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Showing posts from March, 2015

Henry the Young King and Easter Celebrations

Happy Easter to all Henry the Young King readers! Our blog is taking a break till around 10 April. I hope we will be back by then with a brand new post. Before we say "Goodbye!", let me mention a few of Henry's Easters:
24 March 1174: Great Revolt of 1173-74. Henry was probably at the court of his father-in-law, Louis VII of France (1120-1180). In January, Henry with Philip of Flanders (1143-1191) and Theobald of Blois (1130-1191) broke the winter truce and attacked Sees, but without success. Both sides agreed to truce until after Easter
13 April 1175. Henry the Young King and Henry II kept Easter at Cherbourg. Possibly to this period belongs a royal charter in favour of Notre Dame de Voeu, at Cherbourg, attested by Maurice de Creon, Hugh de Lacy and Osbert de Hosa.
4 April 1176. Henry the Young King, his father and two younger brothers, Richard and Geoffrey, kept Easter at Winchester. Henry the Young King and his wife, Marguerite, were waiting at Porchester for a fair weat…

Sir Lancelot of the Lake in Siedlęcin

Since my lady of Champagne wishes me to undertake to write a romance, I shall very gladly do so, being so devoted to her service as to do anything in the world for her, without any intention of flattery. But if one were to introduce any flattery upon such an occasion, he might say, and I would subscribe to it, that this lady surpasses all others who are alive, just as the south wind which blows in May or April is more lovely than any other wind.... I will say, however, that her command has more to do with this work than any thought or pains that I may expend upon it. Here Chretien begins his book about the Knight of the Cart. The material and the treatment of it are given and furnished to him by the Countess...
Thus began Chrétien de Troyes in the opening lines of his Le Chevalier de la charrette [Lancelot, The Knight of the Car]. The Countess he mentioned was Henry the Young King's elder half sister Marie of Champagne (1145-1197), who not only comissioned the work, but also suppli…

Henry II of England's Birthday and Other March Anniversaries

Belated birthday wishes to Henry the Young King's father Henry II of England, who was born on 5 March 1133 at Le Mans. The ruler of the greatest empire since Charlemagne, stretching from the Scottish border to the Pyrenees, famous for his administrative skills, personal charisma, sense of humour, symptoms of ADHD and fits of the Angevin rage, Henry was one of the greatest medieval kings. Here's a brilliant birthday post by Ms Elizabeth Chadwick, providing a few glimpses of Henry as a boy as described in her novel Lady of the English.

Rather sheepishly, I have to mention that exactly forty years later, Henry’s eldest surviving son and heir, Henry the Young King gave his sire the worst birthday present ever. He escaped from Chinon Castle, where he was staying in his father's company, and made his way to the French territory, triggering what was to become the Great Revolt of 1173-74. Coming to his defence I need to point out that this was in great measure Henry II’s own fault.…