Skip to content

Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life (Ballantine Reader's Circle)

(Part of the World Leaders Past & Present Series)

Select Format

Select Condition ThriftBooks Help Icon


Format: Paperback

Condition: Good

Save $13.81!
List Price $18.00

12 Available

Book Overview

In this beautifully written biography, Alison Weir paints a vibrant portrait of a truly exceptional woman and provides new insights into her intimate world. Renowned in her time for being the most... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

7 ratings

I ordered this book and received one by Marion Meade with an unattached cover.

I ordered this book and received one by Marion Meade with an unattached cover and rotten glue.

Eleanor of Aquitane

This book is well worth the read, and Alison Wier never lets you down! Eleanor of Aquitaine is a frustrating and difficult subject, simply because there is so little information to gather about her. But what there IS about her is well done in this book!

Dense and off topic

Author Alison Weir admits that not much is known about Eleanor, but still decided to write a book about this famous figure. The book starts off in Eleanor's childhood, then quickly moves to her marriage to the king of France and then the future king of England. The first 1/10 of the book and the last 2/10 of the book are about Eleanor. The other 7/10 is about her husbands, her children and speculation surrounding her and her family. While her children and husbands lead interesting lives, I purchased a book claiming to be about the renowned Eleanor of Aquitaine; the author did not deliver. I would have much rather read separate biographies on Louis, Henry, Henry Jr, Richard and John and an additional slimmed down version of this book.

A Force of Nature

Anyone who has ever fallen under the spell of "The Lion in Winter" cannot help wanting to know more about Eleanor. In addition to her own titles of Queen of France, Queen of England, and heir to the Aquitaine, she gave birth to the rulers of Europe. "Her sons and their descendants were kings of England, her daughters queens of Sicily and Castile; among her grandsons were a Holy Roman Emperor and the kings of Castile and Jerusalem, while her great-grandson became king of France. Two saints, St. Louis IX of France and St. Ferdinand III of Castile, were also among her descendants. Her blood continues to flow in the veins of Queen Elizabeth II." Despite the book title, Eleanor shares the spotlight with two husbands and 10 progeny, as well as with Becket, Saladin, a variety of Popes, and the Crusades that served little end than to bankrupt whole nations. The book is not easy reading. The writing is more like a historical journal, with every fact about 12th century Europe the author could uncover, but I would have her leae nothing out. One finishes it knowing that Eleanor was a force of nature and Katherine Hepburn truly captured her indomitable spirit. In an era when 50 was a long life, Eleanor lived to the amazing age of 82. The reader is gripped by the knowledge that every step taken by Eleanor and men and women of her time has resonated through time.

By The Wrath Of God

The full title of this book is Eleanor of Aquitaine: By The Wrath Of God, Queen Of England (or at least that's the title of the copy I bought in England)....some books are worth reading just for the brilliance of the me this is THE classic work on Eleanor, it's so good I did something I rarely do.....I got my copy signed. Weir begins with simple detail that enhances her narrative.....I knew this was going to be a great book when she took the time to differentiate names, she's still the only Eleanor author to make sure we knew that Eleanor herself would have used Alienore, not Eleanor. The hope Weir articulated in her preface that the book would emerge as credible and balanced, stripped of myths and misunderstandings is the heart of why I cherish this one above all the other Eleanor is largely a successful effort at what Weir herself calls "more like a....detective work than a conventional historical biography." An absolutely wonderful work.....and very much appreciated.Here's an example of how Weir works her magic: The historical facts surrounding Eleanor's marriage to Henry are nicely presented with a minimum of speculation. For example, Weir says only "Eleanor sent envoys to Henry, asking him to come at once and marry her; this was not necessarily a proposal, ....for it is possible that the couple had already agreed to marry." And even in this speculation she cites Gervase of Canterbury. The entire text runs like this.....facts predominate, speculation is limited to where Weir's opinion as a researcher well-embedded in the sources of the period has a value. Although I'm primarily an Eleanor fan, this book inspired me to read the rest of Weir's works, and she has done an excellent job on Henry VIII, Elizabeth, the Two Princes, and the Wars of the now I guess I'm an Alison fan too. She has produced some of the most enjoyable reading of the past decade for me.

Accurate, readable biography of legendary Queen

Ever since I saw Katherine Hepburn play Eleanor of Aquitaine in the film Lion in Winter, I have read everything available on this fascinating 12th century woman - and this book was, by far, the most readable, and probably the most accurate. Though Allison Weir avoids over romanticizing the story by passing along legends as facts (that Eleanor murdered her husband's mistress or the many tales surrounding her Court of Love), she still weaves a fascinating tale. Because Weir is such a stickler for researched facts, there are long sections where she admits that very little is known about what exactly Eleanor was doing at the time (most notably during the murder of Thomas Becket), but I still never lost interest - and she provides enough balanced background on the many characters that you develop a true understanding for their complicated motives. After reading Weir's other books (especially the definitive "Six Wives of Henry VIII"), I was positive that this would be another enjoyable history lesson - and Ms. Weir, as usual, did not disappoint!

Another success for Weir

I have been awaiting the arrival of Alison Weir's new biography for over a year now! Weir is arguably the foremost authority on Tudor England, as she has displayed with previous books on the War of the Roses, Henry VIII, and his children. I was pleasantly surprised to see her new book depart from her "Tudor tradition" and delve into the extraordinary life of Queen Elaenor.Always clever, always insightful, Weir paints a riveting account of Eleanor: her life, her triumphs, her challenges, and her legacy. Weir's objective portrayal of Eleanor's attributes is notable. Particularly, Weir doesn't shield Eleanor's flaws, nor does she overexaggerate her virtues, leaving her readers with a truer sense of Eleanor's psyche. Readers will find this book an enjoyable read. Kudos to Weir -- I can't wait for you next one!

Eleanor of Aquitaine Mentions in Our Blog

Eleanor of Aquitaine in Pause and Call Them 'Blessed'
Pause and Call Them 'Blessed'
Published by William Shelton • May 13, 2023
Motherhood is a complicated role, and every culture from the dawn of man has placed the burden of great expectations on mothers. How fitting, right, and proper it is that we pause annually to rise up and call 'blessed' those women who brought us into being through pain, tears, and toil.
Eleanor of Aquitaine in Amazing Moms from History
Amazing Moms from History
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • April 18, 2023

Motherhood itself is an impressive undertaking. But throughout history, mothers around the world have gone above and beyond, achieving extraordinary feats. In anticipation of Mother's Day, here are ten nonfiction books about exceptional mothers who changed the world.

Copyright © 2023 Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell My Personal Information | Cookie Preferences | Accessibility Statement
ThriftBooks® and the ThriftBooks® logo are registered trademarks of Thrift Books Global, LLC
GoDaddy Verified and Secured