Eleanor of Aquitaine was the wife of two kings, Louis VII of France and Henry II Plantagenet of England, and the mother of two others, Richard the Lionhearted and John Lackland. In her eventful, often stormy life, she not only influenced the course of events in the twelfth century but also encouraged remarkable advances in the literary and fine arts. In this book, experts in five disciplines—history, art history, music, French and English literature—evaluate the influence of Eleanor and her court on history and the arts.
Elizabeth A. R. Brown views Eleanor as having played a significant role as parent and politician, but not as patron. Rebecca A. Baltzer takes a new look at the music of the period that was written by and for Eleanor, her court, and her family. Moshé Lazar reexamines her relationship to the courtly-love literature of the period. Eleanor S. Greenhill and Larry M. Ayres reassess her influence in the realm of art history. Rossell Hope Robbins traces the lines extending from the French courtly literature of Eleanor's period down into fourteenth-century Chaucerian England. The essays reflect divergent but generally complementary assessments of this remarkable woman's influence on her own era and on future times as well.
This volume is the result of a symposium held at the University of Texas in 1973.