A biography of the twelfth-century queen—first of France, then of England—who was the wife of Henry II and mother of several notable sons, including Richard the Lionhearted.
Accused of being a demon by those who could not tolerate her female independence, Eleanor of Aquitaine made her mark as one of the most dynamic and extraordinary figures of the Middle Ages. Born in 1122, Eleanor refused to be confined by the traditional gender roles of the time. She became a well-educated woman, gaining political and governing savvy by observing her father, William X, Duke of Aquitaine, and by acquiring the skills to become an influential queen of France, and later, queen of England.
With an impact that reached beyond politics, Eleanor shaped the future for the arts and humanities. And in a time when women were viewed as inferior to men, the virtues of chivalry and courtly love were born.
Once described by a contemporary as "a woman beyond compare," Eleanor of Aquitaine is a figure who will remain controversial, powerful, and enchanting well into the twenty-first century.
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