My historical novels Rebel Puritan and The Reputed Wife, Herodias (Long) Hicks Gardner Porter, colonial New England, travels, and whatever else seizes my fancy...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Strong-Willed Women

It’s been a while since I added to this blog.  I’ve been hard at work on preparing to publish The Reputed Wife, my sequel to Rebel Puritan, but other aspects of life have intruded as well.  My 81-year old mother went missing for 18 hours on a drive from southern Pennsylvania to upstate NY, and what should have been a 250-mile trip turned into nearly 700.  She is fine now, but after that scare, my family is assessing her abilities and needs.  One thing I can tell you – no more long-distance solo drives for her!

My mother is delightful and engaging, but anyone who has ever known her can attest that she is a strong-willed woman.  People have said that about me as well.  Is that why I was drawn to write about Herodias Long? 

That 17th-century woman grabbed me with her thoroughly modern exploits the moment I read about them, and I am still in her thrall.  What is it about Herodias which attracts me so?  I questioned a pair of friends who are writing about their own strong-willed women, and their answers are similar to mine. 

Christy English

Christy English has written two books about Eleanor of Aquitaine; To Be Queen and The Queen’s Pawn.  Why Eleanor?  I’ll let Christy tell you herself:

Why Eleanor of Aquitaine?
By Christy English
Author of TO BE QUEEN

Eleanor of Aquitaine
Why does Eleanor of Aquitaine enthrall me? This is a question with so many answers, that I’ll only talk about a few of them here. Eleanor amazed me with her power. In spite of the fact that she was born a woman during the high Middle Ages, she ruled the Aquitaine and Poitou in her own right, inheriting her property directly from her father. She managed to keep hold of her lands even after her marriage to her first husband, King Louis VII of France, was annulled.

Eleanor of Aquitaine was a powerful woman, but she was also a cultured one. She kept the art of courtly love flourishing both in England and in France, and carried it all the way to the gates of Byzantium when she rode in the Second Crusade. Eleanor was a woman who knew what she wanted. As soon as she freed herself from her first marriage, only two months later, she married Henry, the eighteen-year-old Duke of Normandy who within two years time was crowned King of England.

There are so many reasons to love Eleanor. My favorite reason is that she never gave up. No matter what obstacle rose in her path, she did not relinquish her goals. She simply waited and bided her time until she could bring her dreams to fruition. Not every task she set herself was accomplished, but most of them were. That determination, more than her lands and her titles, made Eleanor of Aquitaine a woman to be reckoned with.
Eleanor's effigy at Fontrevaud Abbey

personal photos and collection from Christy English

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...