Ironically, the proposed union of Hugh IX and Isabella, and of their lands, was the reason John had married Isabella in the first place – to prevent the lands of La Marche and Angouleme combining and challenging Plantagenet superiority in the region. In 1217 she left England, supposedly to arrange the wedding of her daughter, Joan, but she never returned.

In 1242, for example, when Henry III invaded Poitou, Hugh X initially gave support to his English stepson, only to change sides once more. She was the second of 3 daughters born to Constantine VIII and his wife, Helena. When the Welsh king eventually submitted to Æthelflæd, he promised to serve her faithfully, and to pay compensation for the murder of the abbot and his people. The abbot had been under Æthelflæd’s protection and within three days she was leading an army into the Wales to exact revenge. Zoe Henry (born 3 September 1973) is an English actress, known for her roles in four soap operas on British television; Emmerdale, Doctors, Coronation Street and EastEnders. Joan had been betrothed, at the age of 4, to Hugh X de Lusignan, Count of La Marche and the son of Hugh IX de Lusignan (the man who had been betrothed to Isabella before John married her). The public were not so tolerant and called for Sclerina’s removal; the crisis was resolved by Sclerina’s sudden death from a pulmonary disease.

In the same year, 1042, Zoe took a third husband, Constantine Monomachos, who ruled as Emperor Constantine IX.

Her sister, Theordora, was retrieved from her monastery to rule beside her, though Zoe’s throne being placed slightly further forward, at the joint coronation ceremony, was an obvious indication of which of the sisters was in charge.
Following the death of her uncle, and with no legitimate male heir to succeed him, Zoe’s father, Constantine, sought to settle the empire’s future by finally arranging Zoe’s marriage. The girls lived in virtual obscurity in the women’s quarters of the palace for many years. However, as the character has developed, it was revealed that Rhona will give birth to a child born with Down syndrome. It was great fun and I'm sure it will help with filming".[3].

She is an actress, known for Emmerdale (1972), Emmerdale: Paddy and Marlon's Big Night In (2011) and Coronation Street (1960). If we turn it around, it is far easier to sympathise with women who were used as pawns in an Empire, or child brides or endured troubled marriages. Isabella had married Hugh to stop him going over to the French and to guarantee his allegiance to her son. After she was allowed back to court, and unable to bear her own children due to her age, Zoe was persuaded to adopt Michael IV’s nephew, another Michael, and make him her heir. Domestic arrangements, however, were frowned upon when Constantine moved his long-time lover, Sclerina, into the imperial palace, apparently with Zoe’s blessing.

The rebellion was quashed within a year, with the aid of Harald Hardrada and his 500 Norwegians, who had joined the Varanagian Guard in 1034. In 918, Æthelflæd captured Leicester, ravaging the countryside around the town until the Danes surrendered. Little Joan was returned to England towards the end of 1220, but the arguments over Isabella’s English lands continued and they were confiscated, for a short time, in 1221. After her departure from Emmerdale, Henry went on to feature in minor roles in dramas, including The Bill, A Touch of Frost, Casualty and Doctors. Their marriage, however, was full of distrust and Zoe was allowed no power or say in government. Of course, a closely guarded prisoner in Old Sarum or at Winchester as Eleanor was at the time of Rosamund’s death, it was impossible for her to do any such thing. The mob ransacked the royal palace and deposed Michael V in April 1042. Although she reconciled with Henry in 1230, Isabella and Hugh continued to play the kings of France and England against each other, always looking for the advantage. Ladies of Magna Carta: Women of Influence in Thirteenth Century England will be released in the UK on 30 May 2020 and is now available for pre-order from Pen & Sword, Amazon UK and from Book Depository worldwide.

Zoe promptly married her lover and made him Emperor Michael IV. Zoe and Theodora Now 64-years-old, Zoe was empress, once again. But who are we to let facts get in the way of a good story? She was the niece of Basil II, the warrior emperor who had co-ruled, as senior emperor, with Constantine for over 60 years.

Isabella wrote to her son, Henry III, to explain and justify why she had supplanted her own daughter as Hugh’s bride, claiming that his ‘friends’ were worried about Joan’s youth and forcing Hugh to repudiate the English princess in favour of a French bride who was old enough to bear him a son. ",,,, Alumni of Manchester Metropolitan University, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 6 August 2020, at 17:58. When her first husband, Louis VII, led the Second Crusade, Eleanor went with him, only to find herself mired in scandal.

Unforgiven and defeated, Eleanor was sent to perpetual imprisonment in various castles throughout southern England. Just as with Æthelflæd, Eleanor of Aquitaine and Isabeau of Bavaria (see Medieval She-Wolves from Part One), they fought for what they wanted, often against impossible odds, and achieved much. She was married at a very young age – she was no more than 12 and may have been as young as 10 – to ‘Bad’ King John, the man who left women to starve in his dungeons and murdered his own nephew. It is a term that has been used as a criticism or insult.

Ladies of Magna Carta: Women of Influence in Thirteenth Century England will be released in the UK on 30 May 2020 and is now available for pre-order from Amazon UK and from Book Depository worldwide. Constantine outlived his wife; Zoe died in 1050, aged about 72.

