Talk:Henry II of England

Page contents not supported in other languages.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Good articleHenry II of England has been listed as one of the History good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
March 17, 2012Good article nomineeListed
May 27, 2012WikiProject A-class reviewApproved
On this day...Facts from this article were featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "On this day..." column on December 19, 2008, December 19, 2009, December 19, 2012, December 19, 2013, December 19, 2014, December 19, 2015, December 19, 2018, December 19, 2019, December 19, 2021, and December 19, 2022.
Current status: Good article

Proposed trimmed lead[edit]

The lead is bloated and rambling. Much is a re-hash of what appears in the main body. It needs to be much tighter. I submit the following alternative:

Henry II (5 March 1133 – 6 July 1189), also known as Henry Curtmantle, Henry FitzEmpress or Henry Plantagenet, was King of England from October 1154 until his death, Lord of Ireland (1171–1189), Duke of Normandy (1150-1189), Duke of Aquitaine (1152–89, in right of his wife), Count of Anjou (1151–1189), Count of Maine (1151–1189), Count of Nantes (1158 – 1189). At various times, he exercised control over large parts of Wales and the Duchy of Brittany. Henry was born in Le Mans, France, the son of Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou and the Empress Matilda, who was the daughter of King Henry I of England. By the age of 14, Henry was actively involved by in his mother's efforts to claim the throne of England. With his marriage in 1151 to the wealthy heiress, Eleanor of Aquitaine, he got control of vast estates in south-west France. Henry and Eleanor had eight children. As they grew up, tensions over the future inheritance of the empire began to emerge. He led a military expedition to England in 1153 to further the claims of the Empress. By the terms of the Treaty of Wallingford, he inherited the throne of England following the death of Stephen, King of England a year later. Henry's legal changes are generally considered to have laid the basis for the English Common Law, while his intervention in Brittany, Wales and Scotland shaped the development of their societies and governmental systems. By 1172, he controlled England, large parts of Wales, the eastern half of Ireland and the western half of France, an area that would later come to be called the Angevin Empire. During his reign, the powers of the monarchy increased at the expense of the great barons. His achievements were impaired, however, by disputes with the Church, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket and by revolts within his own family. Henry suppressed rebellions by his sons in 1173 and 1183. Following a further rebellion in 1189, he died at Chinon leaving the throne to his son Richard. Henry's empire quickly collapsed during the reign of his youngest son John. Laurel Lodged (talk) 15:13, 6 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The current text appears to comply with WP:LEAD - were there particular points of concern? Hchc2009 (talk) 15:19, 6 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
See section 31 above from a few years back.Laurel Lodged (talk) 16:36, 6 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The lead is supposed to repeat information in the body of the article. It's a summary of the entire article, and for an article this size, three or four paragraphs are recommended. I'll note that this lead (with minor copyedits) passed through the featured article process and no one there had issues with the size being "bloated". I find it about right, quite honestly. Ealdgyth - Talk 15:20, 6 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's not supposed to be a complete re-hash. It should contain the essentials and no more. Laurel Lodged (talk) 09:02, 8 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The lead contains too much detail for some topics. It largely reproduces what appears later in the main body. That's not what's supposed to happen. Laurel Lodged (talk) 12:29, 12 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The lead, again, is supposed to reproduce the stuff in the main body. It is NOT, per Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lead section#Comparison to the news-style lead, a newspaper style lead. The lead "provides far more information, as its purpose is to summarize the article, not just introduce it." Ealdgyth - Talk 12:57, 12 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'd agree with Ealdyth's comment. Hchc2009 (talk) 17:22, 12 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There's a big difference between avoiding newspaper-style headline brevity and outright duplication. "Each word, phrase, and sentence in a lead should be covered by equivalent content in the body of the article, preferably in the same order they appear in the article. The content in the body of the article will usually be longer and more detailed." The current lead violates this guideline. Laurel Lodged (talk) 10:43, 15 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Examples? Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 10:54, 15 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • @Laurel Lodged: The lede as it currently stands is four paragraphs out of nearly eighty; and you think it shold be reduced to one?! It would clearly fail WP:LEADLENGTH, which states that for articles with over 30,000 characters, 'Three or four paragraphs' is right; this article has >76,000 characters. I give you, QED :) — O Fortuna semper crescis, aut decrescis 11:34, 15 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Those four paragraphs are massive though, I barely contribute to wikipedia but this lead is a far too unwieldy. Needs a trim. (talk) 21:05, 10 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why I undid your two reverts.[edit]

In the Cambridge dictionary:

There is a huge difference between these levels.

