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Konigsburg, E. L.

New York : Atheneum, 1973.
IL 5-8 RL 6.7

ISBN 0689301111

(2 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

I watched the movie "The Lion in Winter" and didn't get much out of it except some funny lines between Katherine Hepburne and Peter O'Toole. I read this fantasy version of the same characters, Eleanor of Aquitaine and her husband King Louis, who would rather be a monk than a king. and King Henry II, who is so colorful that Eleanor has been waiting on a cloud for 600 years waiting for him to be purified enough to be admitted to heaven himself. This is a delightful way to get a hint of what royal life during the Crusades was all about.

Booktalk #2

Konigsburg brings the richly detailed tapestry of medieval culture to life in this delightful tale of some of the most colorful figures of the period.  Allowing the setting to shift from heaven to the earthly Middle Ages provides fascinating glimpses of the naughtiness of Eleanor of Aquitane as she provokes the mighty King of France, her husband Louis.  "Why can't we have mosaics, draperies, and colorful rooms like they do in Constantinople?"  Eleanor demands of her husband, a king who dresses plainly like a monk, takes his meals in the monastery, and shares little in common with his dashing wife.  But, King Louis remained firm "only plain, godly furnishings and clothing" for his household.  Eleanor was not to be outdone.  She accompanied him on the next pilgrimage to Canterbury, with her own caravan of servants and goods.  She dared to defy the king's orders, lavishing her wagons with brightly colored decorations in Constantinople, and ordering the caravan to camp for the night in the lush green valley below, not beside the trail high on the hillside as the king had ordered.  In their struggle to reach the valley below, they failed to notice the Turks lurking on the mountainsides.  Will the king's army be ambushed?  Will Eleanor be punished for disobeying the king?  Read Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver to uncover little-known facts of history.  (Julia S. Fanning,, teacher Busbee Middle School)

SUBJECTS:     Eleanor, of Aquitaine, Queen, consort of Henry II, King of England, 1122?-1204
                        Great Britain -- History -- Fiction


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