Fabrics from the twelfth century are rare. As a result, I was thrilled to see a stole, a priest’s scarf used when he officiates, in a museum attached to Saint Isidore Basilica in Leon, Spain. It was faded and wasn’t particularly elegant, but it was woven by Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine during the last years of her life. This famous queen married to two twelfth-century kings and the mother of two more kings was a contemporary of my heroine, Ermengarde of Narbonne.
Of course, I couldn’t touch the stole. Nor could I photograph it. But when I saw it, I felt that in some way I was connecting with this long dead queen and also with Ermengarde. Did these two famous women know each other? Probably since they are both discussed in Andreas Capellanus’s ART OF COURTLY LOVE. In fact, Ermengarde is the only woman mentioned as giving decisions in the courts of love besides Eleanor’s family members. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_amore_(Andreas_Capellanus)