The Book of Eleanorby Pamela Kaufman
Eleanor of Aquitaine—dazzling Queen of France and England, shrewd politician, passionate lover—has been celebrated throughout history by her contemporaries, descendents, and biographers. You may remember Katharine Hepburn’s Oscar-winning portrayal of Eleanor in The Lion in Winter, or Alison Weir’s recent New York Times bestselling biography of Eleanor. In this mesmerizing new novel by bestselling author Pamela Kaufman, Eleanor’s story springs to life as never before, revealing the complex inner workings of one of the greatest women in history. Torn between her devotion to her chosen lover and her responsibility to her children and their political destinies; headstrong and proud, yet seized as a pawn by power-hungry men—Eleanor is a timeless and gripping heroine. Combining meticulous research with the seductive touch of a master storyteller, Pamela Kaufman speaks to us in Eleanor’s voice, drawing us deeply into the richly textured world of medieval royalty, and into the unforgettable life that has captured imaginations for centuries. This guide is designed to help direct your reading group’s discussion of Kaufman’s stunning The Book of Eleanor.
- Crown Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.54(w) x 9.46(h) x 1.62(d)
Meet the Author
Pamela Kaufman, Ph.D., is the author of the bestselling medieval novels Shield of Three Lions and Banners of Gold. She lives in Los Angeles.
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As a tourism student with a true fascination with European history, I found this novel to be entertaining if not intellectually stimulating. Following her heart-wrenching love-affair, determination to save her children, and her unwillingness to let her beloved Aquitaine be conquered, the reader falls head-over-heels for this tragic Queen. Kaufman weaves a tale of tears, courage, and hope which any fan of History can enjoy and appreciate. I highly recommend this beautiful tapestry of historic fact and fictional glory.
This was a pretty good story, with one of my favourite historical characters ever, but I was very disappointed with some of the portrayals of Eleanor. In a time when most modern historians discredit the scandalous rumours that Eleanor had ever been unfaithful to her husband(s), and when just about every historian (modern and otherwise) can give account that Eleanor was not only willing to marry Henry but very eager, I found this novel to be something of a comedy. The discriptions of her 'courts of love' are lude and unnecessary, the way she manipulated her children in these 'courts' was disgusting, and they tragic but happy ending after her imprisonment made it sound as if everything was simply perfect, but for Eleanor's age, I do say.. please. Great if you love fiction, bad if you like fact.
Eleanor of Aquitaine is without a doubt one of the most intriguing women in history, and various fictional interpretations have been put on her life and character. Pamela Kaufman's Eleanor is strong, assertive, and politically astute. Not easy when you are a woman in the Middle Ages. Miss Kaufman does sacrifice some historical detail in her focus on politics and dialogue, but Eleanor lived a long (82 years) and full life, and lengthy details of costume and setting might have detracted from the narrative. The author does a creditable job in covering Eleanor's marriages to two kings, her passionate love affair with a knight, her relationships with her ten children - not to mention the lady's endless political maneuvering. This is a lively account, with an Eleanor most modern women will love. As an aside: Those who think modern song lyrics are shameless will REALLY blush at some of the ancient verses sung at Eleanor's "court of love".
I have for years been fascinated by the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine, and when this novel came out I wasted no time in reading it. It is a very detailed piece of fiction that is definitely worth the time and money. I have read and own many of the biographies of Eleanor, but this novel has something these historical documents do not contain: the thoughts of Eleanor, so researched and so possibly near to what Eleanor may have been thinking. The Book of Eleanor has also put to light some interesting new theories never put into print in other books. A definite recomendation.