Buy Eleanor Of Aquitaine: By the Wrath of God, Queen of England by Alison Weir (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and. Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine was one of the leading personalities of the Middle By careful research, Alison Weir has produced a vivid biography with a fresh. “The extraordinary life of Eleanor of Aquitaine is brilliantly recreated by Alison Weir in her winning biography.” (The Good Book Guide) “As delicately textured as.
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Alison Weir is a British historian and author, and not the American journalist and activist Alison Weir. A Life Eleanor of Aquitaine is my best-selling book to date. It was alixon winner of the Good Book Guide award for the best eleqnor ofas voted for by readers in countries. It is the sixth best-selling historical biography of all time in the U. The result is as vivid as it is informative. Her account parades a sequence of extraordinary characters Above all, there is the heroine, viewed clear-sightedly in all her intoxicating and imperious irresistibility.
A rich tapestry of a bygone age and a judicious assessment a,ison her subject’s place within it. Weir gives us a balanced account, with myths, suppositions and misunderstandings well-ventilated.
Acute psychological insight combined with rigorous research has produced a rounded and satisfying picture of an extraordinary woman.
It reads like aliso medieval legend. This is readable history at its best, and a fascinating insight into the medieval mind. It doesn’t get any better than this. A fresh and provocative biography. Random House UK Newsletter, I am delighted that Random House has decided to publish a newsletter to coincide with the publication of Eleanor of Aquitaine in paperback.
For some time now, a growing workload has made it increasingly difficult for me to reply aquitaaine length to all the kind and thoughtful people who take the trouble to write to me; this newsletter will enable me to keep in touch with them, and with many other people who read my books.
Firstly, a little bit about me. I am a Wei, born and bred, although I have also lived in Norfolk and Sussex, and now reside in Surrey. I aquitainf been married to Rankin for twenty-seven years, and have two children, John, aged 17, and Kate, Before becoming a published author in1 was a civil servant, and then a full-time housewife and mother. Because my son has learning difficulties and we could not find a suitable school for him in our area, I educated my children at home from toand then from to ran my own school for children with special needs – while at the same time researching and writing my books.
There were times when I felt I should give up sleep in order to get everything done! I have been interested in history since the age of fourteen, when I read my first adult novel: I was, however, enthralled by it: My passion for history was born. By the time I was fifteen I had produced a reference work on the Tudor dynasty, a biography of Anne Boleyn and several historical plays, and had started work on the research that would one day take form as my first published book, Britain’s Royal Families.
During the s, I wrote the original version of The Six Wives of Henry VIII – pages long, single spaced, and typed on both sides of the paper – and had it rejected on the grounds that there was a world paper shortage! I also researched the lives of all the medieval queens of England, research which I have since drawn on for several of my books and for Eleanor of Aquitaine in particular. I finally found a publisher inbut am still pinching myself to make sure I’m not dreaming it all. Since then, I have published seven books and am now hard at work on the eighth.
But more of that later. I write popular history. This term is sometimes used in a slightly derogatory sense by certain academics, yet there is no good reason for it. I have no axe to grind against academic historians: Yet history is not the sole preserve of academics; it belongs to us all and can be accessed by us all; in that sense, it can be popular.
Very many people have a great love of history, and if the recounting of deeds past in a conscientious and accessible way brings them pleasure, then I account my task well done.
Moreover, in an age in which history is often perceived to be ‘dumbed down’, I feel strongly that we can all learn from a study of the past. We can discover more about ourselves and our civilisation and make more informed decisions about the future. Above all, history is full of the most riveting stories. I have often been told that my books read like novels, but I assure you that there is nothing made-up in them.
The truth as they say is always stranger than fiction, and nowhere does this become more apparent than alieon history books. I can never understand, therefore, why the makers of historical films feel they have to change the facts.
One of the most alixon stories in history is that of Eleanor of Aquitaine. I have always found her an enigmatic and elusive figure, and writing her biography was a labour of love – something I had wanted to do for over a quarter of a century. Most of my research was done in the s, when I transcribed thousands of references to the medieval queens of England from chronicles in the Rolls Series and other contemporary sources.
This huge bank of material lay forgotten for years until a reader wrote begging me to write a book on Eleanor. This inspired me to look again at the research, and I realised that it had the makings of a wonderful project.
All that remained was to convince my publishers of this.
However, after the success of Elizabeth the Queenthe time was right for me to write a book about another strong and independent woman in history. Eleanor of Aquitaine has far outsold my expectations, and I suspect that there are many people who brought the book on the strength of her reputation alone.
On the promotional tour, I met many with a keen interest in her and I have since received numerous letters from readers who are very well-informed. Many are intrigued to discover how I researched the book, and several of those who attended my events raised controversial issues, such as Eleanor’s extra-marital affairs or Richard I’s sexual inclinations.
To all those who came to my talks or who wrote to me, may I say it has been wonderful, and highly enlightening, to have had the chance to discuss Eleanor with fellow enthusiasts.
