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Welcome to the review for part 2 of Eleanor The Queen. This part of the review consists of pages 99-175, and questions 5-8 in the review at the back of the book.
During part 2 of this book Eleanor becomes remarried after her divorce, to the Duke of England Henry. During her marriage to Henry, Eleanor bears 4 sons. 2 of whom Henry favors more, and one who dies very young. Henry insists on giving his sons their titles at very young ages, which causes a rift between Henry, and his best friend/Chancellor Becket who Henry also makes Archbishop of England. Eleanor advises Henry not to do this for the separation of church and state. He ignores her pleas, and in the end Henry's best friend is murdered by 4 knights who knew the hardship that the archbishop planned to cause the Duke. Henry never recovers from Becket's murder, and grieves him heavily. Toward the end of part 2 Eleanor begins to realize that Henry is gone for exceedingly long amounts of time with no message of when he moves on or is returning. Eleanor rides to try to meet him at his latest destination, and is surprised to learn that Henry is cheating on her with a much younger girl. Upon her arrival she finds the girl very sick, and gives her advice to wait the day (for the rain to stop), and to go the next day to receive medical treatment. Eleanor does her no ill harm. Upon arriving home Henry finds out that his mistress has died (not realizing that she was sick upon Eleanor's arrival), and he accuses Eleanor of murdering her. He resents Eleanor until divorcing her. During the last couple of pages of part 2 the sons born to Henry decide to rebel against their father, and show their allegiance to their right King of France, and Eleanor's ex-husband. This causes Henry to wage war on his own sons, and Eleanor's near death to a traitor of Henry's kingdom.
5.) The saying of "good enemy, good lover" is an example of how men of the time were supposed to woo women. Eleanor enjoys the old traditions of knights knowing how to speak to a woman, and treating them better than a piece of property. I think she expected more from him than others who has tried to steal her away, and force her into a new marriage.
6.) Henry not being a monk is letting Eleanor know that he is unlike other Kings or men in that he is more vulnerable to worldly pleasures, and that a woman will hold a special place in his heart. He will love her , and cherish her. It was much easier for Eleanor to be herself. Henry let her take part in most affairs of England. Henry didn't mind that she "meddled" in affairs, as he expected her to take care of certain affairs when he was away doing other things for the kingdom such as shutting down all of the unofficial castles of the realm.
7.) Thomas Becket is a character that is seen earlier in the book when Eleanor is married to Louis in France. He is seen as someone that Eleanor desires, and admires, and wants to engage in conversation with. However, when Henry first meets Thomas, Thomas shows his discontent with the Duke by not giving his cloak to a needy person along their way on a trip because he had just bought it, and it was too nice to give to someone below him. Henry realizes that what Thomas says is wrong, and grabs the garb from his back giving it to the needy person anyways. After all he is Duke! Eleanor feels that he resembles Abbe Bernard who was only interested in himself, and his personal gains. Despite what Henry sees he ignores her pleas, and becomes best friends with Thomas making him Chancellor, and Archbishop of England. When Henry makes Thomas Archbishop they become bitter enemies, and Henry still does not realize the significance of the cloak incident.
8.) Eleanor bears 4 sons to Henry. One who dies very young Henry III. Henry the eldest was younger in spirit. He enjoyed playing at being King, he had a group of friends who he hung around with, and was very frivolous. He never knew the amount of men available for his army or the weapons available. Richard, knew the strengths of his domain down to the very last person in his kingdom, Eleanor wished that he had been the eldest child. She felt Richard most resembled herself. Henry was sound at heart, and she thought he would quiet down in older age.
I hope you are all enjoying the book so far as well as these reviews. I am thoroughly enjoying this read. This book is based off of a real woman Eleanor of Aquitaine, and has lots of Woman Power Moments which we should all celebrate as strong women! I'm looking forward to part 3, and i hope to see all of you here next week.
******What is your favorite part so far? Post it in the comments below i would love to know your thoughts!
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