Eleanor of Aquitaine: By the Wrath of God, Queen of England


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Eleanor of Aquitaine

Edward Snowden. First Man In. Ant Middleton. Renia's Diary. Renia Spiegel. Jane Austen at Home. Lucy Worsley. Michelle Obama. Gentleman Jack. Sally Wainwright. Battle Scars. By careful research, Alison Weir has produced a vivid biography with a fresh and provocative perspective on this extraordinary woman. The focus is on the men in her life. Eleanor of Aquitaine lived in the 12th century. Alison Weir. Opulent Aquitaine. A Model of Virtue. Counsel of the Devil. A Righteous Annulment. All the Business of the Kingdom.

Poor Prisoner. Shame Shame on a Conquered King. I thi I do think it is a good book, and good history. I think the book would have benefited from being a bit more opinionated, and the book stays too distant from the subject. All that said, even when Eleanor is not present, she haunts the pages of the book, even when she is not mentioned, she is still one of the foci of events. The book should not be considered so much as a biography as a 'life and times'. It is a very well researched look at the events in England and France over an 80 year period, and I can see it being very useful to use to answer questions about 'who was where when'.

The writing is good throughout, and I do recommend it, as long as you understand that it isn't quite the biography that it purports to be. View 2 comments. Alison Weir always gets at least four stars for every book I read of hers. Marks out of ten for this one, would be nine. Alison writes with all the authority and passion of the wildest beast that ever spurred a stirrup, galloping through the Angevin empire. Her subject, 'Eleanor of Aquitaine', is lifted from the mists and myths of eight hundred years.

Her biography is also partly eclipsed as circumstance of the paternal world of the royal courts of Europe in the Middle Ages. Even so, the image i Alison Weir always gets at least four stars for every book I read of hers. Even so, the image is vivid of a powerful and extraordinary woman. Mother of Richard the Lionheart and King John, she lived for eighty two years.

Therefore, much of the Weir narrative is involved in accounts of these tumultuous reigns. Even in print it is somewhat exhausting to keep up with the travels, trials and tribulations of this woman. View all 7 comments.

Nov 26, Toni rated it it was amazing Shelves: A scholarly introduction to the life of one of the most remarkable medieval women - Eleanor of Aquitaine, a wife of two and a mother of three kings. So few primary sources survive that we do not even have a reliable description of her appearance. In fact, only in the second half of the book we finally see Eleanor become wise and sensitive to the plight of her less fortunate subjects, beloved and respected for her shrewd administration skills, dedication to family and generosity.

Some thoughts now that I've finished: - I wish there had been more Eleanor in this book. She kind of made more cameo appearances in this book about her own life, rather than being the star. I'm not sure how much to fault Alison Weir for this, as I've enjoyed other biographies by her that I've read and this is really the first one I've been lukewarm on. And while it's true that this is the first Eleanor of Aquitaine biography I've read so there may be better ones, it's also true that overall there Some thoughts now that I've finished: - I wish there had been more Eleanor in this book.

And while it's true that this is the first Eleanor of Aquitaine biography I've read so there may be better ones, it's also true that overall there isn't a ton of info out there about her life. She swoops in to be badass every so often among the trials and tribulations of the men, but we don't often know much about what she was doing in the meantime because the s didn't often feel like women and their doings were super important. Thanks, ancient historians. And I love history books and am generally pretty adept at overcoming dry writing for the overall allure of the subject matter.

This was definitely Weir's fault, as was the odd setup: some chapters about Eleanor's early life and first marriage to the King of France, followed by a chapter about life in that time period which makes sense to have but seemed like it interrupted action more than it established setting and background. Some chapters about Eleanor and the crusades but what were the peasants' lives like??? Chapters about the church! Like, all of the information was relevant but the ordering was very slapdash. I wasn't a fan of that.

It was as good as guilty pleasure Kardashian-esque reality TV. Again, I think only a little of this is due to Weir's actual authorship - this family was just super batshit crazy. I could just see Eleanor sitting in her castle a la Lucille Bluth on "Arrested Development" : Eleanor: If you're saying I play favorites, you're wrong. I love all my children equally! Despite how much I adored the middle, once I hit the final few chapters the book went back to being semi-boring, although not as much as before.

