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Eleanor of AquitaineQueen and Rebel$
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Jean Flori and Editions Payot

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748622955

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748622955.001.0001

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Eleanor's Power and Patronage

Eleanor's Power and Patronage

(p.273) 12 Eleanor's Power and Patronage
Eleanor of Aquitaine

Jean Flori

Olive Classe


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

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