Book review: The Summer Queen: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine by Elizabeth Chadwick


The Summer Queen: A Novel of Eleanor of AquitaineThe Summer Queen: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine by Elizabeth Chadwick

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this book as a digital ARC from the publisher through Net Galley in return for an honest review.

This is the first book of the trilogy on the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine written by Elizabeth Chadwick.

This is a historical fiction book and there are many books written on this subject. Most of them are not truly historical but historical romance instead.

The only book worth to be mentioned here is When Christ and His Saints Slept, also the first book of the Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine series written by Sharon Kay Penman. Another book shroud be also mentioned, The Book of Eleanor: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine by Pamela Kaufman.

Eleanor’s life is already very well-known, specially the historical novel fans. This book covers the first and the beginning of the second marriages of Alienor (the author makes uses of the true French name). The author also describes her journey in the Second Crusade, following the request of Louis VI.


Eleanor of Aquitaine enters Constantinople, 1147 A.D.Illustration from Women Warlords, Tim Newark, Blandford Press, UK, 1989.

Since this is not the first book neither the last book based on the life of this historical character, what difference does this book makes compared to others? First al all, I liked the description of the relationship between Eleanor and her sister Petronella, not so well described elsewhere. And the mysterious and apparent love affair with Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou was also described by the author in some way.

Other books to be checked, some of them are biographies of Eleanor of Aquitaine:

Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Four Kings by Amy Kelly.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life by Alison Weir.

Eleanor: April Queen Of Aquitaine by Douglas Boyd.

The Secret Eleanor by Cecelia Holland.

A magnificent movie was made based on the Broadway play by James Goldman, The Lion in Winter (1968) with Peter O’Toole, Katharine Hepburn, John Castle, Anthony Hopkins as Richard the Lionheart .

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