December 1st, 2019


Book Review: When Christ and His Saints Slept, by Sharon Kay Penman

A juicy historical prequel to the epic of Eleanor of Aquitaine.

When Christ and His Saints Slept

Ballantine Books, 1994, 784 pages

A.D. 1135. As church bells tolled for the death of England's King Henry I, his barons faced the unwelcome prospect of being ruled by a woman: Henry's beautiful daughter Maude, Countess of Anjou. But before Maude could claim her throne, her cousin Stephen seized it. In their long and bitter struggle, all of England bled and burned.

Sharon Kay Penman's magnificent fifth novel summons to life a spectacular medieval tragedy whose unfolding breaks the heart even as it prepares the way for splendors to come—the glorious age of Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Plantagenets that would soon illumine the world.

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