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Eleanor of Aquitaine

by Sara, QC Cockerill

Eleanor of Aquitaine Synopsis

In the competition for remarkable queens, Eleanor of Aquitaine tends to win. In fact her story sometimes seems so extreme it ought to be made up. The headlines: orphaned as a child, Duchess in her own right, Queen of France, crusader, survivor of a terrible battle, kidnapped by her own husband, captured by pirates, divorced for barrenness, Countess of Anjou, Queen of England, mother of at least five sons and three daughters, supporter of her sons' rebellion against her own husband, his prisoner for fifteen years, ruler of England in her own right, traveller across the Pyrenees and Alps in winter in her late sixties and seventies, and mentor to the most remarkable queen medieval France was to know (her own granddaughter, obviously). It might be thought that this material would need no embroidery. But the reality is that Eleanor of Aquitaine's life has been subjected to successive reinventions over the years, with the facts usually losing the battle with speculation and wishful thinking. In this biography Sara Cockerill has gone back to the primary sources, and the wealth of recent first-rate scholarship, and assessed which of the claims about Eleanor can be sustained on the evidence. The result is a complete re-evaluation of this remarkable woman's even more remarkable life. A number of oft-repeated myths are debunked and a fresh vision of Eleanor emerges. In addition the book includes the fruits of her own research, breaking new ground on Eleanor's relationship with the Church, her artistic patronage and her relationships with all of her children, including her family by her first marriage.

Eleanor of Aquitaine Press Reviews

Impeccably researched and beautifully written, this book offers a fresh perspective on one of the most controversial queens in history. Not to be missed. -- Tracey Borman 'Sara Cockerill's new biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine is a welcome addition to the literature on this fascinating medieval queen. There have been many books on Eleanor, but too many repeat myths and misconceptions about her. Cockerill's careful historical detective-work digs behind the mythology to reveal what we know about the real Eleanor of Aquitaine.' -- Michael Evans, author of Inventing Eleanor This scholarly, well-written book provides a welcome reassessment of the extraordinary life of a woman who was successively queen of France and of England. Sara Cockerill deploys forensic skills in a thoroughly readable study solidly based on the sources. Eleanor of Aquitaine is revealed not as a romantic heroine, but as a woman faced with extraordinary problems, from her unsatisfactory marriage to Louis VII of France, to her turbulent relationship with Henry II of England and her rebellious sons. -- Michael Prestwich, Emeritus Professor of History, Durham University 'Blows the other biographies out of the water!' -- Elizabeth Chadwick, author of The Summer Queen

Book Information

ISBN: 9781445646176
Publication date: 15th November 2019
Author: Sara, QC Cockerill
Publisher: Amberley Publishing
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 448 pages

About Sara, QC Cockerill

Sara Cockerill studied Law at the University of Oxford. Between 1990 and 2017 she was a barrister and later a QC specialising in commercial law. She has had a lifelong interest in English history, which led her to write Eleanor of Castile: The Shadow Queen, the first full-length biography of Edward I's beloved queen. She is married with one cat, and divides her time between London and the seaside.

More About Sara, QC Cockerill

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