A Writer's Journey

March 23, 2013

Women in History Month! (Part Deux)

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 4:30 am
Tags: , ,

Time for the European edition!

Eleanor of Aquitaine: Queen of France and England. One of the most powerful women in Medieval Europe, she married Louis VII but the marriage soured. After failing to give him a son, he agreed to annul their marriage. Shortly after it was granted, Eleanor married Henry II of England. While she gave birth to several of his children, he eventually turned on her as well. He imprisoned her but she regained power upon his death when her son, Richard, was elevated as king.

St. Joan of Arc: A French peasant girl, she received visions of various saints who told her to help the French drive out the English. She impressed the king, who allowed her on the battlefield where she proved to be a great tactician. The French began winning battles under her and the English grew to despise her. They captured her and burned her at the stake for heresy. The Vatican declared her to have been falsely condemned and declared a martyr. Joan of Arc was canonized in 1920.

Isabella of Spain: A lot of queens are on this list, it seems. Perhaps for a good reason. She took the throne of Castile and Leon, marrying Ferdinand of Aragon to begin the unification of Spain. Under her reign, her kingdom became safer and more prosperous. This allowed her and Ferdinand to fund Columbus’ expedition in which he accidentally discovered America. She is considered a “Servant of God,” which is the first step to canonization in the Catholic Church.

Elizabeth I: Another queen! Queen of England. She still fascinates us to this day. A woman who ruled in the time of men and knew how to play this card expertly. England enjoyed a Renaissance and Shakespeare wrote several of his plays during his reign. And the country rose as a naval power after the confrontation with the Spanish Armada.

Jane Austen: British Author. Wrote six novels which have passed the test of time. New fans open one of her books each day. And I am one of the countless people who call themselves “Austenites.”

Anne Frank: Diarist. A young girl living in Amsterdam who was Jewish at a time when it was dangerous to be so. Her family went into hiding and she recorded it all in her diary. After being released from a Nazi concentration camp, her father came home to discover his now deceased daughter’s diary and had it published. It has been read the world over and many remember this bright girl who was cut down in her prime.

There you go! Who are your favorite women in history?


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