“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 Navarre

  • Richard I, King of England, also known as Richard the Lionheart

  • Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard’s mother and Dowager Queen of England

  • 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.

Berengaria 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.

Click here to read a sample chapter from "Queen Without a Country"

Queen Berengaria of Navarre, Queen Without A Country

Queen Without A Country

ISBN 0-9710333-8-2

$14.95 ; Paperback

Available from Amazon.com


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