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Showing posts from May, 2016

18 May 1152. The Wedding at Poitiers

On Sunday, 18 May 1152, Henry the Young King's parents, Eleanor of Aquitaine (1124-1204) and Henry fitz Empress (1133-1189) were married in the cathedral of St Pierre, Poitiers, the match that was to result in forging the greatest empire of the 12th century-Europe. Henry, the eldest son of Geoffrey le Bel of Anjou and Empress Matilda, already the duke of Normandy, heir to England, Anjou and Maine, was lucky to win the greatest prize on the then marital market- the former queen of France now free to be wed again, Duke William X’s eldest daughter and heiress, divorced two months previously, her first marriage declared null and void on grounds of consanguinity.
The detail of the large stained glass*, Sainte-Pierre Cathedral, Poitiers (source: Web Gallery of Art)

For fifteen years she had been the consort of Louis VII of France (1120-1180), but apparently displeased her husband with bearing him only two daughters, Marie (b.1145) and Alix (b.1151). By marrying Henry fitz Empress just eig…

The Ladies of the Tower: Interview with Monika Filipińska and Ludmiła Gajda

Today we are delighted to offer our readers a featured interview and welcome special guests to the blog. On the outside, ordinary young wives, mothers and housekeepers, yet everything changes the very moment they reach the special place they work at, take off their T-shirts and jeans and put on more fitting outfit. Fitting for time travels to the Middle Ages, for this is precisely what their job involves. We are honoured to introduce our interviewees, Monika Filipińska and Ludmiła Gajda, who perform their duties as time travellers' guides exceptionally well. Today we are thrilled to learm more about their fascinating job at one of the most important monuments of the Middle Ages.
What is so special about the place you work at?
Monika:The ducal tower house in Siedlęcin (the Lower Silesia, Poland) is an exceptional building, one of the best- preserved and largest medieval residences of this type in Central Europe, practically unchanged since the 14th century. Additionally and most imp…

Funny, Telling and Thought-Provoking Quotes about Henry the Young King and his Family

Exactly five days and Matthew Strickland's biography of Henry the Young King is out. Just as a kind reminder to all those who haven't pre-ordered it yet. For the time being, I find writing on this blog somehow pointless feeling that the time to redefine some of the views I have hold on Henry is nigh. You can pre-order the book here and here. By remarkable coincidence the publication day is the same day Henry the Young King's parents were married in the cathedral of St Pierre, Poitiers, 864 years ago, on 18 May 1152 (or perhaps it isn't a coincidence at all).

Waiting impatiently for my copy to arrive, I would like to share a few quotes about Henry, his close kin and friends. Some of them are going to show the family members at their royal best (or worst), some reveal obsure facts about them and make us smile, others throw a new light on the family relations. One thing we can be certain of  - they are going to give us food for thought.
On the appearance and character of He…