Eleanor Of Aquitaine: A Scandalous Life

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March 25, 2012 Hist 104: Medieval Heroes It’s A Scandalous Life “It was on account of her lasciviousness that Louis gave up his wife, who behaved not like a queen but more like a [whore].” (Wheeler, 250) Eleanor of Aquitaine, a powerful woman well-known throughout the medieval world. Although she was described in Primary Document 2 as “an incompatible woman, beautiful yet virtuous, powerful yet gentle, humble yet keen-witted…”, others would beg to differ and account the scandals that revolved around her, as portrayed in McCracken’s essay and Primary Documents 1 and 2, and even compare her life to that of Marie Antoinette of Austria, as portrayed in Parsons’ essay. First we will look at McCracken’s view, as well as Primary Documents…show more content…
With Eleanor, Parson brings in the affaires she had with her uncle in Antioch as well as Saladin, as told in McCracken’s essay, but he also brings in the affair with Henry II while she was still married to Louis VII, and even tells of an account that before her second marriage, Eleanor had been intimate with Henry’s father, Count Goeffrey of Anjou. According to Parson from an account by Margaret Pappano, “that liaison would have made Eleanor’s marriage to Henry void in canon law, their children bastards and, as the issue of incest, monstrous as well (one point on which Henry II might ultimately have agreed)” (Wheeler, 271). In Marie Antoinette’s case, it was the charge of incest with her son that was the most scandalous. She was accused of teaching him how to masturbate and taking him to bed along with her and the late king’s sister in order to attempt intercourse so that he suffered with a hernia. It was later that these charges arose after he was taken away from his mother when “his new guardians found him masturbating and saw in his groin a bandaged injury, which he had in fact sustained at play while still with his mother” (Wheeler,
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