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“Imprisoned by her husband, King Henry II, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of England, refuses to let her powerful husband bully her into submission, even as he forces her away from her children and her birthright. Freed only by Henry's death, Eleanor becomes dowager Queen of England. But the competition for land and power that Henry stirred up among his sons has intensified to a dangerous rivalry.
Eleanor will need every ounce of courage and fortitude as she crosses the Alps in winter to bring Richard his bride, and travels medieval Europe to ransom her beloved son. But even her indomitable spirit will be tested to its limits as she attempts to keep the peace between her warring sons, and find a place in the centres of power for her daughters.”
The third in a trilogy, but easily read as a stand-alone (although I heartily suggest reading the other two, The Summer Queen and The Winter Crown) – who can go wrong with an Elizabeth Chadwick?
Ms Chadwick refers to one of the three most well-known queens (the other two being Elizabeth I and Victoria) Eleanor of Aquitaine as Alienor, which would have been the style of her name during her lifetime. Probably ranked as history’s most formidable and admired queen, this wonderful trilogy follows her fascinating, courageous, and at times tragic and violent, life from the budding of womanhood to old age – via two husbands, the King of France and the King of England, her volatile sons and her used-as-alliance daughters.
The Autumn Throne covers the final thirty years of her long, incredible, life and in this trilogy – this volume included – we have seen these real characters of history who had major roles in her life through a very different perspective. How on earth did this remarkable woman survive all that was thrown at her?
Ms Chadwick’s writing, as always is fluid, entertaining, engrossing and a delight to read. Above all, though, you know that the facts are facts – and given Ms Chadwick’s wonderful skill it is virtually impossible to know what scenes are the facts and what are the imagined fiction, a sure sign of a top-class historical novel.
Definitely a Diamond Read – in my opinion a Koh-i-Noor!
© Anne Holt
© Anne Holt
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