Captive Queen

Captive Queen

A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
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The author harks back to the twelfth century with a sensuous and tempestuous tale that brings vividly to life England's most passionate and destructive royal couple: Eleanor of Aquitaine and King Henry II. Nearing her thirtieth birthday, Eleanor has spent the past dozen frustrating years as consort to the pious King Louis VII of France. For all its political advantages, the marriage has brought Eleanor only increasing unhappiness and daughters instead of the hoped for male heir. But when the young and dynamic Henry of Anjou arrives at the French court, Eleanor sees a way out of her discontent. For even as their eyes meet for the first time, the seductive Eleanor and the virile Henry know that theirs is a passion that could ignite the world. Returning to her duchy of Aquitaine after the annulment of her marriage to Louis, Eleanor immediately sends for Henry, the future King of England, to come and marry her. The union of this royal couple will create 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, betrayals, bitter rivalries, and a devil's brood of young Plantagenets including Richard the Lionheart and the future King John. Early on, Eleanor must endure Henry's formidable mother, the Empress Matilda, as well as his infidelities, while in later years, Henry's friendship with Thomas Becket will lead to a deadly rivalry. Eventually, as the couple's rebellious sons grow impatient for power, the scene is set for a vicious and tragic conflict that will engulf both Eleanor and Henry. This is an historical novel that encompasses the building of an empire and the monumental story of a royal marriage.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, [2010], ©2010
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780345511874
0345511875
Branch Call Number: FICTION Wei
Description: 478 pages : map ; 25 cm

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heatherfield
Feb 19, 2015

Honestly I couldn't finish it. The characters felt flat: Henry was childish from the get-go (with literally a temper tantrum out of nowhere), and Eleanor was supposedly a strong woman who obsessed about sex. I'm no prude, but I don't want to be bombarded by sex scenes in the first few pages, without character or plot development. I was already reading Sharon Kay Penman's books on the same characters, so I didn't push myself to finish this. Disappointing, considering Weir has so many good reviews. I wonder if I might have better luck with her non-fiction biographies.

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velvet01
Jan 03, 2014

An amazing book that is very enjoyable and also you learn a lot about many historical figures from Eleanor of Aquitaine, Henry ll and even a young Richard the Lionheart. An amazing book and one Alison Weir's best!

PrimaGigi Oct 13, 2012

Where is Eleanor? She doesn't feel apart of the story. The feeling was, as if she is drifting back to memories of the past and recantation to her children. Eleanor continually expound on her husbands virtuality and prowess in bed. It seems as if she's doing a late century John Holmes. Henry is a even hollower characterization of an entitled noble. He just seems like an inflated arse, but do they love fracking each other and telling us about it every other comma.

snowbird922 Mar 08, 2012

For a first time reader of historical fiction I could not put this book down. Having however read some of the reviews on Amazon however have given me quite a surprise and in fact I thought some of them were rather harsh. Some readers seemed to have a problem with how Weir dealt with Eleanor's sexuality they think her writing made the Queen seem a bit of a floosy. I however did not take in the story that way I believe there was an immense passion she shared with her husband what wife doesn’t. And yes sorry but women do use their sex to get there way and I don’t only mean by giving it up. I found this story to have me quite enraptured with Eleanor and her strength as a woman trying to keep her family together and indeed I think she must have been a force to be reckoned with. In fact I can’t wait to read some more about her. I think Weir did an excellent job and I am looking forward to reading another book by her.

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nancytheknitter
Jan 08, 2012

I have to admit that with book I did not get past the second chapter. This book did not appeal to me at all. I usually like Alison Weir's both fiction and nonfiction books but this one failed to grab me. My motto is that life is too short to waste on a book that doesn't interest me.

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sarahjgrant
Jun 10, 2011

Alison Weir is probably one of the best writers of history and historical fiction around. She does a wonderful job of shedding light on the challenges facing women in theoretically powerful positions in the Middle Ages. If you've read Weir before you might find yourself wondering what happened to her writing style in the first 80 or so pages of this novel however; I found myself actually contemplating whether she'd turned over the first few chapters to someone else to write. Gradually the character development and attention to historical detail reveal this novel as a true Weir, and this novel makes you want to read her biography of Eleanor as well. A fascinating topic, and a page-turner of a novel! (Don't lose faith in those first 80 pages :))

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emerge
Dec 21, 2010

A really enjoyable read. If you like historical novels, you won't be disappointed. It's refreshing to get the woman's point of view & you see another side of Eleanor. In other publications, she has been depicted as sly, cunning & manipulative & maybe she was. But here, you find out potential reasons why & what she was up against in a time where women held little value other than the dowries they brought to a marriage & the number of sons they could produce.
Lots of political intrigue & very well researched.

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