MYSTERIOUS QUEEN COMES BRILLIANTLY ALIVE
IN THIS HISTORICAL NOVEL
“Queen Without a Country” is based on the life of
Berengaria, queen of Richard The Lionheart of England. For centuries Berengaria has languished in the shadows. Thanks to this book, she finally gets her due.
In this absorbing novel, Rachel Bard brings to life a
distant period of history and sheds new light on a long-neglected queen.
Berengaria, the Basque princess who married Richard the Lionheart, is faced with
an indifferent husband, an imperious mother-in-law, and the ruthless power
players of medieval Europe. As Richard’s wife, then widow, she struggles to make
her way in a world dominated by men. The meticulously researched story takes the
reader across the whole turbulent landscape of Berengaria’s world, from Spain to
Sicily, the Holy Land, France and England.
The Major Players:
Berengaria, eldest daughter of Sancho VI (the Wise) of
Richard I, King of England,
also known as Richard the Lionheart
Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard’s mother and Dowager Queen of
Blanche, Berengaria’s sister; later Countess of Champagne
Count Thibaut of Champagne, her husband
Philip Augustus, King of France
John, King of England, successor to Richard
Pierre Savary de Colombiers, later Chevalier of France
The Story in Brief:
Berengaria, a Basque princess, finds her tranquil life
abruptly changed in 1191 when she is snatched away from her native Navarre to
marry Richard the Lionheart , King of England. The marriage is stormy from the
beginning. Though Berengaria falls deeply in love with Richard, he proves an
indifferent husband, more interested in his Crusade and his philandering than in
his queen. After his death Berengaria fights for recognition by his English
heirs and for her rightful inheritance. With no resources except her own
determination and the moral support of the Pope, she succeeds—after 20 years.
finds a safe haven as Dame of Le Mans and proves a
wise, firm administrator, surprising the powerful churchmen who had ruled the
city and expected to bend a weak woman to their will. Believing life hold no
more surprises, at 50 she discovers for the first time what it is to love and be
loved in return. With her beloved companion Pierre Savary at her side, she
fulfills a longtime dream: to build an abbey and a center of learning. The night
before it is dedicated, Berengaria dies, mourned by her people. Her legacy, the
magnificent abbey, still stands.
here to read a sample chapter from "Queen Without a Country"