So, this book has my completely torn in two! It made me cry my eyes out, to varying degrees, at several instances. It was so emotionally exhausting thSo, this book has my completely torn in two! It made me cry my eyes out, to varying degrees, at several instances. It was so emotionally exhausting that by the end, when sad things kept happening, I was too worn out to be upset over them.
As far as recommending this to friends, it is a good read, very very educational and it truly did make me happy to be living the United States in this time as a woman. But the emotional parts make me shy away from recommending it to anyone.
Basically... Read at your own risk!
SPOILERS below (if you seriously think you want to read this book, which you probably don’t unless you got it free on Kindle. Also, if you already know what happened to Hugh Le Despencer & King Edward the II, feel free to read on. I’m not sure I would recommend this book to anyone, since I found it so upsetting myself.)
I enjoyed the first... 30% of this book, when the main focus was on Hugh & Eleanor, they were very cute together and I just loved how Hugh would dote on his wife. He of course was a rogue and a pirate, which seriously, brownie points. Eleanor was a bit naive, but she was also still a teenage.
But then... Hugh started to bang the King, Edward. And then Hugh confessed his love for Edward, while still very obviously being dedicated to his wife. And his wife know absolutely nothing of this.
I almost stopped reading, it still hurts my heart when I think about it. It was just so unlikely! Women know these things, I can’t believe that Eleanor wouldn’t have had a single suspicion. And it is also hard for me to believe that Hugh would have been helplessly in love with two people at the same time. It was to the point where I was hoping that between popping out child 7 or 8, Eleanor would find an affair of her own. But of course, she was too dedicated to Hugh to consider it.
And when she found out? She went right to the King, took her robes off and slept with him! And then confessed her love for him! And he confessed his love for her! WTF people, seriously? I was waiting for the three-some that never came.
That was the chapter that almost had me stop, but I was already halfway through.
And then... Hugh was deemed a traitor to the crown, was captured and executed. He was hung, castrated, drawn and quartered, all while he was still alive. I just... I read this part on the bus and was so close to tears, I thought I would breakdown right there on the bus. It was so barbaric, so upsetting, I cried for like an hour when I got home. I ask myself, how in the world can men be so cruel? They can and are :\
And then King Edward was also killed, they poured molten metal down his anus until it finally killed him. They had to kill him in a way that left no marks, so his body could be viewed. So instead of poisoning or suffocating him... My goodness. I know this story is mostly fictional, but I still am so disturbed by it all.
Poor Eleanor was pregnant when this all happened too. She was in a Tower of London chamber with her three sons and maid. Her three daughters had been taken away with her earlier and forced to become nuns at three different monasteries. One of them was only three years old, forced to become a nun.
So yeah, that was an incredibly upsetting turn of events. But it’s starting to get a little better and I’m really interested in seeing where Eleanor goes with her life after all of this...
I just finished the book! And here is the rest of my spoiler-laden review: I really loved Eleanor & William Le Zouche together, they were very cute! I really wanted Eleanor to have a man that didn't cheat on her so incredibly often! She deserved a dedicate man, and she got it, so that was good.
It was a pretty good book, I thoroughly enjoyed some of the chapters. Although it did feel a little disjointed, I couldn't quite connect some of the pIt was a pretty good book, I thoroughly enjoyed some of the chapters. Although it did feel a little disjointed, I couldn't quite connect some of the parts, it seemed very ADD. Some of the chapters I had very little interest in and could have skipped them pretty easily without messing with the overall effect of the book.
I loved the chapter that was Vowell's letter to Bill Clinton on his presidential library. Also the Rosa Parks chapter was amazing, I'll probably pop that in here as one of my favorite quotes later today....more