There are not many important women of the Middle Ages, but Eleanor of Aquitaine has to be the most prominent and important: wife to King Louis VII of France and King Henry II of Britain and Aquitaine, mother of King Richard the Lionheart and King John of Magna Carta fame.
Quite a few biographies have been written over the years of Eleanor of Aquitaine, but there has never been one so adherent to primary and secondary sources, to the extent that the scenes depicted veritably come to life before your very eyes. The reader joys as Eleanor weds Louis and then Henry, but is much saddened at her imprisonment by Henry after her deception, and then admires her motherly love for her son Richard.
With some four hundred pages, including an index, bibliography, a collection of photos, as well ass notes on the chief sources, and extensive family trees; there is never a dull moment in this book. Each page is packed with so many facts and details that if one were to skip a passage, they would soon become lost in the complex yet fully explained happenings of Eleanor of Aquitaine.
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Originally published on October 21st, 2002.
Originally published in the Long Beach Union.