Eleanor of Aquitaine was born in The exact date and place were not recorded; she was a daughter and not expected to matter enough for such details to be remembered. William's father and Aenor's mother had been lovers, and while they were both married to others, they saw that their children were married. Eleanor had two siblings. Eleanor's younger sister was Petronilla. They had a brother, also William Guillaume , who died in childhood, apparently shortly before Aenor died. Eleanor's father was reportedly looking for another wife to bear a male heir when he suddenly died in In July , just a few months after the death of her father, Eleanor of Aquitaine married Louis, heir to the throne of France.
He became the King of France when his father died less than a month later. During the course of her marriage to Louis, Eleanor of Aquitaine bore him two daughters, Marie and Alix. Eleanor, with an entourage of women, accompanied Louis and his army on the Second Crusade. Rumors and legends abound as to the cause, but it's clear that on the voyage to the Second Crusade, Louis and Eleanor drew apart. Their marriage failing -- perhaps largely because there was no male heir -- even the Pope's intervention couldn't heal the rift.
He granted an annulment in March , on the grounds of consanguinity. Henry was the Duke of Normandy through his mother, Empress Matilda , and count of Anjou through his father. He was also the heir to the throne of England as settlement of the conflicting claims of his mother Empress Matilda Empress Maud , daughter of Henry I of England, and her cousin, Stephen, who had seized the throne of England at Henry I's death. Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II had three daughters and five sons. Eleanor and Henry sometimes traveled together, and sometimes Henry left Eleanor as regent for him in England when he traveled alone.
In , Henry's sons rebelled against Henry, and Eleanor of Aquitaine supported her sons. Legend says that she did this in part as revenge for Henry's adultery. In fact, it reminded me how much I liked Eleanor's story although my knowledge was limited. Thus, I decided to look up a non-fictional book about her life at my local library. I was quite happy with my choice. The book delivered my much needed overview without being too dry. Luckily, it also explained all the geographical aspects of her time because the kept on confusing me.
In the end, the book has the problem nearly all non I recently saw an theater adaption of The Lion in Winter and loved it. In the end, the book has the problem nearly all non-fictional works of this time have: there are hardly any remaining sources concerning her life. Unfortunately, sometimes it dwelled on random facts just because there was a document to talk about.
I would have liked it more if the booked had skipped those information.
Eleanor of Aquitaine - Wikipedia
All in all, great book that satisfied my need to know more about Eleanor of Aquitaine. Most likely, I'll pick up another book about her sons soon. Sep 10, Elizabeth rated it it was amazing Shelves: research-shelf. I've given this 5 stars despite a few caveats such as Turner stating that Geoffrey of Anjou drowned and went on the 2nd crusade, neither of which are true. However, as a general overview it's one of the few biographies around that goes even half way to doing Eleanor justice.
This one at least stays on the side of sanity when it comes to the matter of Eleanor's affairs and p I've given this 5 stars despite a few caveats such as Turner stating that Geoffrey of Anjou drowned and went on the 2nd crusade, neither of which are true. This one at least stays on the side of sanity when it comes to the matter of Eleanor's affairs and political clout.
Until Jane Martindale publishes a biography of Eleanor, this, although flawed, is one of the best around. View all 4 comments. Mar 21, Jodi rated it it was ok.
Appearance is rather scholarly but there were some frustrations. In the first 63 pages, the author mentioned 48 times yes, you can tell how much it annoyed me that I went back to count that Eleanor benefited from the example of all the powerful women who preceded her in a time period when there were no powerful women. The author often seemed to want it both ways. For example, Turner painstakingly informs us many times that Eleanor did not have a relationship with her younger son, John, du Appearance is rather scholarly but there were some frustrations.
For example, Turner painstakingly informs us many times that Eleanor did not have a relationship with her younger son, John, due to various events in their lives including her house arrest for over 15 years and her support of Richard over him then suddenly he comes to save her when she is in a besieged castle because of the strong feelings he had for her.
Sure needed some more proof for that to be the reason—which more than likely was because even John would have been aware of how important Eleanor was to him politically. Lots of notes and a thorough bibliography do Turner credit. Jan 17, Sarah Finch rated it it was amazing Shelves: re-reading. This is an exceptionally well-researched portrait of Eleanor of Aquitaine as well as of the times she lived in and why her reputation was besmirched for so many centuries.
Astonishingly, Turner is able to do this in just over pages. Equally as impressive is how he balances the scholarly tone with straightforward writing that never leaves the reader playing catch-up. Turner's goal is simple: to show Eleanor as a real, human woman and not ascribe modern mores or motives onto her actions. He ar This is an exceptionally well-researched portrait of Eleanor of Aquitaine as well as of the times she lived in and why her reputation was besmirched for so many centuries. He argues she is not a proto-feminist, a wanton woman, or any other label that twentieth-century biographers stuck on her.
