The Book of Eleanor

The Book of Eleanor - Pamela Kaufman Eleanor of Aquitaine is one of the most interesting figures in history. First duchess of Aquitaine in her own right, then queen of France, then queen of England, she held a great deal of power.This book starts with her imprisonment by her second husband, Henry II of England, in Wales. She asks for parchment to write her story, as she is certain that she will die soon.The book continues in flashback, starting shortly before her investiture with the honors of Aquitaine at age 15. We see a youthful romance, a great deal of strife -- and then an arranged, unwanted and doomed marriage to the hyper-religious Louis of France. The latter had felt a strong vocation to the priesthood and came to the throne most reluctantly upon the death of both father and brother.In any event, it is not Eleanor who is sought by Louis, nor subsequently by Henry: always it is the rich and powerful Duchy of Aquitaine, which Eleanor holds. Forced into both marriages by common convention, she struggles to keep her people safe, even going on Crusade, organizing a rebellion against Henry and more.These are all historical facts that are woven into a rich tale people with entertaining characters. A delightful read all around.