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A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver
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A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  2,517 Ratings  ·  239 Reviews
While waiting in heaven for divine judgment to be passed on her second husband, Eleanor of Aquitaine and three of the people who knew her well recall the events of her life.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 1st 2001 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published 1973)
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Lisa the Librarian
I especially anticipated reading this book for a couple of reasons.

1 - I love other books by this author especially From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and Jennifer, Hecate, McBeth, William McKinley and Me, Elizabeth.

2 - The book tells the story of Eleanor of Aquitaine, from whom, I am decended.

I really liked the execution of the unfolding of the story. Eleanor is in heaven with people she knew during her mortal life, they are awaiting the decision of whether or not her husband
Feb 02, 2011 Jessica rated it it was amazing
I read this book, like so many of Konigsburg's, over and over as a kid. I was probably the only fifth grader at my school who not only knew who Eleanor of Aquitaine was, but could rattle off details of her life as easily as talking about an old friend. The wonderful, personal way that this book is written makes it easy to read and remember the details of Eleanor's life, and I am pretty much still waiting for Konigsburg or another author to do the same thing for other historical figures.
Jul 04, 2014 Claire rated it really liked it
I chose to read this book because I have enjoyed all the books I have currently read by EL Konigsburg. This was was SO different; especially since I had no idea what it was about before starting it. It is actually historical fiction/ is about Queen Eleanor and King Henry II back in the twelfth century. Konigsburg states in the front fold of the book that all facts and events about Eleanor in the book are true, which makes it a very interesting book. I definitely want to read more abo ...more
Georgina Ortiz
Jun 18, 2015 Georgina Ortiz rated it really liked it
Before there was an Elizabeth, a Daenerys or a Cersei, there was Eleanor of Aquitaine. Part vixen, part kick-ass heroine, she was more queen than any of her contemporaries—or (arguably) any queen in history, for that matter.

This book (more YA than full-blown historical fiction) somehow managed to capture the Duchess of Aquitaine's razzle and dazzle in 200 pages. Interesting concept, witty writing.

I'm sure there are some who didn't like this book, but I thought it was pretty well done especially since it was written in the late 1970s. The book is about Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, who is one of my favorite historical women in history. I especially liked how the tale was narrated from heaven by contemporaries of Eleanor, and how she has been in heaven for 500 more years than her husband Henry, who is about to find out if he can come up to heaven. I thought it was amusing that both Eleanor, ...more
Apr 06, 2009 Elyssa rated it liked it
Shelves: books-for-school
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 17, 2011 Esther rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Not my favorite Konigsburg by any means, maybe only 2.5 stars. But I do wish I had read this historical fiction (I guess?) account of Eleanor of Aquitaine back in high school when I did a report on her than the horrible books I did read. I might not of been able to use this as a cited reference but it would of helped me to make more sense of all the names, places, culture and facts in all the other books and maybe the whole research paper would of been a little more intersting for having been fl ...more
I don't often call it quits with a book that I begin reading. Especially before I give it a fair chance. But I just couldn't get past the fact that the characters were sitting around in the afterlife, discussing their former lives and wondering who would be allowed out of purgatory next. Especially after just reading Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life, I just couldn't stomach it.
Apr 01, 2012 Kay added it
Captive Queen led me to re-read A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver by E.L. Konigsburg for the umpteenth time. It still holds up. And the historical detail dovetails perfectly with the scholarly effort of Alison Weir. This book may have been written for older children, but I enjoy it every time. The premise is that several of Eleanor’s contemporaries have moved Up to Heaven and are gathered to find out if Henry is finally going to join them. We have brief scenes in Heaven as each of the charac ...more
This book had an interesting premise. Eleanor of Aquitaine is in heaven waiting for her second husband, Henry II of England, to be judged. She has been waiting for him for a long time, because he has had to suffer for some of his actions on earth for many years. While she is waiting, her mother-in-law, a bishop, and a knight, all take turns telling about different parts of her life - with Eleanor herself filling them in on the end of it.

