At the age of thirty-two, Richard the Lionheart has finally succeeded Henry II to the English throne. And, against his father's wishes, he intends to make Berengaria, daughter of the King of Navarre, his Queen. But first he must fulfil his vow to his country to win back Jerusalem for the Christian world. Leaving England to begin his crusade, Richard's kingdom is left in the hands of his brother, John, who casts covetous eyes on the crown, and his sister, Joanna, who is willing to defy even a king.
DISCOVER A LOST CLASSIC IN PLAIDY'S SCINTILLATING NORMAN SERIES The death of The Conqueror left three sons to inherit his power and his wealth. Normandy for Robert, England for Rufus and for Henry, the youngest, five thousand pounds of silver. The three were natural rivals. The feckless Robert lost Norman dukedom in an orgy of impulsive extravagance. Red-haired Rufus scandalised the court with his perverse sexuality and contempt for the Church. And Henry-cleverest of all-awaited his chance to fulfil his father's prophecy and assume the mantle of The Lion of Justice. 'Jean Plaidy, by the skilful blending of superb storytelling and meticulous attention to authenticity of detail and depth of characterisation has become one of the country's most widely read novelists.' Sunday Times 'Full-blooded, dramatic, exciting.' Observer 'Plaidy excels at blending history with romance and drama.' New York Times 'Outstanding' Vanity Fair
A totally engrossing book, one which covers the Plantagenet years under Eleanor of Acquitaine and her husband, King Louis of France. Eleanor was a strong, forceful character, as different from her husband as oil and water. She created the courts of love, reviving the code of chivalry in the French nobility. Through her marriage to Louis, she virtually redrew the map of France. Eleanor was the epitome of the saying, "Behind every successful man is a strong woman." Here Jean Plaidy brings these characters and more to life with a sumptuous look at the way royalty lived in the 11th and 12th centuries.*** When William X dies, the duchy of Aquitaine is left to his fifteen year-old daughter, Eleanor. But such a position for an unmarried woman puts the whole kingdom at risk. So on his deathbed William made a will that would ensure his daughter’s protection: he promised her hand in marriage to the future King of France. Eleanor grows into a romantic and beautiful queen, but she has inherited the will of a king, and determines to rule Aquitaine using her husband’s power as King of France. Her resolve knows no limit and, in the years to follow she was to become one of history’s most scandalous queens. ‘Miss Plaidy, whose meticulous attention to historical detail can seldom, if ever, be faulted, has woven a vivid novel to launch the Plantagenet saga on what will, undoubtedly, be a top selling course.’ South Wales Argus
Edward the Second's first act on coming to the throne is to recall Piers Gaveston from exile, and the new king's devotion to the shrewd and avaricious young man soon becomes a scandal. It is assumed that when Edward marries one of the most beautiful princesses in Europe his inclinations will change, but nothing can make him swerve from his attachment to Gaveston, who is clearly making the most of royal favour.
The new Queen Isabella, accustomed to adulation, is bitterly humilated; and she is not a woman to forget or forgive. With the country in turmoil the king is making enemies throughout the land, and he fails to see that the most deadly of these is his queen.
Marguerite, eldest daughter of the Count of Provence, had married a king of France - and now her sister Eleanor is determined to make just as grand a match. Good fortune and wily cunning bring her Henry of England. A good and generous husband but a weak king, he rules a nation that still remembers his cruel and foolish father, King John. As Henry showers gifts on his new bride his extravagance forces him to levy ever greater taxation on the land, and the spectre of revolt soon looms against him. For Simon de Montfort, the adventurer who will give England its first true parliament, the house of destiny is at hand.
As Henry VIII's only child, the future seemed golden for Princess Mary. She was the daughter of Henry's first queen, Katharine of Aragon, and was heir presumptive to the throne of England. Red-haired like her father, she was also intelligent and deeply religious like her staunchly Catholic mother. But her father's ill-fated love for Anne Boleyn would shatter Mary's life forever. The father who had once adored her was now intent on having a male heir at all costs. He divorced her mother and, at the age of twelve, Mary was banished from her father’s presence, stripped of her royal title, and replaced by his other children--first Elizabeth, then Edward. Worst of all, she never saw her beloved mother again; Katharine was exiled too, and died soon after. Lonely and miserable, Mary turned for comfort to the religion that had sustained her mother.
In a stroke of fate, however, Henry's much-longed-for son died in his teens, leaving Mary the legitimate heir to the throne. It was, she felt, a sign from God--proof that England should return to the Catholic Church. Swayed by fanatical advisors and her own religious fervor, Mary made horrific examples of those who failed to embrace the Church, earning her the immortal nickname "Bloody Mary." She was married only once, to her Spanish cousin Philip II--a loveless and childless marriage that brought her to the edge of madness.
News of Thomas a Becket's martyrdom has spread throughout Christendom and the blame is laid at the feet of Henry Plantagenet, King of England. Two years later, with Becket canonised, Henry's position is precarious: punished at the Pope's insistence for his part in Becket's death, he now also has an enemy in his Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, after her discovery of his longstanding infidelity with Rosamund Clifford. Eleanor is determined to seek vengeance, so, with King Philip of France, she encourages her sons to conspire, both against their father and each other. Much embattled, the old eagle Henry struggles to fend off both rebellion and the plots of his aggressively circling offspring...
Scotland has been torn apart by civil war and the young and passionate Catholic Mary Queen of Scots is in the hands of her enemies. Under duress, Mary abdicates in favour of her son, James VI, and fleeing to England she boldly seeks refuge from her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I. But Elizabeth has never trusted the ambitious Mary, and consequently has her imprisoned.
So begins a treacherous battle between two of history's most powerful and ruthless women. Without once meeting her cousin, Mary is held captive for nineteen years, whilst Elizabeth rules in the shadow of countless Catholic plots against her life...
The untimely death of Richard the Lionheart left his nephew Arthur and his younger brother John in contest for the throne of England. Reluctantly the barons chose John, and so began years of rule by a ruthless and greedy tyrant.Yet despite his reputation, John, still manages to seduce the young and beautiful Isabella of Angouleme. But in taking her as his bride he makes an enemy for life. And in the tempestuous years that follow many men come to believe that the House of Anjou was tainted by the Devil's blood, the loathsome monarch was himself Evil Incarnate, the very Prince of Darkness...