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The Plantagenet Prelude (Plantagenet Saga #1)

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  919 ratings  ·  49 reviews
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
...more
Paperback, 418 pages
Published February 1st 2007 by Arrow (first published January 1st 1976)
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Perry Whitford
Eleanor Hibbert, under a number of pseudonyms, the most frequent of which was Jean Plaidy, was one of the most prolific writers of historical fiction in, well, history. When about to read your first book by a prolific novelist, such as Jean Plaidy was, there is always the same mixed feelings of anticipation and unease. How can someone tossing out two or three novels a year write to a high standard, and if they can how the hell will I find the time to read all their work if I do take a shine to t ...more
Denise
Jean Plaidy opens her Plantagenet Saga with the stories of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Henry II and Thomas Becket. While the language might occasionally seem a slight bit antiquated (likely on purpose, as the book was first published only about 4 decades ago), this doesn't diminish the enjoyment provided by the tale itself: a well-crafted historical fiction novel that remains a good read long after it first came out.
Telesilla
Recently I reread this and another Jean Plaidy book and was kind of appalled at how bad they were. As a pre-teen and teenager, I read pretty much every Plaidy novel I could get my hands on. The one good thing about her books, at least for me, is that they started my life-long fascination with English and European history. I'll always be grateful to the prolific author who set me on my way.
Deb
Jean Plaidy's Plantaganet books were my favorites.
Alexa
Un genial comienzo para una saga histórica sobre una interesante porción de la dinastía inglesa, la de los denominados "Reyes Plantagenet". Este libro en particular relata la historia de una de las mujeres (a mi parecer) más admirables de la historia: Leonor de Aquitanía; carismática, sabia, artística y de mente abierta. En fin, una mujer totalmente adelantada a su época a quien obligaron a casarse con el santurrón Luis VI pero que luego de lograr disolver ese matrimonio, encontró el amor con el ...more
Caroline
The Plantagenet Prelude by Jean Plaidy is the story of Eleanor of Aquitaine. It begins with her as a 15-year-old girl, a wealthy heiress who is “ripe for marriage.” She marries the gentle, pious, naïve King Louis of France and they have two daughters. Yet Louis does not satisfy the passionate Eleanor. So she haves affairs with her uncle and an infidel. Then she meets the future King Henry of England, falls in love, divorces Louis and marries Henry. Their marriage creates a powerful empire and ma ...more
Amber
I love history, and have just moved from historical biographies to historical fiction. Jean Plaidy's Plantagenet Prelude was interesting, it was easy to read, and obviously well-researched. Though as I'd expected, there were some 'moments' that were historically inaccurate or purely fictional.

I could also overlook Jean's tendency to repeat certain phrases and adjectives, as the book was entertaining and some of history's greatest characters were brought vividly to life within its pages.

She's not
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Penny
This is a story of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitane and, of course, Thomas Beckett. It starts off in the usual Plaidy way with a lot of falling in love and big men (Plaidy's favourite word is 'vitality' and I actually started counted how many characters had this charming trait!!!)

However this particular book then improved greatly when she moved into the political world and disputes between Henry and Thomas. It gives a good overview of that sequence of events that leads to Thomas' murder and mana
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Laura
She has another style than SKP since her book is mainly based on historical facts without the use of dialogues to tell us the story. But I really liked the beginning of Plantagenet's saga written by another greater writer on HF. I hope I will be able to get all books in this series.
LaDawn
Plaidy plays fast and loose with unsubstantiated rumours of infidelity to weave an unflattering tapestry of Eleanor of Aquitaine. However, I find myself seeking out the truth in other sources so in a way I feel the historical fiction has served its purpose. I didn't give this book a higher rating because I felt the author repeated herself to lengthen the book rather than to enrich the story. She could have spent more time with sights, smells, and bit players to enrich the story rather than pad i ...more
Vixenfur
As an aspiring historical fiction author myself, I was excited to see someone else writing about the same time period I was interested in writing. I will start off negative and end positive.

First of all, Plaidy's writing style is horrible. It's amateur and lacking in all character development, she fails in fleshing out these people to feel real and she just drones out the facts with little suspense.

