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The Passionate Brood

(Shadows of the Crown #1)

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  264 ratings  ·  36 reviews
The private lives of the Plantagenets, that 'passionate brood' who were the children of Henry the Second and Eleanor of Acquitaine, Richard and Johanna, Henry and John.

Margaret Campbell Barnes explores the Crusader King’s triumphs and tragedies in a compelling novel of love, loyalty, and lost chances. The fierce Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine birthed a Plantagenet dynasty befo
Paperback, 350 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published 1945)
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Average rating 3.56  · 
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I loved My Lady of Cleves: A Novel of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves and King's Fool: A Notorious King, His Six Wives, and the One Man Who Knew All Their Secrets. I found Barnes' novels to have an old fashion writing style I couldn't help but love and prose that oozed with charm. I figured if she could make the Devil's Brood sing. I was sadly disappointed.

Richard and John were reduced to one-dimensional figureheads. The character with the most potential, Berengaria, ended up being little more tha
Richard the Lionheart is the historical figure of focus. This book holds true to the genre with jousting, taking up arms, and using women as pawns to power. This book is a well-written, and the author has done her research. Still, I had a difficult time connecting to this book. I think part of the problem was that there were a lot of key characters so it was difficult to connect with any of them.
Oct 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
THE PASSIONATE BROOD by Margaret Campbell Barnes is a Historical fiction set during The Crusades 1189-1199. It is a reissue of Like Us They Lived. It is well written with much details,depth and history. It has loyalty, love,passion, tragedies, triumphs, betrayal, deceit, lost chances, destiny, family rivalry,guilt, friendship, being the leader of the Plantagenet's,Richard, The Lionhearted and of course the story of Robin Hood(Richard's boy hood friend) and using women as pawns in the quest for p ...more
Nov 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a re-issue of a book originally written in 1945. The book did not feel "old" to me; in fact it felt timeless. The writing style is very easy and fluid and I found myself quite lost in time. The book focuses more on Richard the Lionheart than his foster brother Robin whom this book says becomes the Robin Hood of legend. That is what intrigued me most when I read the synopsis and I was a tad disappointed when there was so little focus on his part of the story. Of course I then googled
Laura Hartness
Dec 01, 2010 rated it liked it
If you're into historical fiction, you'll enjoy this one. I wasn't bowled over by it, but it had it's moments. Full review: ...more
A very fanciful take on Richard the Lionheart. Full review here, ...more
This novel is a fairly quick, lighter read that combines the legends of Robin Hood and a chivalrous version of Richard I (the Lionheart) with the actual history. While Barnes' intention was clearly not historical accuracy, what she did succeed in doing was to capture the feel of what it must have been like to live in the 12th century: warfare, family feuding and family loyalty, the responsibilities and costs of being a king, the role of women and the belief system that was such an integral part ...more
Sara G
I really struggled with this book. I've read some pretty good books by this author before, but this one was just a mess! It's theoretically about Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine's children, but mostly Richard I and his wife. There's so much ridiculous romance, overblown prose, and these very interesting individuals (Prince John, Eleanor, Henry, Richard, his wife Berengaria) were very one dimensional. Medieval fiction is hard because there is more we DON'T know about the people and the times th ...more
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Since I really enjoyed Barnes book on Elizabeth of York, I thought I'd try this as my second book by the author. Unfortunately, I ended up agreeing with many of the reviewers here who stated that this book was dry and the characters were one dimensional. I never felt connected to any character, nor did I feel like I cared about them. It was quite disappointing. ...more
Mellanie C
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this when I was in seventh grade, and I loved it.
Linda Coats
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very c!ose to the true life of King Richard.

A good rendering of the true life of King Richard . Also, good story of Robin Hood's beginnings and his relationship with the king.
Kat Kerr
Apr 03, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Cool subject. But somehow, boring & confusing
Ambrosia Sullivan
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
First posted on my blog The Purple Booker

I was so excited to dig into this book. It seemed so promising, I love the Plantagenet's and Richard the Lion heart; and who doesn't love the myth of Robin Hood? Well sadly this book just fell flat. None of the characters seemed to have the charisma you would expect from them. They all just fell a little flat. Moreover, the book seemed to be much more focused on Robin than Richard the Lion heart and the rest of the brood. Robin however, is off to the wood
Heather C
Sep 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
For a novel whose title states it’s a novel of Richard the Lionheart and the man who became Robin Hood, there is fairly little Robin in this novel. He has a semi-prominent role in the first quarter of the book and then appears again in the last few pages, although he is never far from Richard’s thoughts. I think for the importance that the title places on the character, there was not enough time spent on him. Once he becomes “Robin Hood” we really don’t find anything more about him – it’s more o ...more
Dec 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a great book about the life of Richard Plantagenet. The book starts out with Queen Eleanor back in Oxford after her imprisonment in the tower at Salisbury. She loves being with her children - Richard, John, Johanna, and her foster-son, Robin. The fiery Plantageant family fight and love each other with the same zeal in life. Richard is banished to Navarre after he will not marry Ann, the French king Philip's daughter (not to mention that Richard's own father, King Henry, is dallying with ...more
Sandra Olshaski
The Passionate Brood by Margaret Campbell Barnes (Rated: C)
ISBN 978-1-4022-4205-2
Sourcebooks Landmark
Published 2010
Trade Paperback, 345 pages

Reviewed by Sandra

This is a historical fiction first published in 1944 and rereleased in 2010 that tells the story of the real 12th-century Plantagenet family and the folkloric Robin Hood. Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II of England are the parents of a rambunctious family consisting of 3 high-tempered girls and 4 boys, who are invariably described as “tal
Amy Bruno
2010 has seen a plethora of novels on Eleanor of Aquitaine and her progeny and in the newly re-issued novel by Margaret Campbell Barnes, The Passionate Brood (originally published under the name Like Us, They Lived in 1944) we follow the life of Richard the Lionheart and the man we know as Robin Hood.

