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OK, so… I kinda forgot Wednesday was coming up. I’m at work and I don’t have my fancy books with me so my planned post is a no-go at the moment. I’ll have to postpone that.
I explored Google Books on the boss’s time for a while, and found this cool biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine. I read the introduction and the last chapter[1] – damn you, limited previews! – and I think I’m putting this one on my to-read list.

Who was Eleanor?

[Eleanor of Aquitaine] had inherited many of the characteristics of her forebears, and was energetic, intelligent, sophisticated, headstrong and perhaps lacking in self-discipline. She possessed great vitality and, according to William of Newburgh, a lively mind.[2]

Doesn’t that sound as one hell of a woman? She appeared to have been quite the looker as well: “in youth, she was described as perpulchra – more than beautiful.”[3] Fun fact: although everyone seemed to agree she was pretty, no-one bothered to leave a proper description of Eleanor. [4]
Another fun fact: “[Eleanor] was christened Aliénore, a pun on the Latin alia-Aenor, ‘the other Eleanor’, to differentiate her from her mother […]”.[5]

Anyway, this woman for all accounts and purposes was quite remarkable, being a key figure in the creation of the so-called Angevin empire. Fun fact: this is a completely anachronistic name, born from the whims of historians and their occasional “naming frenzies.” Can’t study something properly if it doesn’t have an awesome name, see?
How remarkable was Eleanor? Well, how about she had political power, which was quite the exception in male-dominated feudal times.
I think we have time for one more:

On 1 April 1204, Eleanor ‘passed from the world as a candle in the sconce goeth out when the wind striketh it’. She was eighty-two and her death went virtually unremarked in the chaos surrounding the collapse of the Angevin empire.[6]

Elton John, you unoriginal, thieving bastard! Also, please don’t sue me.
That’s it. I’ll get back to Eleanor some other time.
Jeez, this post has turned out longer than I expected. That’s what you call procrastination, I guess.


[1] Fun thing about history, skipping to the end is fine, ’cause you kinda already know how it ends. Also, this post is a rush-job, so forgive any weird grammatical phenomena.
[2] Alison Weir, Eleanor of Aquitaine: By the Wrath of God, Queen of England (New York, 2001), 18.
[3] Alison Weir, Eleanor of Aquitaine, 18.
[4] Ibidem.
[5] Ibidem, 10.
[6] Ibidem, 352.