My Book Review of Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life From Beginning to End (Biographies of French Royalty)

Eleanor of AquitaineEleanor of Aquitaine: A Life From Beginning to End by Hourly History
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well written Questionable History

I love history. For every life that exists (doesn’t necessarily mean human), there are at least as many stories to be told. Of course, one must be cautious with the sources because 1) truth is subjective and 2) “history is written by the victors” (attributed to Winston Churchill, though that’s even debated).

What I liked was that the author cited multiple sources for the historical data. When things were uncertain, as often is the case with women in particular, the writer clearly stated thus. Fact from fiction is imperative, and I appreciate how the legends are explained with the conjecture versus the known certainties.

What I didn’t like was simply human nature. The drama of Eleanor’s life (and her family) often was self made. The power struggles seemed ridiculous, with many wars causing lost lives and resources senselessly, especially when the alliances kept realigning. The royalty seems to seemed to take their trivial arguments to heightened levels simply because they could. One day, Eleanor loved Louis and hated Henry. The next, she loved Henry and hated Louis. Then, she was back in favor with Louis to fight against Henry for the sake of one son, only to change her mind to have that alliance to battle in the name of another son. I think their brilliance was wasted in their boredom, and they could’ve used their talents for the betterment of society.

As a history buff, I think this was a delight short read, which I recommend. It was well researched and written.
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