How did Eleanor's family become reunited with Louis's family in A Proud Taste For Scarlet and Miniver?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Eleanor's family becomes reunited with Louis's family when a marriage is arranged between Louis's six-month-old daughter Marguerite and Eleanor's three-year-old son Henry.

Eleanor of Aquitaine had been married to King Louis VII of France.  They had two daughters, but no sons.  Eleanor eventually divorced Louis and married King Henry II of England.  They had four sons and three daughters.  King Louis, in the meantime, married Constance of Spain, with whom he had two daughters, but again, no sons.  When Eleanor hears about the birth of Louis's first daughter Marguerite, she calculatingly figures that Louis will be

"very concerned about what will happen to his kingdom when he dies...and...would like to have his newest daughter engaged to a young man of property so that when he dies, at least his grandchildren can hold France". 

Eleanor predicts that Louis will have to offer "a considerable dowry" for his daughter.  With this in mind, she schemes to have her son Henry engaged to the infant Marguerite.  She concludes rightly that Louis will be interested enough in Henry as "a man of property, considerable property" to agree to a marriage between Marguerite and young Henry, even though Henry's "has as his father a great rival king...and even if that young man has as his mother, Louis's own former wife" (Part 2, Chapter 7).


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