Again I downloaded this book free on Librivox. I'm sure there is so much more to learn about these monarchs but this recording was full of information. It spoke of Eleanora of Aquitane, Richard's mother, who was first married to King Louis II of France. The lands which her grandfather had dominion over were turned over to her but it was a condition of the marriage that the land not be incorporated into France.
Eleanora was a feisty woman and insisted on accompanying her husband on the crusades along with a number of the women from her court. This didn't turn out well, women being women.
She also liked men and her affairs were no secret. Even though they were catholic she and Louis found a way to be granted an annulment by the Pope so she could marry King Henry II of England.
The events in this book were exciting. Many of us think our families are dysfunctional... King Henry II's sons were constantly at war both between themselves and against their father. He kept his wife and daughters prisoners for most of their lives with him. He also supposedly had a mistress, Rosamond, who's cottage was built for her within the grounds of the palace hidden away at the end of a maze.
In the end all of his sons died with the exception of Richard, who accended the throne, and John.
Then begins the story of the adventures of Richard I himself on the crusades. All in one book.
Jacob Abbot did a wonderful job of relating a very complicated story. You can also download this book from the Guttenberg Press. That is where most of Librivox's readings are from and if you look at the Guttenberg site you can see the maps and illustrations that are in the book.
These books have me thirsting for more knowledge of the Monarchy for some reason. I've downloaded Richard III now as well.