Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Captive Queen: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine” as Want to Read:
Captive Queen: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Captive Queen: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  6,871 Ratings  ·  689 Reviews
Nearing her thirtieth birthday, Eleanor of Aquitaine has spent the past dozen frustrating years as wife to the pious King Louis VII of France. But when Henry of Anjou, the young and dynamic future king of England, arrives at the French court, he and the seductive Eleanor experience a mutual passion powerful enough to ignite the world. Indeed, after the annulment of Eleanor ...more
Hardcover, 473 pages
Published July 13th 2010 by Ballantine Books (first published 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Captive Queen, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Captive Queen

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Feb 04, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Find my favorite quotes and follow more reviews at:

What makes a book a memorable reading experience? For me it comes down to three things: a good plot, interesting characters and compelling writing. In reading the back cover, Weir’s The Captive Queen appeared to have two of the three.

Plot is the easy one here. The story was already written and since Weir previously published a nonfiction biography on Eleanor, I am willing to bet she didn’t look far for re
BAM The Bibliomaniac
The book begins with Eleanor's divorce from King Louis of France. It is known that she was quite the unfaithful wife and was not at all physically attracted to him. She did her duty twice to breed an heir only to give birth to two daughters. Louis, regardless of her behavior, was actually quite in love with Eleanor, but eventually acquiesced to her wishes. Upon separation she reclaimed her duchy of Aquitaine. Soon after she married King Henry of England, a man who also could meet her marital exp ...more
Evelina A.
Jul 15, 2010 rated it did not like it
In this novel on the life of the indomitable Eleanor of Aquitaine, Alison Weir tells the story of a queen with a strong sexual passion for her husband, Henry, even as her marriage to him begins to disintegrate. We are first introduced to Eleanor lasciviously recollecting her sexual experiences with three previous lovers while one of them, Geoffrey of Anjou, with his eighteen year old son Henry beside him, is paying homage to her current husband, Louis VII of France. Eleanor conceives a sudden pa ...more
Jul 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Many reviewers have made such a big deal about Eleanor's sexuality in Captive Queen, but I frankly have no problem with it. Eleanor did, after all, leave her first husband King Louis of France, for a younger, handsomer man (and therefore a more promising partner in the bedroom department), he who would later become King Henry II of England. And Eleanor was not so righteous a woman as to divorce the King of France simply because she truly feared God's retribution (Louis was a distant relative of ...more
Mar 23, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

DNF. Lost the will to live at around page 200.
Sarah Mac
Nope. I don't care. DNF, pg 140-some.

I'm fine with the trashier aspects of this book (though they're grossly inflated by outraged maiden-aunt reviews -- y'all need to unclutch those pearls, else you'll do yourselves an injury). What I can't forgive is the trifecta o' boredom:

1) 'As you know, Bob...' (Yeah, SO MUCH of that.)
2) Time gaps. Great honkin' ones.
3) Inflation of minutiae at the expense of Important Things happening offscreen -- stuff like attacking castles, illness, pregnancies, wench
Eleanor of Aquitaine was first married to King Louis of France, but he was more interested spending his time in prayers than with his wife. She’s not happy and extremely bored and when it’s suggested that Louis finds a new wife to get much needed male heir she’s not resisting.
Then she meets young Henry FitzEmpress and it’s insta-lust from the start. After Eleanor gets her divorce from Louis she and Henry marries without permission.

I’m still wondering why I ever started this book and how I manag
Jun 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me start by saying this is not a book for everyone.

Being familiar with Ms Weir's previous novels, both the historical and the historical fiction, "Captive Queen" takes on the subject of a woman who lived a very interesting life. Trying to condense everything that happened to Eleanor of Aquitaine and keep it interesting was a very large task.

This is a fictional account, using what knowledge there is from surviving reports of the actual period of Eleanor's life, but that still leaves gaps. The
Michelle Feist
Oct 17, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-on
I don't think I have ever stopped reading a book so quickly before, and the only reason I got as far as I did was because I was stuck on the busride to swimming lessons with my class, and needed something to do to pass the time! I kept hoping if I continued reading it would begin to get better, as I was interested in finding out more about the passionate yet volatile relationship between King Henry the II and Eleanor of Aquitaine.
The first quality that annoyed me about this book was that it re
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, history
I love Alison Weir but I have to say, her fiction did *not* do it for me. This was the first novel I have read from her...I think she would do best to stick with straight up historical/scholarly research and biographies. About a chapter in, I found myself wondering what Harlequin romance I just stepped into. And yes, I totally understand that Eleanor and Henry had a passionate, combustible romance that eventually collapsed. But really, every other page had these cliched, overwrought descriptions ...more
Rio (Lynne)
I went into this open minded. I knew the reviews were bad and everyone said this was full of sex. Maybe that's why it intrigued me, but it was just cheesy. Not even the unrealistic version of Eleanor, but the writing as well. I simply wasn't interested in going any further.
Having read the reviews of this novel about this year's "It" girl in historical fiction, Eleanor of Aquitaine, I fully expected to hate this book. Instead, I found myself rather liking it.