She was simply Eleanor, and thanks to Turner her life speaks for itself. Aug 04, Julie rated it it was ok Shelves: history. I was excited to read this biography, but I stopped about 50 pages into it because the author just kept repeating the same things.
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And hinting over and over about what was to come later. He acknowledged at the start of the book that relatively little was known about her, and then tried to stretch it into pages. View 1 comment. Oct 02, Jared Pechacek rated it liked it. Tricky things, aren't they. You gotta stick to the facts and still convey some sense of the person behind them. If the person lived recently enough, you have their own writings to draw from for that. But if they didn't, you're forced to construct your own interpretation of their personality based on the detritus left by the parade of history. You can do this and still remain true to the facts, or you can stolidly present only the facts and end up where Ralph V.
Turner ends up: wit So. Turner ends up: with a biography that, while factually correct, is extremely dry and presents Eleanor of Aquitaine more as a succession of dates and titles than a human being. Eleanor was a queen, a duchess, a countess, wife of kings and mother of more, so it's not really surprising that most of what we know about her is her political acts.
Eleanor of Aquitaine
And there are a lot: she didn't exactly keep all her thoughts trapped in her wimples. To his credit, Turner's work reconsiders her not as some sort of manipulative temptress, but as a tough, complex woman with her own agenda, whose intrigues helped shape modern Europe. The problem is that he focuses too much on that agenda, expressed as a series of battles and marriages and betrayals, and on dispelling rumors, that he seems to forget there's a human person at the heart of all this history.
When Eleanor chooses to rebel against her husband Henry II, for example, Turner hardly mentions any causes beyond "she wanted Aquitaine to remain independent", which is fine—but when after his death she devotes all her energies to keeping his empire intact, he can offer no explanation for the switch. In Turner's hands, Eleanor doesn't feel like a woman who lived, but as a motivating force, like the Church or Chivalry.
He also does very little to place us in the world he's writing about. That's not a necessity, but there was a lot going on in 12th century France and it wasn't all fighting. What did Eleanor eat? What might she have worn?
What was a day in her life like? Even if he's unwilling to speculate about her inner life, he could at least give us a sense of her outer one. But no, it's all events, and frequently, she isn't even at the center. Part of this, I'm sure, is due to the absence of documents from the era. And Turner, which I'm thankful for, doesn't try to fill in the gaps with too much supposition; he sticks to sources from the era and offers reinterpretations where necessary.
It's not like we have a diary or anything to go by. But I want more about her than he's willing to give. At times, it's as if his real goal is a chronicle of medieval Western Europe, not a life of Eleanor of Aquitaine. And that does a disservice to both her and his audience. Aug 18, Eve rated it it was amazing. See the mountain of sources used for it and probably the closest to the truth about Eleanor you can find.
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And to those people I want to say The black legends are numerous and have been living since her own lifetime as seen in the last chapter. Turner still manages to be pedagogical enough to guide us through the complicated jungle of medieval sources. Part of it being easier to understand even if it can get a bit too much at times is through repeating facts told before and not demand you remember every tiny detail he presents.
It also ties the story together better.
11 Facts About Eleanor of Aquitaine
And what a queen she was! Fearless and not backing away from breaking barriers. A badass queen who ruled on the Central European map.
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Not an adulterer. Not a bejeweled trophy wife. A political animal. A loving mother. A guardian of Aquitaine. Eleanor is allegedly my great, great, great, great yeah you get the idea.. I do want her story to be told for who she really was and through this for me to know where I and many many many other people come from. Thank you Ralph for writing such a piece! This is the future. Mar 21, Lara Lee rated it liked it. I have another biography to review and this of the controversial Eleanor of Aquitaine.
This biography was a bit difficult for me to get through, not because of the writer, but because I have absolutely nothing in common with Eleanor. I think if we met in person that we would find it difficult to have anything to talk about at all. Interesting read, but not my favorite biography. May 22, Karin Pearson rated it liked it. I became quite interested in Eleanor of Aquitaine after reading numerous novels about her. I was excited to see this biography as I was keen to learn more of the facts as opposed to fiction of the amazing woman that she was.
Other than information on Eleanors father and grandfather, I didn't learn very much I became quite interested in Eleanor of Aquitaine after reading numerous novels about her. Other than information on Eleanors father and grandfather, I didn't learn very much that was new which told me the "fiction" I had read was very close to facts anyway and much easier to read. I gave this book 3 stars simply because all in all, I am a huge fan of this woman and generally enjoy anything written about her.
Shelves: Oh goodness.