A top ten bestselling novelist and historian recreates in fiction the most extrordinary and tempestuous marriage in history
Alison Weir lives and works in Surrey. Her books include Britain's Royal Families, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Children of England, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Henry VIII- King and Court, Mary, Queen of Scots, Isabella- She-Wolf of France, Queen of England, Katherine Swynford- The Story of John of Gaunt and His Scandalous Duchess and the novels, Innocent Traitor and The Lady Elizabeth.
Weir (Innocent Traitor) captures the perspective of the subject of her bestselling biography, Eleanor of Aquitaine, the medieval duchess who wielded power across Europe at a time when women were required to cede all possessions to their husbands. Both of Eleanor's husbands were kings-she divorced Louis VII of France to marry the soon-to-be Henry II-and Weir offers a vivid history of Eleanor's second marriage, highlighting Henry's fiery temper, unflagging energy, and obsession with loyalty. Weir's portrait of Eleanor reveals a mother devoted to her children, even as they grow up to rebel; a queen dedicated to her native land, even when governed by husband or son; and a woman yearning for love. Part of a wave of fiction re-interpreting famous female figures, Weir gives a credible account of an encounter between Eleanor and the girl reputed to have replaced her in Henry's affections, and a convincing explanation of how Henry and Thomas Becket became mortal enemies. Although her style is more studied and sedate than, say, Philippa Gregory's, Weir doesn't skimp on the sex-obsessed court, and her weaving of personal and political narratives with minor details, social trends, and history-defining events creates a surprisingly modern-feeling romance. (Aug.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
Historian Weir's third novel (after Innocent Traitor and The Lady Elizabeth) details the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204), the mother of much of medieval European royalty. Beginning with her first marriage to King Louis of France and following her during her scandalous marriage to King Henry II of England, the novel portrays Eleanor's difficulties as a leader and her efforts to reconcile her love of personal freedom with her love for Henry. Exceedingly well written and researched, this will more than satisfy and enchant historical novel fanatics. Weir's attention to detail, engaging dialog, and engrossing depiction of Eleanor's life make the novel an invaluable addition to the genre. Verdict Augmenting Weir's extensive historical repertoire (nonfiction and fiction), a copy or two of this wonderful novel on the shelves will never gather dust. Readers fascinated by the charismatic Eleanor may also want to read Weir's acclaimed 2000 biography, Eleanor of Aquitaine.-Audrey M. Johnson, Arlington, VA Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
"Should be savored . . . Weir wastes no time captivating her audience."--"Seattle Post-Intelligencer""Stunning . . . As always, [Alison] Weir renders the bona fide plot twists of her heroine's life with all the mastery of a thriller author, marrying historical fact with licentious fiction."--"The Star Tribune""Engaging and dramatic . . . [Weir] laudably sticks to the historic facts while simultaneously using her imaginative gifts."--"The Star-Ledger" "The history itself is inherently dramatic, augmented here by Weir's usual lush detail, which stimulates." --"Booklist "