ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE

ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE

ELEANOR’S LIFE SPANS SIX NOVELS

1

In The Young Life, Mark Richard Beaulieu reveals the rich world of young Eleanor of Aquitaine (Alienor d’Aquitaine 1124-1204), who would twice become a queen – to Louis as Queen of France, and to Henry as Queen of England. This historical fiction weaves the never told story of Alienor, a girl who doesn’t know she can change the world; yet as a woman she will, and in a fundamental way. Freshly told stories of exploration, romance, and the hard truth about striving young men and women fill this first volume of an epic series bound to delight readers of every age. 

The unusually prosperous Aquitaine is surrounded by envious lords. Wealth affords what is nonexistent in medieval Europe – children are allowed to play, receive education, and experience toleration for faith, art, and science. At the unique Fontevrault Abbey, started by Alienor’s family, men and women live in balance. At the abbey-school girls alongside boys learn the medieval skills of invention, poetic song, falconing, bird messaging, ‘dictonic’ speech, and rational thought. Encouraged to have curious minds, her young friends become attracted to what authorities will oppose: Alienor’s pursuit of a personal code centered on love – not what many commonly understand as love, but her idea and practice of it. She astounds convention. How she comes to terms with the many forces of her age becomes her code, leading her to become one of the most powerful and enigmatic women of the middle ages.

Living in the shadow of a favored younger brother, Alienor adventures into the backwoods and rivers with new friends. She makes the terrible discovery that a friend’s innocent father is thrown into a dungeon for a secret court of inquisition. It is the beginning of her story, and the Aquitaine, indeed the world, will never be the same.

2

The Journey East, re-edited  in 2020, continues the fascinating life of Eleanor of Aquitaine with a second volume in her years from 1138 to 1148.  Mark Richard Beaulieu sets this in the historically rich 12th century, the young French Queen brings her culture into conflicted Paris, where she will develop a court,  become a mother., and then lead an army  East on an amazing journey of personal destinations. 

With a unique view of the world, parentless Eleanor rides East into Paris. Married to King Louis the Seventh at age 13, Eleanor is not allowed to bring her Aquitaine chevaliers, troubadours, or friends. She and her sister Petronilla run up against the French Court, a reigning Queen, and a dark city of obedient religion. Outside of Paris, a new cathedral is built of glowing walls of stained glass, run by Abbot Adam Suger. He is in conflict with austere Abbot Bernard of Clairvaux, the nemesis of Eleanor’s family. In the division of faith, Eleanor takes sides, but not as you might expect in this contest for power.   

The young attractive queen faces trials of majesty to bring light to France. Upholding her sister’s marriage wish and dealing with factions that battle to oppose her, the queen and king are swept up into a French civil war of succession. After her first child, her Aquitaine messenger birds bring news that the First Crusade of her forefathers would not be the last.

Recruiting the largest land army ever assembled using her persuasive skills, Eleanor embarks on a 3,000-mile journey East across medieval Europe to enter the ill-fated Second Crusade. She, her champion court, and a train of three hundred women encounter the enchanting culture of Byzantium – the greatest city in the world. Detained by a skilled Emperor, they cross into mountainous Outremer. Running out of supply,  they suffer a brutal winter war against the Saracens. Eleanor and her friends test the bounds of chivalry, love, courage, endurance, and the very limits of faith. This fantastic exploration of stamina and a passionate tells her journey with her people.

3

The Voyage West delivers storyteller Mark Beaulieu’s third volume recreating Eleanor of Aquitaine’s rich medieval world on land and sea. As a spirited crusader, the young French queen and mother must fight for all she believes in. Survival becomes paramount to endure an ill-conceived war in treacherous Outremer and to sail a dangerous voyage home.

Coming ashore in Antioch after horrific losses where only one in twenty survives, Eleanor must overcome despair. Meanwhile, Louis, who has lost most of his army, tours holy shrines. A barge sent by King Raymond invites her to sail up the restorative Orontes river. Her court urges her forward to discover the exotic ways of a rich desert culture. Louis and Eleanor come into a dramatic confrontation over the crusade mission, but actions far deeper are taking place by forces that have called the holy war.

