Welcome to Olivia’s Angevin Blog!

I’ve always been fascinated with Angevin Empire and Angevin kings of England.  Now it is difficult to imagine that most of modern France was once part of the vast Angevin Empire – the territories extending from Scotland to the Pyrenees in the second half of the 12th century.  These lands were ruled by King Henry II, known as Henry Curtmantle, Henry FitzEmpress, or Henry Plantagenet, and his successors – King Richard I and King John I. 

The first king of the House of Plantagenet and its founder, Henry was the eldest son of Empress Matilda and Geoffrey V of Anjou.  Henry ruled England from 1154 until his death in 1189.  Thanks to his marriage in 1552 to Eleanor of Aquitaine, the richest heiress on the continent, Henry acquired most of his continental possessions before becoming the next English monarch.  After the death of King Stephen I, often referred to as Stephen of Blois, Henry and Eleanor added the English lands to their vast realm.  The Angevin Empire was formed. 

Eventually, the empire was destroyed because of King John’s incompetence and mostly because of the strategic maneuverings of the sly King Philip II of France.  Early in John’s reign, the French forces wrested from him Normandy, Anjou, Maine, and Touraine, significantly reducing the size of his domains.  In retrospect, it is both interesting and heartbreaking to see how Henry and Eleanor assembled a great deal of lands into their possessions, and how their youngest son, John, was gradually losing everything as their successor. and