A Few Telling and Thought-Provoking Quotes

Today I would like to share a few Henry the Young King quotes with you. They have given me food for thought and made me wonder what kind of  king Henry would make if given a chance.
From History of William Marshal:
He [Young King Henry] gathered so many worthy men around him that no emperor, king, or count ever had such an expeirenced company, nor would such have been found at any time, for there is no doubt that he had the pick of the bravest young knights in France, Flanders and Champagne. He did not haggle with them, but he acted in such a way that all the worthy men came and joined him.

From The Topography of Ireland by Gerald of Wales:
One thing appeares almost miraculous, namely, that almost all the world attached themselves to a man who was totally without resources, either in money or territory.
In peace and in private life, he was courteous, affable gentle, and amiable, kindly indulgent to those by whom he chanced to be injured, and far more disposed to forgive than to punish the offenders.

Bertran de Born on Henry the Young King and his court in Mon chan fenis ab dol et ab maltraire:
Noble hospitality and giving without fickle heart, and fair conversation and warm welcome, and a great court, well paid and well kept up, presents and gifts of arms and living without doing wrong, eating to the sound of viol and song, with many a companion bold and mighty among the best.
You were indeed the guide and father of youth. And hauberks and swords, and beautiful buckram, helmets and golfalons, doublets, and lappets and joy and love have nobody to maintain them or to bring them back. They will follow you; like all mighty honorable deeds they will disappear with you.
From Chronicle of the War between the English and the Scots by Jordan Fantosme, the spiritual chancellor of the diocese of Winchester and eyewitness to the main events of the Great Revolt of 1173-74:
After this coronation and after this investiture you [Henry II] filched from your son something of his honor/ You took away from him his will, he could not get the mastery of it… A king of land without honor does not know well what to do: the young sovereign did not know it, the gentle and good.
 From The History of William Marshal:
Alas! How chivalry is now dead and buried, how generosity is cast aside! And that is only right, for the leading light which used to guide them on earth is extinguished. Now those who are poor young knights will have to go looking for their daily bread. There will be nobody again prepared to give them horses, arms, and money, as this man gladly gave them.

And here is something for those who find it hard to believe that when the need arose the three eldest sons of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II, contrarily to what had been said about them, could be united in supporting a common cause and be formidably efficient in doing so. Such a need arose in 1181 when the young and vulnerable Capetian king, Philippe, was facing a threat imposed on him by his one time mentor, Philip of Alsace, the count of Flanders:

Philip count of Flanders, when he heard how Philip king of France and Henry king of England were so closely associated, raised up as many of the Flemings as he could to fight against his liege lord... having no regard for the tender age of his lord the king and quite unmindful of the assurances he had given to King Louis that he would watch over, protect and guide his son according to what is right, attacked Noyon aith as large force as he could muster. They devastated the area around Senlis, demolishing houses and uprooting vineyards. 
Young King Henry, son of the elder king, Richard duke of Aquitaine and Geoffrey duke of Brittany- three sons bearing witness to the fruitfulness of their mother- were eager to make up for the absence of the king their father by giving proof of their own valour. Planning to oppose with all their might the designs of those wicked men who desired to oppress the innocent young king of France, they gathered a great force from all the land nad came as a united band to his aid. (Ralph of Diceto in Images of History)


  1. Lots of positive quotes. The one that stands out for me is- 'One thing appeares almost miraculous, namely, that almost all the world attached themselves to a man who was totally without resources, either in money or territory.'

    It must be hard to read these comments and think what might have been.
    Btw, I finished 'While Christ and his Saints Slept' the best of the trilogy IMO. I read them in reverse order LOL! I really enjoyed the Welsh aspect, finding out about Ranulf and his Welsh roots. Really thought it was an out-standing book!

    1. Perhaps I misunderstand it, but I find it positive in some way as well. Just think - what charm and charisma Henry must have possessed if the people flocked to his side despite the fact that he had neither land nor money :-)

    2. Yes, I find all Sharon's books great, but if I were to choose, Devil's Brood is a masterpiece :-) And not because of Hal (although he is a perfect creation), but bec. I think it's the most mature one. When it comes to style and language.

  2. I read them in reverse order too! I agree, D B is a masterpiece, no way I could have written a review of it. Very complex. I fell in love with the young King in this book & he will forever be that person in my mind.

    1. I never cease to wonder how Sharon managed to put all those pieces of the intricate family jigsaw puzzle together. Henry II- Eleanor, Henry II - Hal, Henry - his other sons (and a daughter, Joanna), Hal - Geoffrey, Hal - Richard, etc. It's a masterpiece, that's for sure.


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