I had to give such an up-and-down book only 3 stars, especially because I wanted more Eleanor. I'm going to read some other Eleanor biographies to see if this is just the way it is, or if I just picked the wrong one to read first. View all 3 comments.

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‘Eleanor, by the Wrath of God Queen of England’ - Edinburgh Scholarship

Sep 05, Feisty Harriet rated it liked it Shelves: empress-duchess-queen , biography. Like most books claiming to be a biography of a lesser known woman from hundreds of years ago, this book isn't so much about Eleanor of Aquitaine as it is about her husbands and sons, famous kings of medieval England and France, and other powerful men of the time. She got bored with Louis, asked for an annulment, and t 2. But, of course, very little about her survives, because, patriarchy. I would love to have read a shorter book that focused more on Eleanor and less on the men who tried so damn hard to control her.

Dec 07, Christy rated it liked it. As if "Timeline" hadn't convinced me enough, life in the Middle Ages was damn hard! This biography was not so much about Eleanor of Aquitaine as about the events and the men that governed her life: feudal wars, countless treaties made and broken, provences switching hands, marriages made and then annulled because of "consanguinity," kings and bishops being crowned and excommunicated, and women being sold in marriage during their early years earliest was three?

N As if "Timeline" hadn't convinced me enough, life in the Middle Ages was damn hard! I feel as though Weir's prose could have been more elegantly sculpted, but the events that Eleanor's life encompassed are hard to believe. She dressed like a man! She ruled England and France! She lived until the age of 82! Richard the Lion-Heart looks pretty bad. Slimy Prince John looks slimy. In a suprising turn of events my favorite figure turned out to be Saladin who during the Crusades sent an ailing Richard, his mortal enemy, snow and fruit to revive him, agreed to hold a three year truce as Richard went back to England to see how his realms were doing, and offered to show Richard the holy sites of the Holy Land when the crusades failed.

This Richard scorned, as he did not want the prize dangled before his eyes when he could not safeguard the Holy Land from the hands of infidels. In conclusion: Don't trust your barons, don't trust the pope, don't trust your husband who may or may not lock you up in a tower , don't trust your sons if you are Henry II - they will rebel against you and do become literate. Jun 11, Kelly rated it really liked it Recommends it for: female history geeks. Shelves: the-continent , history-british , history. This one was not as easy for me to get through as The Princes in the Tower, but I still enjoyed it.

The reason it reads a little slower is just because of the exhaustive notes and the fact that she spends a lot more time on analysis of sources here. Which makes it feel more authoritative, but also a bit more like a textbook. However, Eleanor's life was sexy and interesting enough on its own. It really doesn't need that much help to be a page turner. I finished it and really liked it. Recommended This one was not as easy for me to get through as The Princes in the Tower, but I still enjoyed it. Recommended for anyone with a beginning interest in the time period, or Eleanor and a little bit of patience.

Aug 09, Kerri rated it really liked it. She was born in and died at the age of Her influence, direct and indirect, helped to shape the history of France, England and quite a bit of the European continent. Eleanor's descendants include Kings and Queens of several different empires as well as two saints. I have given this book 4 stars, but this most definitely does not correlate directly to goodreads' rating scale as I did not "love" it I will absolutely keep it on hand to use as a reference whenever I read any book from that time period.

It was a laborious read, but definitely worth it in the long run! Jan 30, Alex Telander rated it it was amazing Shelves: books-read-in Quite a few biographies have been written over the years of Eleanor of Aquitaine, but there has never been one so adherent to primary and secondary sources, to the extent that the scenes depicted veritably come to life before yo There are not many important women of the Middle Ages, but Eleanor of Aquitaine has to be the most prominent and important: wife to King Louis VII of France and King Henry II of Britain and Aquitaine, mother of King Richard the Lionheart and King John of Magna Carta fame.

Quite a few biographies have been written over the years of Eleanor of Aquitaine, but there has never been one so adherent to primary and secondary sources, to the extent that the scenes depicted veritably come to life before your very eyes.

The reader joys as Eleanor weds Louis and then Henry, but is much saddened at her imprisonment by Henry after her deception, and then admires her motherly love for her son Richard. With some four hundred pages, including an index, bibliography, a collection of photos, as well ass notes on the chief sources, and extensive family trees; there is never a dull moment in this book. Each page is packed with so many facts and details that if one were to skip a passage, they would soon become lost in the complex yet fully explained happenings of Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Originally published on October 21st, For over book reviews, and over 40 exclusive author interviews both audio and written , visit BookBanter. View all 5 comments. May 29, Susanna - Censored by GoodReads rated it liked it Shelves: biography , history , british-history , medieval , france. Interesting, and probably really 3. In part it is a history of Eleanor's times, but since she did much to make those times what they were, that didn't bother me.

