In The Journey East, Mark Richard Beaulieu continues the fascinating life of Eleanor of Aquitaine with a second volume. Set in the historically rich 12th century, the young French Queen brings her culture into conflicted Paris, where she will become a mother. Developing her court, she leads an army on an amazing journey of personal destinations.
With a unique view of the world, parentless Eleanor is brought East into Paris. Married to King Louis the Seventh at age 13, Eleanor is not allowed to bring her Aquitaine chevaliers, troubadours, or friends. She runs up against the French Court, a reigning Queen, and a dark city of obedient religion. Outside of Paris, a new cathedral is built of glowing walls of stained glass, run by Abbot Adam Suger. He is in conflict with austere Abbot Bernard of Clairvaux, the nemesis of Eleanor’s family. In the division of faith, Eleanor takes sides, but not as you might expect in this contest for power.
The young attractive queen faces trials of majesty to bring light to France. Upholding her sister’s marriage and dealing with factions that battle to divide the realm, the queen and king are swept up into the French civil war. After her first child, her Aquitaine messenger birds bring news that the First Crusade of her forefathers would not be the last.
Recruiting the largest land army ever assembled using her persuasive skills, Eleanor embarks on a 3,000-mile journey East across medieval Europe to enter the ill-fated Second Crusade. She, her champion court, and a train of three hundred women encounter the enchanting culture of Byzantium – the greatest city in the world. Detained by a skilled Emperor, they cross into mountainous Outremer. Running out of supply, they suffer a brutal winter war against the Saracens. Eleanor and her friends test the bounds of chivalry, love, courage, endurance, and the very limits of faith. This fantastic exploration of stamina and a passionate tells her journey with her people.
This ten-year writing project draws on the latest scholarly research. Beaulieu’s historical fiction significantly updates what we know of this powerful medieval queen. Born as Alienor, she twice becomes a queen, once for France with King Louis 7th, then for England with King Henri 2nd. Find out how she becomes one of the most enigmatic women of the middle ages as she develops the Eleanor Code and gets to be the grandmother of empires.
Mark Richard Beaulieu is an expert on the 12th-century life of Eleanor of Aquitaine. He is an accomplished author, collected painter, award-winning photographer, and innovative software technologist. Trained as a studio artist, Mark holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California at Davis and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.
This edition is February 2020