Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My upcoming book, The Tapestry Shop, set in 13th century France, takes place during the reign of Louis IX. King Louis married into a family of beautiful women, and Louis’ sister-in-law was considered one of the most beautiful women in France. Her name was Eleanor of Provence.
Eleanor was brought to England at the age of twelve, to marry Henry III of England. Until that time she had never laid eyes on him. When she married her king at Canterbury Cathedral, she wore a golden gown that shimmered in the sunlight. The skirt fell in wide pleats to her feet. The sleeves of the gown were lined with ermine.
Once settled in to court life, she frequently ordered her gowns from her homeland, France, and was often seen with a girdle (a belt-like affair) into which she casually tucked a small dagger.
Together, Henry and Eleanor had five children. She was respected for her lively intelligence and for writing poetry, but some Londoners resented her influence with the king. For more about Eleanor, you can read Jean Plaidy’s Queen From Provence.

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