Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Biography turned out to be a really, really good book. Books about royalty I always love but this one was exceptional in that it was interesting and engaging. It didn’t read like a bland history book, it read more like a novel.
Marion Meade wrote the book in 1977 so I don’t know if more information about Eleanor has been unearthed but lets hope so. Meade is well researched which she thoroughly documents in the bibliography. She talks about annals and chronicles, making it seem she spent hours upon hours in libraries waiting to see the documents in which she uses as source information about Eleanor Capet Plantagenent.
Eleanor reigned in Aquitaine and England, married the king of France, divorced him, then married the King of England was was 10 years her junior. She gave birth to the majority of her children after age 30, and lived to 80. She died in the early 1200s but not before going on a Crusade, watching 8 of her 10 children die, and headed more than one army, not to mention living as her second husband’s prisoner for 16 years. And during her reign in Aquitaine her court gave us the story of Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot (it’s fiction if you were wondering). She championed courtly love, chivalry, and created the ceremony which new monarchs of England are crowned even to this day. She was even known to have promoted the idea women were the stronger sex and deserved to be worshiped as goddesses.
My next female cat is so being named Eleanor after her.