Set against the splendor and scheming of the Middle Ages, this enthralling historical novel brings to life the magnificent Eleanor of Aquitaine, a woman far ahead of her time and one of history’s most extraordinary queens
Tumultuous. Passionate. Timeless. The marriage between Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry Plantagenet was like no other, born of power, politics, and an all-consuming, fiery love. Within two years of their wedding, Henry conquered England and together they ruled a vast kingdom. At first they worked to unify and repair their war-torn lands - before being torn apart by intrigue, adultery, and deadly revenge.
Henry II dreams of enacting a new judicial system, a common law that would help foster peace. But a devastating betrayal by his closest confidante, Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, thrusts Henry into a rivalry that threatens to tear church and state apart. Eleanor, an accomplished ruler in her own right, steps in to help Henry quell the rebellions across their lands. But when she learns of her husband’s secret romance with the fair, young Rosamund de Clifford, it shatters her heart and ignites a bitter vengeance that will engulf their family in treachery and betrayal. As Eleanor takes the side of her sons against their father, these young royals, chafing for power of their own, wreak havoc across the continent, igniting a war whose tragic consequences Eleanor could never have foreseen.
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Eleanor and Henry II of England
- Kristi Richardson
Gilded Cages is the second book recounting the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine; the first, Beloved Enemy, tells of her marriage to Louis of France and the beginning of her life with Henry II; this volume completes her biography. The story is well-known; the main difference from some writers' interpretation is that Thomas a Becket is portrayed very negatively.
Apart from Ms. Jones' excessive fondness for the archaic term "sennight" [a week], which she uses on every occasion she can fit it in, I found this an enjoyable listen, and well read. Falls into the "ripping yarn" category. Recommended, as long as you are not looking for a scholarly work. Some of the episodes are more legendary than documented.