The Canterbury Papers

The Canterbury Papers

Book - 2004
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The former queen of both England and France, Eleanor of Aquitaine sends her one-time ward, Alais, sister of the king of France, on a mission to retrieve a cache of dangerous letters hidden in Canterbury Cathedral.
Publisher: New York : William Morrow, ©2004.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780060773328
Branch Call Number: FIC HEALEY, JUDITH
Characteristics: 353 pages ; 21 cm


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Jun 10, 2015

The Canterbury Papers brought to life an historical figure I'd never encountered before- Alaïs Capet, stepdaughter of Eleanor of Aquitane. This book did an excellent job of bringing a little-known figure into life, especially as an older (for the day) woman caught in the typical Plantagenet drama of the day.

There's a fair amount of actual history in here, and the author is good at calling out the fictitious bits from it. It's got a lot going on- mainly intrigue and mystery, but also adventure, a strong female protagonist, and romance. It's a pretty well-paced novel, although I wanted to see more about William Marshall and a few of the other side characters (who are actual historical figures).

Overall, I recommend it for fans of historical fiction, especially 1200s England/France/Aquitane, the Plantagenets, and the Knights Templar. Even if you are only mildly interested in historical fiction, the narrative voice of a 40s-sh woman being given the breath and space to become her own person (at a time where she was, by status and birth, always meant to be a political pawn) was refreshing and sweet.

Dec 08, 2014

This book is extremely well-written. The plot and the many interesting historical details made it difficult to put down. I found myself reading well into the night. I can't wait for this author's next book.


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