Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine
Uploaded by Lorri-Ann on Oct 25, 2001
In the year 1122, soon to be Duke William X of Aquitaine was informed that his bride of one year, Aenor, daughter of the Viscount Aimery, had bore him a daughter. She was christened Alia-Aenor, or Eleanor. Since Aquitaine consisted of more than a third of the entire land of France, she was a heiress of some esteem. Soon after, Aenor gave birth to another daughter, Aelith (Petronella) and then to the heir that William so desired, William Aigret. Unfortunately, when Eleanor was eight, both her mother and brother died, leaving her heiress to the whole of Aquitaine. Eleanor’s close childhood friends were her uncle Raymond, who was only eight years older than herself, and her sister. She was influenced by the great heroines in her family, like her grandmother, who sacrificed her place as a Viscountess, for love. When Eleanor was fifteen, her father went on a pilgrimage. On the way, he encountered food poisoning. He left Eleanor in the charge of King Louis the Fat, to marry her off. King Louis married her to his own son, and made her Queen of France upon his death, some days after the wedding.
Louis Capet, Eleanor’s new husband, was only sixteen when they wed. The second son, he had grown up in a monastery, preparing for a life in the service of the Lord. However, when his older brother fell off his horse and broke his neck, Louis became heir to the throne of France. Louis was a quiet, deeply religious man, eager to show off for his new, rich and beautiful wife. Eleanor dreamed of a warrior for a husband, and Louis, despite his shyness, desperately wished to fill that part. Quickly he went to war, against his vassals and anyone else that would oppose him. When Petronella was married to Count Ralph of Vermandois, his first wife’s family–who he had divorced to marry Petronella–quickly took up arms against him. Louis jumped in to protect his sister-in-law’s interests. Even so, Louis’s war was badly planned and his army ended up burning an entire village who had taken refuge in a church. The experience left him virtually destroyed, he who had been so in God’s favour. The King and Queen went to a respected and feared Abbot, Abbot Bernard. Louis wished to repent for his sins and Eleanor wished to bear Louis a child. By the time they left, Louis was...