Saturday, September 20, 2008

Eleanor of Aquitaine | Blog 1-4

Although we study occurrences, battles, warriors, diplomats, and influential individuals of our past, there are those throughout history who provoke something more. They are the individuals who we remember without excessive study, or purposefully memorizing. Eleanor of Aquitaine is an individual who we remember and write about, not because of her good deeds or her heroism, but simply because of her interesting life, personality, relationships, and other distinguishing dimensions.

Eleanor of Aquitaine is a name which could quite possibly most accurately describe female dominance, wealth, and uniqueness of disposition. Throughout her lifetime, Eleanor was the Queen of England, Queen of France, Duchess of Aquitaine, and mother of two kings of England. In 1122 Eleanor of Aquitaine was born of Aenor of Chatellerault and the duke of Aquitaine, William X. In 1137 Eleanor's father died, leaving Aquitaine in Eleanor's hands at only fifteen years of age. Also that year, Eleanor married the heir to the throne of France, Louis, who became king soon after their marriage, with the death of his father.

Louis and Eleanor bore only two daughters throughout their marriage, which meant no male heir to the throne, which is widely believed to be the reason for the breakdown of their marriage. As all this was happening during the High Middle Ages, the crusades were part of the goings-on during that time. Louis did not take part in the Second Crusade with just his army, but also with Eleanor and other accompanying women. During the events of the crusade, including the voyage and departing, it is rumored that the marriage of Eleanor and Louis was beginning to see signs of failure, and, also rumored, she and he departed the crusade on separate ships.

Ball, Margaret. Duchess of Aquitaine: A Novel of Eleanor. Macmillan Publishing, 2007.

Weir, Alison. Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life. Ballantine Books, 2001.

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