However, she is very close to historically accurate. There are some rumors from the time embedded
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Molly Murphy
I love Jean Plaidy's Plantagenet work! The literary world lost a great historical novelist when she died. I sometimes have a hard time getting into old books because of the totally different writing style of way-back-when, but Jean Plaidy always manages to get me immersed. She LIVED this! It amazes me that not only does she know everything about the Plantagenets, but also the Tudors, Stuarts, Hanovers, Normans, Capets, Bourbons, Medicis, Valois... etc. All the European royalty, basically.
Here s
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Tania
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Samantha
I read this based on fairly positive reviews and the fact that I normally love reading anything about the Plantagenets. This is one of the few books that I have started that I did not make myself finish. From the first few pages I was annoyed by the author's habit of repeating the same information over and over (and over) again. By the time I was told the 10th time in the first chapter that Eleanore's father desired a male heir and Eleanore was offended by this idea, I was quite disappointed. Ho ...more
Rosanne Lortz
I’ve heard very mixed reviews about Jean Plaidy and her historical novels. Some claim that she is their favorite historical fiction author EVER. Some complain that she is a terrible writer.

Jean Plaidy (real name Eleanor Hibbert) was an extremely prolific author who published scores of books throughout the second half of the twentieth century. Her historical novels were very popular with the reading public, and she dealt with many time periods and dynasties including the Plantagenets, the Tudors,
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Rusty
I love historical fiction. In fact, I read HF about a third of my time. When I discovered Jean Plaidy I decided I should read a series and selected Plantagenets. However, other books became more intriguing and I kept shelving the books. When someone requested this one, I decided I should read it and called the library.

It is a good read! Plaidy makes Eleanor (English spelling) and Henry so real that I smiled when I read their conversations and quarrels.

Eleanor, who views herself as the queen of l
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Debbie
This was a quick and interesting read. It is the first book of Plaidy's Plantagenet series and follows the early years of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. It covers Eleanor's marriage to Louis of France and her adventures in the Holy Land on Crusade to her meeting with Henry II. Then it follows the early years of their marriage; Henry's betrayal with Rosamund Clifford and his battle with Thomas Becket. It ends with Becket's murder.None of the characters are especially sympathetic. Eleanor is v ...more
Alaine
This book starts out being a book about Eleanor of Aquitaine and her first marriage to Louis VII, King of France and the crusade they went on together, then her subsequent annulment and her marriage to Henry II, King of England and Normandy. Where the story fell over for me, was that this woman was portrayed as an independent strong woman with a will of her own, then in the middle of the book, she became nothing more than a breeder for Henry II and by the end she was vaguely described as bitter ...more
Carol
A fictionalized account of the early Plantagenet years, focusing on Henry II and his relationships with his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and his adviser Thomas Becket. The history really comes alive, although since this was written in the 70s, some of the research Plaidy did has no doubt been updated.
Joy
Eleanor of Aquitaine is not content to be heiress of the duchy of Aquitaine and rule over her Courts of Love. She is determined to be queen, and so she is - twice. Divorcing King Louis of France, she marries Henry Plantagenet, and helps him to the throne of England. No man could master Eleanor until King Henry: he must suffer the consequences. Eleanor has a beloved revengeful son, Richard the Lionheart, and Henry has a rival for power, Archbishop Thomas Becket.

I started to reread this because I
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lia
This is the first book from Jean Plaidy that i ever read and i can't say that i'm impress.

She write about the most famous woman in medieval time, Eleanor of Aquitaine, her two king husbands and Thomas Becket.

Queen Eleanor is pictured as selfish and shallow woman. Who put importance on her pleasure above all else.
She is not satisfied with her husband the naive and pious Louis so she betrayed him with her uncle before being forced to return to France.

Eleanor got the divorce she wanted with the
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ReaderSP
I hate not finishing a book, it really bugs me but I just didn't have the energy to go on. I love historical fiction, it is my favourite genre and I have read a couple of Jean Plaidy's books before but I was so disappointed with this one. The characters are boring and the background environment is never described. It made me not believe the characters and their situations. I felt that the story wasn't going anywhere and I got to the point where I didn't care what happened anyway. I nearly reserv ...more
Christina
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maja
I was really looking forward to reading this book since I didn't really know anything about this time period. An I stayed optimistic for the first 50 pages or so, but then it kind of fell from there. Not that the book was bad, it wasn't that. It just wasn't good either. Everything was rushed and the prose was strange and clipped.

