Her only brother had died when he was four and as the elder of his two legitimate daughters, inheritance of the duchy went to her. This made her immediately the richest noble in the region, even more so than the French King. Eventually, she had her marriage to Louis annulled. More scandalous were the rumors discredited by medievalists that she had affairs with both Saladin and her own uncle, Raymond of Poitiers, during the journey to the Holy Land.
When she and Henry married on May 18, , she was 30, and he was She was the wife of two kings, and mother of two kings and two queens. She outlived all but three of her children, including her favorite son, Richard. Henry II held her prisoner at Sarum for 16 years for her rebellion with her sons against his rule. List this Seller's Books. Payment Methods accepted by seller. AbeBooks Bookseller Since: January 8, Stock Image.
Published by Crown Publishers, Used Condition: Fine Hardcover. Save for Later. Signed by Author. Hard Cover. Bookseller Inventory Eugene did not, as Eleanor had hoped, grant an annulment. Instead, he attempted to reconcile Eleanor and Louis, confirming the legality of their marriage. He proclaimed that no word could be spoken against it, and that it might not be dissolved under any pretext. Eventually, he arranged events so that Eleanor had no choice [ clarification needed ] but to sleep with Louis in a bed specially prepared [ how?
The marriage was now doomed. Still without a son and in danger of being left with no male heir, facing substantial opposition to Eleanor from many of his barons and her own desire for annulment, Louis bowed to the inevitable. On 11 March , they met at the royal castle of Beaugency to dissolve the marriage. Hugues de Toucy, archbishop of Sens , presided, and Louis and Eleanor were both present, as were the archbishop of Bordeaux and Rouen.
Archbishop Samson of Reims acted for Eleanor. On 21 March, the four archbishops, with the approval of Pope Eugene, granted an annulment on grounds of consanguinity within the fourth degree; Eleanor was Louis' third cousin once removed, and shared common ancestry with Robert II of France.
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Their two daughters were, however, declared legitimate. Children born to a marriage that was later annulled were not at risk of being "bastardized," because "[w]here parties married in good faith, without knowledge of an impediment, Archbishop Samson received assurances from Louis that Eleanor's lands would be restored to her.
As soon as she arrived in Poitiers, Eleanor sent envoys to Henry, duke of Normandy and future king of England, asking him to come at once to marry her. On 18 May Whit Sunday , eight weeks after her annulment, Eleanor married Henry "without the pomp and ceremony that befitted their rank. A marriage between Henry and Eleanor's daughter Marie had earlier been declared impossible due to their status as third cousins once removed. It was rumored by some that Eleanor had had an affair with Henry's own father, Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou , who had advised his son to avoid any involvement with her.
On 25 October , Henry became king of England. Eleanor was crowned queen of England by the archbishop of Canterbury on 19 December John Speed , in his work History of Great Britain , mentions the possibility that Eleanor had a son named Philip, who died young. His sources no longer exist, and he alone mentions this birth.
Eleanor's marriage to Henry was reputed to be tumultuous and argumentative, although sufficiently cooperative to produce at least eight pregnancies. Henry was by no means faithful to his wife and had a reputation for philandering.
Henry fathered other, illegitimate children throughout the marriage. Eleanor appears to have taken an ambivalent attitude towards these affairs. Geoffrey of York , for example, was an illegitimate son of Henry, but acknowledged by Henry as his child and raised at Westminster in the care of the queen.
During the period from Henry's accession to the birth of Eleanor's youngest son John, affairs in the kingdom were turbulent: Aquitaine, as was the norm, defied the authority of Henry as Eleanor's husband and answered only to their duchess. Attempts were made to claim Toulouse , the rightful inheritance of Eleanor's grandmother Philippa of Toulouse , but they ended in failure. A bitter feud arose between the king and Thomas Becket , initially his chancellor and closest adviser and later the archbishop of Canterbury.
Louis of France had remarried and been widowed; he married for the third time and finally fathered a long-hoped-for son, Philip Augustus, also known as Dieudonne—God-given. Little is known of Eleanor's involvement in these events.
