Sample Chapter

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Queen Without A Country
By Rachel Bard

Reader's Guide

Queen Berengaria of Navarre, Queen Without a Country 1. Do you think Berengaria was a wimp, or did she rise to the occasion when she had to? Did her character change as she matured?

2. If you'd been Berengaria, would you have given up on Richard sooner than she did?

3. What about the role of women in the Middle Ages? Do you suppose Berengaria's experiences-that is, finding a way to support herself as a widowed queen-were unusual?

4. Did you learn anything about medieval history? For example, the English-French conflicts; the English monarchy during the twelfth-thirteenth centuries; the role played by Eleanor of Aquitaine; the Third Crusade and why it "failed"?

5. Was there too much historical fact-did it get in the way of the story?

6. Did you have preconceived ideas about Richard the Lionheart? Did they change when you read this book? Do you think this book presented him accurately?

7. What did you think of Eleanor? Was she different from the way she was portrayed in the film "Lion in Winter"? Would you want her for a mother-in-law?

8. The author says in the preface that though Pierre Savary existed and knew the queen, their relationship as described in the book was largely fictional. If he had not appeared, to be her companion and lover during her latter life, would the story have suffered?

9. Did reading this book make you want to read others of the period? Would you like a reading list (besides the bibliography in the book)?