I am very much looking forward to the promotional tour for the paperback. King and Courtwhich is scheduled for fo in June In this book I mean to present a detailed and comprehensive study of Henry VIII set within the context of what was undoubtedly the most magnificent court in English history.
The book will focus on the personal life of the King and the lives of his courtiers, and will eleanof every aspect of Tudor court life, from state banquets to sanitary arrangements, and from Renaissance influences to amorous intrigues.
There will also be a few surprises concerning Henry’s private life! When I was researching Elizabeth the Queenmost of the sources I read led me to the conclusion that Mary, Queen of Scots, knew in advance of the plot to murder her husband, Lord Darnley. However, it was felt by my publishers that this was so controversial an assertion that it should be the subject of a separate book, in which I will use the same research and analytical techniques that I used for an earlier historical whodunnit, The Princes in the Tower.
I am therefore keeping an open mind on the subject eleanod I see what the research reveals. I am really excited at the prospect of researching and writing another historical mystery – they are my favourite kind of books. I may not be able to reply to all your letters personally but I am always touched that readers take the trouble to write to me.
Eleanor of Aquitaine by Alison Weir | : Books
I aaquitaine only say a heartfelt thank you for all the positive comments, and welcome the new opportunity to share my enthusiasms with readers, which the Newsletter affords.
The photograph above was sent to me in by a reader. Her custodians, bearing off mind the love that the new King, Richard the Lion Heart, had for his mother, and his fearsome reputation, had not demurred when this grand old lady demanded to be set free.
Soon, people were rushing to pay their respects, and King Richard sent word that Queen Eleanor was to be entrusted with the power of acting as regent until his return from Normandy. Eleanor now came into her own. At 67, a great age in the twelfth century, she emerged from captivity an infinitely wiser woman, her dignity and her prodigious energy aqjitaine. As sovereign Duchess of Aquitaine, she was the greatest heiress in Europe, having inherited the southern half of what is now France at the age of fifteen.
She had been the wife of two kings, Louis VII of France — whom she divorced — and Henry II of England; and the transfer of her domains on marriage, first to France and aqultaine to England, set the pattern for European diplomacy and warfare for the next four centuries.
Eleanor was beautiful, spirited and adventurous. Gossip about her love affairs, and her conduct on crusade, was od, and in her younger years she had acquired a colourful reputation. Her marriage to Henry II saw the establishment of a great Plantagenet empire, but their early passion gave way to a stormy and tempestuous relationship.
When their sons grew to maturity and Henry would not delegate power to them in the territories he had assigned them, they grew angry and resentful, and Eleanor — like Matilda of Flanders in a similar situation – took their part. Inshe joined them in a rebellion against their father, which plunged Henry into the worst crisis of his reign. For him, this was a terrible betrayal on the part of his wife.
Clearly, he knew her to be a force to be reckoned with — and never trusted her again. But now Henry was dead, and the love and loyalty of her son, the new King, vindicated the stand and the sacrifices she had made on his behalf.
More powerful than ever before, she was willing and eager to grasp the reins of government and exert her benign influence over Richard, who would need all the help he could get to rule an empire that stretched from the Scottish border to the Pyrenees.
It is on these, epeanor her later years, that her towering reputation chiefly rests.
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She began by drumming up support for Richard in England, where he was barely known. She made every freeman swear loyalty to him, and herself received all their oaths of allegiance. She reconciled warring lords and churchmen. She married off heiresses who were royal wards to men known to be loyal.
She travelled the kingdom extensively, dispensing justice and receiving homage, and the nobles obeyed her unhesitatingly, aware of her formidable reputation. She personally transacted the business of court and chancery, using her own seal on official documents. She issued edicts ordering that weights and measures were to be uniform, and that a standard coinage, valid everywhere in the land, was to be issued; these were just and fair measures that benefited trade enormously.
Eleanor was a strong woman, but she was compassionate too. She founded a hospital for the poor, the sick and the infirm.
When visiting lands near Ely, which had been laid under a temporary interdict, she qquitaine appalled to see human bodies lying unburied in a field because their bishop had deprived them of burial. She visited the cottages of the wretched villagers, comforting them in their grief at being deprived asuitaine the sacraments of the Church, and listening with feeling to their accounts of the miseries they had endured. Immediately dropping her own affairs, she went to London and prevailed upon the Bishop to revoke the interdict.
Eleanor was unusually sensitive, for her time, to the privations suffered by the poor. She commanded that the harsh and hated forest laws should be relaxed, and pardoned felons who eleeanor been aliso trespassing or poaching in the royal forests. She curbed the depredations of the sheriffs who were charged with care of the forests, and who had enforced these cruel laws, intimidating them with the threat of severe penalties.
Eleanor was also zealous to see justice done. Once, learning that the knights and tenants of Abingdon Abbey had failed to provide time-honoured service to their abbot, she wrote commanding them to comply. One cannot imagine Eleanor of Aquitaine leaving the brave sailors who had fought in the Armada to starve in the streets.