Post-classical history

The Courts of Love: The Story of Eleanor of Aquitaine

The Courts of Love: The Story of Eleanor of Aquitaine

When I look back over my long and tempestuous life, I can see that much of what happened to me—my triumphs and most of my misfortunes—was due to my passionate relationships with men. I was a woman who considered herself their equal—and in many ways their superior—but it seemed that I depended on them, while seeking to be the dominant partner—an attitude which could hardly be expected to bring about a harmonious existence.

Eleanor of Aquitaine was revered for her superior intellect, extraordinary courage, and fierce loyalty. She was equally famous for her turbulent relationships, which included marriages to the kings of both France and England.

As a child, Eleanor reveled in her beloved grandfather’s Courts of Love, where troubadours sang of romantic devotion and passion filled the air. In 1137, at the age of fifteen, Eleanor became Duchess of Aquitaine, the richest province in Europe. A union with Louis VII allowed her to ascend the French throne, yet he was a tepid and possessive man and no match for a young woman raised in the Courts of Love. When Eleanor met the magnetic Henry II, the first Plantagenet King of England, their stormy pairing set great change in motion—and produced many sons and daughters, two of whom would one day reign in their own right.

In this majestic and sweeping story, set against a backdrop of medieval politics, intrigue, and strife, Jean Plaidy weaves a tapestry of love, passion, betrayal, and heartbreak—and reveals the life of a most remarkable woman whose iron will and political savvy enabled her to hold her own against the most powerful men of her time.

Chapter 1. In the Courts of Love

Chapter 2. Queen of France

Chapter 3. Adventures in Strange Lands

Chapter 4. A Royal Divorce

Chapter 5. Henry’s Wife

Chapter 6. Queen of England

Chapter 7. The Beloved Enemy

Chapter 8. The Fair Rosamund

Chapter 9. The Turbulent Priest

Chapter 10. Revolt in the Family

Chapter 11. The Passing of Kings

Chapter 12. Last Days at Chinon

Chapter 13. Richard’s Marriage

Chapter 14. The Road to Chlus

Chapter 15. With Blanca in Castile

Chapter 16. Fontevrault

Bibliography