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Wings Like A Dove: The Courage Of Queen Jeanne D'Albret Review by Kelly Miller

By Christine Farenhorst
P&R Publishing Company
PO Box 817
Phillipsburg, New Jersey 08865-0817

In 1528 Jeanne D'Albret was born to Henri d'Albret, king of Navarre, and Marguerite de Valois, his queen, and the sister of Francois I, king of France. Because Jeanne grew up in a lifestyle of privilege in the French countryside, you might assume that her life was carefree and full of joy. However, that was far from the realities this young one faced. Though she had a myriad of servants, tutors, chefs, etc., at her call, she was denied the very essentials of love and affection from a mother and father. She was raised by a governess instead. In a move to form an alliance with Germany, Jeanne's parents betrothed her to William De La Marck, duke of Cleves, when she was only 12 years old. Her life would never be the same again. She was now the political pawn of her parents and Uncle Francois.

After three years, both the political marriage of France and Germany and the unconsummated marriage of Jeanne and William ended in annulment. Then, in a witty display of tactic, 17-year-old Jeanne convinced the king that she should marry Antoine De Bourbon, duke of Vendome. She fell madly in love with her new husband; however, it wasn't long before they had to part. Antoine was recalled to military service in Paris, and he and Jeanne communicated through letters.

As Princess Jeanne grows into womanhood, she begins to take initiative against the religious intolerance of her day. She boldly stands with the Huguenots despite her husband's cowardice and inability to embrace faith:

Jeanne passed laws to protect the ministers who faithfully preached the gospel in her kingdom. She abolished public processions and took images out of churches. Where the majority of her inhabitants in her cities were Protestant, the cathedrals were given to them for their use; where the inhabitants were equally divided, the two faiths [Catholic and Protestant] shared the church buildings. Monasteries were converted to schools; colleges were founded for higher education; the Bible was translated into Basque dialects; and ministers from Geneva continued to preach the gospel. [pg. 198]

I cannot tell you what a joy it was to read this book! I felt as if I was transported to the time of the Reformation, and could see life through this courageous woman's eyes. I saw her quest for truth and felt her longing for pure love. Christine Farenhorst has brought history alive through Wings Like A Dove, and I can't wait to read the other books in this series titled Chosen Daughters. It is refreshing to see a series that highlights the lives of ordinary women doing extraordinary things for God. What an inspiration for our young ladies!

Product review by Kelly Miller, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, February 2007