Eleanor of Aquitaine: The Generation (The Eleanor Code, Book 4)

Written by Mark Richard Beaulieu
Review by Steve Donoghue

The fourth volume in Beaulieu’s ongoing fictional retelling of the life of the renowned and much-storied 12th-century Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine finds our colorful heroine at age 27, nearing the end of her marriage to the French King Louis, when her life – and all subsequent history – is suddenly complicated by the handsome and charismatic teenager Henri of Anjou, who quickly enters a passionate relationship with Eleanor and promises to make her Queen of England.

To many of his readers, this will all be fairly familiar territory, with forceful, frustrated Henri plotting with Thomas Beckett and vying against England’s entrenched King Stephen (and Eleanor everywhere behind the scenes, orchestrating victories and plotting with a skill and dexterity that far surpasses the men around her), but Beaulieu continues to bring the old stories vividly to life. Dozens of aspects of the 12th century are dramatized in these pages, and the portrait of Eleanor continues to deepen with each successive volume. Highly recommended.