Chapter

Eleanor and her Biographers: History, Legend and Ideology

Jean Flori and Olive Classe

in Eleanor of Aquitaine

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print August 2007 | ISBN: 9780748622955
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651382 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748622955.003.0001
Eleanor and her Biographers: History, Legend and Ideology

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Eleanor of Aquitaine still fascinates and puzzles historians of today, who, for many reasons that this chapter will try to clarify, still seek to penetrate the mystery surrounding her. The main draw, of course, is the extraordinary nature of Eleanor's life: twice queen, mother of three kings, she came into contact with famous churchmen such as Suger, Bernard of Clairvaux, and Thomas Becket; travelled to and fro across Europe; lived to be eighty; reigned for sixty-seven years; and produced perhaps eleven or possibly twelve offspring at a time when women often died in childbirth. Even when Eleanor's story is reduced to a few lines of basic facts, that is enough to explain the attraction she exerts, though not to lessen her mystery.

Keywords: Eleanor of Aquitaine; queen; churchmen; Suger; Bernard of Clairvaux; Thomas Becket; Europe

Chapter.  5761 words. 

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