Wife, Widow, and Mother: Some Comparisons between Eleanor of Aquitaine and Noblewomen of the Anglo-Norman and Angevin World

  • RáGena C. DeAragon
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


One of the most famous women in medieval European history, Eleanor of Aquitaine has been the subject of many biographies, celebrated in literature, drama, and film. She was undoubtedly an extraordinary woman, but in what ways? How are we to interpret her actions? We may have a general understanding of the contexts for the men of her day but, as Jane Martindale remarks, “it is considerably more difficult to formulate any standards by which the political and social activity of a twelfth-century queen can be assessed—even one who played such a prominent position on the European stage as Eleanor had done all her life since her fathers death.”1


Twelfth Century Burial Arrangement Famous Woman Royal Couple Benedictine Monastery 


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Copyright information

© John Carmi Parsons and Bonnie Wheeler 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • RáGena C. DeAragon

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