Fabulous book! Couldn't put it down!
I've read several of Jean Plaidy's books; this one seemed to drag for me. I was a bit disappointed, because I have heard so much about the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine and I was looking forward to reading Plaidy's interpretation. The first half was definitely better...I found Eleanor's childhood and young adulthood experiences fascinating. However, the last third or so was more about her children. I found the style of the last third tiresome and somewhat rushed: "this happened, and this happened, and then that happened..." It was annoying, and by this point, I couldn't wait to get done with the book.
I could just not get into this one. I felt completely apathetic towards Eleanor and don't even care to see what happens to her... I'd sadly rather read about it in a textbook, since I found the personality Plaidy gave her to be rather horrid. So I have posted it and am moving on.
English history intrigues me so I greatly injoyed this book about Eleanor of Acquitaine, who lived in the 12 century during a fascinating period - when the Church was even more powerful than kings and when going off on crusades to save the Holy Land was considered the height of glory. Eleanor was a gutsy lady - way ahead of her time - who sounds like she would have done very well living in the 21st century instead of the 12th. But nevertheless she managed to make quite a mark for herself as it was - married to two kings (Louis VII of France and Henry II of England) and mother of two more (Richard the Lion-hearted and John.) She had nine children and had most of them taken away while they were very young to be raised elsewhere because their betrothals -and in some cases their weddings -took place purely for political reasons. Although this book was a novel, it was carefully researched (The bibliography alone took up two full pages)and appeared to stick pretty closely to the facts without a lot of embellishment. Which makes sense. The period itself was colorful enough and so was Eleanor's life. No need to make up plots and invent details when what really happened was so fascinating. [close]
Another very engrossing book by Jean Plaidy! Eleanor of Aquitaine's life was very interesting and took many twists and turns. 550 pages went by very quickly!