I also made some Google search (option "verbatim").
The results are shown in the following format:

  • Searched phrase, All results, Results in books

  • "albeit"   2.2m 831k
  • "although"   120m 22m

  • "insofar as"   59m 1.8m
  • "as far as"   657k 5.6m 760m 5m

Have you ever heard of misplaced modifiers?

  • "only coming to for a few"   6 1   (your phrase)
  • "coming only for a few"   38k 8   (my phrase)

But let's forget the "only" for a moment:

  • "coming to for a few"   0 0
  • "coming for a few"   2.35m 24k

Vikom (talk) 03:09, 10 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Vikom, surely "coming to" means to regain consciousness, which is what the sentence is referring to...? Hchc2009 (talk) 09:30, 10 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The "only coming to" is definitely referring to consciousness so that change was wrong. The other is a style issue. We're not writing for Simple Wikipedia - we don't need to dumb down the language. Ealdgyth - Talk 13:49, 10 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I provided a link to an excellent explanation of notorious problems with misplaced modifiers.

The word "only" modifies the phrase "for a few moments", not "coming to", so this modifier is in the wrong place:

  • only coming to for a few moments     (Bad)
  • coming to only for a few moments    (Good, but there is still a problem with "coming to")

As for "coming to" I simply ignored the context. It was my fault. But why did it happen in the first place? Because of the poor readability. "come to" is simply ambiguous, so we can write:

  • regaining consciousness only for a few moments

Maybe the emphasis is not necessary at all, so we could write:

  • regaining consciousness for a few moments

To get back to the subject. Readability really matters, and that's why commonly used words are better, at least here, in Wikipedia. But if you have a blog, then feel free to use the most fancy and sophisticated words that you can find. Maybe you just want to sound smart and don't care how many readers you have. If you write: "He was too astute to acquiesce to the proffer", maybe you will seem smart to some people, but how many native speakers will understand you? You have every right to do so, but not here. Here you should write something like "He was too smart to accept the proposal". Is it bad English? No. While words like "albeit" and "insofar" are not as rare as those in my example, they are rare enough to decrease readability, especially for non-native speakers. It's not only "a style issue".

As for Simple Wikipedia: Plain English does not mean Basic English, recommended for using in Simple Wikipedia. I do not intend to convert any article to that standard. Vikom (talk) 23:14, 10 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's not just that albeit and insofar are standard and common English words. They are better word choices for those sentences in terms of vocabulary and idiom. Celia Homeford (talk) 08:37, 12 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Of course, non-standard and uncommon words do worsen readability, it's obvious, right? But given what you wrote in your edit summary, the contrary is true. So you contradict yourself.
You also wrote "They are better word choices for those sentences in terms of vocabulary and idiom." What a lame excuse. There is nothing special about those sentences. You have no arguments because I am stating facts. And because there are no arguments against facts, then you just ignore them. Google Search is not a very reliable tool, but when you use quotation marks and the "verbatim" option, the results cannot be ignored, especially when they are consistent with those from another source, like CoCA. You see, our intentions are completely different. While I want to improve readability, you want to worsen it, to sound smarter. Simple people will get fooled, but it is unfair to them. There are better ways to sound smart, for example by being logical and, at least, not contradicting oneself. Vikom (talk) 04:33, 13 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I see from your page at the Polish wikipedia that you are not a native English speaker. I do not wish to worsen readability or sound smarter. I just think articles on the English wikipedia should be written in idiomatic English. Celia Homeford (talk) 09:47, 13 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I see from your page at the Polish wikipedia that you are not a native English speaker.
Hmm... I must change it ;-) But seriously: So what of it? Do you feel embarrassed when a non-native speaker dares to edit "your" article. Don't I have right to correct your writing? Should I feel inferior to you? What if my English proves to outperform yours. Native speakers (often well educated) make lots of mistakes, e.g. "often times", "the reason is because", "didn't used to be". And misplaced modifiers, like "He only died last week", are very common. Besides, there are also illiterates, who are native English speakers. Whenever I have a problem with expressing my thoughts in English and ask a native speaker to help me, he usually has the same problem. I don't care who you are and what your mother tongue is. I see only what you write and try to improve it if necessary.
  • I do not wish to worsen readability or sound smarter.
Ok, but regardless of what you wish, I see what you do, and you do worsen readability.
  • I just think articles on the English wikipedia should be written in idiomatic English.
What do you mean by idiomatic? If you mean "containing expressions that are natural to a native speaker", then I am all for it. But if you mean "containing idioms", then I am strongly against it.
By the way, Wikipedia's Manual of Style states: The goal is to make using Wikipedia easier and more intuitive by promoting clarity and cohesion, while helping editors write articles with consistent and precise language, layout, and formatting. Plain English works best. Avoid ambiguity, jargon, and vague or unnecessarily complex wording. Vikom (talk) 01:51, 14 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I mean written in a way that is natural to a native speaker. These words are not ambiguous, jargon, vague or complex. They are plain, simple, easy, intuitive, clear, coherent, and precise. Celia Homeford (talk) 08:43, 14 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"plain, simple, easy" ? No, they are not, especially when compared with "although" and "as far as". My argument is supported by the Cambridge dictionary, and Google Search results. You have no real arguments. You wrote: These changes did not improve readability. If anything, they worsened it., which is absurd. So I will restore my version. I will also change the phrase: "only coming to for a few moments" Vikom (talk) 05:16, 15 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Criteria for notability[edit]

