No one was ever given a nastier clutch of nicknames than Margaret, the last Countess of Tyrol: Maultasch, Mouth Bag, Whore, Vicious Woman, Medusa, Mouth-Poke, Pocket-Mouth, Satchel-Mouth, Big Mouth, Pouch Mouth, the She-Wolf of the Tyrol, the Ugly Duchess, and Kriemhild (after the wife of Attila the Hun).
Margaret, naturally enough, was a remarkable beauty (with exquisite lips!) who just happened to run afoul of the church authorities. Her sin was that she booted her feckless, philandering husband, John Henry, out of their schloss in the Tirolean Alps when he returned late one night in November, 1341, from a particularly nasty bender.
grpx_170105_025-copyNone of the neighbors was surprised. Ever since meeting each other at their wedding vows—at ages eight and nine—the couple had famously despised each other. According to Margaret, they never even consummated their marriage. So when she finally lost her patience, all the other castles refused John Henry entry. Friendless, he scarpered off to far Bohemia and a lifetime of pampered uselessness.
Margaret disavowed her husband and immediately remarried without benefit of an annulment. This was too much for the church, which excommunicated her and started one of its characteristic smear campaigns. Margaret responded the only way a woman in her era could. She fought off the Luxembourgs and Wittlesbachs and threw in with the Hapsburgs. Rudolf IV of Austria got the excommunication lifted and allowed Margaret to retire to Vienna. But she never again set eyes on her gorgeous, snow-swept Alps.

Categories: Austria

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