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Sunday, October 10, 2021

The Damask Rose by Carol McGrath

The story begins with Eleanor as a Princess being held hostage and with great privations and distress, especially after she lost her baby daughter. The actual story was fascinating to read. How the Princess Eleanor who was very much loved by her husband became a strong Queen who was shrewd, calculating and persistent with her plans and even with long hidden animosities which were nurtured and acted upon at the opportune moment. Eleanor was the power behind the throne - a much heeded advisor to the King, who never felt shy about her feelings on any subject within the realm. Though very diplomatically as well. She was the mother of some sixteen children, many of whom died either as still births or in infancy and this made her wary of being overly affectionate or loving as a mother. Her maternal feelings came into play only when the children were very well grown up. She handed over children to her mother in law to bring up, because she always felt that her position was by the side of her husband - whether on Crusade or whether travelling the length and breadth of Britain. In this story the other character Olwen has a very prominent part to play - from being a herbalist, a doctor's daughter who could not aspire to be an apothecary even being a woman, she was also a designer of gardens. This endeared her to the Queen who had manors and castles all over the country and who wanted gardens in every style imaginable and herbal gardens as well in all her residences. Olwen was faithful and part of the Queen's entourage for years and her story held great interest in this book. The book though very full of historical detail was not dull in the least but was a lively account of the Royal Court in the 13th century. A download from Amazon.


Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

This story sounds amazing. I cannot imagine having sixteen children, many of whom died young.

Helen said...

I enjoyed this book too and learned a lot from it, as I knew very little about Eleanor before reading it.