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Noble Women’s Power As Reflected In The Foundations Of Cistercian Houses For Nuns In Thirteenth-Century Northern France: Port-Royal, Les Clairets , Moncey , Lieu, And Eau-Lez-Chartres

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Chapter Summary

Noble women were often founders of new houses of Cistercian nuns in thirteenth-century northern France. Their power within the region of Blois, Chartres, Tours, and Nogent in the thirteenth century, however, has often been neglected by historians of women. The Cistercian abbey for nuns at les Clairets was founded in 1204 near Nogent-le-Rotrou in the region called the Perche west of Paris and Chartres. The Cistercian priory of nuns at Moncey in the Loire valley near Tours was the first of three foundations for Cistercian nuns made by Isabelle of Chartres, a daughter of Alix of Blois, and grand-daughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Louis VI. Once countess of Chartres, Isabelle would found two more houses of Cistercian nuns: the abbey of Lieu-Notre-Dame for which she had considerable help from her daughter, Matilda of Amboise, and Eau-lez-Chartres, where Isabelle had the help of her second husband, John of Oisy.

Keywords: Cistercian abbey; Eau-lez-Chartres; Isabelle; Les Clairets; Lieu; Moncey; thirteenth-century northern France



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