I read a lot of Jean Plaidy’s historical fiction many years ago, and always enjoyed the stories she wound around the history of former times.
We may deplore the lack of morals today, but if we can believe Jean Plaidy, then medieval times were far more scandalous.
Eleanor of Aquitaine, a central character in this story, was quite a woman! Married to King Louis of France, she found him weak and insipid, and once she had borne him two children, she took lovers as she pleased. She managed to wrangle a divorce and moved on to marry a lusty man she found more to her liking. This, and how it changed history, is the basis for this book.
I found the story interesting, particularly for its historical content. I had watched the documentary ‘Europe’s Last Warrior Kings’ on SBS, which recounted how, a thousand years ago, King Edward the Confessor died without an heir. Earl Harold then became King Harold 1st of England. After fighting off an attack from the Viking King, Harald Hardrada, who fancied the crown for himself, he was then invaded by William, Duke of Normandy. Harold was defeated and killed at the famous Battle of Hastings in 1066. Thus began the reign of William the Conqueror.
All this I remembered, but then there was then a period from William’s death until the first of the Plantagenets, King Harold 2nd, ascended to the throne in 1154.
What happened in those years?
That is what Jean Plaidy tells us in this book, and if you like history you will enjoy it.
I give this book three stars