The Rain Maiden

Jill Phillips, Author Citadel Press $16.95 (592p) ISBN 978-0-8065-1008-8
At the age of 14, Isabel of Hainault, a 12th century descendant of Charlemagne, comes to France to wed King Philippe-Auguste. A political pawn, disliked by the populace and a virtual prisoner in her Parisian palace, Isabel is confronted by cynical intrigue within an incendiary family situation. Her homosexual husband has stripped his mother, Adele, of her lands and titles. Jealous Adele tears Isabel's jewels from her throat and continues her hostility. Isabel will be dead within six years; Philippe marries twice more. The novel touches on the Crusades, the building of Notre-Dame de Paris and unearthed vestiges of a Druid cult. Phillips (Misfit: The Films of Montgomery Clift, a sturdy researcher, combines near-encyclopedic chunks of historical narrativemany taken directly from early documentswith hard-breathing love scenes. Precocious Isabel enjoys her father and her uncle before managing to seduce her husband; political moves are often ratified in the bedrooms of monarchs and minions. A glossary of medieval words is included, but in view of the vast numbers of characters sweeping through these pages, readers will wish for genealogical tables. (June 29)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1987
Release date: 06/01/1987
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-944276-18-1
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