By any yardstick Eleanor of Aquitaine was a remarkable woman and in a short talk on 30th August Howard Robinson demonstrated a sure grasp of the essentials in her long life (1122-1204) against the complicated background of medieval Europe.

She enjoyed a level of education unusual for a woman at the time, in addition to the more usual domestic skills. She had a love of music and dancing as well as hunting and hawking.

She was an accomplished horsewoman which stood her in good stead for some marathon journeys, accompanying her first husband Louis VII of France on crusade to the Middle East and undertaking other treks across Europe, even in her old age.

Her second husband Henry II of England (but mainly France) imprisoned her for 15 years but on his death in 1189 she became Regent while her son Richard I was at the Crusades.

In 1201 she took the veil at Fontevraud Abbey, Loire Valley where she died three years later.

She is buried there as was Richard. She played a major role in the 12th Century, occupying centre stage for much of it. On September 6 we are holding a members’ morning, organised by Cliff Blackborrow and on 13th September Bob MacFarlane will be speaking about a Small Wonder – the VW Beetle.

We meet at 10am every Thursday at The Boathouse, Evesham Rowing Club. Full details can be found on our website