Friday, 22 November 2013

Eleanor by Kristiana Gregory- Review by Carlyn

The Scholastic Royal Diary series are fictional diaries of ancient royal women when they were teenagers at an exciting point in their lives. Eleanor of Aquitaine was a real person who lived in France from 1122-1204. She was the Queen of France from 1137-1152 and later became Queen of England from 1154-1204. Eleanor was the mother of King Richard I who was also known as Richard the lionheart who is connected with the Robin Hood legend.

Eleanor was the daughter of Duke William X who owned more French land than the King. When Eleanor’s father died he left all his property and riches to Eleanor as he had no sons and she was his oldest child. Eleanor suddenly becomes the most eligible woman in Europe. Many men want to marry her and are even willing to kidnap her. It is a lot for a fifteen year old to handle but in the novel Eleanor is an intelligent and outspoken girl.

In the novel, Eleanor spends her time in the castle longing to be free. There is a bit of intrigue and romance though which makes the novel exciting. What I liked about novel is the insight into medieval life, such as what they did for fun and daily life. I could relate to Eleanor as she was just a regular teenager. In the novel, she talks about clothes, loves to go out and have fun just in a medieval way. She also has a grandmother who forever reminds her to be a lady. The grandmother reminds me of the mother from Brave.
The royal diary series includes an epilogue of what really happened to the noble woman after the story ends. I think Eleanor had an interesting life, she had two husbands, was queen of two different countries, had ten children and lived to her eighties. She had a happy life compared to some of the women featured in the royal diaries series.

I enjoyed reading about Eleanor of Aquitaine. Who knows what the real Eleanor thought or felt but I think Kristiana Gregory’s imaginings were top notch.

Do you have a favourite historical figure?

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