The premise is interesting, and for a historic fiction boo
Jun 04, 2009 Amanda rated it it was ok
While waiting for her husband, Henry II, to join her in Heaven, Eleanor of Aquitane reminisces about some of the events of her remarkable life. She is joined on this walk down memory lane by her mother in law and her priest. This was a pretty quick and enjoyable read for me. I find stories about the life and times of Eleanor of Aquitane fascinating... No, Really... I do. Married to two kings, Louis the ? of France and Henry II of England: Mother of two kings; Richard II and King John I of Magna ...more
Krista Baetiong Tungol
This is a quick and funny read about the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine as a wife, a mother and a queen. The story follows her in heaven with three of her closest contemporaries—Abbot Suger, Empress Matilda and William Marshal—as they await the outcome of the divine judgment that will finally allow or deny Henry II, Eleanor’s second husband, admittance to heaven. Henry is already 800 years dead but still in hell serving penance and in the dark about the changes and goings on of the world (In the s ...more
Keilani Ludlow
Nov 25, 2012 Keilani Ludlow rated it liked it
I seem to be on a Konigsburg kick. A telling of the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine. While maybe not the best person, certainly not the worst, and definitely an amazing woman in history. It is told from the perspective some who knew her, with comments from her, as they wait in heaven for her second husband to join them. I had read an "adult" history of her a long time ago and remembered bits and pieces. She was truly a unique woman. Powerful and driven and intelligent. Able to stand up for herself ...more
Made me giggle. A lot of 'telling' in this one, but it works—takes some cues from Chaucer, perhaps? Anyway, Eleanor of Aquitaine has been dragging around in Heaven for quite some time, and she is just a wee bit bored and quite tetchy, and it pleases me greatly. Interesting choice of who gets to tell the tale: in addition to Eleanor (who gets the last words, as befits a queen), Abbot Suger (who is very proud of his own humility) tells a part, and Empress Matilda, and William the Marshall—unusual ...more
Sep 04, 2007 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to be Queen
Shelves: favorites, badgirls
Reading this book prompts me to sport a rhinestone tiara and play Queen for the Day. It's about Elinor of Aquitaine, the ruthless woman who was first Queen of France, then Queen of England. A PROUD TASTE FOR SCARLET AND MINIVER depicts Elinor waiting for her second husband, King Henry II, to be judged for admission to Heaven. If you're the type of woman who hates waiting in line, taking orders, or being called "hon," this book is for you. You'll take great comfort in the story of a woman who roa ...more
Nov 21, 2012 Joyce rated it liked it
A very readable biography of a fascinating historical figure, a woman I've been intrigued by since I first learned about her back in grade school. And the more I know about her, the more impressed I am. The tale of Eleanor's life is told here by three who lived her story too, and are now reminiscing in heaven some eight centuries later. Lots of interesting facts and educated guesses anchor Konigsburg's creative tale, and I learned a lot of things I didn't know. Amazing to think that just one per ...more
Scribbler King
Mar 11, 2011 Scribbler King rated it really liked it
I think I would give this a five, but something just didn't pull me in. The story was interesting, the characters were good, but maybe I wanted something more.... Well, maybe it was meant for a younger audience than me. I felt like it was too...simple, I think. Quick read, good book, highly recommended if you want to know more about the famous Queen Eleanor. Keep in mind my review is about why I didn't give it 5 stars.
Aug 07, 2007 Laura rated it liked it
Recommends it for: rachel anne (though she's probably already read it)
Shelves: childrensbooks
i wish i liked konigsburg more. i recognize that she is very good, but her books are always really dense and slow. i enjoyed reading about eleanor of aquitaine - and i certainly know more about her than i did before - but i am now reading with my kids in mind and i don't think any of them will enjoy it. i felt similarly about "a view from saturday." too slow for our adhd culture. is it the book? is it us?
Krista O
May 06, 2015 Krista O rated it liked it
A Proud taste for scarlet and miniver was about a girl named Eleanor and three of her life long friends telling their stories about Eleanor's life.
I thought this book was a good and fun book to read. I thought this book was a little confusing at times because the book wen from the present to the past over and over again. But overall this was a good book to read.
Definitely more entertaining and informative than the last book I read on Eleanor. I think I'll have to rank this one of my favourites in historical fiction. Looking forward to reading The Second Mrs Gioconda next.
Jul 27, 2007 Margie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I LOVED teaching this book to my middle schoolers.
Nov 29, 2016 Betsy rated it really liked it
So different from E.L. Konigsburg's usual work, but still so very good. Making Eleanor of Aquitaine accessible for school-age children is no mean feat; here it only underscores what a rare talent she has not only for writing, but for understanding children.
Jan 07, 2017 Diana rated it it was amazing
Shelves: k-6, history
This was one of my favorite books -- I had read books about King Arthur and Robin Hood, but to read a book from the perspective of a woman in the middle of all the legends was as fantastic as finding out that she was actually real.
Tory Ferrera
Dec 19, 2016 Tory Ferrera rated it really liked it
Very engaging fictionalized history of Eleanor of Aquitaine, cleverly told from several points of view. Hard to put down!
Jan 19, 2017 Dinah rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone if they like medieval stories
Shelves: second-quarter
this book was really good and eleanor was a striking character but i do think that the book could have been less about how she didnt birth a son and her enemy did.
Jan 13, 2017 Desi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4th grade? I don't remember exactly, but I loved it and I'm pretty sure "my" copy that I still have is actually Sarah's copy that I borrowed and never gave back....
Eleanor of Aquitane is waiting for her second husband to ascend to heaven, and to help her pass the time, since she is rather impatient, three people who knew her take turns telling the story of her life.