Zoe’s father had been emperor since the age of 2, meaning that Zoe was ‘born into the purple’ – born to a reigning emperor. Isabella of Angouleme’s story is discussed in greater detail in my forthcoming book, Ladies of Magna Carta. He was exiled to a monastery, but complaints about such lenient treatment meant that Zoe issued orders for his mutilation. Despencer’s death demonstrated the anger Isabella felt towards her husband and his favourite. As the elder sister, Zoe’s throne was placed slightly forward of her Theodora’s at the joint coronation ceremony, as an obvious indication of which of the sisters was in charge!

She had an elder sister, Eudokia, who joined a monastery, and a younger sister, Theodora.

I protest that I will not return until this intruder has been removed but, discarding my marriage garment, I shall assume the robes of widowhood and mourning until I am avenged of this Pharisee.’. Isabella would not retire in peace, however, and in 1224 she and Hugh betrayed Henry by allying themselves with the King of France. Zoe’s uncle Basil II refused to arrange marriages for his nieces, as such marriages would give their husbands a claim to the imperial throne. Not to be forgotten, Zoe began scheming to reclaim her throne. Edward’s death may well have been just as gruesome – or not at all. She has been married to Jeff Hordley since August 3, 2003. She was only released after Henry II’s death in 1189, when her favourite son, Richard I, the Lionheart, ascended England’s throne.

His guilt was a foregone conclusion. As a she-wolf, protecting her cubs, she rebelled against her husband. Her nose was inclined to be aquiline, and her whole body was radiant with the whiteness of her skin.’. The young emperor was deposed after only 4 months of disastrous rule. Isabella herself was implicated in a plot to poison King Louis IX of France and his brother, only to be foiled at the last minute. Zoe was described by a palace courtier, Michael Psellos, as; ‘a woman of great beauty, most imposing in her manner and commanding respect … a woman of passionate interests, prepared with equal enthusiasm for both alternatives, death or life, I mean. Variously described as being beautiful and hypnotic or so obese that she was crippled, the chroniclers have not been kind to Isabeau. In that she reminded me of sea-waves, now lifting a ship on high and then again plunging it down to the depths … Zoe was openhanded, the sort of woman who could exhaust a sea teaming with gold-dust in one day … [she] confused the trifles of the harem with important matters of state … her eyes were large, set wide apart with imposing eyebrows. However, his reforms and neglect of the army led to two uprisings, in 1043 and 1047, respectively, and saw the frontiers of the empire crumbling under incursions from the Normans, the Seljuks and the Pechenegs. Eleanor’s long life saw her weather the dangers of crusade, scandal, siege, imprisonment and betrayal to emerge as the great matriarch of Europe.
She landed a leading role, of Beth Caffrey, in the BBC drama Conviction. England, on the other hand, was withholding Queen Isabella’s dower against the return of Joan’s dower lands. And poor 9-year-old Joan’s erstwhile betrothed was now her step-father! Alongside her brother, King Edward of Wessex.

As soon as her oldest son, Henry III, was crowned with her own ‘chaplet’, Isabella started making arrangements to go home, to her own lands in Angouleme, France. For a wife to rebel against her husband was practically unheard of, and went against the natural order of society, and therefore deserved harsher punishment – where would the world be if women refused to behave? Louis and Eleanor’s marriage had been dealt a fatal blow; they left the Holy Land in 1149 and their divorce was finally proclaimed 21 March 1152. Edward and Hugh were captured near Llantrisant in Wales. In 1220, however, in a scandalous about-face Hugh IX repudiated Joan and married her mother, his father’s former betrothed. Together they conspired to dispose of Romanos and he was found dead in his bath on 10 April 1034, allegedly poisoned by Zoe or her lover.

To add to this, France was – not that they knew it at the time – halfway through the conflict with England that would become known as the Hundred Years’ War. Zoe, Isabella of Angouleme and Isabella of France have been much maligned throughout history. Basil died in January 1025, leaving Constantine to rule alone for a further 3 years before his own death in November 1028. Constantine set about reforming the Byzantine administration, exiling John the Orphanotrophos from court for a second time, and surrounding himself with noted intellectuals, among them Michael Psellos. Michael IV then banished Zoe to a monastery. If all the stories of Isabeau of Bavaria were to be believed, she would be the most ruthless and wicked queen to have ever lived. Someone has come between my husband and myself, trying to break this bond. Her sister, Theordora, was retrieved from her monastery to rule beside her, though Zoe’s throne being placed slightly further forward, at the joint coronation ceremony, was an obvious indication of which of the sisters was in charge. Their stories have concentrated on the ruthlessness of their actions, rather than how they themselves had been treated by the men around them.

After she was allowed back to court, and unable to bare her own children, Zoe adopted Michael IV’s nephew, another Michael, and made him her heir.

High taxation sparked a revolt, led by Peter Deljan, who used it as a pretext to end the Byzantine dominance of the Bulgars. With each of them, applying the term ‘she-wolf’ highlights their strengths, their determination, and the challenges they faced and overcame.

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