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Eleanor of Aquitaine

Eleanor of Aquitaine was born in the Middle Ages some time around 1122. Unlike most women in those day and some of the men, Eleanor was very well educated. When she was a child, her mother and her little brother died, as well as her father in 1137. Eleanor became the richest heiress in France, since her family had left her all their money.

Since she was very wealthy, Eleanor was set up to be married to the King, Louis VII. Although they did not get along, they had a child named Marie in 1145 and Louis VII allowed Eleanor to govern Aquitaine, for he knew how she knew the Aquitainians better than any other ruler.

When the Second Crusade began, Eleanor accompanied her husband to Palestine. However, they soon disagreed on what to do next. Eleanor thought they should drive back the Turks in the north, but Louis disagreed. Anyhow, the Crusade turned out to be a failure and Eleanor and Louis both visited the Pope and pleaded for a divorce. However, the Pope turned them down.

After returning to France, Eleanor's marriage worsened, although another daughter was born in 1150. They finally convinced the Pope to divorce them in 1152. A few weeks later, Eleanor met and married Duke Henry Plantagenet of Normandy. With Eleanor's help and support, Henry became King of England and owned much of France. Eleanor bore him three daughters and five sons.

In 1169, Eleanor became the Duchess of Aquitaine and restored Aquitaine's order. In 1170, she reconciled her relationship with her first-born daughter Marie.

When Henry and Eleanor's sons revolted against Henry in 1173, Eleanor backed them fully, and all of them were imprisoned by Henry until the year of his death, 1189. Her son, Richard I (also known as Richard the Lionhearted) became king and followed much of Eleanor's advice while ruling. Eleanor retired in Aquitaine and stayed in the abbey of Fontevraud. She died there in 1204, at 82 years old, very old for her time.

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