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To Be Queen: A Novel of the Early Life of Eleanor of Aquitaine
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To Be Queen: A Novel of the Early Life of Eleanor of Aquitaine (Eleanor of Aquitaine #2)

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3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  854 Ratings  ·  113 Reviews
Chosen as one of the Top 10 Historical Fiction Novels of 2011 by the Pittsburgh Historical Fiction Examiner
The author of The Queen's Pawn delves into the early life of the legendary Eleanor of Aquitaine in her new historical novel.


After her father's sudden death, fifteen-year-old Eleanor is quickly crowned Duchess of Aquitaine and betrothed to King Louis VII. When her n
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Paperback, 380 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by NAL (first published March 10th 2011)
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Iset
I would describe To Be Queen as a definite page-turner, though that descriptive alone doesn’t suggest any positive or negative implications, rather it’s what makes it a page-turner that counts. I would say that the novel is partly a page-turner because it’s an enjoyable read. I was entertained enough to apply myself and stick with it pretty consistently, reading it cover to cover in two days non-continuously. However it is also a page-turner because it’s easy to read. Is that a good thing or a b ...more
Stephanie
To Be Queen is a fascinating story of Eleanor becoming Duchess of Aquitaine in her own right, to becoming Queen of France and in the end divorces King Louis, then goes on to marry Henry of Normandy.

Eleanor is now my favorite person of the middle ages. She was a courageous, strong-willed, and a powerful women. I was pretty amazed how she was able to keep her title and lands during and after her marriage to King Louis. That was uncommen during those times.

I also felt that Eleanor was brilliant ho
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Beth
Jan 12, 2013 Beth marked it as to-be-read-pile
Shelves: own-it, hf-to-read
I think I've entered the giveaway for this 5 times, haha. Hey, can't blame a girl for trying, especially when the book looks so good! :)
Leah
Jan 19, 2013 Leah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
WOW!
Christy English brings Eleanor to life! Housework be damned when you pick up this book. She tells the story through the eyes, mind, and heart of Eleanor herself.

A story full of dreams and accomplishments, of love and hate, of murder and revenge. There was a time while reading that I felt shock, amazement, and love all at the same time. Thunderstruck is how I can describe it. I told Christy that I felt my emotions were full throttle. I was brought to tears as Eleanor faced this love that was
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Jo Butler
Dec 12, 2011 Jo Butler rated it really liked it
Is there anything sadder than marrying a man who loves another more than he loves you? In the case of Eleanor of Aquitaine, her new husband Louis – heir to the throne of 12th century France – is more in thrall to the Catholic Church than he is attracted to her.

Like other women in her situation, Eleanor tries to seduce Louis away from her rival, hoping that Louis will eventually realize that a clever, ambitious wife is more valuable to him than the Church. But in the end, she, like so many other
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Dora
Mar 01, 2011 Dora marked it as to-read
She is my ancestor. I'm looking forward to reading about her!
Jerry Jr.
Nov 16, 2011 Jerry Jr. rated it really liked it
It's to the credit of Christy English that the Eleanore of Aquitaine we meet in "To Be Queen" is--while absolutely compelling--not completely likeable. Here as in her first novel "The Queen's Pawn" English's great strength is her skill in using a spare and efficient prose style to bring to life the emotional world of these historical figures. In the case of Eleanore of Aquitaine, this world is that of a shameless egotist who can, to paraphrase Jane Austen's Mary Crawford, find nothing in twelfth ...more
Therese
$3.99

While King Stephen and Matilda were fighting over control of England, Eleanor of Aquitaine was living a full life of her own. Before her father died, he made her duchess of Aquitaine and made sure that King Louis would be her protector in addition to marrying his son. When both of their fathers passed away, not only was Eleanor duchess of Aquitaine, she became queen of France with high hopes that she could build another empire to equal that of her ancestor, Charlemagne. Little did she know
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Hannah Fielding
Jun 01, 2012 Hannah Fielding rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. The cover drew me in – especially the unusually silky textured paper – and sitting in my garden, I was transported to a bygone era, lost in a world of kings and queens and religion and politics and ambitions and dreams. While the book is full of romance, the focus on telling a tale grounded in history is the priority, and this leads to a compelling page-turner.

There is a wonderful sense of setting in the book – from the Aquitaine to the East – and the depiction of life for a t
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Jean Marie
May 22, 2012 Jean Marie rated it liked it
Eleanor of Aquitaine is a legend. Period.
The early years of her life, particularly her tenure as queen of France are often overlooked in favor of her time as England's queen and consort to the first Plantagenet monarch.

This isn't a bad book, or a bad telling of this early period of Eleanor's life, but it isn't the best version of this story. In a nutshell, it sells the time frame short. First of all, it's a very simplistic version of this piece of history. It being so simplistic cuts off a lot
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Emery Lee
May 02, 2011 Emery Lee rated it it was amazing

Once again, Christy English dons the mantle of one of history's most fascinating women for this enthralling biographical novel. That Ms. English knows her subject on a very intimate level is evident from the very start, and this same feeling of intimacy captivates the reader from the first page.

