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The Canterbury Papers
by Healey, Judith Koll
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1. The novel is narrated by French princess Alais Capet. What are her views on the monarchies of both France and England? Is there a perspective that Alais cannot see because of her royal ties?

2. What is the true purpose of Alais journey? Is it merely to find out what secret Eleanor knows, or does she have a deeper purpose at heart?

3. Women of the middle ages are often portrayed as helpless pawns. How is Alais portrayed differently and in what ways does her character illuminate those differences? How much does the setting affect her character? Would a character like Alais be as effective in a modern day setting?

4. Throughout history, the Church has always held a pivotal position within the monarchial societies. What role does the Church have here? How does the author use the Church to reinforce certain stages of the plot?

5. What is the political impact of Alais and Henrys affair? How about the personal impact? How does this shape Alais character and her future?

6. In what ways does the character of Alais differ from that of Eleanor? From her own words we know that they used to be the best of friends, how has that relationship changed and how did that change affect Alais?

Additional discussion questions from: Reading Group Guides
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