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Eleanor of Aquitaine, gueen of France and later of England, lived at a time when women had few rights, yet she become one of the key political figures of the twelfth century. The mother of both Richard the Lionhearted and the villainous King John, Eleanor was responsible for disturbing the balance of power in Europe when she divorced the king of France to marry Henry Plantagenet--a disruption that required 300 years of warfare to remedy. Her life was played out against the tumult of the Crusades, the struggle between the Church and the state, and the burgeoning of a European feminist movement. Marion Meade skillfully negotiates the labyrinthine complexities of the era to give us a scholarly, exceptionally readable biography of a woman the male-dominated historical records called everything from bitch, to harlot, to monster--an indefatigable woman of enormous intelligence and titanic energy who refused to be bound by the restrictions of her sex.
"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.
Marion Meade is the author of Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This? and Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin: Writers Running Wild in the Twenties. She has also written biographies of Woody Allen, Buster Keaton, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Victoria Woodhull, and Madame Blavatsky, as well as two novels about medieval France.