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Power of a Woman. Memoirs of a Turbulent Life: Eleanor of Aquitaine Paperback – 13 Feb 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 398 pages
  • Publisher: Shillingstone Press; First Printed Edition edition (13 Feb. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0978062140
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978062149
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,455,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"A great read! Gripping. I have images of Eleanor in my mind and Kate Hepburn's voice in my ear." -- Ronni's Rants. A blog by Veronica Prior, Round Rock, Texas

"Read this book from love of language! I suspect Robert Fripp descends from one of Eleanor's troubadours. -- Margaret Schmidt, Public seminars instructor, Newberry Library, Chicago Margaret Schmidt, Public seminars instructor, Newberry Library, Chicago

"Skillful prose. Fripp's style reminds me of 'I, Claudius', huge praise in this reviewer's eyes." -- Yahoo Groups, The Lion in Winter Group, posted by Medeas_Child

Fripp brings Eleanor of Aquitaine to life. I am amazed at his ability to know the heart of a woman. -- Lani L. Lila "lila", Chico, California

How captivated I was with "Power of a Woman"! -- Caroline S. Jonas, Toronto

From the Publisher

Robert Fripp has written a first-person life of the astonishing Eleanor of Aquitaine to rival Marguerite Yourcenar's Memoirs of Hadrian and Robert Graves's I, Claudius. Eleanor's woes with her army in the wintry wilds of Anatolia and her escapes from ambushes closer to home even hint at Xenophon's Anabasis. Several customer reviews attest to Fripp's ability to "channel" Eleanor. An exceptional woman of the Middle Ages and "mother" of the House of Plantagenet, she sought to wrest policy in England, France and her Angevin Empire through sixty-seven years of violent change while arguing, fighting, scorning, loving and counseling four kings, two of them her husbands, two of them her sons.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Eleanor of Aquitaine was the daughter of a provincial Duke in France. Twice she married Kings and had many children, although she outlived most of them and several grandchildren, living into her ninth decade, suffering annulment and internal exile. Two of her sons became King of England and, through John "Sansterre", she is the ancestress of every subsequent monarch.
In this book, Robert Fripp does for Eleanor what Graves did for Claudius, as she dictates her "memoirs" to a younger secretary. Most of us know much less about Eleanor than we would like and this is our opportunity to make amends.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author got the voice remarkably well. This book does an excellent job citing who was where when what happened. It sets the sequence of events better than any other book I have read about the period. In addition it is charming. Anyone interested in the Plantagenets should certainly read and enjoy it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read several books on Eleanor of Aquitaine, but this is written from a very different perspective and was a most enjoyable read, and brought Eleanor and her times into perspective.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Enjoyable subject, but I didn't feel this book conveyed how much power Eleanor as a woman actually wielded at the time. Tended to concentrate on facts and felt more like a text book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x94754bb8) out of 5 stars 27 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x975bbbb8) out of 5 stars A Great Read 1 Oct. 2007
By Veronica J. Prior - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"Power of a Woman" brings us an "autobiography" of Eleanor of Aquitaine that is accessible and entertaining! Eleanor was Medieval Europe's most interesting woman. In an age when women were considered a necessary evil, and expected to bear sons and be quiet, she defied tradition. She married two of the most powerful men in Europe, and birthed several more. She went on Crusade. She ruled vast territories. She created a definition of love that survives to this day. Telling her story in Eleanor's voice, Robert Fripp shows us Medieval Europe through her eyes: Crusades, wars, enmities, alliances, eternal subterfuge. Fripp's vision brings the very stones and glass of cathedrals and castles to life. History becomes a tapestry which Eleanor works, stitch by stitch. At eighty-one, she hasn't much time. We feel her urgency, the ache in her knees, the chill in her bones. Will she finish before she dies? Her sorrow of lost love, lost children, lost time is as real as the triumphs of her extraordinary life. Eleanor emerges as a woman of great wisdom, dearly won. A real woman, with a strong sense of her place in this life and the next. What a great read! This is so gripping. I got so totally caught up in this story one night that I woke up with images of Eleanor in my mind, and Kate Hepburn's voice in my ear. I love this story."
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x950db984) out of 5 stars Not really that good 18 Mar. 2009
By jdmcox - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My rating is extra low for two reasons: one, I expected the writing to be worthy of 5 stars and so was sorely disappointed, and two, those 5 star ratings need to be balanced into reality.

Eleanor of Aquitaine had the fascinating life depicted in this book, but she was also famous for her intelligence, which is in no way mirrored here. I'm sure the author is a nice guy, and he did do his homework on Eleanor and the period she lived in, but he's not the right person to be trying to capture the thoughts of such a person as Eleanor of Aquitaine. Dame Dorothy Dunnett or Dame Rebecca West would have done Eleanor proud, I'm sure. And there are probably others out there who could match her intelligence with the facility of expression of the above two authors.

Besides mistakenly presuming he could write from Eleanor of Aquitaine's point of view (a point of view informed by a thoughtful intelligence), he writes full history in the style of mass-market books, and thus should disappoint both the true history buffs (like me), and the mass-market book readers (who don't want so much information).
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94c5fed0) out of 5 stars A Deeper View 28 May 2008
By Richard P. Geer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Robert Fripp's novel/faux memoir has much more multi-layered depth than any of the dozen or more Eleanor books I've read. The characters are richer, the stories and themes have many more angles, and the Eleanor who saw more and aimed higher than the powerful people she played with, really comes through at age 80. It's not the most 'pop' or easy of the books, but it's the richest in its vision, much of it coming from Fripp's journalistic rigour as a former CBC series producer for "The Fifth Estate". He sees very far, in many directions--as did Eleanor.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x975bbdb0) out of 5 stars Great read! 30 April 2012
By Lillian Links - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
What a refrehing way to read history! Lots of facts but from the perspective of one of the most influential, and intriguing, women of all time. Enjoyed it from cover to cover. You really get a sense of who Eleanor of Aquitaine was and what motivated her. Highly recomended.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95fc363c) out of 5 stars A Must Read for History Buffs and Non-Buffs 20 Aug. 2007
By George P. Lynes II - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"Power of a Woman" captures the moment in 1203 when the 80-year old
Eleanor of Aquitaine, near the end of her life and feeling mortal,
reflects on the life she has lived, and the loves and hurts she has
survived. To capture the essence of Eleanor, (queen of first France and
then England, mother of Richard the Lionheart and King John of Magna
Carta fame), the author has successfully parked his gender beside his
name on the title page and written Eleanor's memoirs through the mind of
this medieval woman.

Jane Rady Lynes, NY
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