Captive ueen A Novel of Eleanor of Auitaine eBook » A

Captive ueen A Novel of Eleanor of Auitaine Nearing her thirtieth birthday Eleanor of Auitaine has spent the past dozen frustrating years as wife to the pious King Louis VII of France But when Henry of Anjou the young and dynamic future king of England arrives at the French court he and the seductive Eleanor experience a mutual passion powerful enough to ignite the world Indeed after the annulment of Eleanor’s marriage to Louis and her remarriage to Henry the union of this royal couple creates 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 and bitter betrayals Amid the rivalries and infidelities the couple’s rebellious sons grow impatient for power and the scene is set for a vicious and tragic conflict that will threaten to engulf them all I don't think I have ever stopped reading a book so uickly before and the only reason I got as far as I did was because I was stuck on the busride to swimming lessons with my class and needed something to do to pass the time I kept hoping if I continued reading it would begin to get better as I was interested in finding out about the passionate yet volatile relationship between King Henry the II and Eleanor of Auitaine The first uality that annoyed me about this book was that it read sort of like a steamy medieval Harleuin romance I have no problem with intimate scenes in novels but the historical novels I have previously read expressed the scenes with language that indicated passion etc but didn't sound so 20th century smutty I almost snorted out loud a couple times at the ridiculous phrases Which leads me to my second criticism the language was almost too contemporary with medieval characters using modern day slang like Soyou're hot for the ueen huh? I highly doubt noblemen of the day used words like hot for to describe lusting after a woman It completely destroyed any ability to take the novel seriously and it certainly didn't transport the reader back to medieval Europe The last issue I had with this book is the tendency of the author to spell out everything for the reader often using her characters to directly verbalize the things that a good author would allow the reader to infer or would at least connect the dots subtlely for the reader Within their first moments alone Henry and Eleanor don't just talk like new lovers but also expound on how fortunate it would be for Henry to marry her and that would make him the most powerful man in Europe because she is the heiress to lands here there and everywhere etc which not only sounds too explanatory for a sophisticated novel but also doesn't seem like credible dialogue between 2 people who have just spent themselves in the throes of passion Way to much telling instead of showing I was deeply disappointed in this novel as I had heard so many good things about the writing of Alison Weir Perhaps her actual historical writing about the Wars of the Roses and the Princes in the Tower is better because she wouldn't have to add in stupid dialogue and depth less characterization So in all I would say to avoid this book unless you want some cheap laughs at the cheesy love scenes ha ha Find my favorite uotes and follow reviews at makes a book a memorable reading experience? For me it comes down to three things a good plot interesting characters and compelling writing In reading the back cover Weir’s The Captive ueen appeared to have two of the threePlot is the easy one here The story was already written and since Weir previously published a nonfiction biography on Eleanor I am willing to bet she didn’t look far for resources Eleanor’s is a story worth telling Regrettably this detail is the only thing the author and I agree onRandy was not a word I associated with Eleanor until I read The Captive ueen Maybe it was the moment Eleanor cherished Henry's member in both hands Maybe it was Eleanor's distress over sharing a bed as she would be unable to masturbate with an audience Maybe it was the phrase “well endowed stallion” It doesn't really matter; I was disgusted by the tastelessly pornographic imagery I don't doubt Eleanor understood the power of feminine sexuality but I take issue with the vulgarity of the Weir's depiction I simply can't condone her debasing of Eleanor's character to that of a licentious doxy She obviously had an active sex life and one would assume she welcomed the attention as she had a rather large number of children but that doesn't mean her sole motivation was a sea of raging hormonesThe majority of the supporting cast is undeveloped not to be confused with underdeveloped just plain undeveloped Look at Petronilla She has one scene when she comes to her sister's court disappears from the text for fourteen years has a second scene during John's birth and shortly thereafter we learn she drank herself to death Were we readers supposed to care? Eleanor’s sibling isn’t the only character to suffer from Weir’s negligence Eleanor's eleven children share only a handful of scenes with their mother but rarely utter than a sentence or twoI’ve done a fair amount of ranting thus far but I am not above giving credit where it is due Annoying and flawed though he is Weir's Henry II is a well rounded personality who is all too easy to hate Again my opinions were not in line with the author's but I feel Weir succeeded in relating her version of Henry The reader actually experiences the death of his father his wild tantrums his relationship with