Special Sub-Topic: Eleanor of Aquitaine
|What was the name of Eleanor's famous grandfather whom historians regard as the first troubadour?|
William IX of Aquitaine. William IX was her grandfather and probably the first troubadour. William X was her father. William the Conqueror and William Rufus were English rulers, the first two of the House of Normandy.
|What is the name of Eleanor's oldest son?|
|What is the name of Eleanor's one and only brother?|
William Aigret. Her one and only brother was named William Aigret. His birth was much applauded in Aquitaine, but probably not by Eleanor.
|What was the reason that Eleanor divorced her first husband Louis VII?|
Consanguinity. Eleanor divorced Louis because of their close relationship, somewhere around third cousins. Ironically, she was actually more closely related to Henry II, somewhere around second cousins.
|Which crusade did Louis and Eleanor go on?|
Second. She and Louis went on the Second Crusade in 1146 at the age of 24. There it was reputed that she had an affair with her uncle, Raymond of Antioch.
|A question about one of Eleanor's children. What was the Young King's passion that was later outlawed by his father?|
Tournaments. Henry's passion was the tournament. This is ironic, as it was his brother Geoffrey, Duke of Brittany, was killed in a tournament.
|How many years was Eleanor kept prisoner by Henry II?|
sixteen. Henry kept her prisoner, only allowing a brief respite when he used her to get Aquitaine back under control. She supposedly poisoned their sons' minds against him and helped fuel their rebellions.
|What were the names of the two daughters Eleanor had by Louis VII?|
Marie and Alix. For a passionate woman like Eleanor to have only had two children in the span of time that she was married to Louis was distressing, to say the least. She had only girls and Salic Law ("Frankish" Law) prevented women from taking the throne. Ironically, her male children were born after their divorce.
|Where did Eleanor live out her remaining days?|
Fontevrault. Earlier in life, she had commented that she couldn't live the life of a nun, all cloistered up. She again refused to live there when Henry II tried to make her feel old and send her into Fontevrault so he could get an annulment or divorce and marry Alys, the betrothed of his son Richard. When she felt old herself she secluded herself in Fontevrault.
|Which of Henry II's mistresses is Eleanor rumored to have done away with?|
Rosamund. This was the mistress before Alys. She was "well-born" in her own right, descended from Normans and her father being a knight named Sir Walter de Clifford. He met Rosamund during the summer of 1165 at her father's castle on the border of Wales and England, Bredelais. This affair lasted until shortly before her death in 1176. It was suspected that she was the mother of both Geoffrey and William Longsword. This has not been proven. Eleanor was rumored to have poisoned Rosamund when she found out about the affair. Rosamund was also supposedly housed in a bower named Woodstock. Alys was the daughter of Louis VII and betrothed to Richard. Alys gave birth to two of Henry's children, neither of whom survived. Rohese was reputed to be the most beautiful woman in England. Ykenai was reputed to be nothing but a harlot and was the mother of his most famous bastard, Geoffrey, who later became Archbishop of York. She is also suspected to be the mother of William Longsword, another of Henry's bastards. Other mistresses were Avice de Stafford, a Welsh noblewoman called Nesta who gave birth to his son Morgan. It has been suggested that Hugh of Avalon was his son, though not likely. There is no contemporary evidence, or very little, to support these claims. It is known that Henry II had a voracious sexual appetite.
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