I am surprised by some of the criticisms of this book. True, there would appear to be very little source material to give a detailed description of the life and character of the heroine, but the book is so much more than that. Alison Weir is to be greatly complemented for her rigorous refusal to speculate or invent salacious details where no evidence exists. She shows herself, yet again, to be a careful and fair historian. Where there is doubt she openly sets out the competing versions and states her own conclusion. You may not always agree, but at least you can decide for yourself. The true value of this book is that it charts the uneasy and capricious relations between England and Royal France at a (or even "the") key period of the development of both nations as we know them today. The fascination is that Eleanor knew all the key players well, found herself in such wildly differing camps, and was present (even if in the background) at so many key events. It is fair to say that the book might be more accurately titled "England and France during the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine", but that is hardly a substantial criticism. The details of expenditure on Eleanor's personal items are of value in that they show the extent to which she was, or was not, in the King's favour at different times. I would not describe the book as dry. It is factual in parts, but it is a history book and the learning is worn lightly. One remarkable achievement is that you do not lose track of the complex familial relations of the main players. This book has encouraged me to read further about this fascinating era. It is another excellent book from Alison Weir and I would recommend it unhesitatingly to anyone interested in this period.