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Aliénor: La Légende Noire, vols 3 and 4

Second frame of third page of vol 3:


Second frame with dialogue on third page of vol 3 (Eleanor, very pregnant, is having a nightmare about her husband's religious mania):


Second frame on third page of vol 4 (Vincenzo Damonte comes across a tragedy in the forest):


Having very much enjoyed the first two volumes in this six-part series about the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine, I also enjoyed the next two, taking the story over the decade from Eleanor's first pregnancy in 1144 to her second marriage in 1152. Volume 3 mainly concerns the disastrous Second Crusade and its consequences, and Eleanor's entanglement with her uncle, the Crusader king Raymond of Edessa, and also with the fictional Vincenzo Damonte. (The authors miss a particularly glorious historical detail when the Pope, anxious to maintain the marriage of Eleanor and Louis VII of France, literally tucked them into bed together; their second daughter was born nine months later, but the marriage did not survive.) Volume 4, back in France, tracks the intersection of the Plantagenets, Duke Geoffrey and his ambitious and good-looking son Henry, with Louis and Eleanor in the early 1150s, and ends with her, newly divorced, marrying Henry (this requires some info-dumping about how he is about to become King of England). Still, the team of Arnaud Delalande and Simona Mogavino (writers) and Carlos Gomez (artist) has breathed a lot of life into the dusty bones of the historical narrative, and I have gone out and got the final two volumes now.

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