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The Courts of Love (Queens of England, #5)
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The Courts of Love (Queens of England #5)

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,546 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
When I look back over my long and tempestuous life, I can see that much of what happened to me—my triumphs and most of my misfortunes—was due to my passionate relationships with men. I was a woman who considered herself their equal—and in many ways their superior—but it seemed that I depended on them, while seeking to be the dominant partner—an attitude which could hardly ...more
Paperback, 576 pages
Published May 23rd 2006 by Broadway Books (first published 1987)
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Mar 07, 2009 Trisha added it
English history intrigues me so I greatly injoyed this book about Eleanor of Acquitaine, who lived in the 12 century during a fascinating period - when the Church was even more powerful than kings and when going off on crusades to save the Holy Land was considered the height of glory. Eleanor was a gutsy lady - way ahead of her time - who sounds like she would have done very well living in the 21st century instead of the 12th. But nevertheless she managed to make quite a mark for herself as it w ...more
Mar 18, 2012 Britt rated it liked it
I've read two other Jean Plaidy novels before and decided my next one, and the rest from then on, should be read in historical order. She's written so many books and some are in print in one country but not in another, or are by different titles, so most Jean Plaidy lists compiled by historical order are a little muddled. This is the one I found to be first historically.

I didn't enjoy this nearly as much as the other two I've read so far. At times the narrative seemed choppy. Some of this might
Mar 08, 2008 Robin rated it it was amazing
This was the first book by this author that I read and I loved it! There is very little in the way of historical fiction that deals with the reigns of early Kings of England, except King Arthur. This focuses on the wife of Henry I, Eleanor of Aquitaine. It follows her life from her first marriage to the King of France through her extremely tumultuous marriage to Henry II, also showing her relationships with her children, including Richard I (the Lionheart). I really, really enjoyed this book bec ...more
Oct 11, 2007 Jamilah rated it really liked it
This is historical fiction, but the author seems to stay relatively true to history, just occasionally taking historical rumor and treating it as truth. She tells the story as a "memoir" by Eleanor of Aquitaine. It is slightly dry reading sometimes, although not nearly as dry as a history textbook would be!
3.5 stars. Plaidy is an excellent storyteller and it is a joy to read a historically accurate HF novel. I don't know much about Eleanor of Aquitaine and her family, but I am now desperate to read and learn more! She was an extraordinary woman and Plaidy takes you from her young childhood in Aquitaine up to her death at an old age. You feel her sorrow, joy, hate, and love for her husbands and children and you don't want to let the story go at the end.

There were a few aspects of Plaidy's writing
May 23, 2013 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first book by Plaidy as well. This book was also the first book I had ever read on Eleanor of Aquitaine, and it inspired a bit of a love-affair with the "Grandmother of Europe" as she is known. I do agree that Plaidy can be a bit dry at times, however I feel if you stick through you can find that underneath is a fantastic historical fiction about a fascinating woman.

I'm not a huge fan of some of her other works, but this is one I have re-read a couple times. If you have the time (and
Better overall character development than Nora Loft's novel on Eleanor of Aquitaine (the only other Eleanor novel I've read so far so I'll compare the two). One of the things I love about Plaidy is her assessments of the relationships between the characters and this does not disappoint. At the same time, it also details the political and worldly events better. But I felt like Loft handled Eleanor's period of captivity better, it was actually the strongest part of the book whereas Plaidy brushes ...more
Mandy Moody
Dec 01, 2008 Mandy Moody rated it really liked it
I read The Courts of Love immediately after reading Eleanor the Queen (by Norah Lofts). The two books portray Eleanor in very different ways, and because of that I had a hard time with this book at the begining.
Plaidy's book is quite a bit more detailed, and takes us into parts of Eleanor's life that Lofts doesn't visit. She does an excellent job bringing Eleanor to life and making her a relatable character.
Though it was dry at times, I really enjoyed this one, and appreciated the historical acc
Gene Rios
Apr 29, 2012 Gene Rios rated it really liked it
So, once I got past a certain dialogue part, the book regained its rhythm. I could definitely pick up on the rising action as Eleanor aged, and I enjoyed it considerably. I especially found it interesting to read about the blatant homosexuality in Richard the Lion-Hearted, a man with Norse beauty and British militance. All in all, The Courts of Love was a good read!
Aug 29, 2008 April rated it really liked it
This was such a good book! This was the first book I read by Jean Plaidy and it will not be the last!
I loved reading about Eleanor of Aquitaine, Louis VII, and Henry II. It made me want to continue to read everything I could find on them. I could relate to Eleanor's strong personality. This was an exciting book that I would recommend to anyone!
Phil Syphe
Apr 24, 2015 Phil Syphe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this tome though felt like it could’ve been much better. I believe that if the author focused more on Eleanor’s life before the dispute with her husband Henry II then the story would be more condensed and entertaining.