You took it upon yourself to revert my contribution to the page on Henry II, commenting that there was "no evidence it was notable". What evidence do you have that it wasn't notable? It seems to me that a series of three full-length plays describing in well-researched detail an interesting period of English history is indeed notable. I doubt that you have seen or read the plays so while notability is a matter of opinion, not fact, I suggest your opinion is less valid than mine. If our aim was to remove all non-notable entries from Wikipedia we could spend a lifetime doing so! I'd rather spend my time adding information, not removing it. Mikedt10 (talk) 14:41, 3 December 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This has been discussed and disputed by editors many times. Notability is not a matter of personal opionion. The criterion is that it has been discussed by a reliable secondary source such as an academic text. A web page by the theatre does not show notability. Dudley Miles (talk) 14:55, 3 December 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Here is a reliable secondary source. I should perhaps have used this rather than just the theatre's website. Given discussion at WP:ROWN you could have altered my edit to provide this source rather than removing my contribution without alerting me prior to doing so. Would you be happy if I now alter the Henry II page to restore my edit with the new reference? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mikedt10 (talkcontribs) 15:50, 3 December 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I do not think that a theatre review is a reliable source for an article on Henry II but if you restore I will leave it to other editors to decide whether they are happy with it. In principle, I think that cultural depictions of a historical character are a different subject from the life of the person and are better in a separate article such as Cultural depictions of Stephen, King of England with a link from Stephen, King of England#Popular representations. Dudley Miles (talk) 16:28, 3 December 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(talk page stalker) If I may – I've had a look at the material Dudley reverted, and I think it's heavily WP:UNDUE. Just to be clear, this is at Henry II of England, not Henry II. I mention this because, if I came across it, I'd be minded to revert it myself, as WP:UNDUE. Nortonius (talk) 17:05, 3 December 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree that the cultural depictions of monarchs are best placed on a separate page, and indeed I've contributed to some, for example Cultural depictions of the Empress Matilda. As yet, Henry II of England (sic) doesn't have such a separate page and may not yet justify one given the relatively sparse material currently under that heading. For the moment, I'll restore / update my contribution. If you are still unhappy, the talk page of the main article might be the best place to comment Mikedt10 (talk) 17:19, 3 December 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think there is enough to start Cultural depictions of King Henry II of England which can be added to later. The "sparse material" may be because contributions have been reverted as not relevant to the historical Henry. Dudley Miles (talk) 17:30, 3 December 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Fine, go ahead! I've updated my contribution. Mikedt10 (talk) 18:03, 3 December 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have no interest in cultural depictions. My suggestion was for editors who are interested. Dudley Miles (talk) 18:13, 3 December 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The page on Cultural depictions of Henry II of England no longer redirects to this article but instead exists in its own right. Mikedt10 (talk) 15:12, 13 December 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Marriage contrary to feudal practice[edit]

According to Henry II of England#Early reign (1150–1162), Henry's marriage to Eleanor "ran counter to feudal practice". What does this mean? Surtsicna (talk) 12:53, 27 June 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Certainly, the text is not very clear. It refers to the fact that Eleanor and Henry did not request permission for their marriage from the King of France, since they were both vassals. --Ezi1234 (talk) 22:41, 10 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Angevin kings of England[edit]

Hi there. These days I've translated into Russian an enwiki article Angevin kings of England. Immediately a was kicked around and the translation was nominated for deletion. The core of disagreement is: a) Angevin kings are simply another name for Plantagenets and as such do not deserve separate article; b) Angevin kings of England are a separate historical entity and the article is valid.

