Another strike against Matilda was her second husband, Count Geoffrey of Anjou. Anjou, a region in what is now western France, was a longtime enemy of the region of Normandy and Normans had been ruling England since 1066. Ironically, Henry I had forced an unwilling Matilda to marry Geoffrey in order to create an allegiance between the Normans of England and the Angevins, as the peeps of Anjou were called. Matilda was 11 years older than Geoffrey when they wed, and she already claimed the title of Empress thanks to her first marriage to Henry V, the Holy Roman Emperor. She wasn’t too pleased to be marrying a 15-year-old count, even if he was good-looking.
The counts of Anjou were notorious for their violent tempers: legend had it that they were descended from Melusine, the demon daughter of Satan. Matilda and Geoffrey argued constantly, and separated at one point, but they still managed to have three sons. In 1139, when Matilda sailed to England to pursue her inheritance, she left Geoffrey behind to conquer Normandy. And babysit.
- Cousin Stephen: Throne-stealing asshat.
- Geoffrey of Anjou: Bad-tempered, abusive asshat husband.
- Henry I: The asshat father who betrothed Matilda to the Holy Roman Emperor when she was only 8. After the Emperor died, Henry forced Matilda to marry Geoffrey against her will. Henry usurped his throne from one brother (and might have killed another brother), so what Stephen did to Matilda might be considered payback.
- Henry V: Holy Roman Asshat. Said to be a total pill.
Matilda Necklace in two colors of 18K gold with sapphires and rose-cut diamonds
©Wendy Brandes 2007-2010
Photography by SquareMoose
I’m sure you’ve seen some sword pendants before. They’ve become fairly popular. But I bet you haven’t seen too many that can be pulled out of the scabbard.
Well, this post has gotten very long, and I haven’t even finished Matilda’s story or gotten to the book list. Tune in next week for Matilda Part III.
UPDATED TO ADD: I want to give a shout-out to my gorgeous client, Melissa O. Melissa bought the first Matilda necklace I ever made on the first day it was available. I had been wondering who was going to be badass enough to buy that necklace. Melissa, that’s who! Don’t mess with her; she’ll cut you!