The problem is, once Eleanor’s kept shut away from all that’s going on in the world, she begins to relate events that she hasn’t been involved with. Instead she tells the reader of the gossip that reaches her from her female attendants. At times she relates episodes abou
Vanessa Tillery
Jan 15, 2008 Vanessa Tillery rated it liked it
Elenor of Aquitaine became the duchess of the richest provence on Europe at the age 15. She married Louis VII of France and became the Queen. But, when she met Henry II of England she fell in love. The story follows her struggle to be with the one she really loves and the betryal she faces because of it.
Ella Dohlman
Apr 03, 2013 Ella Dohlman rated it it was amazing
If you love historical fiction, especially early English history, this book is for you. The author does an excellent job in making the main character human and believable. The reader gets lost during the time of early England and the hardships of that time period. I plan to read all books by this author
Oct 14, 2009 Traci rated it really liked it
I really liked this one--Eleanor of Aquitaine is absolutely fascinating! This fictionalized story of her life (according to my research on her) was as historically accurate as it could be, and I loved Plaidy's presentation.
Gordon Ehler
Mar 19, 2013 Gordon Ehler rated it really liked it
An illuminating book from a master of the genre. Watch the movie The Lion in Winter, then read this book for the whole story. Eleanor of Aquitaine was a fascinating person and Jean Plaidy brings her to life.
Not the absolute best book I've read about Eleanor of Aquitane, fiction or non, but worth the read for a different perspective on a number of people and events. Added a star for more complete information (or conjecture) about her young life as well as her life with Louis in contrast to most authors focusing mostly or completely on her time married to Henry, specifically the period when her sons had grown and were fighting their father and each other for the throne of England and parts of France. ...more
Feb 27, 2014 Melinda rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favourite books by Jean Plaidy.

The novel walks through Eleanor's early childhood life (in the Courts of Love), right up to her death. Her life certainly was full of adventures, betrayal and her trying to re-create her grandfather's court. Naturally, Eleanor is a strong and powerful woman who knows what she wants and how to grasp it, especially given how she would give everything up (the love of her adoring first husband, daughters and her own country), for passion and power.

Apr 19, 2011 Karyl rated it liked it
This novel is an interesting read about Eleanor of Aquitaine, one of the few strong women in history that didn't let her sex hold her back. She held on to her lands through two marriages, one of which failed through divorce, and decided which of her sons would inherit. She was both the Queen of France and the Queen of England at a time in which the two countries hated each other bitterly. She was also able to secure strong marriages for her children that brought her family more land and more pre ...more
Nov 19, 2013 Ayde rated it really liked it
Jean Plaidy’s historical novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Eleanor the Queen, includes important events in the lives of the title character, Henry II, and King Louis VII of France. Some of their sons’ and daughters’ stories are part of the intertwined story as well. The history itself is amazing, but her style made for pleasant reading as fiction, too. This is one of the best I've ever read about this fascinating woman.

