Eleanor of Aquitaine's glamour, her patronage of poets, and her throwing off of constraints which shackled women in the 12th century, are almost forgotten, as are her gifts as politician and leader. This book attempts to reconcile the paradoxes in her formal personality.
In "King John", Shakespeare portrayed Eleanor of Aquitaine as a "canker'd grandam". Indeed she spent 15 years in prison for conspiring against her husband Henry II. She dominated her children's lives, turning them against their father, feuded with at least one of her daughters-in-law and contributed to the death of her grandson. Yet this powerful queen consort had another side. Heiress to the rich Duchy of Aquitaine, she married Louis VII of France and, after a madcap courtship, the young King Henry of England. She was splendid in person, rank and fortune, and renowned for her beauty and generosity. She was worshipped by men, loved by her children and celebrated in song by the troubadours. This glamerous queen was the patron of artists and poets, but she was also a powerful politician and ruler. This biography shows how a rich and determined woman could throw off the constraints imposed by 12th-century conventions.
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Desmond Seward is a highly-regarded historian of the late Middle Ages. He is the author of HENRY V AS WARLORD published in Classic Penguin Military History, THE MONKS OF WAR (Penguin), THE WARS OF THE ROSES and RICHARD III: ENGLAND's BLACK LEGEND (Penguin).
Table of Contents
Aquitaine and the troubadours; queen of France; the crusader; the divorce; Duchess of Normandy; queen of England; the Angevin empress; the court at Poitiers; Eleanor's sons; Eleanor's revolt; the lost years; queen mother; the Regent; Richard's return; Fontevrault; the death of Richard; King John; the grandmother of Europe; the murder of Arthur; the end of the Angevin empire.
Eleanor of Aquitaine by Desmond Seward
Penguin Classic Biography S.
Used - Very Good
Penguin Books Ltd
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