Power of a Woman. Memoirs of a turbulent life: Eleanor of Aquitaine

Power of a Woman. Memoirs of a Turbulent Life: Eleanor of Aquitaine - Robert Fripp Historical fiction sometimes needs to justify itself as I know from my own meagre attempts. Is it right to take historical facts and 'popularise' them? This is not an argument I want to have here - I already believe strongly in historical fiction. Firstly 'facts' in historical terms are often no such thing - mostly we don't know the 'facts'and they are usually moderated by the victors of the time who see history as propoganda rather than an effort to fully record the events as they truly happened. But for me, the true power of historical fiction is the ability of the writer to create a real person or persons with whom the reader can identify and thereby relate much more effectively to the period in question than would otherwise be possible. It needs to be done carefully and thoughtfully and is often a difficult task.Robert Fripp knows his stuff. Not only does he understand the subject matter, the life and times of probably and/or arguably depending on your view the most powerful woman in history, Eleanor of Aquitaine, but he adds further difficulty to his efforts by choosing to write it from her own perspective, as she dictates her life story to a female scribe for posteriety. To attempt to speak AS the historical character is bold, to interpret her own thoughts, desires, passions and weaknesses, difficult and to do all that as a man, some might consider foolhardy!But Robert Fripp pulls this off, in my view brilliantly, and I congratulate him not just for his bravery but for producing a book that left me knowing much more about this incredible woman, warts and all, than I knew before.Job done. I now know more about this amazing woman than I knew before and would ever have discovered from a simple history book - which frankly I would probably not have read anyway.Robert Fripp has proved my argument for historical fiction and written a great book into the bargain.I highly recommend it.