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Eleanor Of Aquitaine: By the Wrath of God, Queen of England

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She had already published best selling books about Henry VIII, the Princes in the Tower, Elizabeth I and the Wars of the Roses.

A few of my history friends have read this book and enjoyed it, so I wanted to see what the hype was about regarding this particular title. She said: 'At the age of 14, I was so enthralled by a lurid novel about Katherine of Aragon that I dashed off to read real history books about what I had read. I have always found her an enigmatic and elusive figure, and writing her biography was a labour of love - something I had wanted to do for over a quarter of a century. John of Gaunt would be fascinating - the time of Geoffrey Chaucer, the Hundred Years' War, the fierce and vibrant personalities, the sex and intrigue. After her death in 1437, it passed to King Henry VI, who visited a dozen times over the next twenty years, sometimes staying as long as six weeks.Alison Weir has written a vivid biography which is also an impressive piece of detective work, for she has scrutinised the evidence to produce a credible and balanced account of the life of an extraordinary woman. He then commiserates with them over their failed crusade, and they tell him something of their adventures since leaving the Holy Land. This conversation continues as they wrestle in an urgent embrace, which RAYMOND ends by pulling away.

She was a decade older than Henry, whom she married after ridding herself of the unattractive King Louis of France. This term is sometimes used in a slightly derogatory sense by certain academics, yet there is no good reason for it. Alison Weir`s achievement is to flesh out this remarkable woman from the dry pages of the chronicles and bring to life these turbulent times.Such visits did occur, yet we know nothing of the personal interactions that took place within the Angevin family during them. James Goldman has used what is known of the Plantagenets to paint a credible scenario of the tensions between them: the love-hate relationship between Henry and Eleanor, her contempt for, and fear of, his younger mistress, who also happens to be affianced to Henry's son, Richard the Lionheart, who is portrayed as an anguished man coming to terms with his homosexuality. After the uprising was quelled, in February 1554, Elizabeth was arrested and committed to the Tower of London, where, for three months, she lived in daily fear of being executed, as her cousin Lady Jane Grey had been. Although she retired to the Abbey of Fontravraud in 1194, she kept her finger on the pulse of European affairs.

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