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Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life (Ballantine Reader's Circle) Paperback – April 3, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Weir sets the reader up in the Forward, mentioning that little information about Eleanor has been found or proven. However, she is quick to point out the difference between her book and the books of other authors attempting to portray Eleanor. Weir claims that some previous biographers have painted a not-so-virtuous picture of Eleanor because they have relied on poor evidence. (For example, many biographers have used fictional works -- poetry, songs -- of the period to prove that Eleanor was an adultress.)
A continuing refrain in the book is, "Some historians have said X. Contemporary theorists have said Y. Based on the evidence I've seen, I can't decide between X or Y." While I do appreciate Wier's unbiased opinion, it didn't always make for the most interesting reading. Often I felt dissatisfied because I wanted to know more - I wanted to know the truth. However, perhaps that is Weir's point - we'll never truly know what Eleanor was like because there is simply not enough evidence.
In order to learn more about Eleanor's life, Wier had to painstakingly resurrect it from accounts of the lives of her children and family members. Consequently, the book serves as an excellent primer about Eleanor's historical period and family. For me, this was an unexpected bonus because I know very little about medieval times, the Crusades, etc. However, readers that are very medieval-savvy may find Weir's extensive (but necessary) digressions annoying.
Overall: If you're looking for a peek into the life of a lesser-known historical figure and time period, this book is an excellent choice.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Absolutely loved this biography. The detail and the obvious efforts that went into this book make it amazing. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Amazon Customer
Hard to top Alison Weir when it comes to British history, and this book is no different. Couldn't put it down - historically accurate, with brilliant descriptions of countryside,... Read morePublished 1 month ago by R. Fass
Couldn't get into this book. It was dry as dirt. More like a list of names and dates. Need a few more words to meet the minimum.Published 1 month ago by catlvr14
Fascinating, well-written and very readable. This history reads like a novel.Published 2 months ago by George V. Garvin
Katherine Hepburn was one of my ultimate favorite actresses, from Hollywood's Golden Years. Her portrail of Eleanor of Aquitaine, in the movie version of: The Lion in Winter, was... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Sara Gutierrez
Fascinating story of an amazing woman told with few available resources. Especially interesting just before a trip to Aquitaine. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Nancy Shinno