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The Summer Queen (Eleanor of Aquitaine trilogy) Hardcover – 20 Jun 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (20 Jun 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847445454
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847445452
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 4.2 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 121,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Chadwick has written over 20 historical novels sold in 18 languages worldwide. Her first novel, The Wild Hunt, won a Betty Trask Award, and The Scarlet Lion was nominated by Richard Lee, founder of the Historical Novel Society, as one of the top ten historical novels of the last decade. Elizabeth's nineteenth novel, To Defy a King, won the RNA Historical Novel Prize in 2011. THE SUMMER QUEEN, the first novel in her stunning Eleanor of Aquitaine trilogy, will be followed by THE WINTER CROWN and THE AUTUMN THRONE.

Find out more at, Facebook/elizabeth.chadwick and on twitter: @Chadwickauthor

Product Description


Meticulous research and strong storytelling. The first in a trilogy about the passions and scandals in the 12th-century French court (Woman & Home)

A rich and compelling read (Candis)

Engrossingly written and well researched (Choice)

Uses authentic period detail to bring to life a new queen and the drama and intrigue surrounding her (France Magazine)

Book Description

The epic first novel in a magnificent trilogy unveiling the fascinating and misunderstood young queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, from New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Chadwick

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Steven Leppard on 2 Sep 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the first Elizabeth Chadwick Book I have read and the fact it was the first of a trilogy about Eleanor Of Aquitaine, interested me as I have always admired and respected this lady, who was without doubt an excellent ruler in her own right and held England during the absence of Richard the Lion heart. The story begins with both Eleanor and her sister Petronella as young girls very much at the mercy of others dreams and ambitions. very quickly Eleanor grasps the reality of the situation and realises she can do no other than grasp her destiny with both hands whilst keeping a watchful eye on Petronella, who very much resembled their grandmother. Elizabeth Chadwick clearly shows a very keen and detail eye on the events, meeting Louie of France marrying him, beginning her personal rule as Duchess of Aquitaine and Queen of France , accompanying him to the Holy Land and the adventures she had . I was very intrigued to read this and could not put it down as it is written with clarity facts and humour, the essence of Eleanor herself, a beautifully blended beginning o f the trilogy, ending up with the divorce of Louie an s meeting and marrying Henry of Anjou, becoming Queen of England. my only regret is I have to wait for the second book, The winter Crown, which picks off where The Summer Queen ends. I have just bought Lady of the English by Elizabeth Chadwick and will be reading it shortly. I like her style of writing. I would most definitely recommend the Summer Queen to lovers of History and in particular hose who like me have an interest, respect and admiration for Queen Eleanor and Duchess of Aquitaine
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Misfit TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 24 Jun 2013
Format: Hardcover
The Summer Queen is the first in a planned trilogy based on the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine (or Alienor as she is called here). After the glut of Eleanor novels a couple of years ago, this review is written with the assumption that most readers are familiar with Eleanor's history. This review will discuss those known events freely and might be a bit spoilerish for those new to the period, so consider yourself warned.

Arranged marriages can't have been easy under the best of circumstances, but Louis and Alienor had so many things against them from the get-go: raised to the church until his older brother dies, having to take the throne earlier than expected upon his father's death, political treachery and double dealing, and worst of all everyone waiting and watching for the heir that never arrives (it's all the woman's fault you know). And then something happens that completely changes Louis and he's forever changed and more devoted to the church than before (and not in a good way).

"What she saw now was a querulous man, old before his time, full of righteous anger, his guilt and self-loathing twisting within him, so that all the ills of the world became the sins of the nearest scapegoat."

That return home was compelling stuff. And then we get to the crusade - quite an adventure just getting there, let alone what happened when Alienor wanted to cut ties there and take shelter with Uncle Raymond (no, not that - get your mind out of the gutter!). That Thierry is one nasty eunuch is all I'm saying...

The latter part of the novel revolves around the failed marriage, obtaining the annulment, and of course this:

"The Count of Anjou and his son are come to Paris to discuss the situation..."

Can I say how much a loved the portrayal of Henry?
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65 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Kate TOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 Jun 2013
Format: Hardcover
I have been longing to read The Summer Queen - the beginning to a trilogy dedicated to my favourite female figure of history written by one of the finest writers of historical fiction. As this wonderful novel proves, Eleanor is in safe hands. But it's not just Eleanor (here called Alienor, the name Eleanor would have been known by) who comes alive here, her sister Petronella, Louis of France and the young Henry of Anjou and others all fill the pages with life and colour. A fabulous novel.

The marriage between Alienor and Louis, begun when Alienor was just 13, famously ended in a divorce that shocked Christendom but here we are shown one possible path that led to that split. It isn't just persuasive, it is utterly gripping! Here, Louis changes through the pages as he seeks to reconcile himself and his marriage to God. It is a thoroughly disturbing portrait of a young man who alters almost entirely, leaving his young wife in a perilous psychological and physical position. How Alienor deals with this quite complex behaviour (in France and on crusade) from a man she once could have loved dearly is powerful stuff. Throw in a whole new interpretation of Petronella, an intriguing character here given her due by Elizabeth Chadwick, and you have a novel that you will not want to put down.

It is Alienor who shines throughout The Summer Queen. We are left in no doubt that she would have been seen as someone out of the ordinary and the fact that she was both Duchess of Aquitaine and Queen of France can only have added to the allure of her beauty, wit and intelligence. Above all, though, she is determined and in this she contrasts with her sister, Petronella. Alienor is resolute and focused, one eye turned on Aquitaine, the other turned inwards.
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