In this respect I would like to know the basis of calling Henry II of England a Plantagenet keeping in mind that the Angevin kings of England reads (NB: the article is marked as Good)

Historians[who?] use the period of Prince Louis's invasion to mark the end of the Angevin period and the beginning of the Plantagenet dynasty.[citation needed]


Richard of York adopted "Plantagenet" as a family name for himself and his descendants during the 15th century. Plantegenest

So: where actually had Angevins ended and Plantagenets started, if ever? Pls advise. From Russia with love. Ashec (talk) 12:55, 23 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Co-ruler of what, exactly, and with whom?[edit]

Third paragraph of the lead begins:

"Henry and Eleanor had eight children—three daughters and five sons. Three of his sons would be king, though Henry the Young King was named his father's co-ruler rather than a stand-alone king."

Earlier in the lead, we read,

"Henry became Count of Anjou and Maine upon the death of his father, Count Geoffrey V, in 1151. His marriage in 1152 to Eleanor of Aquitaine, whose marriage to Louis VII had recently been annulled, made him Duke of Aquitaine."

So, Henry II's father was not a king. And therefore not king of England. He was Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou.

The statement about Henry's co-rulership, therefore, in my opinion, needs re-wording to explain exactly what it means. Was Henry named co-ruler of Anjou or co-ruler (co-king) of England in Matilda's place (for whom, according to the text above, Henry II, her son, had agreed "a peace treaty [with Stephen of Blois] after Henry[II]'s military expedition to England in 1153, and Henry inherited the kingdom on Stephen's death a year later") and, if so, with whom as the other co-monarch of England?

Was this "inheritance" the co-rulership spoken of later or was it co-rulership of Anjou, while Henry [II] inherited full title as king of England upon Stephen's death? Hedles (talk) 01:36, 24 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think you are misunderstanding this. Henry, son of Geoffrey V, inherited the throne of England from his uncle Stephen on Stephen's death after the Treaty of Westminster(?) established that he (Henry, son of Geoffrey V) was the heir to the throne of England, meaning that he became Henry II of England. The first statement you mention refers not to Henry II but his son with Eleanor of Aquitaine, Henry the Young King. In 1170 Henry II made his son (Henry the Young) co-ruler (along with Henry II himself) of England, Normandy, Anjou and Maine. This is the "co-rulership" referred to in the article. It would be simpler if Henry the Young was just known as "Henry III", but unfortunately he died before his father, so never ruled on his own. (talk) 19:18, 2 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What is a "Mainstream European"?[edit]

Mainstream Europeans regarded the Irish as relatively barbarous and backward.[267]

Including King in Wikilinks, Manual of Style[edit]

Hi. Help:Introduction to the Manual of Style/linking quiz in "Donnchadh, Earl of Carrick" example, it says 'King', with upper-case K, is part of the title "King Henry II of England": it is awkward to see part of the title black and part of it blue. So I have searched all "King" words and found three. (King) David I of Scotland in Early years (1133–1149) section. (King) Malcolm of Scotland in "Reconstruction of royal government" section. (King) William of Scotland in Great Revolt (1173–1174) section. Jeournat (talk) 21:12, 22 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why Curtmantle?[edit]

Why is he called Curtmantle? DuncanHill (talk) 14:13, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@DuncanHill: Nickname, presumably based on his fashion tastes; 'Henry Shortcloak'. Cf. Robert Curthose, son of William the Conqueror. Also, e.g., curtlof (shortbread). Same etymological root, from Old French as the modern English curt (to be curt with smn...), brief or terse. etc. HTH! SN54129 14:38, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Time immemorial[edit]

As his reign is linked to the concept of 'Time immemorial perhaps a mention here? Jackiespeel (talk) 18:12, 15 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]