Queen Eleanor: Independent Spirit of the Medieval World

ISBN: 0395981395
ISBN 13: 9780395981399
By: Polly Schoyer Brooks

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Biography Currently Reading Eleanor Of Aquitaine England Favorites History Medieval Non Fiction Nonfiction To Read

About this book

Accused of being a demon by those who could not tolerate her independence, Eleanor of Aquitaine made her mark as one of the most dynamic and extraordinary figures of the Middle Ages. Born in 1122, Eleanor refused to be confined by the traditional gender roles of her time. She became well educated, gaining political and governing know-how from her father, William X, duke of Aquitaine, and armed herself with the skills necessary to become an influential queen-first of France, and later, England. With an impact that reached beyond politics, Eleanor shaped the future of the arts and humanities. And in a time when women were viewed as inferior to men, the virtues of chivalry and courtly love were born. Once described by a contemporary as "a woman beyond compare," Eleanor of Aquitaine is a figure who will remain controversial, powerful, and enchanting in the twenty-first century.

Reader's Thoughts


Quick, easy intro to Eleanor of Aquitaine and the other players of that time period. Good jumping off point for more thorough study of Eleanor, France, and England in the Middle Ages.


This is on par with a high school reader but I loved reading about this era and led me to other books about this time period.


I do love history- what an interesting female leader in a time of male dominance. Queen Eleanor lived until she was 81 and had 10 kids wow!


Read this in less than a day, it's a good quick introduction for anyone unfamiliar with Eleanor of Aquitaine. Details are a bit sparse in sections, but it's not a bad way to spend a lazy afternoon. Especially good for those who just want facts about her to have an idea of who Eleanor was before delving into more detailed books.


This is a good beginning point for those who are interested in Eleanor of Aquitaine. I realize that this was written with a young audience in mind, so there are no footnotes and references and very few primary source quotes. Unfortunately, the writing is thin, factual, and leads the reader into very little "flavor" of the period.

Christina Sesok

I don't know a whole lot about Eleanor of Aquitaine, so I can't speak definitively as to the accuracy of this book. That is why I picked this book though, it was a nice, short biography, just enough to give me a basic idea as to who Eleanor was and what she did. As a whole, I found the book to be short, sweet and to the point. It was basically just the facts with no implications or interpretation of the facts. While usually I don't like this, I found it pleasurable, but only because I don't know anything about Eleanor of Aquitaine, and I only wanted the facts at the moment until I have a better grasp of who she was as a person. I would recommend this book, but mostly for people who don't know a whole lot about Eleanor of Aquitaine and want to know more about her before getting into deeper information about her.

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