The Lion in Winter

  • by James Goldman
  • Narrated by Alfred Molina, Kathleen Chalfant, Full Cast
  • 1 hrs and 36 mins
  • Performance

Publisher's Summary

Insecure siblings fighting for their parents' attention; bickering spouses who can't stand to be together or apart; adultery and sexual experimentation; even the struggle to balance work and family. These are themes as much at home in our time as they were in the twelfth century. In James Goldman's classic play The Lion in Winter, domestic turmoil rises to an art form.Keenly self-aware and motivated as much by spite as by any sense of duty, Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine maneuver against each other to position their favorite son in line for succession. By imagining the inner lives of Henry, Eleanor, and their sons, John, Geoffrey, and Richard, Goldman created the quintessential drama of family strife and competing ambitions, a work that gives visceral, modern-day relevance to the intrigues of Angevin England.Combining keen historical and psychological insight with delicious, mordant wit, the stage play has become a touchstone of today's theater scene, and Goldman's screenplay for the 1968 film adaptation won him an Academy Award.

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What the Critics Say

"[A] classic tale of deep family dysfunction and Machiavelli-level intrigue....Witty and wrenching, full of dagger-sharp quips and veiled motives." (The Boston Globe)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Falls flat

I had thought that this play was so well-written that any reading would be wonderful.... I was wrong. This recording cannot begin to compare to Peter O'Toole's and Katherine Hepburn's Henry and Eleanor. What particularly hurt this recording was Eleanor's timing - so much was missed.
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- Helen

Clever and Witty

Where does The Lion in Winter (Dramatized) rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This dramatization of the play was well done, made me wish I were seeing it rather than just hearing it.


What was one of the most memorable moments of The Lion in Winter (Dramatized)?

There were several witty quotes, my favorite being "I'm villifying you for God's sake, pay attention."


What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The different actors helped to give each character depth, and brought some of the history into the story.


If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

And you thought your family was bad!


Any additional comments?

Dramatization is not my favorite medium, but this was well done.

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- Jennifer "I'm a bibliophile, obviously! My specific interests are historical fiction and sci-fi fantasy. I love to escape with a book!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-23-2005
  • Publisher: L.A. Theatre Works