Blanche d’Alpuget

Blanche d’Alpuget is an award-winning Australian writer of French and English heritage. Her latest work is a quintet of novels set in 12th C France and England, illuminating the lives of Henry II and his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine who, before becoming his wife, was Queen of France.  They were parents of Richard the Lionheart and King John (who signed the Magna Carta) and grandparents to the aristocracy of the UK and western Europe. Henry is now recognized as one of England’s greatest monarchs, although for centuries his reputation was tarnished by the murder of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, on the altar steps of Canterbury cathedral.

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Details abound, and d'Alpuget's instinct is to share them. d'Alpuget concentrates on the ways and motives of the powerful, not least of such women as Matilda and Eleanor, and convincingly evokes the menace, death, and cruelty of this 12th-century world. Buy the Young Lion in time for Xmas. That season is celebrated in the novel in a fashion that became legendary! Always up for the dare, d'Alpuget let's those four and twenty blackbirds out of the pie.

Sydney Morning Herald

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