The best books about Eleanor of Aquitaine

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8 authors created a book list connected to Eleanor of Aquitaine, and here are their favorite Eleanor of Aquitaine books.
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Eleanor of Aquitaine

By Marion Meade,

Book cover of Eleanor of Aquitaine

Martin Walker Author Of Bruno, Chief of Police

From the list on Perigord France.

Who am I?

Martin Walker studied history at Oxford, international relations and economics at Harvard, and spent 28 years as journalist and foreign correspondent for Britain's The Guardian newspaper. He divides his time between the USA, Britain and the Perigord region of France, where he produces his own Bergerac red wine, 'Cuvee Bruno'. Martin writes a monthly wine column and is a Grand Consul de la Vinee de Bergerac, a body founded in the year 1254 AD and dedicated to the support of the region’s wines. 

Martin's book list on Perigord France

Discover why each book is one of Martin's favorite books.

Why did Martin love this book?

This may not be the most scholarly book on this extraordinary woman; but it is by far the most readable on the only woman who married both a King of France and King of England, went on Crusade to Jerusalem, and civilized feudalism by sponsoring poets and minstrels and creating the idea of romantic love.

By Marion Meade,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Eleanor of Aquitaine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Marion Meade has told the story of Eleanor, wild, devious, from a thoroughly historical but different point of view: a woman's point of view." Allene Talmey, Vogue.


By Susan Howatch,

Book cover of Penmarric

Caroline Newark Author Of The Making of a Tudor

From the list on historical fiction that don't disappoint in romance.

Who am I?

My love of history began at the age of 9 with a book given to my older brother: Our Island Story. My history teacher at school introduced me to serious historical biography and studying for a Law degree taught me the value of accuracy. The chance discovery of a notebook detailing one strand of my mother's family tree led to my current project of writing about the imagined lives of my female ancestors beginning in 1299  with my 19 times-great-grandmother Marguerite of France and ending in 1942 with my mother. Twenty-one books mean a lot of history and a mountain of research. A very pleasant way to spend my retirement.

Caroline's book list on historical fiction that don't disappoint in romance

Discover why each book is one of Caroline's favorite books.

Why did Caroline love this book?

I adore family sagas. This is a wonderful recreation of the story of the loves and rivalry of the 12th century Plantagenet king Henry II, his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, and their sons. The book is set in the late 19th century and follows the Castallack family who live in a vast Gothic mansion, Penmarric, on the North Cornish coast overlooking the sea. You don't need to know your English history to enjoy the novel but if you finish it wanting more, as I did, you will be delighted to know there are two further books following the story of the Plantagenet kings of England: Cashelmara and The Wheel of Fortune

By Susan Howatch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Penmarric as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the acclaimed author of Cashelmara: the “grippingly readable” New York Times–bestselling saga of a noble English family torn apart (The Sunday Times).

Overlooking the bleak cliffs of Cornwall is Penmarric, the ancestral home of Mark Castallack. The stunning gothic manor is the picture of English nobility, wealth, and comfort. But as the twentieth century unfolds, those behind Penmarric’s towering walls face nothing short of disaster. As Mark and his children struggle to save their home and their aristocratic way of life, they must engage in a bitter fight against greed, ambition, betrayal, and even murder.
Over her forty-year career,…

The Queen's Man

By Sharon Kay Penman,

Book cover of The Queen's Man

Felicity Pulman Author Of Blood Oath

From the list on medieval murders and mysteries.

Who am I?

After enjoying Josephine Tey’s wonderful Daughter of Time, in which she exonerates Richard III from the crime of murdering the princes in the tower, followed by the Brother Cadfael mysteries, I became hooked on historical crimes and decided to try writing them myself! It was quite a challenge researching both the history and the settings from Australia, but the novels became a wonderful excuse for lengthy visits to travel around Great Britain and France. As well as writing the Janna Chronicles, my passion for history has also prompted several other published novels and series, including the Shalott trilogy.

Felicity's book list on medieval murders and mysteries

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Why did Felicity love this book?

Bastard-born Justin de Quincy becomes ‘the Queen’s Man’ after carrying an important letter from a dying man to Eleanor of Aquitaine. He is charged by Eleanor to keep her son John out of mischief and thwart his efforts to become king while she sets about raising the ransom money to bail Richard the Lionheart out of his prison in Austria. As a roving trouble-shooter, Justin is supported by the under-sheriff of Hampshire and a sergeant, Jonas, but things become complicated after he falls for the Lady Claudine, who is close to John, while the Queen’s double agent, Durant, also poses a threat. I enjoyed reading about all the intrigues of the court as Justin solves crimes and murders. 

By Sharon Kay Penman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Queen's Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

England, 1193: a land rife with rumours about the fate of its missing king. Justin de Quincy travels from Winchester to London. With a promise to a dying man, he is plunged into the conspiracy surrounding the disappearence of Richard the Lionheart, and under oath to reveal the truth to the Queen.

Here Be Dragons

By Sharon Kay Penman,

Book cover of Here Be Dragons

E.L. Daniel Author Of All the Gold in Abbotsford

From the list on where the damsel is not always the one in distress.

Who am I?

