1154: Henry II becomes King of England. Henry was married to the much older (nine to eleven years older) Eleanor of Aquitaine, who had been previously married to the King of France, Louis VII, until she managed to get her marriage annulled. Henry himself was nineteen years when he married Eleanor and only twenty-one when he became King of England. Henry and Eleanor had eight children, thereby creating much opportunity for future confusion and conflict regarding the throne of England. (I also have eight children, but no throne for them to fight over; therefore, I hope to see no internecine conflict among my progeny.)
Movies/drama featuring Henry II: Becket, The Lion in Winter, Murder in the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot.
When Christ and His Saints Slept by Sharon Kay Penman
Time and Chance by Sharon Kay Penman
Devil’s Brood by Sharon Kay Penman
A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver by E.L. Konigsburg
1400: Geoffrey Chaucer (birthday unknown) died on October 25, 1400. His Canterbury Tales begins with the words:
Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tender croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his half cours yronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye,
That slepen al the nyght with open ye
(So Priketh hem Nature in hir corages),
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages …
You bid me burn your letters. But I must forget you first. John Adams in a letter to Abigail Adams, April 28, 1776.
1854: The Battle of Balaklava during the Crimean War and the Charge of the Light Brigade. Tennyson wrote his famous poem about the charge after reading a newspaper report.
1881: Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga, Spain.
1952: Engineer Husband was born in Buda, Texas. Happy Birthday, my love.