As the title clearly states, TO BE QUEEN chronicles the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine, beginning at age ten while still under her father's tutelage, until her divorce from Louis VII, and her subsequent un
...more
Rick F.
Apr 12, 2011 Rick F. rated it it was amazing
Everything a historical novel should be- exciting, educational and deeply affecting. Ms. English is clearly at the very top of historical fiction writers today, one who takes the time to research her subject, and translate the facts into a brilliant fictional tale that catches the reader from the firstpage and doesn't let go! To Be Queen: A Novel of the Early Life of Eleanor of Aquitaine is a book that should appeal to both historical fiction fans and those who simply love GREAT storytelling!!

A
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Gaile
I read this book about the young years of Eleanor Of Aguitaine in one day.
Smoothly written and well characterized, it showed me a better picture of Louis, The Pious than the other books I have read about her. I have four books about Eleanor and now I have five!
I wish this had been longer as after Eleanor's divorce from the King Of France, she went on to marry Henry Of Normandy who reclaimed his mother's land and was crowned King Of England but that is another story. Perhaps we will hear about th
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Amanda
Aug 04, 2011 Amanda rated it really liked it
Author Christy English takes on the famous Eleanor of Aquitaine in her latest novel To Be Queen. Though this is only English's second novel after 2010's The Queen's Pawn, she commands a strong sense of world-building and historical detail, plus she makes the story feel like it's true to history while still balancing fiction and entertainment for the reader. There's also been an obvious improvement in writing skill and storytelling since The Queen's Pawn, plus English's personal interested in and ...more
Sandy Vaughan
May 29, 2011 Sandy Vaughan rated it it was amazing
Can you imagine my surprise when Christy English asked me If I would like to review her book? I was leaping up and down inside but had to rail myself in as I warned her she must expect a honest review...she expected nothing else. Now all I had to do is wait for the book to arrive!

Who would I meet? Would it be the lady depicted in "Becket" who was not beautiful in her brief appearance as a shrewish looking and acting woman surrounded by a passel of young children. Or it be the strong, Eleanor of
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Heather
In her follow-up to the highly enjoyable The Queen's Pawn, Christy English brings us back a few years to a young Alienor who is just coming into her own as the up-and-coming Duchess of Aquitaine. We have the great privilege to follow Eleanor from Aquitaine to France, to the Holy Land and finally (at the very end) on to England. This novel allows us to really get a sense of how she came to be the powerful woman we know and love – the one who constantly opposes King Henry in The Queen’s Pawn. I re ...more
Carole Rae
Aug 09, 2015 Carole Rae rated it really liked it
I simply adore Queen Alienor/Eleanor. She is one my favorite historical figures. Poor girl is born in the wrong era. Luckily, her father believed she should learn to read, write, ride horses, hunt, and even have a hand in politics. He knew she would need it when he died since he left her as his heir to Aquitaine. He also planned on her becoming Queen of France as well.

I am glad we got to see her father more. Normally books end up killing him at the beginning, but not here. It was nice to see Ali
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Carol W
Aug 11, 2011 Carol W rated it really liked it

The Middle ages did not interest me in history lessons at school, and I have neglected this period in my historical fiction reading.


I accepted a copy of this novel, from the author, as I had heard good things about her writing. Christy English has grabbed my attention with the fascinating story of Eleanor of Aquitaine's early life and first marriage. I want to know more about this little known Queen and this period in history.



Eleanor, at her father's side, had to grow up very quickly after her m
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Marilyn
Apr 30, 2015 Marilyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While this book was quite entertaining, I found it difficult to take too seriously. Although there are historical accuracies, I have to disagree with all the bed hopping, and most especially the insinuation of incest. As far as I know of, Eleanor would have not been that careless. She was far too smart to do something so sleazy. I believe that she and her uncle might have been attracted to one another, but I will never believe the attraction went any further than that. I do believe that Eleanor ...more
Kathleen Kelly
Jul 07, 2011 Kathleen Kelly rated it really liked it
This novel about Eleanor ofAquitaine by Christy English tells the story of Eleanor during her time as Queen of France with Louis VII. At 15, after her father dies Eleanor becomes Duchess of Aquitaine and Countess of Poitiers and within months becomes the queen consort of Louis VII, King of France. Eleanor soon finds that being Queen of France is not what she expected. Parisians do not like her and her husband loves her but does not often share a bed with Eleanor and he prefers the church. ...more
Xenia0201
Apr 12, 2011 Xenia0201 rated it really liked it
So many books have been written of the famous woman who was Duchess of Aquitaine in her own right, Queen of France and Queen of England. I had been sceptical, because this had already been done by Pamela Kaufman years ago with The Book of Eleanor, which I found to be magnificent. I preface this all by stating I am a fan of this as a romance novel, not as historical fiction. There are many books on Eleanor of Aquitaine that are excellent for reference; this is not to be confused with them. I ...more
Ellen Ekstrom
Nov 20, 2011 Ellen Ekstrom rated it it was amazing
Yeah, I've been giving a lot of 5 stars, but that's not because I'm trying to help out my author colleagues; it's because the writing has been so darn good! "To be Queen" is no exception, and frankly, I've added Christy English to my pantheon of historical fiction authors. I think this is one of the best portrayals of Eleanor of Aquitaine in fiction. English's Alienor/Eleanor was three-dimensional and I loved and hated her at times, some "woman what are you thinking" moments and "Yes! That's ...more
Elysium
When Eleanor of Aquitaine was young, she was raised to be her father’s heir to be Duchess of Aquitaine. Soon after her father’s death, Eleanor is wed to Dauphin Louis of France and the young pair has mutual affection for each other from the start. Louis was meant for the church but his elder brother’s death changed everything. He remained very pious his whole life, preferring church to his wife.
Eleanor tries to be a good wife but she soon learns that she may not compete with the church her husb
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Rachel
Oct 11, 2011 Rachel rated it really liked it
Shelves: firstreads
Full disclosure: I won this book through FirstReads.

