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Showing posts from February, 2014

Happy Birthday to Henry the Young King!

Happy Birthday to Henry the Young King! My favourite person in history was born on this day in London, exactly 859 years ago. I wrote about the events accompanying Henry'sbirthhere. Today I just want to mention that before he was safely delivered into this world, Henry could already boast about sea-crossing in a violent storm and attending, no more no less, but a coronation. We should consider ourselves lucky, for we know Henry's prenatal whereabouts, including exact dates and sites. On 7/8 December 1154 he crossed the Narrow Sea, from Barfleur to England with his mother (quite obvious :-)), father and two paternal uncles, Geoffrey and William. How did Eleanor, being seven months pregnant, manage to survive the voyage, I dare not guess. The important thing is that eleven days later, on 19 December, she was well enough to be crowned with her husband at Westminster. And their second son was there too, albeit incognito.
1155, the year of Henry's birth, also saw the births of t…

My Five Favourite Henry the Young King Quotes

As I have already metioned February is Henry the Young King month, at least here, in Henry's realm, and I have been trying to make it really special (in spite of all the odds, such as unexpected bout of flu :-)). Today I would like to share a few of my favourite Henry the Young King quotes with you. To make it more attractive I have decided to limit myself to only five. Difficult decision to take, but eventually I have come to it. Here they are, my absolutely favourite top five....
Indisputable Number 1.The criticism is harsh, but what an imagery and writing style!!! "Truly, he left nothing unprobed, no stone unturned; he befouled the whole world with his treasons, a prodigy of unfaith and prodigal of ill, a limpid spring of wickedness, the attractive tinder of villainy, a lovely place of sin… the originator of the heresy of traitors… a false son to his father… the peaceful king" From De nugis curialiumby Walter Map
Very special Number 2. The Young King in his own words: &qu…

Charming,Vain, Idle Spendthrift?

Charming, vain, idle spendthrift, this is how W.L.Warren in his biography of Henry's father, describes the Young King. Shallow, careless, empty headed, incompetent, irresponsible, etc., he continues in a similar vain. Why do I get the impression that Mr Warren judges the book by a cover? The accusations are flying around, but no one cares to determine whether they have a base in solid evidence. Funnily enough, they have given me food for thought and inspired to take a closer look at the primary sources available. Step by step, my research has led me to the following conclusions.
Undoubtly Henry was charming. Even those hostile grudgingly admit that his charm was his most formidable weapon. Gerald of Wales, usually at his malicious best when wrting about Henry's family, marvelled at how people flocked to the young Henry's side "one thing appeares almost miraculous, namely, that almost all the world attached themselves to a man who was totally without resources, …

February, Henry the Young King-Centric Month

On 28 February 1155 England welcomed the arrival of a new prince in the family of Henry II and his queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. The son born that day was to go down in history as Henry the Young King. I sincerely do hope that with your help we will make the month of February absolutely Henry-centric. Here are a few of my posts I would like to recommend before I share my new Henry the Young King text with you.

Brief biography of our Liege.
A Lovely Place of Sin or what did Henry's contemporaries say about their young king?
A few facts, both well known and obscure, about Henry here and here.
Henry's knighting ceremony (do you really know who belted him with the sword of knighthood?)
I would also like to recommend my new blog called Polish Bits and Bobs (as you know Henry the Young King's scribe comes from Poland). It's about all things Polish. If you have time and inclination I would be happy to welcome you here.

Robert the Wayward Prince. A Guest Post by Marsha Lambert

Today I am happy to welcome my lovely friend, Marsha Lambert, who has kindly agreed to share with us her thoughts and impressions after reading Robert the Wayward Prince by Austin Hernon, the novel about Robert Curthose, the oldest son of William the Conqueror. As I have mentioned I intend to write about parallels in the stories of Henry the Young King and Robert one day, for I can see many. Marsha wrote a brilliant review for The Review Group, and with their kind permission we can post it here, on Henry's blog. Big "Thank you!” and over to you, Marsha....

Robert the Wayward Prince Book One: The Getting of Empire by Austin Hernon tells the tale of the not-so-well-known oldest son of William the Conqueror, Robert. This story of Robert begins in 1079, thirteen years after the Battle of Hastings and the Norman takeover of England. Robert, who was about 12 when his father conquered England is now aged 25 and is out and about practicing war games in the borderlands of France. He is…