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Is it clear in the sentence below that Queen Eleanor supported artists, writers, and philosophers, or is it confusing, meaning one cannot tell if it was Eleanor or Henry that supported artists, writers, and philosophers? The intent is that Eleanor was the supporter. The second sentence may add to the confusion because of the word "this," which is intended to show backing that Marie was a guest of the court.

My question is the function of the comma after the word Aquitaine. The information provided by the clause starting with 'who' is required to delineate Queen Aquitaine, but in such cases, a comma is usually not required because it is extra information. I'm looking for the grammatical reason why it is required.

Marie de France appears to have been a habitual guest of the court of Henry II of England and his wife, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, who supported artists, writers, and philosophers in the court. Evidence of this can be traced to the dedication of Marie's lais to King Henry and her "Ysopet" to his son, William, Count of Salisbury.

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  • It's technically ambiguous, but I think anybody reading it would understand the Queen supported the artists. But I'm closing this question to new answers because it's a request for proofreading, which is off-topic for this site.
    – gotube
    Commented Oct 8, 2022 at 19:57
  • Fair enough, but I would not agree with the qualifier 'anybody' (at least my student would not agree). I am waiting to see how others do on the quiz. Thanks for the feedback.
    – commonone
    Commented Oct 8, 2022 at 22:12
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    I would have thought that the comma was required because the clause provided extra information (a nonrestrictive clause). Commented Oct 9, 2022 at 7:36

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I believe that the sentience as written is ambiguous. Indeed I would reed it as saying that either both Henry and Eleanor, or Henry alone, was the patron of the arts. Or rather I would if I didn't know enough about the history of that period to know that Eleanor was the primary patron.

My understanding is that the comma is required because "Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine" is a title in apposition, and that requires a comma whether it is restrictive or not.

In my view to be quite clear this needs to be split into multiple sentences, such as:

Marie de France appears to have been a habitual guest of the court of Henry II of England and his wife, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. Eleanor supported artists, writers, and philosophers in the court. Evidence of this can be traced to the dedication of Marie's lais to King Henry and her "Ysopet" to his son, William, Count of Salisbury.

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