I am a strong, independent woman (*snaps fingers through the air*), yet I adore a soul-sucking romance. Many might think this is a contradiction, but it’s not! A woman can be both loving and stubborn…both enamored by her partner yet still strong enough to speak up for herself. Sadly, I think historical fiction often defaults to portraying dependent and subjugated women, and this isn’t necessarily wrong—in fact, it’s probably more accurate. However, when I’m getting lost in the magic of a novel, I want to experience the all-consuming love without sacrificing the resiliency and independence of the women involved, and these books spin stories where both outcomes are possible!

E.L.'s book list on where the damsel is not always the one in distress

Discover why each book is one of E.L.'s favorite books.

Why did E.L. love this book?

I seriously enjoy a good “between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place” romance, especially when the female heroine is able to navigate it while staying true to herself. In this one, King John weds his illegitimate but beloved daughter Joanna to his bitter enemy, Llewelyn, Prince of North Wales, in an effort to take Wales under his control. But Joanna loves both of them—father and husband—and is forced time and again to prove her loyalty to one side or the other, until neither faction supports her in return. While this definitely portrays the helplessness that many medieval women faced, often experiencing a forced marriage for some political purpose or other, Joanna’s courage, bravery, and sense of self in the face of so much conflict were inspiring and so addicting to read about.

By Sharon Kay Penman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Here Be Dragons as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An absorbing historical novel of power and betrayal, loyalty and political intrigue in thirteenth-century England, Wales and France, centring on King John of England, younger brother to the brilliant Richard Lionheart, Joanna, his illegitimate but recognised daughter and Llewellyn Ab Iowerth, Prince of Gwynedd, a bitter opponent of English ways, laws and encroachment into Wales who becomes Joanna's husband.

Heroines of the Medieval World

By Sharon Bennett Connolly,

Book cover of Heroines of the Medieval World

J.P. Reedman Author Of Dangereuse

From the list on lesser-known medieval queens and noblewomen.

Who am I?

Since early childhood I have had a passion for medieval times. I can remember climbing my first castle keep at 4. I became particularly interested in lesser-known medieval queens and noblewomen when I moved to Amesbury in Wiltshire—and found out that Eleanor of Provence, wife of Henry III, was buried somewhere in the grounds of the nearby rest home, her grave lost since the Reformation. I wrote a novel on her life which became more successful than I could have ever imagined, and now I am a full-time author writing further novels about medieval women, as well as the Wars of the Roses…and Stonehenge.

J.P.'s book list on lesser-known medieval queens and noblewomen

Discover why each book is one of J.P.'s favorite books.

Why did J.P. love this book?

Sharon Bennett Connolly’s book covers important women who lived throughout the Middle Ages, including many who are very little known. The style is easy to read and never dry, and leaves you eager to research these women more. Included are Nicholaa, a woman Sheriff and Constable, and Maude who spoke out against ‘bad King John’ and paid with her life. Some of the stories almost feel like fiction they are so dramatic…but all are true!

By Sharon Bennett Connolly,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Heroines of the Medieval World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

These are the stories of women, famous, infamous and unknown, who shaped the course of medieval history. The lives and actions of medieval women were restricted by the men who ruled the homes, countries and world they lived in. It was men who fought wars, made laws and dictated religious doctrine. It was men who were taught to read, trained to rule and expected to fight. Today, it is easy to think that all women from this era were downtrodden and obedient housewives, whose sole purpose was to give birth to children (preferably boys) and serve their husbands. Heroines of…

The Cloistered Lady

By Coirle Mooney,

Book cover of The Cloistered Lady

Lee Swanson Author Of Her Dangerous Journey Home

From the list on medieval fiction with fierce female protagonists.

Who am I?

My first recollection of a fascination with medieval history occurred while watching Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood. I soon exhausted our school library’s limited selection of tales of kings and castles. Much later, a history degree and decades spent in Germany and England allowed me to delve deeply into historical research, gaining a specialized knowledge into the areas in which I was most interested. I am particularly fascinated with the lives of women, most of whom medieval chroniclers relegate to a brief mention as wives and mothers. There are clearly stories here yet to be told and I am always excited to learn of new scholarship.

Lee's book list on medieval fiction with fierce female protagonists

Discover why each book is one of Lee's favorite books.

Why did Lee love this book?

Eleanor of Aquitaine is certainly one of the most formidable women of the Middle Ages; not just because she was queen to two kings, but because she had the courage to openly defy them both.

Consequently, I raced to order Coirle Mooney’s first novel in her The Medieval Ladies series, followed quickly by the second, The Cloistered Lady. I absolutely love the author’s ability to craft vivid descriptions of time and place, especially the uncommon setting of the nunnery at Fontrevault. Joanna, Queen Eleanor’s lady-in-waiting, is a delightfully complex character.

Like Christina Kohl in my series, she is wonderfully human; but her fears and shortcomings are balanced out by her sometimes-surprising strength and compassion. I enjoyed all three novels in the series, but this one most of all.

By Coirle Mooney,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Cloistered Lady as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An enchanting historical drama set in Medieval France! For fans of Philippa Gregory, Elizabeth Chadwick, Carol McGrath and Anne O’Brien.

Joanna and Alice are forced from dazzling court life to bleak confinement…

1173, France

Eleanor of Aquitaine has been arrested for rebelling against her husband, King Henry II of England.

Her loyal ladies-in-waiting, Alice and Joanna of Agen have fled to the nunnery at Fontrevault, where they are anxiously awaiting news of their queen.

Alice and Joanna struggle to adapt to their cramped new home at the Abbey. Each is secretly nursing a broken heart – and harbouring unholy desires.…