Courts of Love: The Story of Eleanor of Aquitaine

Jean Plaidy, Author Putnam Publishing Group $35.17 (383p) ISBN 978-0-399-13294-0
This fifth volume in the Queens of England Series is devoted to Eleanor of Aquitaine. Evoking the beautiful, tempestuous and sensual woman who divorced the King of France and married the King of England, Plaidy employs the ingratiating domestic details that are characteristic of her historical storytelling. Despite a hobbling first-person narrative that tends to repetition, the novel is dramatic in the sweep of its background and in the vividly realized events of Eleanor's long life. Raised with the Provencal languor of the courtly love tradition in her native Aquitaine, her beauty the toast of jongleurs, Eleanor relieves the tedium of her marriage to the pious French King Louis by daringly joining the Crusaders. She further shocks by pursuing her attraction to unattractive Henry Plantagenet, lured as much by the English crown as by the mutual sensuality that produces her favorite son, the enigmatic Richard the Lionhearted. Later, ambitious, headstrong Eleanor locks wills with Henry, leading to her imprisonment for many years. Even then, Eleanor remains central to the tumultuous epoch that witnessed the murder of Thomas a Becket and other royal infamies. Plaidy's prose style is serviceable at best, lacking in grace and nuance. Readers who enjoy easily accessible historical fiction, however, will find Eleanor's story adequately told. (February)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1988
Release date: 02/01/1988
Analog Audio Cassette - 1200 pages - 978-1-85695-222-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-449-21657-6
Open Ebook - 319 pages - 978-0-307-34707-7
Paperback - 561 pages - 978-1-4000-8250-6
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