Really, it's as simple as that, and I thought it was an interesting device to use, but one that could have been better utilized. For example, the three narrators have distinctive voices, but they could have been even more so. But mostly, I thought that it would have been more interesting to have
Sep 23, 2016 Jane rated it really liked it
In one of Louise Penny's Canadian mysteries, she refers to both The Lion in Winter and Eleanor of Aquitaine. I became curious and wanted to learn more so I checked at the local library. The first book I found about Eleanor was huge--holy cow--I'm not writing a dissertation on her. Nix on that one. The second had tissue thin pages and text so dense I'd have gone blind trying to read it. Nope. Fortunately, just then my friend recommended this book, a children's book, on Eleanor and her life. Perfe ...more
Aug 14, 2013 Gale rated it liked it

This review is from: Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver (Paperback)
If this is historical, it is hysterical: give me more! What a delightful presentation of what is usually dry, historical fact. This book is the perfect vehicle to introduce middle school students to the Middle Ages, where human nature is revealed at its worst (just like nowadays). Let's hear it for the start of the Women's Movement --centuries before Elizabeth I. Between t
Reread. I remember checking out this book from the library multiple times when I was about twelve or so, and I'm happy to report it stood up to yet another reread as an adult.

Up in heaven, Eleanor of Aquitaine is waiting, impatiently and a bit impertinently, to find out if her husband Henry II will finally be judged to have served enough time "Below." To help her pass time before the verdict, three figures from her life--Abbot Suger, who knew her at the time of her marriage to Louis VII; Empress
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Elaine Lobl Konigsburg was an American author and illustrator of children's books and young adult fiction. She was the only author to win the Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor in the same year (1968), with her second and first books respectively: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth. Kongisburg won a second Newbery ...more
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“There were times when the bad and the sad could have weighed me down. But to drink life from only the good is to taste only half of it.” 6 likes
“...loved him beyond reason, but then, all love is beyond reason.” 4 likes
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