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Captive Queen

A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

BONUS: This edition contains a Captive Queen discussion guide and an excerpt from The Lady Elizabeth.

Nearing her thirtieth birthday, Eleanor of Aquitaine has spent the past dozen frustrating years as wife to the pious King Louis VII of France. But when Henry of Anjou, the young and dynamic future king of England, arrives at the French court, he and the seductive Eleanor experience a mutual passion powerful enough to ignite the world. Indeed, after the annulment of Eleanor’s marriage to Louis and her remarriage to Henry, the union of this royal couple creates a vast empire that stretches from the Scottish border to the Pyrenees—and marks the beginning of the celebrated Plantagenet dynasty. But Henry and Eleanor’s marriage, charged with physical heat, begins a fiery downward spiral marred by power struggles and bitter betrayals. Amid the rivalries and infidelities, the couple’s rebellious sons grow impatient for power, and the scene is set for a vicious and tragic conflict that will threaten to engulf them all.

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From Publishers Weekly

Jun 28, 2010 – Weir (Innocent Traitor) captures the perspective of the subject of her bestselling biography, Eleanor of Aquitaine, the medieval duchess who wielded power across Europe at a time when women were required to cede all possessions to their husbands. Both of Eleanor's husbands were kings—she divorced Louis VII of France to marry the soon-to-be Henry II—and Weir offers a vivid history of Eleanor's second marriage, highlighting Henry's fiery temper, unflagging energy, and obsession with loyalty. Weir's portrait of Eleanor reveals a mother devoted to her children, even as they grow up to rebel; a queen dedicated to her native land, even when governed by husband or son; and a woman yearning for love. Part of a wave of fiction re-interpreting famous female figures, Weir gives a credible account of an encounter between Eleanor and the girl reputed to have replaced her in Henry's affections, and a convincing explanation of how Henry and Thomas Becket became mortal enemies. Although her style is more studied and sedate than, say, Philippa Gregory's, Weir doesn't skimp on the sex-obsessed court, and her weaving of personal and political narratives with minor details, social trends, and history-defining events creates a surprisingly modern-feeling romance.

Customer Reviews

Fantastic

I love Alison Weir's books. You get a great read and a history lesson all in one.

I could not finish it

Way too much bodice-ripping and throbbing manhood for me. Try any Hilary Mantel book for a superb historical novel.

solid fiction from a great historian

Weir is one of the most readable biographical historians currently writing, but by her own admission, history is about piecing together the scraps and bits, and simply acknowlegeing when there is not enough evidence to declare something as true.

By contrast, her historical fiction is about filling those gaps with something that is probable and fits in with what we do know. She tries to stay true to what is known and likely possible, and perhaps because of that, her novels don't have some of the intrigue of those who sometimes sacrifice history for plot. That isn't necessarily a bad thing. Her characters are deeply developed in Captive Queen and Eleanor is a as strong a character as she was a historical figure and was sympathic.

Weir may have succeeded in her goal: for me the difference between the biography and the novel was a lack of frustration at an incomplete narrative.

Captive Queen
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Historical
  • Published: Jul 13, 2010
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 544 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings