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Hardcover Eleanor of Aquitaine Book

ISBN: 0801522315

ISBN13: 9780801522314

Eleanor of Aquitaine

(Part of the Medieval Women Boxset Series)

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

"Marion Meade has told the story of Eleanor, wild, devious, from a thoroughly historical but different point of view: a woman's point of view."--Allene Talmey, Vogue. This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Historical or Not, A Great Read

This was a wonderful book. I would read as much as I had time to each day and then spend time thinking about Eleanor until I could get back to her story. I have read other accounts, one historical, of Eleanor of Aquitaine, but this one brings her to life more than anything else I have read about her. She truly was a remarkable person by any standards and Meade made me feel as though I was right there watching it all unfold. I would highly recommend this book, particularly, if you have not read anything else on Eleanor and I guarantee you will want to find out more.

A Woman out of lengend...

This is a comprehensive story of one of the most interesting women in history. Marion Meade gives us everything we would ever want to know about Eleanor of Acquitaine. Of course, what makes the book more interesting is the huge cast of supporting players in Eleanor's life. The story begins with her father and his castle of courtly romance. We then see Eleanor married to Louis Capet, King of France. He takes Eleanor on crusade to the Holy Land where their marriage falls apart. This sets the stage for her marriage to Henry Plantagenet - one of the greatest kings of England. We get the full story of Henry's struggle with Thomas a Beckett. We see the gradual dissolution of his marriage to Eleanor, and we see the famous children they sire - especially Richard Coeur de Lion. This is a long book but it is a well-written and fascinating read for anyone with even the most casual interest in history.

900 years later we still remember

Name 5 important women born between 100 a.d. and 1900 a.d. Eleanor of Aquitaine has to be on your list, perhaps in the first or second postion. Born in the 12th century, she married Louis VII of France, divorced him and married Henry II King of England. She bore 10 children, 2 to Louis, and 8 to Henry. Among them Prince John and Richard the lion hearted of Robin Hood fame.It was a time of great change. The Church was changing. It no longer saw women soley as the spawn of Satan. The cult of the Virgin Mary was taking hold. The politics of monarchy were changing. King Louis VII ruled only a small portion of what is modern day France. King Henry II wasn't even English, but a French nobleman who benefited from the untimely death of William the Conqueror's heir, and Civil War in England. He could "seize the day".(Horace) The second crusade led by Louis, failed miserably; perhaps some of modern day Muslin/Christian conflict has roots here. It appears that Louis did not heed Horace's advice.And Eleanor, where was she? Well she joined Louis on the Crusade. In fact she was blamed for the outcome of the first disasterous battle. It seems that it is easier to blame the queen and her excessive luggage, than the head of the crusading army. Thousands began the Crusade, only hundreds returned. It is not hard to imagine how Eleanor and the others felt. But, she was stuck with Louis. Or was she? Louis needed a male heir, and Eleanor had not produced one. Divorce was not what Louis wanted, but he did need that male heir, and Eleanor was not getting any younger. And so, he freed Eleanor.Imagine Louis' surprise at her marrying Henry just 8 weeks later. By the way she forgot to ask his permission. Louis was not happy.But Henry was. He got Eleanor and Acquitaine, 5 sons of which 4 survived to manhood, 3 daughters who through marriage, could be used to achieve his political ambitions. Everything is going so well. Then what does he do? Well, Henry falls in love. Eleanor moves out, back to Aquitaine. And then? The male children of this estranged couple plot against their father, then seek asylum with Louis Capet, Eleanor's X. Of course, mother Eleanor is easy to blame. In modern terms we might refer to this family as disfunctional. However, that disfunction had a price, and a payoff. France and England warred on and off over the next 300 years. Eleanor's decendants sat on the thrones of England, France, Jerusalem, and the Holy Roman Empire. We remember her today. And unlike many of the middle ages chroniclers, we think that she was important and we admire her.It is difficult to write a biography from the distance of eight or nine centuries. There are few reliable, contemporay sources. It is most difficult to write one about the most powerful woman in Europe, since few thought that women were important enough to chronicle except in the blame game. Marion Meade has done such an admirable job. Her biography make Eleanor come alive. Th

A Woman with a Story

Just as with most world-wide examples today, the historical lives of English monarchs and other persons of power and fame was dominated by men. But, as women mature I personally believe we grow weary of so much exposure to one-sided male perspective. This book helped alleviate my weariness. Meade does Eleanor, and the rest of us, a service by telling Eleanor's incredible story of power and politics and gender with a historians well researched, reasoned clarity, a scholar's forth-rightness, and a woman's sensitivity. And what a story did Eleanor's life make!

Beautifully written

Meade does an extremely good job in writing Eleanor's biography and is able to let her readers get to know Eleanor intimately. Eleanor of Acquitaine was an exceptional woman, in that she changed the course of history for both England and France when she divorced the King of France, Louis and eight weeks later, married the King of England, Henry II. When she was with Louis, she was unable to produce male heirs but when she married Henry, she was able to produce a few male heirs. Meade brought us back to when Eleanor was a child and how she grew up to be as powerful as she did. During the medieval period, women were powerless and they were only used to produce male heirs. Eleanor, however, was different. She was manipulative, cunning, intelligent, highly educated, cultured and ambitious. After her marriage to Henry, Meade examined her relationship with Henry and her sons. Henry, like most Kings, was extremely unfaithful and brought his mistress, Rosamund to replace Eleanor, unofficially. Eleanor, took her revenge on Henry by encouraging her sons to rebel against their father. That is the gist of the book but it consists a lot more dramas and turmoils than I am able to write here. This book is extremely readable.... Even if you don't have any previous knowledge on Europe medieval history. It's in a way very "soap opera" like and very exciting to read. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about medieval history and who is interested in Eleanor.
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