By Alison Weir
Having confirmed herself a talented and fascinating novelist together with her portrayals of Queen Elizabeth I within the girl Elizabeth and woman Jane gray in blameless Traitor, long island instances bestselling writer Alison Weir now harks again to the 12th century with a sensuous and tempestuous story that brings vividly to existence England’s such a lot passionate—and destructive—royal couple: Eleanor of Aquitaine and King Henry II.
Nearing her 30th birthday, Eleanor has spent the previous dozen difficult years as consort to the pious King Louis VII of France. For all its political benefits, the wedding has introduced Eleanor purely expanding unhappiness—and daughters rather than the hoped-for male inheritor. but if the younger and dynamic Henry of Anjou arrives on the French court docket, Eleanor sees a fashion out of her discontent. For at the same time their eyes meet for the 1st time, the seductive Eleanor and the virile Henry be aware of that theirs is a keenness which could ignite the world.
Returning to her duchy of Aquitaine after the annulment of her marriage to Louis, Eleanor instantly sends for Henry, the longer term King of britain, to come back and marry her. The union of this royal couple will create an unlimited empire that stretches from the Scottish border to the Pyrenees, and marks the start of the distinguished Plantagenet dynasty.
But Henry and Eleanor’s marriage, charged with actual warmth, starts off a fiery downward spiral marred through energy struggles, betrayals, sour rivalries, and a devil’s brood of younger Plantagenets—including Richard the Lionheart and the long run King John. Early on, Eleanor needs to undergo Henry’s bold mom, the Empress Matilda, in addition to his infidelities, whereas in later years, Henry’s friendship with Thomas Becket will bring about a perilous competition. finally, because the couple’s rebellious sons develop impatient for strength, the scene is determined for a vicious and tragic clash that would engulf either Eleanor and Henry.
Vivid intimately, epic in scope, Captive Queen is an striking and brilliantly wrought old novel that encompasses the construction of an empire and the huge tale of a royal marriage.
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Extra info for Captive Queen: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine
I will not fail you,” Henry promised. “You may count on me. ” Again he raised her hand to his lips. “I do not know how I shall bear being apart from you,” Eleanor told him. “It is only for a short time. ” After Henry had departed, slipping into the early morning mist in search of his tethered horse, Eleanor huddled her cloak close around her and prayed fervently for a happy outcome. “Home,” she breathed. “I want to go home. I want this exile to end, to be among my own people, where I am loved.
In contrast, she had donned a thin loose robe of finest white samite, pinned on earrings of precious stones, and had her maids brush her long hair until it shone like bright molten fire. She found herself reveling in the power she could wield over Henry with her beauty and her body. She was headily aware of the diaphanous quality of her robe, the prominence of her erect nipples, and his obvious pleasure at what he was avidly devouring with his eyes. He moved quickly toward her, throwing his belt aside and ripping off his tunic as he strode across the floor.
I only know that I have never felt like this,” Eleanor whispered, catching her breath. “Hush, madame,” Henry warned. “People are looking. We have talked too long together. ” He raised her hand and kissed it. The touch of his lips, his flesh, was like a jolt to her system. Later that night, Eleanor sat before her mirror, gazing into its burnished silver surface. Her image stared back at her, and she looked upon her oval face with its alabaster-white skin, cherry-red rosebud lips, sensuous, heavy-lidded eyes, and well-defined cheekbones, the whole framed with a cascade of coppery tresses.