Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine: Founding an Empire (Paperback)

Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine: Founding an Empire By Matthew Lewis Cover Image

Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine: Founding an Empire (Paperback)

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New in paperback - The powerful medieval couple who formed an empire beyond England, and whose children included Richard the Lionheart and King John.

Henry II became King of England in 1154 after twenty years of civil war. He was the first Plantagenet king, the founder of England’s most successful and longest-ruling dynasty.

But Henry did not come to the throne alone. He had married Eleanor of Aquitaine, a feisty, formidable and powerful woman ten years his senior. Eleanor had spent fifteen years married to Louis VII of France before he divorced her, only to be angered when she married his young rival. Together, they were a medieval power couple who soon added the ultimate rank of king and queen consort to their list of titles. With them, the Angevin Empire was born.

Over the decades, a wedge was driven between the king, fiercely protective of his empire, and Eleanor, who felt restrained in her husband’s shadow. Henry imprisoned his wife, fought his elder sons and pinned his hopes on his youngest, whose betrayal was the last straw. This book charts the early lives of Henry and Eleanor before they became a European power couple and examines the impact of their union on contemporaries and European politics.

It explores the birth of the Angevin Empire that spread from Northumberland to the Mediterranean, and the causes of the disintegration of that vast territory, as well as the troublesome relationships between Henry and his sons, who dragged their father to the battlefield to defend his lands from their ambitious intriguing.
Matthew Lewis is an author and historian with particular interest in the medieval period. His books include a history of the Wars of the Roses, a biography of Richard, 3rd Duke of York, and two novels of historical fiction telling the life of King Richard III and the aftermath of the Battle of Bosworth. He also writes a history blog, sharing thoughts and snippets. He can be found on Twitter @MattLewisAuthor.
Product Details ISBN: 9781398115507
ISBN-10: 1398115509
Publisher: Amberley Publishing
Publication Date: August 22nd, 2023
Pages: 352
Language: English