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Author Weir, Alison, 1951-

Title Eleanor of Aquitaine : a life / Alison Weir.

Published New York : Ballantine Books, 1999.


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bail  942.031092 WEIR    AVAILABLE
Physical description xxi, 441 pages : illustrations, map, tables ; 24 cm
Notes Originally published: London : Jonathan Cape, 1999.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 355-373) and index.
Contents Prologue: 18 May 1152 1 -- 1 "Opulent Aquitaine" 3 -- 2 "A Model of Virtue" 21 -- 3 "Counsel of the Devil" 37 -- 4 "To Jerusalem!" 55 -- 5 "A Righteous Annulment" 73 -- 6 "A Happy Issue" 89 -- 7 "All the Business of the Kingdom" 104 -- 8 "Eleanor, by the Grace of God, Queen of England" 120 -- 9 "The King Has Wrought a Miracle" 141 -- 10 "Conjectures Which Grow Day by Day" 158 -- 11 "The Holy Martyr" 177 -- 12 "The Cubs Shall Awake" 189 -- 13 "Beware of Your Wife and Sons" 198 -- 14 "Poor Prisoner" 211 -- 15 "Shame, Shame on a Conquered King!" 231 -- 16 "The Eagle Shall Rejoice in Her Third Nesting" 248 -- 17 "The Admiration of Her Age" 260 -- 18 "The Devil Is Loosed!" 279 -- 19 "The Staff of My Old Age" 300 -- 20 "The Most Reverend Eleanor" 314 -- 21 "The Brood of the Wicked Shall Not Thrive" 326 -- 22 "A Candle Goeth Out" 336.
Summary Renowned in her time for being the most beautiful woman in Europe, the wife of two kings and the mother of three, Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of the great heroines of the Middle Ages. Although she lived in an age in which women were regarded as little more than chattel, Eleanor managed to defy convention as she exercised power in the political sphere and crucial influence over her husbands and sons. In this beautifully written new biography, Alison Weir, author of five widely acclaimed chronicles of England's royal rulers, paints a vibrant portrait of this truly exceptional woman, and provides new insights into her intimate life.
Born in 1122 into the sophisticated and cultured court of Poitiers, Eleanor came of age in a world of luxury, intrigue, bloody combat, and unbridled ambition. At only fifteen, she inherited one of the great fortunes of Europe--the prize duchy of Aquitaine--yet her father had been shrewd enough to realize that her future security lay in a powerful marriage. Consequently the sensual Duchess submitted to a union with the handsome but sexually withholding Louis VII, the teenage king of France. The marriage endured for fifteen fraught years, until Eleanor finally succeeded in having it annulled--only to enter an even stormier match with the aggressively virile, hot-tempered Henry of Anjou, who would soon ascend to the English throne as Henry II.
As Weir traces the fascinating intersection of public and private lives in Europe's twelfth-century courts, Eleanor comes to life as a complex, boldly original woman who transcended the mores of society. Eventually, after enduring Henry's flagrant infidelities, she showed herself a formidable and dangerous enemy of the King's interests by plotting to overthrow him with their sons, Henry, Richard, and Geoffrey. A tireless political fighter and a born survivor, the humbled Queen emerged from sixteen years of imprisonment, age sixty-seven, to rule England with wisdom and panache during the absence of her son King Richard the Lion Heart, while he fought in the ruinous Third Crusade.
Eleanor of Aquitaine lived a long life of many contrasts, of splendor and desolation, power and peril, and in this stunning biography, Alison Weir captures the woman--and the queen--in all her glory. With astonishing historic detail, mesmerizing pageantry, and irresistible accounts of royal scandal and intrigue, Weir re-creates not only a remarkable personality but a magnificent past era.
Subject Eleanor, of Aquitaine, Queen, consort of Henry II, King of England, 1122?-1204.
Queens -- Great Britain -- Biography.
Queens -- France -- Biography.
Great Britain -- History -- Henry II, 1154-1189.
France -- History -- Louis VII, 1137-1180.
ISBN 0345405404 (alk. paper)