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Synopsis

This is a glorious chronicle of how a problematic marriage between a desperate bride and an obstinate king slowly transformed into a great love affair, the remarkable legacy of which was the launch of the Age of Discovery. Philippa of Lancaster, older sister of Britain's King Henry IV, hungered for her own power and influence when she married King Joao I of Portugal, a stubborn former priest. Although he had been assisted by Philippa's father, John of Gaunt, in salvaging Portugal's future as an independent country, Joao initially refused to share the same castle as his bride or to have any dealings with her. Educated, diplomatic and determined, Philippa was not easily deterred: She first persuaded Joao's mistress to enter a convent for life. Then Philippa then took Joao's two illegitimate children under her wing and treated them as her own, while she organized day to day business in the kingdom as though Joao were beside her. Slowly, he began to visit her and as they came to know more about each other, to their great surprise Philippa and Joao discovered they were a match made in heaven. Their awkward marriage of convenience blossomed into a wonderful lifelong love affair. They raised an extraordinary family and launched Portugal's ascent into its Golden Age.

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