Eleanor's Power and Patronage

Jean Flori and Olive Classe

in Eleanor of Aquitaine

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print August 2007 | ISBN: 9780748622955
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651382 | DOI:
Eleanor's Power and Patronage

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This chapter argues that Eleanor of Aquitaine sought solace in her role of patron of literature, sponsoring several literary works dedicated to her and inspiring poets and romancers. It was being placed under that sort of political tutelage, together with the humiliation of being a deserted wife, which drove her to the revolt of 1173. This view, supported by respected medievalists, has exerted a durable influence on historians writing about Eleanor and her epoch. Today, it is strongly challenged on all points: her political power, her patronage of artists and writers, her impact on literature, and her ideological significance. The chapter also compares the respective roles played in Aquitaine by Eleanor's two husbands, Louis VII and Henry II.

Keywords: Eleanor of Aquitaine; patron of literature; power; patronage; Aquitaine; Louis VII; Henry II

Chapter.  9602 words. 

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