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The Book of Eleanor: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaineby Pamela Kaufman
Synopses & Reviews
One of historys greatest women, celebrated by her contemporaries, descendants, and biographers, comes to life in this mesmerizing novel by bestselling author Pamela Kaufman.
In 1137, fifteen-year-old Eleanor became Duchess of Aquitaine, a wealthy and powerful province in the South of France. Rich and influential in her own right, her tumultuous marriages thrust Eleanor into the political and cultural spotlight, where she would remain for more than half a century.
Still in her teens, Eleanor married Louis VII of France, a sickly religious fanatic so obsessed with adultery that he kept his beautiful wife under lock and key. A lifelong rebel, Eleanor would defy her husband and the Church and eventually strong-arm the Pope into annulling her unhappy marriage.
Once free, she thought to marry Baron Rancon, her childhood love, but found herself forced into another political marriage with Henry II of England, a ruthless soldier known as “the red star of malice.” In Henry, Eleanor found a man whose iron will and political cunning matched her own, but the marriage was a bitter and brutal one, which escalated into open warfare when Eleanor backed their sons in an armed rebellion against Henry. Vowing revenge, he imprisoned her for seventeen years, hoping she would die in obscurity. But Eleanor would not go quietly. In prison, she wrote her memoir. This is her story.
One of history's greatest women comes to life in this first-person narrative--historical fiction that evokes the passion, intelligence, and political savvy of Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine.
Many know Eleanor of Aquitaine's story from Katharine Hepburn's Oscar-winning role in The Lion in Winter and from Alison Weir's bestselling biography. Now readers will know Eleanor from another perspective in The Book of Eleanor, the only historical novel in print about this remarkable woman's life.
In a first-person narrative reminiscent of Margaret George's Autobiography of Henry VIII, Pamela Kaufman's Eleanor speaks directly to the reader, conveying with vivid immediacy her wit, passion, intelligence, and political savvy.
And what a story she tells — of her political marriages to the fanatically jealous Louis VII of France and the cruel and ruthless Henry II of England, her longing for the nobleman who was her childhood love, her role in a long and dangerous crusade, her perilous involvement in her sons' armed rebellion against their father, and her long years of imprisonment during which she wrote, as Kaufman imagines it, this memoir, The Book of Eleanor.
About the Author
Pamela Kaufman, Ph.D., is the author of the bestselling medieval novels Shield of Three Lions and Banners of Gold. She lives in Los Angeles.
From the Hardcover edition.
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