Thursday, February 23, 2017

First Line Friday: Eleanor Edition III

It's Friday already and here I have yet another line from one of my Eleanor books to share. Okay, I am lying a bit - it is actually a paragraph. But, you'll have to excuse the stretching of the boundaries for First Line Friday because it is Eleanor and she is too cool to confine to one little line.


"Beneath the dome of the church at Fontevraud - in the twelfth century, one of the largest and most prestigious abbeys for women in France - one sees today four recumbent statues, the remains of old funerary monuments, Three of them are carved from soft limestone: that of Henry Plantagenet, count of Anjou and Maine through his father, duke of Normandy and king of England through his mother; that of his son and successor, Richard Coeur de Lion; and that of Isabella of Angouleme, second wife of John Lackland, Richard's brother, who became king in his turn in 1199. The fourth effigy, of painted wood, represents Eleanor, heiress to the duchy of Aquitaine, wife of Henry and mother of Richard and John; she died at Fontevraud, where she had finally taken the veil, on 31 March 1204."

And just for your viewing pleasure, here is a photo from the abbey and what the effigies look like today. Unfortunately the monuments were disturbed long ago, during the French Revolution. It pains me to no end in knowing that Eleanor's bones were lost or purposely destroyed, as well as those of Henry, Richard, and Isabella. This was a sacred burial place and their graves, and others, were needlessly desecrated. I am at least glad that the effigies survived. Without those, we wouldn't even have an idealized version of Eleanor. That's my girl, holding a book.

Image result for eleanor of aquitaine effigy
(Photo from Wikimedia)

After you leave your first line below, check out what my fellow First Liners have waiting for you this week. If you want to play too, contact Carrie from Reading is my SuperPower.

Rachel - Bookworm Mama

Lauraine - Lauraine's Notes

Robin - Robin's Nest

Kathleen - Kathleen Denly

Happy Reading!


  1. One day I will go and see Eleanor for myself! Loving these first lines :-)

    My first lines this week come from The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection:

    1170 AD, Ciar's Kingdom, Ireland
    The skies were as unsettled as her own future.

    1715, Argyllshire, Scotland
    "Are ye ready, miss?"
    Meg's stomach twisted at Mother Aila's question.

    June 1798, New York City
    Abigail Van de Klerk opened the door to the house she shared with her father on Pearl Street.

    July 6, 1864, Roswell, Georgia
    Water roared over the dam behind her, an echo of the blood rushing in her ears.

    Late June 1890, Coronado Island, California
    Cold water slid across his body, the dip and rise of the swell bringing challenge to his course.

    1. Yes, I can not wait to go see her for myself also. I am keeping track during my research of the places to visit when my Eleanor is older.

      Are those all stand-alones or are they somehow connected?

      Happy Friday!

  2. My first line is: "The cheerful yellow house didn't look all that imposing as Silas Jones stood in front of its fence for the fourth time that day."
    From For the Sake of the Children by Danica Favorite

    1. Hi Becky, Happy Friday!

      I'm intrigued by the line; thanks for stopping by!

  3. What a neat character to be researching!
    On my blog I shared my first line from the favorite, Pride and Prejudice. ;)
    "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man, in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."

    1. Yes, Eleanor is endlessly fascinating to me and I hope my book will do her justice. Unfortunately we do not even know what she looked like.

      It's been forever since I have read Pride and Prejudice, thanks for sharing. Happy Friday!

  4. oh I officially LOVE you! This book looks fabulous to me, and my first line comes from a cozy mystery releasing next week.

    “The world outside still clung to the previous night, the shadows not quite releasing their hold to the breaking light over the mountain ridge outside Aspen Hills, Colorado.”-Fatality by Firelight
    A Cat Latimer Mystery, Book 2
    by Lynn Cahoon

    1. Hi Bree, thank you :) I am nearly obsessed with Eleanor of Aquitaine and have found such great source material and some newer studies on her.

      I am increasingly finding myself reader these 'cozy mysteries'. I started finding ones for free via BookBub toward the end of 2016 when I was far behind on my reading goal. Now I used them as kind of a brain break from research.

      Happy Friday!

  5. It was the second time in fifteen minutes that the power had gone out at the church, and it was noticeably darker this time. The Reason by William Sirls

    Happy Friday and happy reading!

    1. Ooooh, why is the power going out?? Intriguing - especially the bit about it being 'noticeably darker'.

      Happy Friday Caryl!

  6. An Uncertain Choice
    by Jody Hedlund

    And the first line is...

    Montfort Castle, Ashby
    In the year of our Lord 1390

    "My slippered feet slapped the dirt road, and my heart hammered aginst my chest like a battering ram."

    Happy reading and Happy Friday!

  7. I found the box in the attic of an old farmhouse in Norway.
    ~East by Edith Pattou

  8. A high-pitched shriek echoed down the hall of the wedding chapel.
    The Vegas Proposal by Julie Jarnagin

  9. 1297 BC

    Naomi lifted the hem of her robe as her feet fairly flew down Bethlehem's streets toward the outskirts of town.
    Redeeming Grace by Jill Eileen Smith

  10. "Scarlet was descending toward the alley behind the Rieux Tavern when her portscreen chimed from the passenger seat, followed by an automated voice: "Comm received for Mademoiselle Scarlet Benoit from the Toulouse Law Enforcement Department of Missing Persons." - From Scarlet by Marissa Meyer - Book 2 in The Lunar Chronicles! Happy Friday!!!! P.S. I can't WAIT to read your book!!!

    1. Thank you so much Rachel, I am so excited to get it done that I sometimes forget there is still much material to go through :)

      I have heard about this series so much, I might have to read it for myself.

  11. I think I'm going to tell my family to use that photo as a guide for when I die. Make sure I am reading a book IN THE CASKET ;) hahaha!

    1. YES!! And my tombstone should be a book with all my most favorite quotes from my most favorite books all over it <3


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