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Eleanor of Aquitaine by Alison Weir

Eleanor of Aquitaine (1999)

by Alison Weir

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1,852253,733 (3.84)71

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An impressive woman.

In an age frequently remembered for Kings, popes, and knights there were influential women who wielded power and moved the world. Eleanor was the mother of Richard the Lionhearted and King John (softsword). She assisted Henry I become one of the most powerful kings of the earth and went crusading to the holy land.

The author seems to do a good job of identifying and discussing the myths that rose about her over the years and discussing the truth.

( )
  Chris_El | Mar 19, 2015 |
I love books like this. The writing was so good and so well researched that I mourned when Eleanor died. She lived so long ago and someone Alison Weir brings her so close to you that you become part of her story. ( )
  sscarllet | Nov 20, 2014 |
Not so much detail about Eleanor herself but a brilliant picture of the life of mediaeval Europe. I'm not a royalist and usually prefer books about the ordinary people, but this book is a very entertaining read. It shows the various royals, dukes, counts and church dignitaries as a bunch of liars, murderers, rapists and thieves who could rival anything in fiction for brutality. Only a pity that we don't get the other side of the story - that of the peasants and townsfolk who sufferd their depredations. ( )
  SChant | Apr 25, 2013 |
Alison Weir's biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine is thorough and well-researched, from birth to death. There's a lot of dates and names, and Weir's style doesn't really make that kind of detail absorbing, but there's plenty to interest a patient reader. My chief criticism is that Weir presents this as a complete portrait of Eleanor, commenting that previous accounts of her life rely too heavily on the actions of her husbands and sons, but Weir herself falls into that same pitfall. Whole chapters go by in which Henry or Richard or John are the focus.

Still, worth the time I invested, I think. Eleanor was a fascinating woman and a great queen, amd Weir definitely shows the reader that. ( )
1 vote shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
Brilliant. Interesting approach to understand the period and the pinnacle of the Angevin Empire. She was a formidable woman and ruled effectively. Her relationship with her husband was complex and challenging. ( )
  literarytech | Jan 19, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
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This book is dedicated
with heartfelt thanks
to my agent

and to
who has edited so many of my books
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In the Romanesque cathedral of Poitiers a man and a woman stood before the high altar, exchanging wedding vows.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Alison Wier is a misspelling of Alison Weir.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345434870, Paperback)

Combining the pace and descriptive quality of a novel with the authority of a textbook, Alison Weir's study of the revered and reviled Eleanor of Aquitaine should be valuable to anyone with an interest in medieval European history. Wife of Louis VII of France and subsequently of Henry II of England, and mother of Richard "the Lion-Hearted," Eleanor played a prominent part in the politics of the 12th century. The author of a number of other books on the medieval period (Life of Elizabeth I, The Children of Henry VIII), Weir brings all the color and ever-present dangers of Eleanor's world to life, filling the text with absorbing background detail and revelatory contemporary anecdotes. She is concerned throughout to make critical analysis of the primary sources, the later myths about Eleanor, and other modern biographies. This results in a fresh and thoughtful perspective on the energetic life of a determined and ambitious woman living with the sexism, excesses, and violence of a society in which the word of a single man could condemn thousands to death. Eleanor of Aquitaine is a vivacious but scholarly book with extensive notes and references, giving an objective and rich account of the staunch Eleanor, her feuding family and her complex and unstable world. --Karen Tiley, Amazon.co.uk

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:48 -0400)

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A biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine, discussing her early years in twelfth-century Europe, her marriages to France's King Louis VII and England's Henry II, her unprecedented political power, and other aspects of her life.

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