The Courts of Love (Queens of England, #5)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Courts of Love (Queens of England #5)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  1,079 ratings  ·  46 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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,314)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
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
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!
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...more
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...more
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...more
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
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...more
Gene Rios
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!
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!
Vanessa Tillery
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
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
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
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
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.

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
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...more
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
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
Jan 02, 2009 Linda rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone with an intrest in Eleanor
This was a really good historical novel on Eleanor. It cover all part of her life up to her death, which most novels have only covered her marriage to Louis or to Henry, not both and never the times after their death. Because of this it does not go into great depths on each aspect but just touches on them, wetting your desire to read more of the era. Well written, and a quick read for all of it 550 pages, it is well worth the read
Heather Mims
Another wonderful installment by an author who's become a new favorite. I've read quite a few books about Eleanor of Aquitaine, but this was definitely a unique and refreshing perspective. I especially liked the back story about her grandfather and how much he influenced her proclivities throughout her life – that was a lovely touch, and one that is often neglected.

Definitely recommended!
I liked the idea of this book... obviously that's why I bought it! Elenore led such an intresting life, married to two kings and giving birth to several children, most who became rulers in their own rights. This should have been an action packed book, unfortunatly it is rather dry, perhaps because it is told as a narative. There should be a wonderful book about Elenore of Aquitaine, this just isn't it.
I'm not sure yet about this book. I guess that after reading other Jean Plaidy novels I expected something... more. Her Catherine d'Medicis, Lucrezia Borgia and even her Isabel of Castilla where more enthraling and simpatethic than her Elinor of Aquitania, and she's as a strong female as all the others. Maybe I've outgrown Jean Plaidy or maybe this wasn't her best, who knows.
The first historical novel I have read of Jean Plaidy's, and she sure does now how to tell a story. I never thought I would be interested in this time period, but I have been proven wrong. If presented well, any time period can sweep you away into the life and times of the characters. Eleanor of Aquitane is now one of my favorite historical figures.
Feb 21, 2009 Jessica rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: History Buffs
I liked it...but then at the same time, it was *okay*. Mostly because it was rather disturbing to read such horrid things about Richard the Lionhearted. Though I daresay they may be true things, I've no idea.

One thing I sincerely love is Jean Plaidy's style of writing and how she manages to cram so much history in with an intriguing story.
I used to think it was so glamorous to be a princess, but now I'm not so sure. During medieval times, you never married for love and you were most likely forced to marry your third cousin. But that's ok, if you never produced a male heir your spouse could always divorce you on grounds of consanguinity.
Feb 05, 2010 Beth added it
interesting historical novel about one of the most powerful women early European history (1100s AD). insight as to the mechanizations of how Europe came to be. written as if it were her personally authored biography.
This book took me quite awhile to get through. It was very educational and it's wonderful to see how one woman could accomplish so much in one lifetime.
I would recommend to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 77 78 next »
  • Eleanor the Queen
  • The Secret Eleanor
  • To the Tower Born: A Novel of the Lost Princes
  • A Lady Raised High: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
  • The Rose of York: Crown of Destiny (The Rose of York Trilogy, #2)
  • Harlot Queen
  • The Canterbury Papers  (Alais Capet, #1)
  • Time and Chance (Henry II & Eleanor of Aquitaine, #2)
  • The First Princess of Wales
  • The Book of Eleanor: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine
  • Within the Hollow Crown: A Reluctant King, a Desperate Nation, and the Most Misunderstood Reign in History
  • Queen Defiant: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine
  • Daughter of York
  • Duchess of Aquitaine: A Novel of Eleanor
  • Hugh and Bess: A Love Story
  • The King's Favorite: A Novel of Nell Gwyn and King Charles II
  • The Falcons Of Montabard
  • Queen's Confession: A Fictional Autobiography
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...
The Lady in the Tower (Queens of England, #4) Murder Most Royal (Tudor Saga, #5) Katharine of Aragon: The Wives of Henry VIII (Tudor Saga, #2-4) The Rose Without a Thorn (Queens of England, #11) To Hold the Crown: The Story of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York (Queens of England Series, #11)

Share This Book

“How stupid lovers can be! But if they were not, there would be no story.” 53 likes
“I was always amused by the prayers of the saintly. “God do this, God don’t do that.” I thought God probably laughed at them too, unless He was a little annoyed by their temerity.” 9 likes
More quotes…