At a time when women were pawns in geopolitical alliances, Eleanor was recognized for her authority, diplomacy, and political acumen – a legend in ballads even in her day. Over the centuries this fascination has only increased, the perception being colored by successive contemporary lenses. “In the 19th century, Jules Michelet, who wrote the French history book for schools, loathed Eleanor for abandoning the French king,” explains Sébastien Lefebvre, a travel guide in Poitiers. “In the romantic era, the public was interested in this woman who lived out her loves and passions. And today we appreciate that this medieval woman managed to get her way at a time when women were not allowed to express their opinions. “