- Eleanor’s Daughter: a historical novel about Marie de Champagne, the eldest daughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine, set in twelfth-century France. I hope to finish this book by the end of the year or shortly thereafter. Some of you may wonder about this radical departure from books about the Georgia coast. I still hope to return to the du Bignon story, which is fascinating. But twelfth-century French literature was my research specialization when I was a college professor, and I have long researched the life of Marie de Champagne, intending to write her story. So much is known about her mother, the famous Eleanor of Aquitaine, wife of both King Louis VII of France (Marie’s father) and Henry II of England. Remember A Lion in Winter? The story of countess Marie, who served for many years as the regent of Champagne, which was larger than the kingdom of France, at a time when women were not easily accepted as rulers. She also held a court renowned for its poets and authors and she was the patron of Chrétien de Troyes, who wrote the story of Lancelot and Guinevere for her. Her life is fascinating, deeply affected by the crusades, and I hope my readers will enjoy it.