III -The Voyage West


‘Eleanor of Aquitaine: Voyage West’ delivers storyteller Mark Beaulieu’s third volume recreating Eleanor of Aquitaine’s rich medieval world. Stepping into her role as a spirited crusader, this young French queen and mother must fight for all she believes in. Her overzealous husband King Louis and church continues putting souls in jeopardy. Survival is her only option to leave Outremer and sail an intriguing voyage home.

Coming ashore in Antioch after horrific losses where only one in twenty survives, Eleanor must overcome despair. Her court shows her an exotic desert culture in her uncle King Raymond’s principality. At first, it seems Eleanor is involved with the sophisticated King. She and Louis explode in dramatic confrontation not realizing actions far deeper are taking place by the forces that have called the crusade.

This begins a layered world as complex as Eleanor, where armed political struggle, divisive religion, medieval concepts, and passions compound. Her court of chevaliers and women, a troubadour prince, and a gifted acrobat encounter the people of the desert. Eleanor meets the sister-queens who operate the holy lands. Ultimately, she understands the forces that have called and drive the Second Crusade. Eleanor learns what it takes to be a Queen and to use her court to full advantage.

At sea, on what first appears to be a restful voyage home, the women of the Crusade find intrigue on their own ship. They encounter the masters of the Mediterranean from captains to kings. There is mystery; there is killing; there is love. Friends will test the limits of their code; nature and man will challenge their courage. It is an amazing voyage and a thrilling adventure of one of the greatest Queens who ever lived.


The historical stage of Eleanor in her role as a female leader on the Second Crusade spans three hard years of medieval holy war and its aftermath. In spite of fears for safety and facing real and immediate danger at war, she struggles with an all-knowing church and an unknowing King: a perfect storm for making infallibly horrific military decisions. It is a miracle that she survived. Few did. Although the Crusade quest drives Eleanor forward, it is everything else that matters. Starting as a novice, she experienced exotic Outremer, met strong personalities, and took a politically significant voyage. After all her travail Eleanor heads home as a wholly different person. Having learned what it took to be a Queen, she is changed forever.

It is impossible to imagine that a world leader today would be present on a hot battlefield, much less accompanied by a spouse. And who takes vacations anymore to go on a quest, gets lost in translation, and allows themselves to be transformed?

‘Eleanor of Aquitaine: The Voyage West’ follows the pilgrim march on ‘The Journey East.’

‘The Journey East’ and ‘The Voyage West’ tell the story of Eleanor of Aquitaine’s perilous crusade adventure to Outremer and back.