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Eleanor of Aquitaine: Heroine of the Middle Ages

Eleanor of Aquitaine: Heroine of the Middle Ages

by Rachel A. Koestler-Grack

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Part of the "Makers of the Middle Ages and Renaissance" series which includes such titles as Chaucer, Dante, and Galileo, this book focuses on the life and political intrigues of Eleanor of Aquitaine. The book begins with the exciting moment of Eleanor's wedding to Duke Henry of Normandy. It tells her childhood and early adult years in flashback, and then moves forward into the impact this marriage had on history. Chapters include various intrigues, both personal and political, and deal in a peripheral way with many important events of the time. There is a short quiz at the end of each chapter so that students can self-test their knowledge. The book is written at a fourth-to-fifth grade reading level with paintings and other illustrations from the time to add interest. Sidebars about such things as Eleanor's Courts of Love in which love problems were answered in song should also be interesting to students. The book contains numerous research tools, such as a chronology, chapter notes, bibliography, ideas for further reading, and an index. These are all written in a simplified and clear style. While Eleanor of Aquitaine may not be one of the most studied individuals of the Middle Ages, this book should fill a void for upper elementary students studying the period. 2006, Chelsea House, Ages 9 to 12.
—Sheryl O'Sullivan
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-These books are good examples of bad biographies. They are superficial and poorly written, awkward and repetitious. Both lack maps, a major liability as dozens of places (many unfamiliar to modern readers) are crucial to the subjects' stories. Both also lack glossaries, a big deterrent as neither author does a particularly good job of defining terms in context. Family trees would also be beneficial to keep track of often convoluted relationships. Eleanor has glaring errors and omissions. For example, the author states on one page that Eleanor's first daughter was Marie, and on another, Margaret; Henry II did not inherit England from his father, as the book claims, but through his mother. Polly Shoyer Brooks's Queen Eleanor (Houghton, 1999) is a better choice. In just her first chapter in The Medicis, Wagner throws out the words mass, cathedral, pope, cardinal, archbishop, mercenary, villa, host (religious), sacrilege, priest, choir (architecture), altar, clergy, and organ gallery; she also frequently refers to the Renaissance without ever explaining what it is or why it is significant. Nothing else is available for this audience specifically on the Medici family.-Ann W. Moore, Schenectady County Public Library, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Facts on File, Incorporated
Publication date:
Makers of the Middle Ages and Renaissance Series
Product dimensions:
6.60(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
9 - 13 Years

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