This morning I'm thrilled to start off my week with NEW Author: Christy English here on EBJ. English has written a 'cannot put-it-down' novel on Eleanore and Alais...(upcoming review!!) Today she shares this thought provoking post on who she believes best represents a modern day Eleanore...Read on and then please tell us what you think!
: A Modern Medieval Woman Aquitaine
By Christy English
Author of THE QUEEN’S PAWN
Eleanor of Aquitaine was not a modern woman. She grew up in castles with no light and no heat, with no running water. When her father died, men plotted to kidnap her so that they might steal her duchy while they enjoyed her body, thinking to make themselves Duke of Aquitaine. Throughout her life, she avoided abduction through guile and courage. The few times a man actually managed to abduct her, Eleanor always had a loyal defender to drive him off, her first husband, Louis VII of France, her second husband, Henry II of England, and later her sons, Richard the Lionhearted and King John.
Chroniclers defined Eleanor through whatever man she was married to at the time, or by her sons. I am convinced, however, that no historian, then or now, has ever told the true life story of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Though she was hemmed in by the medieval religious and social strictures all her time, nothing ever stopped Eleanor from doing what she wanted to do. No matter how hard she had to work, or how long she had to wait to achieve a goal, Eleanor of Aquitaine never gave up.
These could easily be modern traits as well. Two notable women come to my mind who embody this kind of courage in our own political era are Michelle Obama and Hilary Rodham Clinton. Neither of these women had doting fathers to train them in the ways of statecraft and to leave them in possession of rich duchies upon his death. But, like Eleanor, both of these women have risen to political power through grit and guile, while supporting the men who helped them rise to power: their husbands.
In my novel, THE QUEEN’S PAWN, Eleanor of Aquitaine has met her political match in her second husband and rival for power, Henry II of
. Though they have been estranged for years and have not shared a bed in almost a decade, she still holds a fascination for him that he is never truly released from. Even as she plots his ruin on the Continent, looking to make her sons’ take over the duchies of England , Aquitaine and Brittany , Henry still loves her. The love Henry and Eleanor bear for each other outlasts time, mistresses and political betrayals. When Henry finally has to lock Eleanor away for the rest of his reign, he knows that if he does not, she will try again to take over his holdings in what is now modern day Normandy . For, in the end, Henry knows Eleanor will never give up; if not kept under lock and key, she would be unstoppable. France
A modern woman with similar grit is Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. Like Eleanor, time and again, she has remade herself politically in her quest for power. Perhaps, when seen in the same light, Eleanor is a modern woman after all.
Now...What did you think of that?!
Penguin Group USA is graciously giving away a copy of The Queen's Pawn, by Christy English to one pf my lucky Followers!!! Thank you Penguin! US Only.
TO ENTER: You MUST be a Follower of this blog:)
For 1 CHANCE: Please comment on Christy's post and let us know who you think is most like Eleanore in today's world.
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EXTRA Chance every time you blog, tweet or FB about this (come back here with your link.
Winner Announced May 2nd.