It begins with Dangerosa and William IX, but quickly moves forward. Page after p
Jul 05, 2016 MaryKate rated it really liked it
It bogs down for awhile during the years where she is imprisoned by her husband. I've found that in other historical fiction about women married to famous men. The years are all covered because he did relevant things and she didn't or little is known about what she did. It was a relief to read some actual history though after reading a slew of "historical fiction" that were just fiction set a long time ago.
Mar 19, 2016 Diane rated it liked it
It took awhile to get into this book but then I felt like I really understood Eleanor of Aquitaine. She has an interesting life. I have a much better understanding of the history from that time period.
Jun 10, 2016 Sachi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read

Loved the history of this book - it was well written and paints an accurate picture of the times.

Relatable and I love the first person style of writing.
Sep 21, 2015 Vasilena rated it really liked it
Very interesting take on Eleanor, and you would expect it to be more romanticized by Jean Plaidy but it is actually focusing on ambition and strategy. The historical situations in the book are examined as drivers of future events both from the positive and negative side. Eleanor is actually quite a balanced figure, queen, woman, political leader, mother, etc., of course desiring an ideal court but always in control of the hard reality, using every situation to an advantage, to the best of her po ...more
Katie Jamison
Nov 08, 2015 Katie Jamison rated it liked it
I love Jean Plaidy but this book was very hard for me to get through. It was I don't know..dry and just not as well written as her other books.
Oct 05, 2014 Sara rated it liked it
Decent historical fiction about Eleanor of Aquitaine, although I feel it was way too long. Also, I don't really like how the narrative was presented. Poor Eleanor was imprisoned by her husband for a huge portion of her life, and those bits of this book are the boring ones. She's essentially recounting events she was not involved with, and although they were necessary to hold the story together, it was a bit boring to read. I love Eleanor, though (she's a distant ancestor of my husband's) and it' ...more
Oct 08, 2009 Vicki rated it liked it
What an incredible woman. Set during the reign of Henry II of England, Eleanor was the Duchess of Aquitaine (almost as important as the Kind himself at that time). Eleanor first married the King of France, divorced him and married the Duke of Normandy (Henry) who became King of England. This books recounts the struggle to expand the kingdoms of England and France, the way children were used to secure alliances through marriage, and the continual intrigue. Eleanor lived to be 80 years old and hel ...more
Aug 11, 2011 Nicki added it
I was completely engrossed in this book the entire time I was reading it. It is a story of the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine, someone whom I've always been very interested in, but never really knew anything about. Now, I believe I can tell someone a thing or two about her. It was EXTREMELY well written, and never lost pace except for a little bit in the middle where it dragged on a bit. I'd recommend it to anyone and everyone with an interest in history. I was so sad when the book finished; I fel ...more
Jul 13, 2012 Shayla rated it really liked it
As much as I love Jean Plaidy, this is not, technically speaking, the best-written book. She also fell into the same rut that so many scholars and fiction writers do when it comes to Eleanor of Aquitaine: so little is known about her life that the majority of the story revolves around her husbands and sons. However, the historian in me couldn't help but the love the scandalous story of this fabulous lady! It has four stars because despite my reservations about it, I have read it twice. It's a gu ...more
Jun 29, 2016 Shirley rated it it was amazing
Oct 02, 2014 Cathy rated it it was ok
Good. A little long and tedious at times.
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Eleanor Alice Burford, Mrs. George Percival Hibbert was a British author of about 200 historical novels, most of them under the pen name Jean Plaidy which had sold 14 million copies by the time of her death. She chose to use various names because of the differences in subject matter between her books; the best-known, apart from Plaidy, are Victoria Holt (56 million) and Philippa Carr (3 million). ...more
More about Jean Plaidy...

Other Books in the Series

Queens of England (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Myself, My Enemy (Queens of England, #1)
  • Queen of This Realm (Queens of England, #2)
  • Victoria Victorious: The Story of Queen Victoria (Queens of England, #3)
  • The Lady in the Tower (Queens of England, #4)
  • In the Shadow of the Crown (Queens of England, #6)
  • The Queen's Secret (Queens of England, #7)
  • The Reluctant Queen: The Story of Anne of York (Queens of England, #8)
  • The Merry Monarch's Wife (Queens of England, #9)
  • William's Wife (Queens of England, #10)
  • The Rose Without a Thorn (Queens of England, #11)

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