The real Catherine and Peter
Have you watched Hulu’s The Great yet? It’s a new series based on the life of Catherine the Great. It’s funny, bawdy, beautifully costumed and shot in some very lovely locations (mostly in the UK) but how true is it? The graphics tell us, right upfront, that it’s “an occasionally true story” so we’re warned. BUT there is just enough truth to make even us pause and Google, so we thought that a revisit was in order. This episode was originally posted in 2016, and we’ve remastered the audio as best as possible. (more…)
Part one followed Eleanor’s life from her birth through to the big cliffhanger: after divorcing King Louis and heading back to Aquitaine she popped up only a few weeks later married again to 18 year-old, King in Training, Henry FitzEmpress of Anjou.
The newlyweds took the “it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission” strategy and didn’t ask their king (Louis) if they could marry but, really? Would he have given it? No, he would not. Henry’s star was rising and his parents were powerful and connected. His mother, Empress Matilda, needs her own episode, she was that powerful and after a lifetime of civil war over the crown of England (Matilda was beat to it by her cousin, Stephen) Henry’s military training was substantial and he was very good at it. But the biggie? When Eleanor’s lands combined with Henry’s they controlled more than half of modern day France.
Eleanor’s fancy new seal and one of the few illustrations of her