his wife and his love affair with Rosamund which allows us to really understand the character as Weir perceived him Eleanor does not enjoy the same treatment The reader is told what to think of Henry's ueen as we rarely get into her head outside the bedroomThe style of writing leaves much to be desired The first forty two chapters are mind numbingly slow Weir should have summed up the events in a series of flashbacks This techniue would have cut the amount of content considerably but it would have been appropriate for her abilities Weir's relaying of facts is wonderful for nonfiction but it makes for very poor storytelling She sabotaged her own work by biting off than she could chewI firmly believe it is possible to write a compelling and entertaining novel of Eleanor's life Weir just wasn't the author to do it Perhaps I will read Penman's novels while I await the publication of Chadwick's books Readers who are unfamiliar with Eleanor of Auitaine may find value in The Captive ueen but I would advise those who are well acuainted with her story to steer clear The book begins with Eleanor's divorce from King Louis of France It is known that she was uite the unfaithful wife and was not at all physically attracted to him She did her duty twice to breed an heir only to give birth to two daughters Louis regardless of her behavior was actually uite in love with Eleanor but eventually acuiesced to her wishes Upon separation she reclaimed her duchy of Auitaine Soon after she married King Henry of England a man who also could meet her marital expectations But GOOD LORD Can they just stop having sex for a minute?????I never knew Alison Weir wrote this sort of book What happened to the history? She has turned one of the most notorious powerful ueens of medieval England into a frivolous vapid horny piece of fluff 2017 Reading Challenge author from a country I've never visited In this novel on the life of the indomitable Eleanor of Auitaine Alison Weir tells the story of a ueen with a strong sexual passion for her husband Henry even as her marriage to him begins to disintegrate We are first introduced to Eleanor lasciviously recollecting her sexual experiences with three previous lovers while one of them Geoffrey of Anjou with his eighteen year old son Henry beside him is paying homage to her current husband Louis VII of France Eleanor conceives a sudden passion for young Henry the future King of England Her marriage to Louis is sexually unsatisfying so she is ripe for Henry's bed That same night and for two nights after the lovers have the freedom to satisfy their desire in her bedchamber and pledge to wed The first half of the novel where Eleanor gives birth to ten children in fourteen years concluding with the birth of Prince John the novel is dominated by their sexual antics and their marital arguments Indeed you can't read than ten pages often fewer without a sexual act or some sexual reference This part of Eleanor's life is neither titillating nor interesting only tedious In my opinion Weir's sex driven Eleanor only serves to trivialize her because sex is what drives Eleanor and ultimately what drives this half of the novel without sufficiently exploring Eleanor's other ualities real or imagined Worse is that many if not most of Henry's and Eleanor's conversations occur in their bedchamber Assuming Eleanor has tasks duties and pleasures outside of her castles I would like to have seen of the action and dialogue occurring outside their private chamber And then there's the inclusion of Eleanor's sister Petronilla who joins the royal household as companion to Eleanor on her marriage Yet Petronilla hardly gets a mention until fourteen years later at the birth of Prince John supposedly after serving as the ueen's companion all this time where we are for some reason treated to her point of view for a paragraph or two and then she promptly dies of drink This character who had the potential to play an important and intimate role beside the ueen is never fully realized and begs the reader to ask why she is included at all After the birth of Prince John weary finally from childbearing unhappy with Henry's multiple infidelities Eleanor distances herself from him and the book begins to breathe Suddenly the dialogue is less awkward and slightly less melodramatic the plot has a stronger historical foundation and is less sex driven and Eleanor and Henry become a little nuanced as they separate age and come together while their children fight and betray their father Miss Weir handles the time of Eleanor's imprisonment skillfully enough managing to tell the story of their turbulent marriage against a background fraught with familial conflict that criss cross two countries This half is better It is good If the first half had been at the very least its eual I might have given The Captive ueen three stars

  • Hardcover
  • 478 pages
  • Captive ueen A Novel of Eleanor of Auitaine
  • Alison Weir
  • English
  • 01 February 2016
  • 9780345511874

About the Author: Alison Weir

Librarian Note There is than one author in the GoodReads database with this nameAlison Weir is a British writer of history books for the general public mostly in the form of biographies about British kings and ueens and of historical fiction Before becoming an author Weir worked as a teacher of children with special needs She received her formal training in history at teacher training

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