A Frisky, Gay Elena: Matilda, Duchess of Saxony and Bavaria (1156-1189) ~ A guest post by Katrzyna Ogrodnik-Fujcik

The Freelance History Writer

Lady, because of you I am pensive night and day here in Normandy; I dream that you always smile at me in beauty and happiness (from Casutz sui de mal en pena)

Thus wrote the famed bellicose troubadour Bertran de Born after he spent some time in Argentan, Normandy in the fall of 1182, where Henry the Young King’s father, Henry II held a great court.  Bertran who accompanied his overlord, Henry’s younger brother Richard [the future Lionheart] complained that he was nearly killed by the “boredom and vulgarity of Argentan”, but “the noble, lovable body and sweet, mild face and good companionship and conversation of the Saxon lady” protected him.  Who was “a frisky, gay Elena”, the Saxon lady of “such a loving look” that saved Bertran’s life?

Matilda, the younger sister of Henry the Young King was born as the eldest daughter of King Henry II of England…

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