Chris Laskey's Reviews > Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life

Eleanor of Aquitaine by Alison Weir
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M_50x66
's review
Mar 30, 09

Read in March, 2009

Alison Weir's books are always entertaining as she provides a good depth to her history and her works tend to be less dry than some others. There are definite trade offs however and in particular I couldn't help but find the first part of the book to be really little more than a recap of Henry II times. Mostly because so little is actually known about Eleanor. This is not a bad thing but she might have retitled the book to reflect more of what this book covers. If it didn't have the story to tell of Henry and Louis (her first husband, King of France) you simply would have nothing to write of about Eleanor. The second half when we move to her later period and that of her son Richard there is a more balanced aspect to the book, and we begin to feel some elements of personality to this mysterious and powerful woman. But I think this is one subject where the huge gap in time and lack of reliable information has deprived Ms. Weir of really digging down and coming up with something more substantial. Despite the broad attempt to paint a portrait I think Eleanor of Aquitaine will always remain somewhat in shadows. As an overview of this time period however it is quite informative and entertaining.
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Reading Progress

03/25/2009 page 248
51.67% "Always liked Alison Weir - the lighter side of Antonia Fraser - when you want to read history but not get all crazy crazy"

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