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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian
Editor says, what if King John had been raised in France by his mother? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).
In 1166,on this day the future Angevin Emperor John Lackland was born to Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine.
Birth of John LacklandShortly after his birth, John and his sister Joan were taken to Poitiers, the capital of Aquitaine. This relocation was calculated to win over the support of the French nobility, because from this city, Henry's heirs would rule a collection of states that stretched from the Pyrenees to Ireland. But ironically, the circumstances behind his ascension to the throne were caused not by the Acquitaine Inheritance but were entirely due to a rebellion of the English nobility. And the central issue of the revolt was that Henry II believed the Plantagenets were French Lords that happened to be Kings of England.
From his late teenage years, his elder brother Richard had commanded the armies of their father Henry II. As King, he led the Third Crusade in the Holy Land. Inevitably, this overseas military focus created a vacuum of power at home that was filled by domestic plotting. Richard was forced to return home where we was killed in a full-scale baronial revolt. Having spent only six months of his rule in England, he was widely considered in want of sympathy, or even consideration, for his people. This reckless monarch was succeeded by John, a hard-working administrator, an able man, an able general.
Editor says, in reality John was passed from Eleanor into the care of a wet nurse shortly after his birth (a traditional practice for medieval noble families). Eleanor then left for Poitiers, the capital of Aquitaine. These contemporary references from Stubbs and Bradbury are intended to re-evaluate the traditional view of John as the villian of the piece. Editorial comments are entered in [light green] typeface.