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Herlève/Arlette de Falaise

Herlève or Arlette de Falaise is the mother of William the Conqueror. She is the daughter of a tanner-embalmer of Falaise and meets Robert le Magnifique (Robert the Magnificent), Duke of Normandy doubtless at the Château and thus becomes his favourite, his common law wife in accordance with Scandinavian tradition.  A boy will be born from this union, William the future conqueror, then a girl, Adelaide.  She will subsequently be given in marriage to Herluin de Conteville, a minor lord in the Pays d’Auge and two children will be born: Robert de Mortain and Odon de Bayeux, who will fight with William, their half-brother, in the battle of Hastings.  History makes of Herlève a person of strong and independent character.

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