April 27, 2016 — Escondido, California. A new edition of Eleanor of Aquitaine – The Voyage West / 1148-1151 (458 pages) was published by Mark Richard Beaulieu today in print and digital formats. Grammatic and literary reasons prompted the revision. The page count is the same as the prior edition.
This fictional, historically accurate novel tracks controversial Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine after her harrowing travel across Anatolia (Turkey) in The Journey East / 1138-1148. The Voyage West begins with Eleanor and a devastated Crusade Army arriving on the desolate shores of Antioch having lost everything. The traveling queen and her court experience rich foreign cultures, endure the horrors of war, and then begin their own inner spiritual voyage. Driven forward by holy quest, Eleanor finds it is everything else that matters. Through novice eyes, she experiences exotic Outremer and learns what it takes to be a queen. She arrives home as a wholly different person, changed forever.
Author Mark Richard Beaulieu explains, “It is impossible to imagine that a world leader today would be present on a hot battlefield, much less, traveling with a spouse. And who takes vacations anymore to go on a quest, get utterly lost in translation, and allows themselves to be transformed? Not in modern times, not with the package deal.”
Mark points out, “Readers and historians alike will be surprised by a number of overlooked elements that escape the conventional story of Eleanor. During research, I discovered George of Antioch and his patron King Roger of Sicily. These larger than life figures whose records have been marginalized had a great effect on her life. George’s fleet sinks the Byzantine Navy and saves her at sea. The team is an object lesson in successful Maritime trade for which she will write sea laws, and sustain lucrative trade. Roger also provides a future groom for Eleanor’s daughter Joanna to become Queen of Sicily.”
One of the delights of these novels is restoring the Crusader maps used at the time of the Second Crusade. The Voyage West contains illustrations of the al-Idrisi world maps commissioned by King Roger II at the time of this war.
Part of the authenticity of this novel came from using rare journals written by pilgrims at sea, and by lords fighting the battles of the Second Crusade. Mark says, “Various Arab accounts of the Battle of Damascus found their way into the manuscript. Both views not only balance the conflict but also tell of an almost Catch-22 lunacy within each side’s command. The ‘battle of the faiths’ was as much within each religion as it was with their opponent.”
The Eleanor code, a series of six books chronicling Eleanor of Aquitaine’s life in depth, was begun in 2000. The fifth, tentatively titled Love and Rebellion, is due by the end of the year. The April 2016 edition of The Voyage West is available in print from Amazon, Kindle, and iPad.
Amazon book: http://www.amazon.com/Eleanor-Aquitaine-Voyage-West-Code/dp/1484875087/
Kindle ePub: http://www.amazon.com/Eleanor-Aquitaine-Voyage-West-Code-ebook/dp/B00CMJ8IZQ
Apple ePbub: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/eleanor-aquitaine-voyage-west/id644328851?mt=11