France, 1152. A beautiful woman is escaping through France, leaving behind two young daughters and a shattered marriage. This woman is Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine, and her sole purpose is to marry the man she loves, Henry Plantagenet, a man destined for greatness as King of England. Theirs is a union founded on lust which will create a great empire. It will also create the most notoriously vicious marriage in history.
©2010 Alison Weir (P)2010 WF Howes Ltd
Alison has done a great job of merging history and a tale and bringing it to life.
I thought Julia was a great narrator.
"Spoilt by narrator"
As expected from Alison Weir a gripping, informative and well researched book. Having read all her previous work in book format I was pleased to find the latest on Audible as I am testing out new formats (audio on my iPod & electronic on my eReader) in order to cut down on excess baggage whilst travelling. A few audio books have put me off as I have not liked the narrative voice chosen, but having listened to a clip of this I was happy. I was therefore rather annoyed by the strange voices chosen to represent Henry and especially Eleanor who I believe would not have sounded so 'wispy'. I have always enjoyed being read to but will beware in future of narrators with this 'Jackanory' style.
"The captive queen"
I've been a fan of this author and enjoyed her novels in the past. Sadly, I found this book disappointing - presumably most people have a sex life (including royalty) but this seemed just a gratuitous exploration of a life much more important than that and frankly, I didn't understand why Ms. Weir would persue this aspect of the life of such a remarkable historical character. The narration was quite poor too.
"Interesting insight to medieval life"
A well paced, well written account of the life of Eleanor. She was captive for all her married life, not only the 16 years spent imprisoned by Henry. Weir shows Eleanor's love of her husband and Aquitaine and her desire to treat her people well, and frustration when Henry does not. Good details of the intricacies of life at court and the way the royals lived.
"Enjoyable listen and will listen to more"
This was an enjoyable is listen and ideal for those who enjoy the work of Phillipa Gregory as a historical novel offering the story from a women's perspective. It is engaging and the narration good. There are some clunky sentences, but on the whole it resonates well. I will go on to listen to more of Alison Weir's work having listened to this. In particular I like this writer as she also offers non-fictional accounts of the characters in her fictional novels and it is a nice tie in.
I think I prefer Alison Weir's historical biography to her historical novels. The characters, particularly Eleanor herself, I found unconvincing. The narration was spirited and easy on the ear, but it all seemed rather thin compared with the author's non fiction treatments of history.
Having heard that Alison Weir is an accomplished historical novelist, I downloaded this for holiday listening.I found the sentence structure simplistic and unimaginative. The times when intimacies are described, it struck me that it would be similar to the way a 15 year old school by may write them. I would not recommend this book for audio listening, maybe better in the written form.
"An excellent listen...."
Another good book from Alison Weir. Fact and fiction are woven together to produce an incredibly good "listen". This is a must for anyone with an interest in the Angevin Empire, not just in Queen Eleanor, and if you haven't got an interest before you listen to it; you will afterwards.
"A doomed Passion"
It Brought the Angevins to life, Illuminating the people behind the empire laying the foundation of the fraught Anglo-French relationship.
The way Passion gave way to hatred. The strength and character that Weir Imbued the protagonist.
Emotion, You can feel the tremble that Aquitaine has, the terror and the sorrow.
The sorrow that brings Henry and Eleanor together again after estrangement.
It's very sexual, which is OK for me but may shock other lovers of historical fiction
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