Just a thought I had while reading - Louis and Eleanor reminded me of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Especially when she cast her greedy eyes on Toulouse.
Zuzana
The subject matter was interesting enough but the writing style was unimaginative and annoyingly repetitive.

Andresa Araujo
Leitura recomendada pelo meu amigo Otávio para o Day Zero Project #2: Ask 20 friends to suggest one book, and read them all.
O que mais me incomodou nesse livro foi a falta de foco. A narrativa em parte pobre alternava entre Eleanor Henrique e Thomas. Ambos são grandes personagens mas me pareceu que a escrita só oscilava entre eles sem realmente explorá-los. Anyway fiquei até instigada a saber como será a governança de Henrique II
Kyle
The Plantagenet Prelude was pretty good. In case you are unaware, the Plantagenets preceded the Tudors in the line of English kings. This line of kings is the line I know least of, and it was a refreshing change from the Tudor era (my favorites to read about). Eleanor of Aquitaine is a strong female and I enjoyed reading about a queen who was had a backbone and wasn't afraid to use it. I will definitely continue this series.
Jennifer
I absolutely love Jean Plaidy. She keeps right to the history side of her novels with just the right amount of romance. I would recommend this book to anyone. I love reading about the Plantagenet Kings. They have some of the wildest history I know of. Eleanor of Aquitaine is one of my favorite women to read about. She almost always was able to get what she wanted even when her husband Henry II locked her up.
Nessarose
I can't finish this. The writing is just horrible. The characters are too flat. Everything is spoon fed. The one chapter that had my interest (since it was written slightly different) ended and took what little joy I managed to find in this book away with it. This is not for me.

I'm wondering whether I should try another book of hers out; every author has bad books, after all. But I'm not going to rush it.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 12, 2015 11:18AM  
  • Eleanor the Queen
  • Harlot Queen
  • The Flowering of the Rose (We Speak No Treason, #1)
  • Within the Hollow Crown: A Reluctant King, a Desperate Nation, and the Most Misunderstood Reign in History
  • Within the Fetterlock
  • Queen Defiant: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine
  • Lords of the White Castle (FitzWarin, #2)
  • The Secret Eleanor
  • Queen of Shadows: A Novel of Isabella, Wife of King Edward II
  • Crown of Destiny
  • Devil's Brood  (Henry II & Eleanor of Aquitaine, #3)
  • My Enemy, the Queen
  • Hugh and Bess: A Love Story
  • The Miracle at St. Bruno's (Daughters of England, #1)
6590
Eleanor Alice Burford, Mrs. George Percival Hibbert was a British author of about 200 historical novels, most of them under the pen name Jean Plaidy which had sold 14 million copies by the time of her death. She chose to use various names because of the differences in subject matter between her books; the best-known, apart from Plaidy, are Victoria Holt (56 million) and Philippa Carr (3 million). ...more
More about Jean Plaidy...

Other Books in the Series

Plantagenet Saga (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • The Revolt of the Eaglets (Plantagenet Saga, #2)
  • The Heart of the Lion (Plantagenet Saga, #3)
  • The Prince of Darkness (Plantagenet Saga, #4)
  • The Battle of the Queens (Plantagenet Saga, #5)
  • The Queen from Provence (Plantagenet Saga, #6)
  • Hammer of the Scots (Plantagenet Saga, #7)
  • The Follies of the King (Plantagenet Saga, #8)
  • The Vow on the Heron (Plantagenet Saga, #9)
  • Passage to Pontefract (Plantagenet Saga, #10)
  • The Star of Lancaster (Plantagenet Saga, #11)
The Lady in the Tower (Queens of England, #4) Murder Most Royal (Tudor Saga, #5) Katharine of Aragon: The Wives of Henry VIII (Tudor Saga, #2-4) The Rose Without a Thorn (Queens of England, #11) To Hold the Crown (Tudor Saga #1)

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