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Alienor d’Aquitaine

Eleanor of Aquitaine (Aliénor d’Aquitaine 1124*-1204), was both the Queen of France
to Louis the Seventh and Queen of England to Henry the Second. That is history.

Her story is of a girl who comes to power as a self-possessed teenage leader challenging traditional definitions of love, justice, and power to establish the Western traditions of romance, chivalry, and courtly love. She does so by a clever centering within a warriors’s code of honor, a personal love for women. At the same time she cleverly balances the cult of the new woman within the church’s emerging cult of Mary.

The vibrant Queen of France helps launch thousands of warriors headlong into the Second Crusade. It is an amazing journey. With all her ability she is not able to overcome a fatally religious husband who makes one disastrous mistake after another.

Moving on she marries her Aquitaine power to Norman conquerors who have a proper French sense of victory and becomes the Queen of England. After becoming the mother of ten, she separates from her philandering murderous husband Henri and begins her life project, the radical courts of mannered love in her French Aquitaine homeland. At the height of her court’s success, fearing she is about to divorce, seeing his children flock to her, murdering Archbishop Becket, Henry seizes her and imprisons her for the rest of her life, gaining full control of her lands and unchallenged control of her children.

It takes fifteen years, but her husband is slain in battle by her sons and she is freed. Outliving her jailor she emerges as England’s Queen Regent directing the Third Crusade with her son Richard the Lionhearted. She suffers out the century to see the cruelty and avarice of the Fourth Crusade conducted by knights who no longer live by a code of chivalry.

By her life’s end she has assisted her children in obtaining the thrones of every country in Europe. A rather triumphant ending to a rather turbulent life.

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* 1124 is the recent consensus of Eleanor scholars about her birth year, replacing the earlier postulation of 1122.

The Alienor web site is at http://www.eleanorofaquitaine.net/.

Alienor: They Young life of Eleanor of Aquitaine
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