Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of the most colorful and influential queens in history. Her forceful personality and strong sense of humor enabled her to accomplish great things and to endure misfortune. History happens because of people, although years later the people are often buried under the dates and facts. This book focuses on Eleanor's personality, illustrating why and how events are shaped by the people who live them. The history of Eleanor's part of the Middle Ages comes to life, from the Crusades and the Church's efforts to control government to the courtly love tradition and the foundations of English common law.
In The Genesis of "A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver", Konigsburg notes some of the ready-made connections between the Middle Ages and the middle age (pre-adolescent) child, especially a tendency to literalness and a lack of perspective. Eleanor likewise lacks perspective and insight when she becomes a queen, but her experience helps her develop understanding. Thus, the book becomes a powerful metaphor for emerging maturity.
(The entire section is 169 words.)