Happy Friday, indeed! Alright, alright – I promise I’m back with some Herstory for y’all today!
I was super busy last week trying to launch the music stuffs, and I think that’s at last all squared away. I ultimately decided not to integrate that venture into Daze & Weekes, so my music shall not be forced upon you against your will! If you do have any crossover interest, you can hit up that website to check out my new single and subscribe for brief weekly updates on my musical progress/cool free downloads/awesome playlists! and don’t worry, I promise I will include you in some of the multitudes of anxieties that come with forced self promotion and performance.
(Perhaps it’s my inability to pick just one thing and operate on a single plane that has rendered me apparently unemployable?…. but fortunately my current contract has been extended for another 3 months, so hopefully you won’t have to deal with me whining about the job hunt for a little while either!)
So, back to regular irregular programming.
We’ve danced around with several other women connected to King John, but today we’re going to look at one of his two wives: Isabella.
But which one?!?!?!?! you might ask because, naturally, both of John’s wives were named Isabella. Well, obviously we’re going to discuss the sexy and salacious one (Isabella of Angoulême) and not the boring one (Isabel of Gloucester).
Maybe luckily for Boring Isabella, John quickly annulled his marriage to her once Sexy Isabella arrived on the scene. Sexy Isabella was 12 years old.
The citations of the #facts about Isabella on Wikipedia seem slightly questionable/dubious to me, but I enjoy what they are saying, so we’re going to go with their possibly baseless suppositions and descriptions. According to The Conquering Family (written by Thomas B. Costain (historical novelist and journalist in the 1940s – so, pretty up-to-date historical analysis that probably hasn’t needed any reviewing over the past 80 years)) she was ‘the Helen of the Middle Ages’–a ‘blonde haired blue-eyed […] renowned beauty’ with a ‘volatile temper’. Do you know what that means??? I think we finally have a Khaleesi!!!!!!!!
It was said, apparently, that King John sometimes stayed in bed with her until noon. These…. errr… ‘activities’ proved to be pretty fruitful–Isabella had 5 children with John. Sadly, none of them were dragons.
Before John snatched her away, Isabella was betrothed to Hugh IX le Brun, Count of Lusignan. This snatching obviously ignited tensions between France and England (and the Helen comparison).
Of course, Isabella outlived John, and less than a year after John’s death and the coronation of their 9 year-old son (Henry III), Isabella peaced out to France to regain her Angoulême title/inheritance/Iron Throne. It was then that she pulled quite the move over on her daughter Joan…who must have been kind of pitiful…as anyone is when compared to a Khaleesi.
You see, upon Isabella’s return to France, little Joan was scheduled to marry Isabella’s former fiancé (Hugh IX le Brun)’s son, Hugh X of Lusignan. (That’s a confusing sentence? Well, things are confusing.) Instead, Isabella rocked up and was like, ‘Hey, I’m a Khaleesi,’ and Hugh X decided that she was the one he wanted… not her daughter Joan. So not only did Isabella supplant her own daughter, but she also snagged the younger, virile son of her former fiancé (who was now twice slighted! kinda like poor Crocodile Dundee character).
They had like 80 million (well, 9 to be more exact) babies together.
Unfortunately, things went sort of downhill for Isabella after that. Apparently, she wasn’t thrilled with her less powerful position in France, and she tried to start a sort of mini revolution against King Louis IX. She and some ‘disgruntled nobles’ attempted to gather together an ‘English confederacy’. According to that historical novelist from the 1940s (#facts), this confederacy failed by 1244, and Hugh made nice with the king. But THEN, two royal cooks were caught attempting to poison Louis–and they claimed to have been paid by Isabella!!!
Of course, Isabella then fled to an abbey where she died 2 years later. (Those abbeys, they be good for dying in.) With a dramatic, martyr-ish fancy, she arranged to be buried outside in the churchyard to make up for being so shitty to the king et al. But son Henry had her moved inside next to Henry II and Eleanor of Acquitaine.
Anyone know this Weekes Word? Is it an obvious one? I hadn’t come across it (or thought to look it up at least) until recently, and I was delighted by the origin!
Bowdlerize: derived from Dr Thomas Bowdler’s name – he published an edited edition of Shakespeare in 1818 – and meaning to censor a text and render it less effective. Ex: Even though a Khaleesi never bowdlerizes, Weekes was forced to conform to societal norms and bowdlerize her own cover letter, removing any hint of humour and human personality.
xWG // #dazeandweekes