E.L. Konigsburg is best known for her wonderful book From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. She also wrote one of our family’s favorite books, A View from Saturday. Now, I have to tell you about another of her books, A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver.
This book focuses on the historical figure of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Eleanor was the wife to two different kings and a mother to two others. In the pages of history focused on men, Eleanor stands out as a charismatic, stubborn and downright amazing woman.
Her story is told in heaven, where she awaits her beloved King Henry II of England. Eleanor tells only the last part of the story, people close to her tell about her earlier life.
Eleanor is the kind of woman who follows you from the pages of history – amazed by what she accomplished, what she did, and how she survived. As a Protestant, at first this book was a bit disconcerting as it’s heavily steeped in Catholic theology – buying indulgences, purgatory, etc. – which is a perfectly appropriate representation of the beliefs held by people of that time. Once I got used to the idea that the stories were being told in modern-day heaven, I thoroughly enjoyed the book.
Highly recommended for ages 10 and up.