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Product details

  • Audio CD: 17 pages
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks; Unabridged Audiobook, 17 CDs. edition (1 Oct. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1407467441
  • ISBN-13: 978-1407467443
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 3.6 x 14.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,331,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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 and Isabella: She-Wolf of France.

Product Description


Alison Weir is one of our greatest popular historians. --The Daily Mail

A vibrant historical novel that explores the rocky relationship between Henry Plantagenet and Eleanor of Aquitaine, whose union produced King John and Richard the Lionheart. --Marie Claire

A tumultous tale, told here with insight, empathy, vitality and vision... A brilliant portrayal of a marriage in meltdown. --Lancashire Evening Post

Book Description

A top ten bestselling novelist and historian recreates in fiction the most extrordinary and tempestuous marriage in history --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

133 of 138 people found the following review helpful By Ms. A. Vaughan on 7 April 2010
Format: Hardcover
Alison Weir has proven once again that her fiction novels are just as wonderful as her non fiction. Her attention to detail and understanding of the historical figures she portrays are excellent.

The Innocent Traitor and The Lady Elizabeth kept me hooked for hours. However I was unsure if The Captive Queen would be as entertaining for me. I've always loved the Tudor period so Weir's new novel was a new experience and period for me.

The story centres around Queen Eleanor and her explosive marriage to Henry Plantagenet. Weir starts by addressing Eleanor's unhappy marriage to King Louis of France, but this is brief. Henry and Eleanor are introduced very quickly and I feel the story really takes off once they are together. Weir captures the lust and passion of the newly formed couple perfectly.

As the story unravels cracks start to appear in the couples relationship. Although I had some understanding of what was going to happen, I found myself wishing that they would stay happy together. Weir has created characters who jump out at you and I loved that about this book.

Weir explores the marriage of Eleanor and Henry from start to finish, covering a long period in history and many key points. The exploration of Becket and the part he had to play in the marriage is interesting and added depth to the story. I particularly enjoyed how his murder was portrayed and the aftermath. I also liked the relationships built between Eleanor and her children. This was vital for the novel to conclude in the way it does.

The final section of the novel was the hardest part for me to read. It was truly awful reading about the break down of the marriage. Weir captures the hatred which has built up gradually throughout the book, into an explosive final.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By L. Donaghy on 25 April 2011
Format: Hardcover
I like popular history, especially anything about the Plantagenets, but hadn't ventured into historical fiction until recently, when I picked up Devil's Consort by Anne O'Brien. And it was utter nonsense: just pages and pages of Eleanor of Aquitaine alleviating her sexual frustration by sleeping with various members of her extended family. So I had high hopes of The Captive Queen - I liked Alison Weir's portrayal of Isabella of France but had found it a bit dry, so the expert opinion with added artistic licence sounded good.

Instead, it's just bad sex scenes, strung together with occasional exposition. Meeting Henry, seeing Henry, disagreeing with Henry... everything ends with them having sex. There are idiotic conversations about sovereignty, while they're having sex. We get it: they really, really fancied each other. It adds nothing. The dialogue can't make up its mind whether it's being casually modern or faux-medieval even within scenes, which was jarring, and every rumour about Eleanor and Henry's private lives is thrown in for good measure, as though the author was trying to make it as juicy as possible.

Maybe I'm just not the target audience for this kind of book: I wanted readable realism. Next time I'll pick up a biography, but for the time being, I'm just going to leave poor Eleanor alone.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Clodia M on 7 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover
I was so looking forward to reading this as I usually love Alison Weir's work. However, I have to admit that I have had to consign this one, unfinished, to the charity shop due to the unnecessary amount of cringe-making sex. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind historical novels containing graphic sex when it is done well (Norman Mailer's Ancient Evenings, for example) but these sex scenes, which came very early on in The Captive Queen, felt false and not credible and affected my perception of the book so much that I just couldn't finish it. Sorry Alison - I am usually a big fan!
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Firstclass Stamp on 5 May 2010
Format: Hardcover
In the words of Dorothy Parker "this book should be hurled with great force across the room"! I have never been so disappointed in a book in my life.

Last year when in France I thought that someone should write a book about the amazing woman that Eleanor of Aquitaine must have been. BUT THIS ISN'T IT!!!

I admittedly only managed a few pages at the beginning but I feel I learned all I needed to know about Eleanor's affair with Geoffrey of Anjou and how they coupled on silken sheets and he brought her to pleasures her husband with his very small member could not (when she was not pleasuring herself that is) and how she first had an affair with one Macabru who first introduced her to her clitoris and taught her to pleasure herself.... get the picture? No - well I will continue ( and remember that we are only at the beginning of this travesty of a book). She is thinking lustfully about Geoffrey until she meets his 18 year old son,Henry (later to be King of England) - whereupon she switches her lustful thoughts to him ... and yup - she pleasures herself again - although later he comes to her (apparently although queen of France she was able to entertain lovers willy-nilly - pun intended), and we are treated to a description of their first coupling and - happily - reassured that he knows about clitorises and can pleasure her appropriately. At this point I was ready to give up in sheer disgusted disbelief, but I thought I'd give it a bit longer, so I read the next two pages...
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