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It is certain that by late , Henry's notorious affair with Rosamund Clifford had become known, and Eleanor's marriage to Henry appears to have become terminally strained. Eleanor remained in England with her daughter for the year prior to Matilda's departure for Normandy in September. In December, Eleanor gathered her movable possessions in England and transported them on several ships to Argentan. Christmas was celebrated at the royal court there, and she appears to have agreed to a separation from Henry.
She certainly left for her own city of Poitiers immediately after Christmas. Henry did not stop her; on the contrary, he and his army personally escorted her there before attacking a castle belonging to the rebellious Lusignan family. Henry then went about his own business outside Aquitaine, leaving Earl Patrick, his regional military commander, as her protective custodian.
When Patrick was killed in a skirmish, Eleanor, who proceeded to ransom his captured nephew, the young William Marshal , was left in control of her lands. Of all her influence on culture, Eleanor's time in Poitiers between and was perhaps the most critical, yet very little is known about it. Henry II was elsewhere, attending to his own affairs after escorting Eleanor there. It may have been largely to teach manners, something the French courts would be known for in later generations. Yet the existence and reasons for this court are debated.
He claims that Eleanor, her daughter Marie, Ermengarde, Viscountess of Narbonne , and Isabelle of Flanders would sit and listen to the quarrels of lovers and act as a jury to the questions of the court that revolved around acts of romantic love. He records some twenty-one cases, the most famous of them being a problem posed to the women about whether true love can exist in marriage. According to Capellanus, the women decided that it was not at all likely. Some scholars believe that the "court of love" probably never existed since the only evidence for it is Andreas Capellanus' book.
To strengthen their argument, they state that there is no other evidence that Marie ever stayed with her mother in Poitiers. Polly Schoyer Brooks, the author of a non-academic biography of Eleanor, suggests that the court did exist, but that it was not taken very seriously, and that acts of courtly love were just a "parlor game" made up by Eleanor and Marie in order to place some order over the young courtiers living there. There is no claim that Eleanor invented courtly love, for it was a concept that had begun to grow before Eleanor's court arose. All that can be said is that her court at Poitiers was most likely a catalyst for the increased popularity of courtly love literature in the Western European regions.
In March , aggrieved at his lack of power and egged on by Henry's enemies, his son by the same name, the younger Henry, launched the Revolt of — He fled to Paris. From there, "the younger Henry, devising evil against his father from every side by the advice of the French king, went secretly into Aquitaine where his two youthful brothers, Richard and Geoffrey, were living with their mother, and with her connivance, so it is said, he incited them to join him.
Sometime between the end of March and the beginning of May, Eleanor left Poitiers, but was arrested and sent to the king at Rouen.
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The king did not announce the arrest publicly; for the next year, the queen's whereabouts were unknown. As soon as they disembarked at Southampton , Eleanor was taken either to Winchester Castle or Sarum Castle and held there.
here Eleanor was imprisoned for the next 16 years, much of the time in various locations in England. During her imprisonment, Eleanor became more and more distant from her sons, especially from Richard, who had always been her favorite. She did not have the opportunity to see her sons very often during her imprisonment, though she was released for special occasions such as Christmas.
About four miles from Shrewsbury and close by Haughmond Abbey is "Queen Eleanor's Bower," the remains of a triangular castle which is believed to have been one of her prisons. Henry lost the woman reputed to be his great love, Rosamund Clifford , in He had met her in and had begun their liaison in , supposedly contemplating divorce from Eleanor. This notorious affair caused a monkish scribe to transcribe Rosamund's name in Latin to "Rosa Immundi", or "Rose of Unchastity". The king had many mistresses, but although he treated earlier liaisons discreetly, he flaunted Rosamund.
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He may have done so to provoke Eleanor into seeking an annulment, but if so, the queen disappointed him. Nevertheless, rumours persisted, perhaps assisted by Henry's camp, that Eleanor had poisoned Rosamund.