Eleanor of Aquitaine
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The wife of Louis VII of France, then of Henry II of England, and mother of Richard I and King John, Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122–1204) was a dominant figure in the twelfth century. For the French poet, philosopher and historian Jean Markale, she was pivotal: a paragon of beauty and virtue, the embodiment of sovereignty and 'heroine of a revolution that awakened the Middle Ages from its torpor'. First published in France in 1979; translated by Jon E Graham.