This begins a layered world as complex as Eleanor, where armed political struggle, divisive religion, medieval ignorance, and passions compound. Eleanor, driven forward by a holy quest, finds it is everything else that matters. Through novice eyes, she experiences beauty and cruelty. Her court of chevaliers and troubadour princes meet the exotic women of Outremer and the culture of the desert. We see both sides of the enormous battle fought over Damascus. Eleanor meets the sister-queens who operate the holy lands and learn what it takes to be a Queen and use her court to full advantage. In spite of fears for safety and facing real and immediate danger, she struggles in a holy war with an all-knowing church and an unknowing King, a perfect storm for making infallibly horrific decisions. Ultimately, she understands the forces that call, and divide the Second Crusade. Eleanor arrives home as a wholly different person, changed forever. It is an amazing voyage and a thrilling adventure of one of the greatest queens you never knew.

In the newly re-edited Eleanor of Aquitaine - The Journey East, Mark Richard Beaulieu continues the fascinating life of Eleanor of Aquitaine with a second volume in her years from 1138 to 1148. Set in the historically rich 12th century, the young French Queen brings her culture into conflicted Paris, where she will develop a court,  become a mother., and then lead an army  East on an amazing journey of personal destinations. 

With a unique view of the world, parentless Eleanor rides East into Paris. Married to King Louis the Seventh at age 13, Eleanor is not allowed to bring her Aquitaine chevaliers, troubadours, or friends. She and her sister Petronilla run up against the French Court, a reigning Queen, and a dark city of obedient religion. Outside of Paris, a new cathedral is built of glowing walls of stained glass, run by Abbot Adam Suger. He is in conflict with austere Abbot Bernard of Clairvaux, the nemesis of Eleanor’s family. In the division of faith, Eleanor takes sides, but not as you might expect in this contest for power.   

The young attractive queen faces trials of majesty to bring light to France. Upholding her sister’s marriage wish and dealing with factions that battle to oppose her, the queen and king are swept up into a French civil war of succession. After her first child, her Aquitaine messenger birds bring news that the First Crusade of her forefathers would not be the last.

Recruiting the largest land army ever assembled using her persuasive skills, Eleanor embarks on a 3,000-mile journey East across medieval Europe to enter the ill-fated Second Crusade. She, her champion court, and a train of three hundred women encounter the enchanting culture of Byzantium – the greatest city in the world. Detained by a skilled Emperor, they cross into mountainous Outremer. Running out of supply,  they suffer a brutal winter war against the Saracens. Eleanor and her friends test the bounds of chivalry, love, courage, endurance, and the very limits of faith. This fantastic exploration of stamina and a passionate tells her journey with her people.


Available in print via Amazon, and ePub for Kindle, Apple iPad, Barnes & Noble Nook. http://eleanorcode.com/Buy.html

4

With The Generation comes the fourth volume in Mark Richard Beaulieu’s extraordinary cycle of novels bringing Eleanor of Aquitaine to life in her rich, complex 12th-century world. Two years after a dismal Crusade, Eleanor aspires to a fulfilling life. Behind the walls of Paris, the queen mother is of little value to the French. Outside the walls, she is a crusade legend, bringer of trade, sagacious, wealthy, a woman of beauty – especially to aspiring princes.

Deliberating the end to her marriage to King Louis Capet, Eleanor wants to return home and rule the Aquitaine at age 27. The Capets are at war with the Angevins. In a sudden accident, she meets her foe, 18-year-old Prince Henri of Anjou. In a flash, their intense relationship begins. He offers to make her Queen of England and have a noble family. There is one problem. King Stephen sits on the English throne, and Eleanor’s young man has lost every battle to the monarch. Making matters worse, her husband Louis has joined forces with Stephen to crush Henri’s army. Using her court, her charm, and intelligence, she must find a way forward for her love and her lands.

We enter a medieval world as multifaceted as Eleanor, full of conflicting political and religious ambitions, and relationships that bridge justice, personal faith, sexuality, and destiny. On the River Loire, she escapes abductors with her bodyguard. On the River Thames, she ferries adventure with her children. On The Strand, she rehearses a fantastic parade for Chancellor Thomas Becket to enter Paris. Helping him build the family ‘Camelot’ in Berkhamsted and lending him knights to expand Aquitaine, Eleanor becomes entangled in his ascent to power and conflict with Henri. A rich cast of householders, a troubadour who blurts his true feelings, a hunchback Justicer of England, as well as Eleanor, Henri, and Becket distinguish this landmark series, redefining historical fiction as a web of unforgettable characters who build on their lifetime of experiences. Ultimately, Eleanor’s creation of a generation and their many thousand mile journey across medieval England and France to form an empire leads her to master the powerful forces of love, justice, and power, making her one of the greatest queens you never knew.