Life in twelfth-century Europe? So my attitude going into Eleanor of Aquitaine—dread, fortified by strong coffee—was just about right. The book turned out to be kind of a page-turner. At that time, queens mattered for 1 their dowries, 2 their dynastic connections, and 3 their baby yields Eleanor had nine children who survived infancy , and her name appeared on documents only when she was acting as regent for her invasion-happy husband, Richard II.

So Weir primarily relies on contemporary accounts by sometimes-petty, often gossipy, intermittently reliable monks and priests—the only literate members of this society. And while 18th century America may be another country, the things it cares about—individual liberty and self determination, reason, natural rights, etc.

Twelfth century Europe, on the other hand, is another planet, a berserk intermediate zone between hell and purgatory with scant regard for human life and nothing resembling our current conception of justice. And then, as now, the conflict is as rooted in limited land and resources as much as a surfeit of religious feeling. Sep 02, Louise rated it it was amazing Shelves: france-bio-hist , biography , british-bio-hist.

King Henry II meets Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine at Dover Castle

This is a very well researched narrative on the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Unlike other women of her era, she controlled property, was able to retain it and, therefore, was a participant in and not a bystander to events. The nuns of Fontevrault extol the "brilliance" of the "royal progeny" with which she "illuminated the world". There were no newspapers then, and being cloistered, they had only Eleanor's word on this. While she is the mother of 2 kings 3 if the "Younger King" counts , these This is a very well researched narrative on the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine.

While she is the mother of 2 kings 3 if the "Younger King" counts , these sons are not exactly distinguished. They cannot inspire their nobles;u they make war on each other and one of them essentially loses England's continental empire. Weir doesn't speculate on the daily prodding Eleanor might have given her sons to make war on their father, but she presents evidence to demonstrate that she tried to temper their wars against each other. Her efforts on behalf of the kidnapped Richard are extraordinary. There is no record, but legend has it that she sought leniency for her imprisoned by her son grandson and other legends have it that she killed him.

I found it interesting how this family spends Christmas or Easter together Another thing of interest in this family is the role of guilt. Henry II wears a hair shirt and orders himself lashed in the presence of witnesses including his family, Richard publically decries his unspeakable sins and Eleanor's writes the Pope that her sins have caused the troubles that have befallen Richard. Eleanor was in no way an ornament or passive queen. She managed kingdoms and rode along on 2 Crusades. It appears she engineered her divorce from the King of France, an accomplishment in its own right witness the trouble Henry VIII had in this regard and maintained some sort of useful relations with him throughout his life.


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  • Eleanor of Aquitaine by Alison Weir.

She was imprisoned for 10? Weir conveys all this, drawing a picture of the times, what they wore, what they ate, how they traveled, the appearance of the castles and how they were defended and much more.

Eleanor Of Aquitaine: By the Wrath of God, Queen of England

Mar 17, Lisa Feld rated it it was amazing Shelves: boston. Weir faces some interesting challenges as a historian here: sifting reliable sources about Eleanor from apocryphal stories and putting together a coherent picture of the powerful queen from the traces left in chronicles about the men she influenced. What emerges is a remarkably clear and compelling story of an intelligent and capable woman who married two kings, birthed ten children, marched in two Crusades, ran kingdoms in her husbands' and sons' absences, incited her sons to rebellion, argued Weir faces some interesting challenges as a historian here: sifting reliable sources about Eleanor from apocryphal stories and putting together a coherent picture of the powerful queen from the traces left in chronicles about the men she influenced.

What emerges is a remarkably clear and compelling story of an intelligent and capable woman who married two kings, birthed ten children, marched in two Crusades, ran kingdoms in her husbands' and sons' absences, incited her sons to rebellion, argued with the Pope to help free her son Richard from captivity, and remained a serious power broker into her late seventies.

