View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title Abandoning her marriage to the king of France in favor of a partnership with the equally ambitious Henry II of England, Eleanor of Aquitaine shares a tumultuous and influential reign marked by their children and her long-term imprisonment.
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Review : Interesting Facts About Eleanor of Aquitaine, from Alison Weir Eleanor of Aquitaine is arguably the most important and admired female figure in medieval European history. Captive Queen tells the epic and dramatic tale of this strong and remarkable woman who held her own in a male-dominated world. Her lands comprised half of what is now France, making her the greatest heiress in Europe. The transfer of that landed inheritance, first to France and then to England, set the pattern of European diplomacy and warfare for the next four centuries. Her marriage to Henry II of England, which is the focus of Captive Queen , was one of the most passionate and tempestuous in history.
Captive Queen: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine
Both Eleanor and Henry were larger-than-life, charismatic characters. Eleanor was a true daughter of the south of France, raised in a society in which women were valued more highly than elsewhere, and morals were lax. She grew up imbued with the culture and poetry of the troubadours, and her beauty was famous.
She was a sensual woman with little regard for the moral precepts of her day, and she had adulterous affairs with several men, including her uncle and her future father-in-law. In this novel, Alison Weir has made creative use of those legends. Eleanor bore eleven children—among them Richard the Lion Heart, renowned as the greatest crusader in Christendom, and the notorious King John, who was forced to sign the Magna Carta.
Later on, having dealt him a bitter betrayal, she would become his captive in very truth. Ultimately, Captive Queen is a searing psychological odyssey, an intense exploration of the character and motives of an extraordinary woman. Buy New Learn more about this copy.
The Captive Queen by Alison Weir
Other Popular Editions of the Same Title. Arrow, Softcover. Search for all books with this author and title. Customers who bought this item also bought. Stock Image. The travel required of these rich royal overlords provides a lively journey that moves from the sunny climes of Poitiers, France, to the grand palaces of London to the wilds of Oxfordshire in wintertime.
The best historical novels require more than accurate backgrounds, exciting storylines and vivid ambience. Weir has skillfully imagined royal lives before, in both her histories and her fiction, but her style here is marred by less than subtle characterizations and some seriously cheesy writing.
The Captive Queen / Eleanor of Aquitaine
Eleanor, headstrong yet naive, expects a "partnership of princes" as well as wedded bliss, and despairs when she doesn't get either. Henry can't control his anger, in particular where his religious conflicts with Becket are concerned; he growls, thunders, roars, grunts and fumes. While his bad temper comes through all too clearly, his intelligence and political acumen are given much less attention.
Although the dialogue is modern and accessible, it contains awkward exposition and odd direct statements. If there's a good way to convince readers of people's importance in history, this isn't it. Fortunately, a wiser, mature Eleanor brings a tempered tone to the later sections.
The claustrophobia of her dank prison at Sarum is palpable, and because it steers clear of melodrama, her long period of captivity is genuinely affecting. The author's note is where writers confess any sins of inaccuracy committed in the name of fiction, and the opinions Weir expresses in hers are contradictory. However, nearly every bawdy rumour is given free rein, and Weir takes an unorthodox approach to Becket for which she says there's no evidence.
Dramatic licence may be part of the game, but one can't have it both ways. It all makes for an exaggerated take on Eleanor of Aquitaine's life and times, and a puzzling coda to an already bumpy work. She blogs about historical novels at readingthepast.
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Log in. Log out. Article text size A. To view your reading history, you must be logged in. Log in Register. Open this photo in gallery:. Alison Weir Barney Jones. Reviewed by Sarah Johnson. Special to The Globe and Mail. Published August 13, Updated May 2, Comments Please log in to bookmark this story.
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