Eleanor the Queen
Eleanor the Queen is a vivid account of the life of one of the world’s most famous queens, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Beautiful, freethinking, and strong-willed, Eleanor was not the typical woman of the 12th century. The novel is divided into four parts, each one focusing on a different period of Eleanor’s long life, beginning with the time when it was dangerous to be the unmarried heiress to the richest and largest provinces of France, Aquitaine and Poitou. Following her arranged marriage to King Louis VII of France, Eleanor embarks on crusade with Louis, and readers are immersed in the long, arduous journey of the Second Crusade. She exhibits bravery and strength, risking her life on the religious journey.
When her marriage to Louis VII ends in annulment, Henry Plantagenet asks for her hand in marriage. Their union produces two future kings of England, Richard the Lionheart and John Lackland. International bestselling author Norah Lofts does an excellent job of portraying the rivalries that exist between the sons and Henry II. In France, England, and the Holy Land, readers are transported to a world of intrigue, double dealings, and complex relationships. Most revealing is the time that Eleanor spends in captivity in England. Lofts recreates the struggle that Eleanor goes through during her years of imprisonment and the feelings of being separated from her children, with little to do but think about the past and hope for the best for the future.
Eleanor the Queen was originally published in 1955, now reissued, and is a story filled with love, pain, betrayal, and politics of the 12th century. Lofts paints a rich portrait of the times, giving readers a compelling novel that should not be missed.