From the Author
Previous biographies of Eleanor have presented her as a shadowy, unscrupulous French duchess on the make. This is because medieval historians relied until recently on the misogynistic celibate chroniclers, who relished unsubstantiated sexual scandal as a way of diminishing a powerful woman.
My study of new sources, including contemporary troubadour poetry written in Occitan Eleanors first language reveals a very different person. In the first place, she wasnt French. Secondly, she was effectively the queen of her own Mediterranean people before marrying Louis VII and Englands Henry I.
Why did she go on the Second Crusade? Why did she have eleven children? Why did she risk everything to rebel against Henry and pay the price of fifteen years deprivation of liberty? What happened when her son Richard the Lionheart died? These and many other questions are answered for the first time. And in the process, one of English historys great dilemmas is resolved: Henrys appointment of his chancellor Becket as archbishop of Canterbury and Beckets murder.
Why do I call her the April Queen? You have to read the book to find out!
About the Author
Douglas Boyd is a linguist, novelist, screenwriter and writer of non-fiction. After working for the Rank Organisation negotiating film rights, he began work at the BBc, where he worked as an administrator, then an Assistant Producer of Outside Broadcasts and finally as a Producer/Director, based in Manchester, where he made three series of historical documentaries.