Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
on 2 October 2017
I was recommended to Elizabeth Chadwick by my sister, who recently died. So I originally began reading it as a nod to her. But thank you dearest Susanne, for the recommendation.
Having read a lot of Philippa Gregory and the Tudor times, it was good to learn a little about their predecessors the Plantaganets. It helps put later history into context.
We follow Alienor from her childhood as the Duke of Aquitaine's daughter and heir, with her hopes and dreams. They are smashed when her Father dies prematurely and she becomes the Duchess of a very rich and powerful land - and a very desirable marriage prospect. Her Father had given thought to that, and arranged for her marriage to Louis vii at the tender age of 13.
We discover what a strong woman she is, accompanying her husband on the Crusades, and the hardship that journey entailed, of her inability to bear sons for him (how I wish these men knew the genetics we now do!), And the eventual breakdown of that marriage, closely followed, for her security, by marriage to Henry of Anjou, though this time arranged by her.
Chadwick has researched the history thoroughly and writes in an easy style, dare I say it, similar to Gregory. The comparison is only because I came to her first.
If you like to learn of our history but don't want to wade through s text book, I can recommend this book -you'll find you're flicking through Google whilst reading it to get more background too!