"Captive Queen" picks up at the meeting of Henry of Anjou and Eleanor of Aquitaine, wife to King Louis VII of France. Captivated by each other instantly, Eleanor sees a new future possible as wife to the future King of England. Together, this dynamic and passionate couple create a empire and found the Plantagenet dynasty. Eleanor thought Henry would be the ideal mate in and out of the bedroom, but she quickly learns that having a hold on Henry's heart doesn't mean fidelity for this bed-hopping ruler. And while the couple have created a wide-flung empire and a family filled with sons ready to rule, Henry has fought to long for his crown to easily share with his own sons. Forced to fight to defend her sons' rights, Eleanor quickly lands on Henry's bad side and spends years under house arrest. Only after Henry's death, does Eleanor gain permanent freedom and the ability to spend time in her beloved Aquitaine and with her children.
Alison Weir is known for her informative and entertaing historical novels that bring England's history to life, and "Captive Queen" is just the latest in a long line of fabulous reads by her. With her novels, Alison Weir breathes fresh life into historical characters and stories, bringing a new perspective to a woman who refused to let men rule her life, her heart, and country without a fight. Alison Weir has joined Jean Plaidy and Philippa Gregory as some of the best writers of English historical novels.
Having proven herself a gifted and engaging novelist with her portrayals of Queen Elizabeth I in The Lady Elizabeth and Lady Jane Grey in Innocent Traitor, New York Times bestselling author Alison Weir now 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.
Vivid in detail, epic in scope, Captive Queen is an astounding and brilliantly wrought historical novel that encompasses the building of an empire and the monumental story of a royal marriage.