I love Eleanor of Aquitaine (1120-1204). Who could not? She was such a vivid personality, a beautiful woman and someone who was not shy about breaking with convention. When I was writing THWARTED QUEEN about Cecylee Neville, Duchess of York (1415-1495), I decided to give Cecylee a heroine. Cecylee was a remarkable person in her own right who seems to have kept her husband Richard, Duke of York (1411-1460) wrapped firmly around her little finger. So what better heroine to give her than the spirited and beautiful Eleanor?
I was just reading a piece by Elizabeth Chadwick posted on her blog LIVING THE HISTORY, and it seems that there was gossip that Eleanor had an affair with her future father-in-law Geoffrey of Anjou. Or that is what some ill-intentioned gossips said. Pointing out that the press often gets things wrong, and that she herself was described as having written a movie, when she’d actually adapted it, Ms. Chadwick states that in her opinion, it was probably a flirtation, which may have been used as a decoy to set her husband, the King of France off on the wrong scent. You see, the person that Eleanor was really interested in was Geoffrey’s son Henry, who was thirteen years her junior. The much more famous Henry became not only Duke of Normandy and Count of Anjou, he also became Henry II of England. King Louis of France would have done anything to prevent their marriage.
Had he known of it.
Image is a photo I took of Eleanor resting peacefully next to her second husband Henry II, at Fontevraud L’Abbaye in France. An admirer has given her a pink rose.