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Power of a Woman. Memoirs of a turbulent life: Eleanor of Aquitaine by Robert Fripp

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Tue June 22nd, 2010, 8:23 pm

Everyone agreed that Eleanor was exceptionally beautiful. In her youth she was called perpulchra;"beyond beautiful", and even in her old age Richard Devizes described her as beautiful. That's why it's frustrating that no one bothered to add any details :)

In support of the auburn hair theory, this piece from Wikipedia:

"The 12th-century ideal of beauty was blonde hair and blue eyes; thus many have suggested that the chroniclers would not have been so exuberant in their praises if Eleanor had not conformed to this ideal. However, it is more likely that she had red or auburn hair, inheriting her coloring from her father and grandfather, who were both brown-eyed with copper-red hair. The evidence for this can be found in a mural in the chapel of Sainte-Radegonde at Chinon. The mural, which was painted during Eleanor's lifetime in a region in which she was well known and almost certainly depicts her, shows a woman with reddish-brown hair."

Image

The image from the Ste-Radegonde mural, thought to depict Eleanor and her youngest son, John
Last edited by annis on Tue June 22nd, 2010, 9:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Tue June 22nd, 2010, 10:45 pm

So my theory of the blue eyes probably isn't too far off. I don't know how he could extrapolate any kind of likeness from a statue of her, though, since depictions of humans in art and sculpture from that time are so totally stylized. It is a very nice portrait, though.

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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Wed June 23rd, 2010, 3:31 am

"annis" wrote:In my experience medieval chroniclers are annnoyingly reticent about supplying interesting details like eye and hair colour.



That's because they were MEN! If women had done the chronicling, we'd know all those vital details. :D
Last edited by Michy on Wed June 23rd, 2010, 3:36 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Ken
Compulsive Reader
Location: Truro, Cornwall, UK

Postby Ken » Wed June 23rd, 2010, 7:58 am

"Michy" wrote:That's because they were MEN! If women had done the chronicling, we'd know all those vital details. :D


Judging by the covers of recent historical fiction books books by women, women chroniclers would have described the georgeous dresses worn by their heroines, but they would have been headless!!! :p ;)

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EC2
Bibliomaniac
Location: Nottingham UK
Contact:

Postby EC2 » Wed June 23rd, 2010, 9:18 am

She has auburn hair in the fresco painting of her that's on the front cover of the USA version of Devil's Brood and it's contemporary. I've not seen any primary source written references. My 'alternative' researches with Alison have shown her as having hair with a golden burnish that might be auburn given full light, and features of a similar type to the Sitwells, but of course the latter is totally inadmissable in the conventional canon of research. Useful for a novelist though :-)
I do find it very interesting re the Robert Fripp book that Melissa Snell, who has long run a medieval newsletter, endorses this book. Melissa is very picky on her historical fiction. I have no idea myself if Power of a Woman is worth the risk though.
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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Jemidar
Avid Reader
Location: Adelaide, Australia

Postby Jemidar » Wed June 23rd, 2010, 12:11 pm

"Misfit" wrote:If postage to OZ wasn't so expensive I'd loan you my Alan Savage books.


Ummm, thanks for the offer but I think I'll have to pass! I just don't think I could cope with doing it "doggy style" with Saladin at this point in time :eek: .

Never would I have believed I'd be so pleased about the ridiculous cost of postage :p .
Jenny
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"Well-behaved women rarely make history."
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Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
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[SIZE=2]Currently Reading:[/SIZE]
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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Wed June 23rd, 2010, 2:23 pm

"Ken" wrote:Judging by the covers of recent historical fiction books books by women, women chroniclers would have described the georgeous dresses worn by their heroines, but they would have been headless!!! :p ;)


Of course ...... what better way to get rid of a rival? ;)

I looked at Mr. Fripp's book on Amazon, and it looked very interesting. I was going to put it on my shopping list -- until I read his comments to a reviewer. He received seven 5-star reviews; why couldn't he be happy with that? Instead, he sniped at one of the only two people who gave his book 2 stars. **sigh**
Last edited by Michy on Wed June 23rd, 2010, 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

enelya
Reader

Postby enelya » Fri June 25th, 2010, 5:12 am

I am hesitant about this one as well, too many bad experiences lately. I will probably wait for a bargain to pick it up

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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Fri June 25th, 2010, 5:24 am

I won't read a book by an author who behaves badly or rudely like that. Period. No matter how good it may be. Mr. Fripp wasn't as bad as some others, but still uncalled-for. There are too many other good books and good authors out there to give my money to the mad cats.

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Mon June 28th, 2010, 5:32 pm

For those who are interested I noticed a giveaway here.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be


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