Eleanor of Aquitaine – Biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine

Eleanor of Aquitaine, also called in French Aliénor d’Aquitaine or Éléonore de Guyenne and in English: Leonor of Aquitaine, was born around 1122 in the city of Potiers. Eleanor she was queen consort of Luis VII of France (1137–52) and of Enrique II of England (1152–1204) and mother of Ricardo I Corazón de León and Juan I of England. She was perhaps the most powerful woman in 12th century Europe.

Eleanor She was the daughter and heir of William X, Duke of Aquitaine and Count of Poitiers, who possessed one of the largest dominions in France, larger, in fact, than those of the French king. After William’s death in 1137, Eleanor she inherited the Duchy of Aquitaine and in July 1137 she married the heir to the French throne, who succeeded her father, Louis VI, the following month. Eleanor she became queen of France, a title she held for the next 15 years. Beautiful, capricious and adored by Luis, Leonor exerted a considerable influence on him, often inciting him to undertake dangerous adventures.

From 1147 to 1149, Eleanor He accompanied Louis on the Second Crusade to protect from the Turkish onslaught, the fragile Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, founded after the First Crusade only 50 years earlier. The conduct of Eleanor during this expedition, especially at the court of his uncle Raymond de Poitiers in Antioch, it aroused Louis’s jealousy and marked the beginning of his estrangement. After their return to France and a short-lived reconciliation, their marriage was annulled in March 1152. According to feudal customs, Eleanor she regained possession of Aquitaine, and two months later she married the grandson of Henry I of England, Henry Plantagenet of Anjou and Duke of Normandy. In 1154 he became, like Henry II, King of England, with the result that England, Normandy, and western France were united under his rule.

Eleanor had only two daughters of Luis VII; with her new husband she had five sons and three daughters. The children were William, who died at the age of three; Enrique; Ricardo “Heart of the Lion”; Geoffrey, Duke of Brittany; and John, nicknamed “landless” until, having outlived all his brothers, he inherited, in 1199, the crown of England. The daughters were Matilda, who married Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony and Bavaria; Leonor, who married Alfonso VIII, King of Castile; and Joan, who successively married William II, King of Sicily, and Raymond VI, Count of Toulouse. Eleanor It would have well deserved to be named the “grandmother of Europe.”

During her mothering years, she was actively involved in the administration of the kingdom and even more actively in the administration of her own domains. He was instrumental in turning the court of Poitiers, frequented by the most famous troubadours of the time, into a center for poetry and a model of courtly life and manners. She was the great patroness of the two dominant poetic movements of the time: the tradition of courtly love, transmitted in the romantic songs of the troubadours, and the historic matière de Bretagne, or “Legends of Brittany,” which originated in Celtic traditions. and in The Historia Regum Britanniae, written by the chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth sometime between 1135 and 1138.

The revolt of her children against her husband in 1173 ended the cultural activities with a brutal end. Given the Eleanor, 11 years older than her husband, had long resented his infidelities, the revolt may have been instigated by her; in any case, she gave her children considerable military support. The revolt failed, and Eleanor she was captured while seeking refuge in the kingdom of her first husband, Louis VII. Her semi-imprisonment in England ended only with the death of Henry II in 1189. Upon her release, she played a more important political role than ever. She actively prepared for Richard’s coronation as king, was administrator of the kingdom during his Crusade to the Holy Land and, after his capture by the Duke of Austria on his return from the East, collected the money for his ransom and traveled personally to escort him to England. . During Ricardo’s absence, he successfully managed to keep the Kingdom intact and thwart the intrigues against Rocardo by his youngest son, Juan Sin Tierra, and the King of France.

In 1199 Ricardo died without leaving heir to the throne, and Juan was crowned king. Eleanor, almost 80 years old, fearing the disintegration of the Plantagenet domain, he crossed the Pyrenees in 1200 to seek his granddaughter Blanche at the court of Castile and marry her to the son of the French king. By this marriage she hoped to secure peace between the Plantagenets of England and the Capetian kings of France. In the same year, he helped defend Anjou and Aquitaine against his grandson Arthur of Brittany, thus securing John’s French possessions. In 1202, Juan was again in her debt for holding Mirebeau against Arthur, until Juan, to his relief, was able to take him prisoner. Juan’s only victories on the Continent, therefore, were due to Eleanor.

Eleanor of Aquitaine he died in 1204 at the monastery of Fontevrault, Anjou, where he had retired after the campaign at Mirebeau. His contribution to England extended beyond his own life; After the loss of Normandy (1204), it was their own ancestral lands and not the former Norman territories that remained loyal to England. Many French historians have misjudged her, but have only noted her youthful frivolity, ignoring the tenacity, political wisdom, and energy that characterized her mature years. “She was beautiful and fair, imposing and modest, humble and graceful“; and, as the nuns of Fontevrault wrote in their obituary, a queen”who surpassed almost all the queens in the world“.