5

In Love + Rebellion, Mark Richard Beaulieu delivers the long-awaited fifth volume of the extraordinary Eleanor Code cycle that redefines historical fiction with deeply researched stories and credible speculation.

After forty years of traveling the world and having given twelve births, Eleanor of Aquitaine begins the project of her life arriving at her home in Poitiers in 1168 as Queen of England. She establishes the finest cultured court in all of Europa and founds a unique Academy to raise her children and educate friends who will run future courts. There is one problem. This program does not agree with her all-powerful husband, King Henri II.

Travel with strong-willed Eleanor to her castles and abbeys, to forests, mountains, rivers, and sandy beaches from Poitiers to the borders of Spain as she develops her engaging life. Youthful chevaliers and damisels learn hawking, horsemanship, high manners, dressing in rich style, and Love – a subject for which the French courts will become famous. At the origin, the academy is not just letters, manners, song, and the art of flirtation, but the proper action of heart and character aided by a dual-gender religious sect whose mission is to alleviate the suffering of the world. Young men become handsome, smart knights, and damisels become intelligent and alluring, fulfilling crusader Eleanor’s idea of how future kings and queens should sustain family ties in Europa. Initially, Henri has little regard for his heirs and heiresses, but when they become of age, he uses them to serve his needs. He botches his son’s own coronation to achieve power.  Will theirs become an enlightened empire or a tyrannical kingdom? A rich cast of householders, troubadours, knights, and lords distinguish this landmark series that deconstructs famed heroic stories of Chretien of Troyes and Mary de France, the people of her court whose theme is love and rebellion.

6

Here is the 6th and final novel in Mark Richard Beaulieu’s Eleanor Code cycle. The Legacy is rich in language and storytelling. Eleanor must escape prison of 16 years, only to find she must reprise her life. Once again, the persistent queen will travel distantly to the south, east, and west in a grand odyssey to save her family before she can go home to find peace. 

The year is 1173. Eleanor is moved between jails and cut off from the world. What can she do behind prison walls for her family? King Henri II moves to divorce her, the Church vilifies her, as all evidence of her legacy achievement is destroyed. Meanwhile, her sons are at war with her husband. Her persistent belief in their winning and her liberation is to come true — only, victory would be more elusive than she desired.

As freedom comes in degrees, Eleanor will revive a court of manners at Berkhamsted for her daughter’s family in exile from Germany. They learn from Eleanor’s medieval Book on Love that she struggles to finalize with the Church. In her book, she hides a mysterious code. Why are there 31 rules and 12 chief laws? 

Older and wiser, the enigmatic woman’s adventures are just as much about each of her children and grandchildren to build their own legacy. Even in prison, Eleanor defends their thrones and advances their German, Spanish, and French domains. Eleanor champions the restoration to power of her eldest son, Young Henry. However, two irreconcilable sons, Richard Lionheart a product of her code, and John Lackland, absent of her code, take center stage. The queen becomes involved in Richard’s Holy Crusade. There is one major problem with Holy War, the Church itself which betrayed her in the 2nd Crusade. As much as Richard learns from his mother’s mistakes, the skilled warrior is flung into 3rd  Crusade. At the calling of a 4th Crusade, Eleanor’s code and chivalry flee for good. Into her late seventies, Eleanor travels the ends of the earth, giving everything she’s got to ensure the viability of her progeny. In The Legacy, perhaps the good a person does can live after them.

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This ten-year writing project draws on the latest scholarly research. Beaulieu’s historical fiction significantly updates what we know of this powerful medieval queen. Find out how she becomes one of the most enigmatic women of the middle ages as she develops the Eleanor Code. Born Alienor d’Aquitaine in 1124, living until 1204, she twice becomes a queen, once for France with King Louis 7th, then for England with King Henri 2nd.

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