Plantagenet Princesses

The Daughters of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II

Douglas Boyd

The names of few medieval monarchs and their queens are better known than Eleanor of Aquitaine, uniquely queen of France and queen of England, and her second husband Henry II. Although academically labelled ‘medieval', their era was the violent transition from the Dark Ages, when countries' borders were defined with fire and sword.
Date Published :
May 2020
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Language:
English
Illustration :
20 black and white illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Hardback
ISBN : 9781526743107
Pages : 256
Dimensions : 9.25 X 6 inches
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Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order
$39.95

Overview
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The names of few medieval monarchs and their queens are better known than Eleanor of Aquitaine, uniquely queen of France and queen of England, and her second husband Henry II. Although academically labelled ‘medieval’, their era was the violent transition from the Dark Ages, when countries’ borders were defined with fire and sword. Henry grabbed the English throne thanks largely to Eleanor’s dowry because she owned one third of France.

Their daughters also lived extraordinary lives. If princes fought for their succession to crowns, the princesses were traded – usually by their mothers – to strangers for political power without the bloodshed. Years before what would today be marriageable age, royal girls were despatched to countries whose speech was unknown to them and there became the property of unknown men; their duty the bearing of sons to continue a dynasty and daughters who would be traded in their turn.

Some became literal prisoners of their spouses; others outwitted would-be rapists and the Church to seize the reins of power when their husbands died. Eleanor’s daughters Marie and Alix were abandoned in Paris when she divorced Louis VII of France. By Henry II, she bore Matilda, Aliénor and Joanna. Between them, these extraordinary women and their daughters knew the extremes of power and pain. Joanna was imprisoned by William II of Sicily and worse treated by her brutal second husband in Toulouse. If Eleanor was libelled as a whore, Aliénor’s descendants include two saints, Louis of France and Fernando of Spain. And then there were the illegitimate daughters, whose lives read like novels…

About The Author
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Douglas Boyd has lived in France for forty years. Author of published works that include fourteen volumes of French and Russian history, he is a former BBC TV producer/director who began collecting first-hand accounts of the French experience of Second World War in 1968 while working on television programmes commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1918 Armistice. This book is a fruit of that long research.

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