Amidst the myriad of theories as to who Robin Hood actually was is one that he was an acquaintance of King Richard I’s. Barnes takes this approach and writes her book from the perspective of Richar
Kathleen Kelly
Oct 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
This book is about Richard I, also known as Richard the Lionhearted, who was the third legitimate son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Richard is a king who spent very little time as King of England as he was often off on the Crusades. Another character who played a major part of the story is the fictional (foster brother of Richard) Robin Hood. These two men have a close relationship until Richard outlaws Robin and puts a price on his head, he spends the rest of his days in the Shere Wood ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Danielle Reily
May 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love European history, and historical fiction is one of my favorite genres of literature, but I usually skip books about Eleanor of Aquitaine and her children. I sometimes like reading stories about Robin Hood, but in those King Richard is usually only a background character. I can't say exactly why I skim that story so much, but I have never really connected with it. This book completely changed my opinion.
I loved the author's interpretation of the classic Robin Hood story, and her portrayal
Molly Murphy
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plantagenets
I think this is the best portayal of Richard the Lionheart I have ever read. In other books he is portrayed as too fearless to be human, evil, smarter than he was, or not interested in women (it ticks me off so bad when people say he's homosexual 'cause he WASN'T. She portrayed Richard as he really was- romantic, reckless, hot-headed, sensitive, emotional, passionate, lustful, impulsive, and sometimes afraid just like everyone else on earth. Also, I know this sounds weird but I've always imagine ...more
Nov 07, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Staci by: Sourcebooks
Shelves: 2010-reads
One of the best things about reading historical fiction is learning about people that I would've otherwise totally missed. I did enjoy getting to know Richard the Lionheart, but I was hoping to see Robin (Robin Hood) fleshed out a bit more. I did do some research about the Crusades and about the Plantegenets, and again I felt the need to read more about this family and the impact they had on their countries. I wish I could say that I was tearing through this one, but I have to admit that it was ...more
Sep 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
What if Robin Hood was King Richard's foster brother? How did the outlaw affect the Richard the Lionheart of history?

This is a story about the life of Richard- his quest, his loves, and his eventual kingship. As Richard goes off to fight in the Crusades, he leaves home not as he planned. He also finds 'love' from 3 different women: his sister Johanna, the love of his life Berengaria and Ida who worshipped the groiund he walked on. Each love different in its own way but how does each play out in
Oct 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
The Passionate Brood was originally published in 1944 under the name Like Us They Lived. This is a story of Richard the Lionheart, the crusades and much more. But it also asks the question what if Robin Hood of Legend was Richard's foster brother.

The Passionate Brood was an interesting and lively story. I was impressed with how easy this book was to read compared to other Historical Fictions. The writing made the reading experience an enjoyable one. I loved that the author has mixed history with
Apr 06, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a different twist on the Infamous Family of England . Their beginnings and their quests what might have been. I have read many books talking about this era. It was interesting to have a personal view of their internal doings. My question is : Did Richard the Lion-heart really outlaw his friend Robin ,who became Robin-hood?
It seems plausible . Yet somehow not so believable. Perhaps I have been jaded by previous reads.
The event of the slaughter in the Crusade ,I have read accounts about
Sasha Strader
This book was a little slow going coming in: there was a lot of background information to cover to make sure that the average layman could follow the plot (most people interested in this period of history could almost skip the first 100 pages). However, once the introductions were out of the way, it moved along nicely. It's interesting...the first book about Richard I the Lion-hearted that I've read that didn't even bother to address the probability of his homosexuality. Well...good read anyway. ...more
Nov 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
From my book review blog Rundpinne...."The Passionate Brood by Margaret Campbell Barnes is a re-release of a brilliant work of historical fiction, which focuses on Richard I, the Plantagenets, and the legend of Robin Hood."...The full review may be read here. ...more
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book years ago so decided to reread it. I really like the author. She incorporates the historical research she does seamlessly into the book. I always can keep the characters distinct in my mind since she gives us such a great picture of each of them -there is no chance of mixing any of them up or wondering "who is this person again?". Her descriptions are excellent whether they are about people or landscape or a castle. ...more
Stephanie Lee
I loved the way that this book started out, but then it seemed to get really slow and boring. I love all European historical fiction and though this would bean great read, as I have liked other books by Barnes, but this one wasn't my favorite. ...more
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Margaret Campbell Wood was born on 17 February 1891 in Rotherfield, Sussex, England, UK. She was the youngest of ten children, who lied a happy childhood in the Sussex country side. She was eventually educated at small private schools in Paris and London.

She married Peter Barnes in 1917, a furniture salesman, and the couple had two sons, Michael and John. Michael, a Royal Armoured Corps Lieutenant

Other books in the series

Shadows of the Crown (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Isabel the Fair
  • Within the Hollow Crown
  • The Tudor Rose
  • The King's Bed
  • King's Fool
  • Brief Gaudy Hour: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
  • My Lady of Cleves
  • With All My Heart
  • Mary of Carisbrooke
  • Lady on the Coin

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