Reviews for Lady of the Manor

School Library Journal Reviews 2008 November

Gr 4-6-Rare references to more distant locales aside, these present-tense profiles present a conventional, narrowly Western Eurocentric view of medieval society. Each one opens with a similar prcis of the hierarchical social order. It then follows a fictional, unnamed subject from birth to death, retracing a successful career and pausing for glances at schooling, training, daily and annual routines, celebrations, and typical tasks and accomplishments. Social roles and expectations are largely set in stone, with regional variations seldom noted. Moreover, several vague historical allusions, such as the assertion that "[Eleanor of Aquitaine] led a scandalous life of rumor while trying to retain power" and terms like "churched," will not be meaningful to most readers. Along with unenlightening, contextless quotes from contemporary or later writers ("There was meat and merrymaking and much delight"), the narratives are supported with undifferentiated mixes of crudely drawn new art and enlarged details from unidentified period or later illuminated manuscripts.

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