The New York Times said in her obituary: Eleanor Clark, an author best known for the evocative range of her accounts of oystering in Brittany and of the streets of Rome. . . was a master stylist whose works won critical acclaim and inspired a devoted private following. Her writings included reviews, essays, children's books and novels.
In a review in The New York Times, Anatole Broyard called a 1975 reissue of her 1952 book "Rome and the Villa" "perhaps the finest book ever to be written about a city."
But the most telling tributes came from the generations of American and other tourists who followed her steps -- page by dog-eared page -- through the city, marveling at each architectural feature that triggered her soaring ruminations on everything from ancient history and early Roman poetry to modern social conditions.
Although she was sometimes described as a travel writer, "Rome and a Villa" is not a traditional travel book. Nor is "The Oysters of Locmariaquer," a somewhat similar book that used oystering in Brittany as a springboard to an excursion through history and culture, and won the 1964 National Book Award for arts and letters. Each reflected deep scholarship and a lively intuition.