Eleanor of Aquitaine is one of history's most interesting female figures to me. And reading fiction about historical figures is still fun, though you know it's fiction. This novel is fairly well written, but it does an even better job of presenting Eleanor as a young but quite mature and captivating character. Her strategic mind, clear-eyed view of the Catholic church--which essentially takes the role of villain here--and her self reliance keep
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Victoria Vane
Aug 25, 2012 Victoria Vane rated it it was amazing

Once again, Christy English dons the mantle of one of history's most fascinating women for this enthralling biographical novel. That Ms. English knows her subject on a very intimate level is evident from the very start, and this same feeling of intimacy captivates the reader from the first page.

As the title clearly states, TO BE QUEEN chronicles the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine, beginning at age ten while still under her father's tutelage, until her divorce from Louis VII, and her subsequent un
...more
Valerie
I really enjoyed this story!! I love things all "medieval", and this was a great read for me! I've never read anything about Alienor/Eleanor of Aquitaine, but by reading this book, I've become intrigued by her story & have begun searching online to find out more about her. She was a strong & determined woman, especially given the time she lived in, and I was amazed to learn that she was able to keep all of her lands both through her marriage & after her divorce. As much as I LOVE ...more
Book Trailer
Jan 23, 2012 Book Trailer rated it it was amazing
I finished this book several days ago but I've been traveling though Colorado and Texas so please forgive :)

I really loved this book and felt that it was a fresh take on Eleanore. She was passionate and most books portray her in this light, yet Christy English made it easy for me to relate and really feel for Eleanor the woman, and not the larger than life character that she was. She was strong, yet feminine. The type that was not afraid to show this or use it to her abilities.
Mrs. English has a
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Christy Wilhelm
Jan 23, 2012 Christy Wilhelm rated it it was amazing
I finished this book several days ago but I've been traveling though Colorado and Texas so please forgive :)

I really loved this book and felt that it was a fresh take on Eleanore. She was passionate and most books portray her in this light, yet Christy English made it easy for me to relate and really feel for Eleanor the woman, and not the larger than life character that she was. She was strong, yet feminine. The type that was not afraid to show this or use it to her abilities.
Mrs. English has a
...more
Melissa
Jul 18, 2011 Melissa rated it it was amazing
The combination of narrative, character voice and descriptive passages in To Be Queen makes for a wonderful journey, not just a good read. English has the remarkable ability to pull her reader in and surround her with the details of an era gone by without bogging down the pace of the story.

Brilliantly researched and written.

I began this book prior to starting a class in grad school. Once the class started, I regrettably had to set it aside in lieu of completing homework. The story stayed with m
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Marie
Apr 01, 2011 Marie rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
4.5 stars!
Christy English's second novel brings us her favorite protagonist of Eleanor of Aquitaine. English's previous work of last year, The Queen's Pawn, focused on the relationship between Eleanor and her ward, Alais, who was purpoted to be a mistress of Eleanor's second husband. For this novel, the author steps even further back in time to bring us a prequel to the tumultuous marriage of Eleanor and Henry and brings us the early years of Eleanor as she sows the seeds of ultimate strength an
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 06, 2015 01:31PM  
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European Royalty: Christy English Has Joined the Group 3 25 Sep 15, 2011 06:24AM  
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Ever since Christy English picked up a fake sword in stage combat class at the age of fourteen, she has lived vicariously through the sword-wielding women of her imagination. Sometimes an actor, always a storyteller, Christy works happily with Sourcebooks Casablanca to bring the knife-throwing women of her novels to life. A banker by day and a writer by night, she loves to eat chocolate, drink too ...more
More about Christy English...

Other Books in the Series

Eleanor of Aquitaine (2 books)
  • The Queen's Pawn

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“You will get no poetry from me, nor songs of love. But I will love you, every day for the rest of my life.” 13 likes
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