I particularly appreciated the ways Weir disagreed with previous historians by talking about which records were written at the time and which were created or embellished a century later, and the known biases of different chroniclers. Unlike with other historians of this period, I never felt she was glossing over or sidestepping issues or theorizing without evidence; whenever there is contradictory evidence or uncomfortable truths, she examines both sides and lays out her reasoning beautifully.

And in talking about Eleanor's various husbands and children, Weir made sense of things I'd never understood. For example, I'd obviously heard the rumors that Richard the Lionheart had no heir because he was gay. It was only the year he went on Crusade that he finally secured another bride; he had little opportunity to deal with the succession before he was captured.

In all, this is a wonderful and engaging history not just of Eleanor but of the Plantagenets; one of the best histories of the period I've read. Jul 25, David Donald rated it really liked it. As with most any of the biographies Alison Weir writes, it is well researched history of times when not so much is available, but more can be teased from newly discovered sources.

She does make some interpretations and extrapolations, but always logical ones based from the data she researches. Extrapolations intended to make the place and culture of the times more clear to us. She also always writes entertainingly and gives you a sense of the subject and their world. Jan 28, Lisa rated it really liked it Shelves: interesting-women , s-most-enjoyed , , non-fic , own , history. When I was at school, I was under the impression that history was dreadfully boring and stuffy and loathed most of my lessons. However, having since been bitten by the history bug thanks to watching Horrible Histories and becoming completely obsessed with Hilary Mantel's Thomas Cromwell, I now lay all of the blame for that firmly at the feet of my teacher, who must have been completely inept to have made our history sound so dreary.

I've now decided to embark on a bit of an odyssey through as mu When I was at school, I was under the impression that history was dreadfully boring and stuffy and loathed most of my lessons.

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I've now decided to embark on a bit of an odyssey through as much of our history as I can get my hands on, and if this book on Eleanor of Aquitaine is anything to go by, it should be more action-packed and full of more skullduggery, sex and murder than your average HBO show. While there is a scarcity of surviving sources of evidence on Eleanor herself, Weir did a great job of detective work and clearly undertook lots of painstaking research to be able to compile a deeply interesting and very readable account of a woman who seemed to defy certain expectations and constraints placed upon women in her time and managed to be ambitious, influential, scandalous and powerful; Queen of two countries and mother of 10 children - a greedy, squabbling, treacherous and murderous bunch of shits, rapists and assholes that make the Lannisters look like the Waltons.

Here's what I learnt: Born in into a Europe that was largely feudal, and carved out according to the military might of various nobles, Eleanor became one of the richest and most sought-after heiresses in mediaeval Europe on her father's death and, regardless of their consanguinity i. Having hailed from a slightly more enlightened area in which women could inherit and govern their lands in their own right, she was soon wielding her influence over her adoring husband, much to the dismay of the clergy who'd much rather be doing the influencing and who sought successfully to curb her power.

Relegated to the sphere of the domestic and married to a man so religious he barely bonked even after marriage, deeming it sinful, Eleanor was soon scandalising the French court by flirting with the many troubadours who flocked to pay her tribute. Possibly as another means of escaping the boredom of court, when Louis decided to go on his disastrous Crusade, Eleanor chose to go with him. Unfortunately for Louis, he turned out to be a rubbish military leader with his army not only frequently deserting, but with several thousand dying of plague and starvation and 3, more converting to the Muslim faith.

Seeking refuge with Eleanor's uncle in Antioch, it wasn't long before she and her uncle were showing signs of a relationship that wasn't strictly familial, leading her to declare her marriage consanguineous after all and demanding an annulment, and to Louis arresting her and dragging her home by force.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: By the Wrath of God, Queen of England Eleanor of Aquitaine: By the Wrath of God, Queen of England
Eleanor of Aquitaine: By the Wrath of God, Queen of England Eleanor of Aquitaine: By the Wrath of God, Queen of England
Eleanor of Aquitaine: By the Wrath of God, Queen of England Eleanor of Aquitaine: By the Wrath of God, Queen of England
Eleanor of Aquitaine: By the Wrath of God, Queen of England Eleanor of Aquitaine: By the Wrath of God, Queen of England
Eleanor of Aquitaine: By the Wrath of God, Queen of England Eleanor of Aquitaine: By the Wrath of God, Queen of England
Eleanor of Aquitaine: By the Wrath of God, Queen of England Eleanor of Aquitaine: By the Wrath of God, Queen of England

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