What was Eleanor's part in the crusade?What was Eleanor's part in the Crusades?

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anthonda49 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Eleanor was an adventurous woman with an insatiable appetite for travel and new experiences. She accompanied her husband Louis on one Crusade because of this nature of her personality. She and several other women were leading the caravans with their multitude of wagons carrying personal goods for comfort and fashion. As such, the women were referred to as the Amazons. Eleanor was already losing respect for Louis and his plain, monkish ways. She challenged his orders about a camping spot for the night on a dry, dusty plateau high in the mountains. Instead, she ordered the troops to head for a lush, green valley below. Upon arrival to the designated stopping point, Louis and his troops were attacked by the Turks while they were tired and unarmored from the long, hard climb. Louis's troops suffered heavy losses and the men blamed Eleanor for the devastating results of the battle.

 Eleanor's uncle Raymond held a castle in the Holy Lands and was planning an attack on Edessa to free it from Muslim domination. Louis was so angered by Eleanor's disobedience and her affection for her uncle that he refused to back Raymond. Instead he attacked Antioch and was defeated. The royal couple returned home, and Eleanor separated from Louis later divorcing him. Her charm and elegance was to be a foil to her plain husband's demeanor with the ruling monarchs in the Holy Land. This part of her participation in the Crusades was a success.

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