The Captive Queen follows Eleanor from her marriage to Henry II to his death, with an epilogue that breezes through Eleanor's last years. As the title implies, much of the novel takes place after Eleanor, having helped her sons to rebel against their father, is imprisoned by a furious Henry.

There are some thing
Jun 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: No one
I'm going to say right off the bat that I have mixed feelings on Alison Weir. On the one hand, her biographies range from good to "Hold on, what." Her credentials are... debatable. I can't really judge, as she's done a lot of her research... But lacks the degree, and that troubles me whenever I'm reading one of her non-fiction books. On a scale of Retha Warnicke to Antonia Fraser, she's somewhere in between. The bias always shows through--oh, gee, I wonder if she favors Anne Boleyn or Catherine ...more
Brittany B.
DNF: not really the author's fault.
too depressing to read about another "great man" who is utterly unfaithful.

I LOVE Alison Weir's historical fiction. I love it!! First the author writes nonfiction biographies of important historical characters. Her nonfiction work is amazing, but way too detailed and scholarly for my objective: enjoyment. So when Weir writes a novel, she really "knows" her characters.

I can't blame the author for what these characters do, as they were real people. But I hate
Sara Giacalone
Apr 17, 2010 rated it it was ok
This story of Eleanor of Aquitaine was at times interesting and at others quite a chore to read. I quite enjoyed the early part of the book, and found Alison Weir's take on Eleanor and Henry's early relationship entertaining. I didn't have the issues with the sexualized Eleanor that others have had (but let's not forget, I read and highly enjoyed The Rain Maiden). Later on though, the book became quite tedius. It doesn't help that the subject matter, including Henry and Thomas Beckett's fall out ...more
Aug 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: rubbish
Probably the most cringeworthy, embarrassing book I've ever made myself finish. I have always admired Alison Weir for her detailed, academic biographies so I was delighted to be able to see her when she came to Kingston to promote this new novel. I quickly bought a signed copy, then as soon as she began to read an extract I knew I'd been premature with the purchase..

This feels like it's been written by some trashy chick-lit novelist rather than an intelligent academic. Worst of all are the dread
Jul 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A very fun read.

Weir examines the very earthy relationship Eleanor and Henry had - the book is just about their marriage, so most of the events around the 2nd and 3rd crusade are skipped over, but the book is long enough as is.

Its a little awkward when occasionally Character A will say to Character B "let me tell you all about Event X that is common knowledge in the 12th century but very unknown in the 21st."

But still, a lot of the events are made very real with a real sense of how and why th
Cynthia Mcarthur
Aug 12, 2011 rated it did not like it
I do not recommend this book. It is a trashy paperback in disguise. The characters are shallow, stereotypical, and boring. The cover is beautiful, but it hides the mess inside
Ben Babcock
Reading this novel, two thoughts were constantly present in the foreground of my mind: (1) wow, there is a lot of sex in this novel; and (2) Twilight fans need to read this.

I'm fascinated by the history of the British monarchy (and hence, by the tangles of consanguinity, the history of all the various European monarchies). I've enjoyed poring over Alison Weir's non-fiction works, although I don't think I've quite read one all the way through. I was happy to learn that she had begun writing ficti
Dec 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Eleanor, Eleanor, Eleanor. This is her year for novels. A rare treat is to have one penned by historian Alison Weir, so I relished the chance to read this novel on the famous Queen who had shrugged off the title of Queen of France in hopes of being Queen of England. Most importantly, Eleanor was proud of being Eleanor of Aquitaine. I had read several novels that have endeared me to the rebellious Eleanor, such as the spectacular Plantagenet trilogy by Sharon Kay Penman and Pamela Kaufman's The B ...more
Kiesha ~ 1Cheekylass
I had to give it up. Sounded like a bad porn script. DNF and WNF.
Nihan E.
Oct 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kitap, 12. yüzyılda hükümdarlık sürmüş olan 2. Henry ve oğullarıyla olan ihanet, komplo ve savaşları anlatıyor. Tabi tüm bu hareketli yaşamın odak noktasında bulunan iki kralın karısı ve iki kralın annesi olan dünyalar güzeli Kraliçe Eleanor'u.

Her şey 2. Henry ve babasının Fransa Kralı VII. Louise'i ziyaret etmesiyle başlıyor. Henry o zamanlar daha 18 yaşında. Babasıyla birlikte geldiği sarayda Eleanor'u görür görmez aşık oluyor. İkili karşı konulamaz şehvet duygularıyla yanıp tutuşurken -ki bu
Dec 10, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, historical
I didn't actually finish reading it. I managed to read one chapter and almost threw the book across the room at that point. I expect a historian, which Weir is, to be able to stay in period during a historical novel. And she didn't.

