April Queen

By

Douglas Boyd’s 2004 biography of the always fascinating Eleanor of Aquitaine, now reprinted in a new edition for 2011, weaves the sparse information surrounding this formidable woman into a convincing and very satisfying work of narrative nonfiction. Rather than indulging in the temptation to spend pages discrediting other biographers or presenting radical theories for shock value, Boyd instead approaches the work from the beginning at a fresh angle, examining primary sources from his perspective as a linguist, using the subtleties of old Occitan and the langues d’oïl to reveal the cultural history behind assumptions and stereotypes. Occasionally he gets a little enthusiastic in claiming to know Eleanor’s inner thoughts, but that’s hard not to do when attempting to understand such a beloved historical figure, one about whom so much is unknown and so much else tainted by slanderous bias. Densely packed with information yet amiable and easy to read, this is a work of dedication and passion which fans of other Eleanor biographies will want to add to their collection.

Share this review
Details

Publisher

Published

Genre

Period

Century

Price
(US) $14.95
(UK) £9.99
(CA) $17.95

ISBN
(UK) 9780752459127

Format
Paperback

Pages
360

Review

Appeared in

Reviewed by