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Renowned in her time for being the most beautiful woman in Europe, the wife of two kings and mother of three, Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of the great heroines of the Middle Ages. Despite the fact that she lived in an age in which women were regarded as little more than chattel, Eleanor managed to defy convention as she exercised power in the political sphere and crucial influence over her husbands and sons. In this beautifully written new biography, Alison Weir, author of five widely acclaimed chronicles of England’s royal rulers, paints a vibrant portrait of this truly exceptional woman and provides new insights into her intimate life. As Weir traces the fascinating intersection of public and private lives in Europe’s 12th-century courts, Eleanor comes to life as a complex, boldly original woman who transcended the mores of society and lived a long life of many contrasts–of splendor and desolation, power and peril. Includes a reader's guide in the back of the book.