Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Four Kings

Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Four Kings

By: Amy Kelly (author)Paperback

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The story of that amazingly influential and still somewhat mysterious woman, Eleanor of Aquitaine, has the dramatic interest of a novel. She was at the very center of the rich culture and clashing politics of the twelfth century. Richest marriage prize of the Middle Ages, she was Queen of France as the wife of Louis VII, and went with him on the exciting and disastrous Second Crusade. Inspiration of troubadours and trouveres, she played a large part in rendering fashionable the Courts of Love and in establishing the whole courtly tradition of medieval times. Divorced from Louis, she married Henry Plantagenet, who became Henry II of England. Her resources and resourcefulness helped Henry win his throne, she was involved in the conflict over Thomas Becket, and, after Henry's death, she handled the affairs of the Angevin empire with a sagacity that brought her the trust and confidence of popes and kings and emperors. Having been first a Capet and then a Plantagenet, Queen Eleanor was the central figure in the bitter rivalry between those houses for the control of their continental domains-a rivalry that excited the whole period: after Henry's death, her sons, Richard Coeur-de-Lion and John "Lackland" (of Magna Carta fame), fiercely pursued the feud up to and even beyond the end of the century. But the dynastic struggle of the period was accompanied by other stirrings: the intellectual revolt, the struggle between church and state, the secularization of literature and other arts, the rise of the distinctive urban culture of the great cities. Eleanor was concerned with all the movements, closely connected with all the personages; and she knew every city from London and Paris to Byzantium, Jerusalem, and Rome. Amy Kelly's story of the queen's long life-the first modern biography-brings together more authentic information about her than has ever been assembled before and reveals in Eleanor a greatness of vision, an intelligence, and a political sagacity that have been missed by those who have dwelt on her caprice and frivolity. It also brings to life the whole period in whose every aspect Eleanor and her four kings were so intimately and influentially involved. Miss Kelly tells Eleanor's absorbing story as it has long waited to be told-with verve and style and a sense of the quality of life in those times, and yet with a scrupulous care for the historic facts.

About Author

Amy Ruth Kelly (1877-1962) was Associate Professor of English at Wellesley College until her retirement in 1943.


1. The Rich Dower 2. O Paris! 3. Via Crucis 4. Fear the Greeks 5. Antioch the Glorious 6. Jerusalem 7. The Queen and the Duke 8. The Countess and the Poet 9. The Second Crown 10. Forging the Empire 11. King and Archbishop 12. Becket in Exile 13. Montmirail and Canterbury 14. The Flower of the World 15. The Court of Poitiers 16. Henry and His Sons 17. Sedition 18. Poor Prisoner 19. The Christmas Court 20. War Was in His Heart 21. Henry Revokes His Lands 22. The Fallen Elm of Gisors 23. The Lion Heart Is King 24. The Sicilian Interlude 25. Things Done Overseas 26. Shipwreck and Disguise 27. Eleanor Queen of England 28. The Ransom 29. Captive and Betrayer 30. The Treasure of Chalus 31. Lackland's Portion 32. Blanche and Isabella 33. Mirebeau 34. The Hope of Brittany 35. The Queen Goes Home Notes Bibliography Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780674242548
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 448
  • ID: 9780674242548
  • weight: 590
  • ISBN10: 0674242548

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