Sunday, February 08, 2009

Love lives in cottages as well as in courts

Amour courtois, courtly love, was very fashionable in Europe in the High Middle Ages of the 12th century. Possibly drawing some inspiration from the Arab world, it began in the French aristocratic courts and is particularly associated with Eleanor of Aquitaine who was queen of France and, later, Queen of England. She loved the attention of the troubadour poets and singers and displays of refined, romantic, chaste love.

Her adventurous life spanned, for those times, an enormous 83 years, and included many children by her two husbands, so perhaps she knew something. This was at a time when people married for position and wealth and their true feelings could only be expressed in poetry and song.

History tends not to record the lives of ordinary folk but it is tempting to think that those who were free to marry for love might have had far happier lives than their aristocratic lords. The bonds of natural affection would likely have been just as real for the untutored, illiterate peasant as for the well-educated, refined lords and ladies. However, the hardness of life might have made marriage a mainly practical method of surviving and procreating for all classes.

For more on romantic verse and tips on writing them you might like to try my blog:
Limericks Verse Poetry

This book will help you write your own verse, romantic or otherwise:
700 Limericks & How to Write Them by William Clark

As a memorial to a fine man who was a friend to all, the author of your blog wrote a tribute song "Ol' Jim (Magic in Them Feet)" now available as a digital download from iTunes and other stores.

Ol' Jim (Magic in Them Feet)

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