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Alienor, the Novel

In Alienor, Mark Beaulieu has revealed the rich world of young Eleanor of Aquitaine (Alienor d’Aquitaine 1124-1204), who would twice become a queen – to Louis as Queen of France, and to Henry as Queen of England. This historical fiction weaves the never told story of young Alienor. Adventure, intrigue, mystery, and romance fill this first volume of an epic series bound to delight readers everywhere.

In a land that is unusually prosperous, the Aquitaine is surrounded by envious lords. Wealth affords what is nonexistent in medieval Europe – children are allowed to play instead of work, females receive education, and toleration is shown for faith, art, and science. At the unique Fontevrault Abbey, started by Alienor’s family, nuns live in balance with priests. Girls alongside boys learn the medieval skills of invention, poetic song, falconing, bird messaging, ‘dictonic’ speech, and rational thought. Encouraged to have curious minds, her young friends become attracted to what authorities will oppose: Alienor’s pursuit of a personal code centered on love – not what everyone commonly understands as love, but her idea and practice of it. She astounds convention. How she comes to terms with love’s many forces becomes her code. This code leads her to become one of the most powerful and enigmatic women of the middle ages.

Living in the shadow of her favored brother, Alienor adventures into the backwoods and rivers with new friends, until she makes the terrible discovery that a friend’s innocent father is thrown into a dungeon for a secret court of inquisition. It is the beginning of her story, and the Aquitaine – indeed the world – will never be the same.

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