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April 6, 2019

As evening fell on April 6 1199, Richard I "the Lionheart" died at Chalus in France. His mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine was by his side. We can be very sure of this, because just days later she noted in a charter: “know that we were present at the death of our son the Ki...

April 1, 2019

1199: Sometime very close to now a messenger arrived at Fontevraud, where Eleanor of Aquitaine was living in retirement. He brought the worst news in the world. Richard had been injured whilst conducting a siege of the castle of Chalus. His wound had mortified. He was...

February 17, 2019

It is 900 years since Leeds Castle was founded. To celebrate this magnificent birthday they have commissioned a podcast series telling the story of the castle through the ages, and I am delighted to say that I get to talk about Eleanor's love affair with Leeds. The int...

August 20, 2018

In slightly more than a year's time my new book, a biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine, will be published.

Why another biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine, you may ask?

Well in the first place, with the greatest possible respect to the previous biographers I have never read...

October 30, 2017

As we move towards November, and the anniversary of Eleanor's death, it is lovely to see a piece in the Telegraph today about the crosses, dubbing them "England's Taj Mahal".  

Of course I would like to see more of a nod to Eleanor herself and to the ongoing difficultie...

September 26, 2017

Today in 1290 Eleanor of Castile was making her final tour of her Peak district properties. Last night she had been in Tideswell, and tonight she was a few miles on at Frith - now Chapel-en-le-Frith. This was probably owing to her failing health, which would lead to he...

April 18, 2017

I am so delighted to have found this lovely review of Eleanor by Arlene Sindelar of the University of British Columbia in the Medieval Review.   Amongst other nice things, she describes it as "a nuanced portrait of a remarkable woman"; I can't ask for better than that....

April 12, 2016

 

 

(The tomb of Eleanor's children: Copyright Westminster Abbey)

 

 

Some people have times of year that just seem to be plain unlucky for them.  It looks to me like early April was a bit that way for Eleanor of Castile:

In early April 1264 Edward sneaked away from camp to...

March 15, 2016

 

 

March is the month of the birth of Eleanor of Castile and Edward I’s two longest lived daughters. 15 March, half way through the month, and also the reputed birthdate of one of them, is a good date to meditate a little on their fates – and those of their less fortuna...

November 28, 2015

 

After two silent days in the wardrobe record, business resumed on 28 November.

An order was made to give allms in respect of a religious festival which had just past and one which was to occur the next week. Eleanor, always a generous giver of charities, must have know...

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