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A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  3,114 ratings  ·  302 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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Darren Shin He wants to make up to God for the bad things he did in Vitry by trying to reclaim the holy land

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Average rating 3.85  · 
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Calista
Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Konigsburg fans/ young historical fiction enthusiasts
I admit to not knowing much about the 1100's in history besides Robin Hood. I did recognize the name Eleanor of Aquitaine and of course her song Richard the Lion Hart who is in Robin Hood.

I don't know how I feel about the story set up, but I enjoy the story told. E. L. sets this up as all these people are in heaven and they are telling their stories of what happened on Earth. E.L. discusses purgatory and hell. It's a bit odd to bring in that, but it works. There are 4 parts told from 4 differen
...more
Jessica
Feb 02, 2011 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.
Krista Claudine Baetiong
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 along with three of her closest contemporaries (Abbot Suger, Empress Matilda and William Marshal) as they await the divine judgement that will allow—or deny—Eleanor’s second husband King Henry II admittance to heaven. Henry is already 800 years dead, but he's still in hell serving penance and in the dark about the comings and goings on of the world (in the story ...more
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
...more
Georgina Ortiz
Jun 18, 2015 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.

Elyssa
Apr 06, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-for-school
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel
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
Claire
Oct 13, 2010 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/fantasy...it 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
Liralen
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
Stephanie
Sep 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to be Queen
Shelves: badgirls, favorites
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
Joyce
Nov 21, 2012 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
Katie
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading Konigsburg is always a delight and this has been my favorite of her books to date. A fun look at the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine told from the perspective of Abbot Suger, Queen Matilda, William Marshall, and caped off by Eleanor. It’s a fun narrative that takes place while these four sit about in heaven awaiting the arrival of Henry II. Konigsburg is hilarious, introspective, and bold in her treatment of EoA. I loved it, my little Medievalist heart was enraptured, and I cannot recommend ...more
Laura
Aug 07, 2007 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?
Scribbler King
Mar 11, 2011 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.
Beth
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. ...more
Krista O
May 06, 2015 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.
Mahala
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.
Margie
Jul 27, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I LOVED teaching this book to my middle schoolers.
The Library Lady
Sep 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: old-favorites
I DID become a medieval history (and Plantagenet) "geek" after reading this one. Historical fiction based on fact at its best!
Louie
May 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a very original and intriguing look at a very important historical figure
Sarah
May 05, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
7/10. I've had this little book on my shelf for a while. A few months ago I found Alison Weir's "Eleanor of Aquitaine" in a used book store and snapped it up. I figured that in order to enjoy this little tome I would need to read it before that one, so I'm finally getting to it.

I enjoyed the playful tone that was given to Eleanor and the device of having herself and people she had known tell the tale of her life in heaven while waiting for the arrival of Henry. It should be an interesting prelu
...more
Kay
Apr 01, 2012 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
Bobbie
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
...more
Amanda
May 24, 2009 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
Stefanie
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a short novella told in four parts about the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine. I thought it was a really fun, easy read, and honestly helped me remember the lineage of the Plantagenets better than the two or three other historical novels I've read recently have.

While definitely fictionalized, this book does a nice job of illustrating the importance of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Obviously we can't say we know much about her as a person, and I liked that this book gave her (and some of the people
...more
Int'l librarian
Eleanor of Aquitaine must have been an amazing woman. Konigsburg certainly makes an amazing story of her life. And that goes a long way toward justifying the contrived plot structure.

I recognize a lot of the names and historical mileposts, and I’ve done a fair amount of studying about the Crusades in particular, but this book makes it clear that I still have a lot to learn. Eleanor was intimately involved in the Crusades and the Pantagenet’s royal family rebellions, with connections to Thomas B
...more
Keilani Ludlow
Nov 25, 2012 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
Shawn Thrasher
What an odd book. I’m not sure I would have even finished it if I hadn’t also been reading Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life I wasn’t exactly sure who the audience for this book even was. It’s in the children’s section, by a writer for children, but the subject matter was quite adult. Would an eleven year old want to read about Eleanor of Aquitaine? In 1973, maybe? In 2017, farther from maybe, leaning towards no. I don’t remember this book at all as a child. I adore Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William ...more
Lisa Brown
Eleanor of Aquitaine of is heaven, waiting for her second husband, King Henry, to "come-up" to heaven and join her. As she waits with her former Abbot, her mother-in-law, and a few others, they each take turns telling the story of Eleanor's life of a period of time of which they were close to her. And so, slowly, her fascinating history is unfolded, until she tells the end of her story. And as wife of both the king of France and the King of England, and mother of more than one king, including Ri ...more
Mariangel
May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
I've been recently reading Walter Scott's novels set in the times of Henry II and Richard the Lion Heart, so I decided to reread this quick book about Eleanor of Aquitaine. It's written in a very witty way (the author mentions that some of the dialogues include historically documented phrases).

Eleanor is in Heaven, waiting for Henry to make it out of Purgatory (and relishing the chance to let him know that she got out first -mainly because of Henry's part in the Becket's affair). While she wait
...more
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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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