Just before the moon rose to full glory over the city of Bordeaux in that June of 1137, a young man who had been moving swiftly and secretively through the deserted streets came to the end of his journey at the foot of a tall round tower.
I can do it because all my life, including even my worst failures, has been schooling me for this task. I shall do it well.
Originally published as Queen in Waiting; re-published as Eleanor the Queen: The Story of the Most Famous Woman of the Middle Ages; reprinted under original title in 1977.
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Eleanor is young, high-spirited, supremely intelligent, heiress to the vast Duchy of Aquitaine - at a time when a woman's value was measured in terms of wealth. Her vivid leadership inspired and dazzled those about her. And yet, born to rule, she was continually repressed and threatened by the men who overshadowed her life. This is the story of a brilliant, medieval figure - of a princess who led her own knights to the Crusades, who was bride to two kings and mother of Richard the Lion Heart. It is the rich, incredible story of Eleanor Of Aquitaine.
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At a time when woman's value was measured solely by her wealth, and the number of sons she bore, Elanor was the high-spirited, stubborn, and intelligent heiress to the vast duchy of Aquitaine. Her leadership inspired the loyalty of her people, but she was continually doubted and silenced by the men who ruled beside her---the less wise but far more powerful men of the church and court who were unwilling to lose power to a woman, regardless of her rank or ability. Through marriages to two kings, two crusades, and the births of ten children---including the future King Richard the Lionhearted---Eleanor solidified her place in history. In Eleanor the Queen, Norah Lofts brings to life a brave and complex woman who was centuries ahead of her time.… (more)