Inspiration: Eleanor of Aquitaine

The genesis for the Empire of Australia project started with a play called Your Ex-Lover Is Dead.

Little of the original play has survived to the present incarnation of the Empire Project, but one piece that has is the influence of the 12th century Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Eleanor became the French Queen Eleanor (married to the incompetent Louis VII) and later, after having her first marriage annulled, the English Queen (married to Henry II, grandson of William the Conqueror).

During an incredibly sexist period of history (what period isn’t?), she was an immensely powerful, rich, and beautiful woman who exercised a level of influence on world affairs not afforded to a woman since perhaps Cleopatra more than a thousand years before her.

We highly recommend an incredibly fascinating and engaging biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine by Alison Weir.