Laying next to the tomb effigy of King Henry II in France's Fontevraud Abbey is a curious coffin chiseled in the shape of a young woman in repose. The once-vibrant paint on the effigy is flaking, and several areas of the centuries-old tombs are chipped, but her general features are still somewhat recognizable. The beautiful, crowned queen, depicted with a soft smile on her face, was dressed in a simple but elegant gown in white and blue, an open book in her arms. The effigy is for none other than Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine.
Over the years, this mysterious 12th-century figure has been portrayed in countless ways, from a valiant warrior queen and resourceful politician to a control-obsessed and manipulative siren whose only objective in life was power.
Eleanor of Aquitaine: The Life and Legacy of Medieval Europe’s Most Famous Queen attempts to provide an unbiased look at Eleanor's life by exploring the achievements and trials of the duchess-queen and deconstructing the “black legends” and other compelling tales that continue to envelop her to this day. You will learn about Eleanor of Aquitaine like never before.