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Queen Eleanor: Independent Spirit of the Medieval World

3.44  ·  Rating Details  ·  153 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published October 25th 1999 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published June 30th 1983)
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(showing 1-30 of 287)
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I'm not sure how so many books manage to turn Eleanor of Aquitaine into either a simpering romantic or a woman made reckless by her sexual desires. This book manages to avoid both of those, happily, although the first half is a pretty dry read.

Some funny moments. Take this: For the occasion Eleanor wore a gown of pure silk with tight-fitting sleeves, designed to show off her delicate wrists—as important as a slim ankle is today (26). That had me scrambling to find the publication date, and indee
Sarah Bruno
May 04, 2015 Sarah Bruno rated it did not like it
I thought reading this book would be very interesting and helpful to me since I love history instead it turned out to be one of my least favorite historical non fiction books. I think the reason for that is because it was more a fact book about the important events in her life instead of a memoir where she discusses how she felt in doing these events. And honestly I would think of this book as a reference for a history report instead of a story. One thing I did enjoy about this book was looking ...more
Christopher Newton
Eleanor of Aquitaine for the Nancy Drew set. Looking for a quick read in my daughter's bookshelves, I spotted this and had a look. The first thing I noticed was that it was suitable for "ages 11 and up." I am well over eleven so I started reading and, surprisingly, found that I quite enjoyed it. Fast and fun. Good lord, I hope I'm not entering my second childhood already.
Didn't realize this was a book for young people when I grabbed it, so I'm judging it as that. I think this would be a good introduction to Eleanor of Aqitaine, and would entice someone new to the subject to read more.
Oct 16, 2015 Shelli rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, history
This was one of the titles listed on my daughter’s school website as great reads for freshman. Compared to some of the other titles mentioned on the list I was surprised to find this one was not a read with challenging vocabulary. Previously our book for Language Arts had been Romeo and Juliet, with some very dated language we are not accustomed to hearing or reading. The information about Eleanor of Aquitaine was informative and delivered in an engaging enough way that neither my daughter nor I ...more
Dec 28, 2015 Lena rated it really liked it
I gave it four stars, because I learned quite a bit about Eleanor. The book was a fast read and I was engaged the entire time. There were many different connections between other works of literature. Plus, she was a pretty great women who made changes. I was kind of annoyed with her in the beginning. But as she grew older she became wise and knowledgeable, and she made better decisions.
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
Apr 06, 2014 Chow rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! I found out in December through family history that I'm a descendent of Queen Eleanor. I had a daughter last month and named her Eleanor, after Queen Eleanor, our ancestor.

I read this book to know more about who she was and wow! I picked a great lady to name my daughter after!!!

Great read!
Apr 02, 2014 Jen rated it liked it
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.
Nov 02, 2014 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Written for children, I very much enjoyed this book even as an adult. It was a very interesting story no matter what, but she writes in a way that's easy to understand and creates an exciting narrative. Sometimes you learn the most from what is simply stated.
Jul 18, 2015 Mary rated it really liked it
A clear, informative easy read about the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine. On of history's most influential women.
Aug 20, 2014 B rated it liked it
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!
Aug 24, 2015 Melanie rated it it was amazing
Great historical account of an amazing woman. Easy to learn a lot from this quick read.
Jan 22, 2014 Suzanne rated it really liked it
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.
Malcolm Ewing
Dec 21, 2014 Malcolm Ewing rated it liked it
A good short overview of the long and illustrious life of the great Eleanor of Aquitaine.
Feb 29, 2016 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, british
I love stories of strong women. Even better when they're true! Eleanor was an amazing woman, who led a life that the rest of us can hardly fathom. She married two kings, had 10 children, lived to the age of 82 (in the middle ages even) and never lost her identity.
Jul 21, 2009 AJ rated it it was ok
Required 10 grade AP reading.

I took detailed notes on this book. I dreaded reading it, but was a little surprised. Hated the beginning, because the writing was so straight forward and encyclopedia-style, but I ended up liking it. A little girly, but that doesn't bother me :)

It was ok. I won't read it again, hopefully.
Feb 16, 2010 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My daughter needed to read a biography for school so we picked up a few at the library, including this one. I did enjoy reading it as it was a nice brush up on some European Medieval history. She was quite a woman, certainly worth learning about. I really want to encourage my kids to read more biographies- diversify a little!
Sarah's Book Nook
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.
Aug 01, 2012 Alexis rated it liked it
This is a very short, simple biography. There is virtually no analysis of the facts and it is clearly written for a young reader, but it does give a good, broad overview of Eleanor's life. It is enough to make me want to learn more about her at some point and consider more critical analyses of her decisions and adventures.
Kitty Jay
Sep 19, 2010 Kitty Jay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book. Eleanor is such a fascinating and interesting charachter, and this book was really exciting. And this is coming from a fantasy lover! I recommend this book to anyone who wants adventure and drama, with the fascinating fact that it all really happened.
Devon Williams
Oct 24, 2014 Devon Williams rated it liked it
Recommends it for: history buffs, feminists
Recommended to Devon by: Schmalhofer
Had to read this for 10 pre-AP Language Arts.
I was neither bored nor interested by this book. I could stand to read a few chapters a time due to their brevity, but I found my mind would wander incessantly. I hope I don't forget everything by August.
Jul 20, 2007 Amelia added it
I read this book for my first semester project for Mr. Rourke (I survived!!) and I ended up really loving it. It was written in such a compelling way that I actually looked forward to reading it.
Dec 30, 2008 Éowyn rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Short, consice biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Doesn't go into much details of have much by way of analysis. Fairly simplistic at times.
Jan 06, 2009 Debbie rated it really liked it
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.
Sam Blizzard
Dec 15, 2012 Sam Blizzard rated it really liked it
More interesting than I thought it would be. Now I'm interested in reading other biographies of English Royalty.
Haley Cornett
Aug 23, 2011 Haley Cornett rated it liked it
Way better then I thought it was going to be. I should read more history books! I loved it, very intersting!
Tori Amos
Dec 25, 2012 Tori Amos rated it it was ok
Not bad for a biography, which usually aren't my thing, but it was incredibly boring.
Jul 29, 2009 Taylor rated it it was ok
I'm not a real big fan of nonfiction... especially biographies.
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Polly Schoyer Brooks lives in New Canaan, Connecticut, where she enjoys her four children, ten grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.
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