The Kingdom of France, 1173. A remarkable queen rallies her sons against a tyrannical king - their father.
It is with a soft voice, full of menace, that our mother commands us to overthrow our father . . .
Richard Lionheart tells the story of his mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine. In 1173, she and three of her sons instigate a rebellion to overthrow the English king, her husband Henry Plantagenet. What prompts this revolt? How does a great queen persuade her children to rise up against their father? And how does a son cope with this crushing conflict of loyalties?
Replete with poetry and cruelty, this story takes us to the heart of the relationship between a mother and her favourite son - two individuals sustained by literature, unspoken love, honour and terrible violence.
An unbridled epic . . . Oedipus and Shakespeare at the palace of Poitiers, 'Game of Thrones' in Aquitaine - Le Point
A profound, modern take on the deepest recesses of the human soul - Livres Hebdo
It takes a certain amount of audacity of tackle the life of the immense figure of Eleanor of Aquitaine. But Clara Dupont-Monod dances beautifully with history, never putting a foot wrong - Figaro
Clara Dupont-Monod studied ancient French at the Sorbonne, and began her career in journalism writing for Cosmopolitan and Marianne. Her novels often draw on medieval myths and history, and have been nominated for the Prix Goncourt and the Prix Femina, two of France's most prestigious literary awards.
She lives in Paris, and has been haunted by the story of Eleanor of Aquitaine for many years.