Eleanor of Aquitaine

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Eleanor of Aquitaine

  1. 1. Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Powerful Female Figure in Medieval Europe<br />Lauren A. Stealey<br />lauren.stealey@eagles.usm.edu<br />LIS 201: Introduction to Information Literacy<br />April 26th, 2011<br />April 26th, 2011<br />
  2. 2. “Why then have you, so negligent, so cruel, done nothing for so long about the release of my son or is it rather that you do not dare?” Eleanor of Aquitaine, in a letter to Pope Celestine III, 1193<br />1122-1204<br />Ruler of Aquitaine<br />Wife of Louis VII, King of France<br />Wife of Henry II, King of England<br />Mother of 10 children, including Richard the Lionheart, King John, and Queen Eleanor of Castile<br />April 26th, 2011<br />LIS 201: Introduction to Information Literacy<br />2<br />
  3. 3. Medieval Europe<br />Medieval Ages span 1,000 years of great change. <br />Increased technological improvements led to increased food supply, which led to increased population.<br />Europe was organized under feudal system.<br />Peasant farmers made up the core of society.<br />By 1000 AD, Christianity was adopted by most western European leaders and subjects.<br />April 26th, 2011<br />LIS 201: Introduction to Information Literacy<br />3<br />
  4. 4. Typical Medieval Women<br />Medieval Europe was patriarchal, so women were seen as inferior.<br />Church played a huge role in the perception of women.<br />Women controlled by marriage and childbirth.<br />In upper classes, women run their households. <br />In lower classes, women expected to contribute to their families’ incomes.<br />Besides marriage, women had few options.<br />April 26th, 2011<br />LIS 201: Introduction to Information Literacy<br />4<br />
  5. 5. Educated men did not believe women should be taught to read.<br />Europeans inherited misogynistic theories from Ancient Greeks.<br />The Judaic inheritance of the Christian church portrayed women as easily mislead and needing purification.<br />Other than this, not much is known about the women of the time. <br />April 26th, 2011<br />LIS 201: Introduction to Information Literacy<br />5<br />
  6. 6. The Life of Eleanor of Aquitaine<br />Her grandfather, William IX, is considered to the the first troubadour.<br />Eleanor was born in 1122 in liberal Aquitaine.<br />When Eleanor was 15, her father died on a pilgrimage.<br />Eleanor then placed in the care of Louis VI of France, who arranges her marriage to his son, Louis VII.<br />As a wedding gift, Eleanor presented Louis with a crystal vase, which is the only surviving object of her life.<br />April 26th, 2011<br />LIS 201: Introduction to Information Literacy<br />6<br />
  7. 7. In 1144, they have their first child, Marie.<br />In 1145, both Louis and Eleanor receive the cross and begin preparations for the Second Crusade.<br />In Antioch, Eleanor catches up with her uncle, Raymond. <br />Eleanor begins to ask for a divorce.<br />Eleanor and Louis go to Pope Eugenius for advice.<br />In the Summer of 1150, Eleanor has second and last daughter with Louis, Alix. <br />On March 21, 1152, annulment proceedings are finalized. <br />April 26th, 2011<br />LIS 201: Introduction to Information Literacy<br />7<br />
  8. 8. Eight weeks later, Eleanor marries Henry Plantagenet. <br />Eleanor and Henry are crowned King and Queen of England on December 19, 1154.<br />On December 8th, 1157, Eleanor gives birth to her fourth child by Henry, Richard.<br />Eleanor has a minimal role in the upbringing of her children.<br />During Christmas of 1166, Eleanor asks Henry to let her return to Aquitaine. <br />Eleanor and her daughter with Louis, Marie, set up feminist court in Aquitaine.<br />Eleanor and Henry’s oldest sons begin to rebel, and Eleanor is blamed for corrupting them. <br />Eleanor flees to France for safety, but is captured and imprisoned in the tower of Salisbury for 16 years.<br />On July 6, 1189, Henry II dies in his 35th year of reign.<br />April 26th, 2011<br />LIS 201: Introduction to Information Literacy<br />8<br />
  9. 9. Eleanor introduces a standard coinage and system of weights and measures.<br />Richard’s coronation set the precedent for all future coronations. <br />Eleanor steps in when necessary while Richard is king, even raising ransom when he is kidnapped. <br />Richard dies at age 41.<br />Eleanor continues to fight for Aquitaine, even at the age of 80.<br />The last few months of Eleanor’s life are blank.<br />Eleanor of Aquitaine dies on April 1, 1204, after ruling as queen for 66 years.<br />April 26th, 2011<br />LIS 201: Introduction to Information Literacy<br />9<br />
  10. 10. Gender in the Medieval Ages<br />Joan W. Scott describes gender as different from biological “sex.”<br />Concepts of femininity and masculinity cannot exist without each other.<br />Medieval masculinity: powerful, domineering<br />Medieval femininity: women are controlled by men, inferior, classified as wife, mother, whore <br />April 26th, 2011<br />LIS 201: Introduction to Information Literacy<br />10<br />
  11. 11. Eleanor Defied Gender Constraints<br />Eleanor of Aquitaine overcame the strict limitations placed on the women of her time and became an extremely powerful and influential person in her own right. <br />She was raised in a liberal court with a good education.<br />She had her own ideas.<br />She ruled Aquitaine, a land she inherited in her own right, not married into. <br />She ruled England in her husband’s and son’s absences.<br />She was uncompromising, even when imprisoned.<br />She was a fiercely protective mother. <br />She played an active role in the politics of her time, even at age 80.<br />She was definitely not the submissive woman of the time.<br />She left a lasting impression on Europe and is still being discussed today.<br />April 26th, 2011<br />LIS 201: Introduction to Information Literacy<br />11<br />
  12. 12. Thank you for your attention.Any Questions?<br />April 26th, 2011<br />LIS 201: Introduction to Information Literacy<br />12<br />

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