The book was literally unreadable. I don't think I've ever written a one star review before, but in this case, with the book dragging multitudes of readers who want historical novels and can't find enough of them, it is necessary. Someone has to warn people off this
This is still an exceptional historical read by Alison Weir. it's as good to read , as it was the first time I read it.
I've always found Eleanor of Aquitaine a fascinating and strong women to be admired and respected .
Aug 28, 2010 rated it it was ok
This is the perfect book to read when you are recovering from surgery and are a little drugged up on post-surgery painkillers and can't read anything terribly heavy or serious. As I was in that very situation, I enjoyed the book muchly, and my state allowed me to forgive several grievances I would have had with the book otherwise....such as: the egregious use of modern terms and slang; the gratuitious, badly-written sex scenes; the modern way people acted and talked in the book and the disregard ...more
Apr 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Alison Weir is the historical fiction queen! Instead of learning facts from a book about history, you get to see what emotional struggle the Queen went through. You get to know her secrets, her thoughts, what she really thought about what went on at court, or what her husband did, or how he treated their children. And as the book progressed you felt as though you were Eleanor of Aquataine. I was enraged by Henry when he didn't treat his children and wife fairly. I ...more
Paula Hebert
Jan 04, 2011 rated it liked it
this is a very well done biographical novel of eleanor of aquataine, she of the lion in winter, and her unproductive marriage to louis of france, and then her tempestuous and passionate life with henry the second, to whom she bore eleven children. it's a wonderful explanation of how marriage and children were more power and politics than family, and family turned against family in their grasp for the most of both. what a horrible way to have lived, no matter how much wealth you had. henry was no ...more
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
I somehow felt like this book could have been really really good, and just...wasn't. I have to admit to being surprised that this is not Ms. Weir's first novel, because it really felt that way. I have to wonder if it was over-edited by someone else, as there were times when it felt like it was written by 2 different people--there were some bits that were really great, and other passages where it was like "are you kidding me?" And, at the great risk of sounding like a prude, there was just too mu ...more
May 13, 2010 rated it did not like it
Review here:
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 04, 2015 06:14AM  
Eleanor of Aquitaine 5 43 May 12, 2013 06:26PM  
  • To Be Queen: A Novel of the Early Life of Eleanor of Aquitaine
  • The People's Queen
  • The Queen's Secret (Queens of England, #7)
  • The King's Mistress
  • Queen By Right
  • Lady of the Roses
  • Lady of the English
  • The Memoirs of Mary Queen of Scots
  • Queen Defiant: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine
  • The Book of Eleanor: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine
  • Duchess of Aquitaine: A Novel of Eleanor
  • To the Tower Born: A Novel of the Lost Princes
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Alison Weir (born 1951) is a British writer of history books for the general public, mostly in the form of biographies about British kings and queens. She currently lives in Surrey, England, with her two children.

Before becoming an author, Weir worked as a teacher of children with special needs. She received her
More about Alison Weir

Fiction Deals

  • Mercy Among the Children
    $14.99 $1.99
  • West of the Tularosa
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Love and Ruin
    $12.99 $3.99
  • Siddhartha
    $10.95 $2.99
  • The Orphan Daughter
    $4.99 $1.99
  • When We Were Worthy
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Somebody's Daughter
    $5.99 $2.99
  • A Night Divided
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Book of Disquiet: The Complete Edition
    $24.95 $2.99
  • The Cherished Quilt
    $8.99 $2.99
  • To Find a Mountain
    $3.99 $1.99
  • I'll Be Your Blue Sky
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Lotterys Plus One
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Buddha
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Falls (P.S.)
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Broken Pieces
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Love Held Captive (A Lone Star Hero's Love Story)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Girl Who Came Home
    $11.99 $1.99
  • When Jesus Wept (The Jerusalem Chronicles, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • In the Name of the Family
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Man He Never Was: A Modern Reimagining of Jekyll and Hyde
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Hired Man
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Crimes Against a Book Club
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Girls of the Great War
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Map of Love: A Novel
    $14.99 $2.99
  • Wish Me Home
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Every Tongue Got to Confess
    $10.24 $1.99
  • A Golden Age
    $9.24 $1.99
  • Serena
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Dreamland
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Holy Fools
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Tampa
    $11.49 $1.99
  • The Beloved Hope Chest
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Leave Myself Behind
    $15.99 $1.99
  • The Fifth Avenue Artists Society
    $11.99 $1.99
  • All That's Left of Me
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Celestine Prophecy (Celestine Prophecy, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Palm Trees in the Snow
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Mary
    $14.99 $1.99
  • A Map of the World
    $14.99 $2.99
  • Chemistry Lessons
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Touching Spirit Bear (Spirit Bear, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Journey's End (Gilded Promises)
    $3.99 $1.99