of what was undoubtedly the most magnificent court in English history. The book will focus on the personal life of the King and the lives of his courtiers, and will encompass every aspect of Tudor court life, from state banquets to sanitary arrangements, and from Renaissance influences to amorous intrigues. There will also be a few surprises concerning Henry's private life!

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