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Eleanor of Aquitaine, as It Was Said

Truth and Tales about the Medieval Queen

A reparative reading of stories about medieval queen Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Much of what we know about Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of France and then Queen of England, we know from recorded rumor—gossip often qualified by the curious phrase “It was said” or the love songs, ballads, and romances that gossip inspired. While we can mine these stories for evidence about the historical Eleanor, Karen Sullivan invites us to consider, instead, what even the most fantastical of these tales reveal about this queen and about life as a twelfth-century noblewoman. This book paints a fresh portrait of a singular medieval queen and the women who shared her world.

Table of Contents

I. The Heiress: Consent in Marriage
         The King of France
         The Demon Wife
         The King of England
II. The Crusader: Infidelity, Marital and Religious
         The Prince of Antioch
         The Sultan of Babylon
         A Knight of Poitou
III. The Courtly Lady: Love and Patronage
         The Troubadour
         The Courts of Love
         The Knight Errant
IV. The Queen Mother: Authority, Maternal and Seigneurial
         The Young King
         Richard the Lionheart
         King John
V. The Old Woman of Fontevraud: The Cloister and the World
         Outside the Walls
         Living at the Abbey
         Dying ad Succurrendum
         The Tomb Sculpture
VI. The Lioness in Winter: Poetry, Theater, Cinema
         Fair Rosamund
         Alys of France
Selected Bibliography

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