The first book in the Birth of the Plantagenets series is sumptuous, rich historical fiction for fans of Wolf Hall and Game of Thrones.
Queen Eleanor of France, said to be the most beautiful woman in Europe, has not been able to give birth to an heir. A strategic liaison with Geoffrey the Handsome, the virile and charming Duke of Normandy, could remedy that – or lead to her downfall and Geoffrey's death.
What begins with cool calculation becomes a passionate affair. Despite his love for Eleanor, however, Geoffrey has larger plans: to help his warrior son, Henry, seize the English throne.
When Henry saves his father from discovery and execution by the French, he falls foul of Eleanor - and madly in love with her Byzantine maid. Should he become King of England, however, this dazzling woman will never be acceptable as his queen.
These intertwined relationships - heated, forbidden and perilous - are the heart of a vivid story of ambition, vengeance and political intrigue set in the glorious flowering of troubadour culture, mysticism and learning that is twelfth-century France.
Blanche d’Alpuget is an acclaimed novelist, biographer and essayist. She has won numerous literary awards, including the inaugural Australasian Prize for Commonwealth Literature in 1987. Her books include Mediator: A Biography of Sir Richard Kirby (1977); Monkeys in the Dark (1980), which won the PEN Jubilee Award; Turtle Beach (1981), which won The Age Novel of the Year Award and the South Australian Premier’s Award; Robert J. Hawke: A Biography (1982), which won the New South Wales Premier’s Award; Winter in Jerusalem (1986); and White Eye (1993). She has twice won the Braille Book of the Year award, and Turtle Beach was made into a feature film in 1992 featuring Greta Scacchi and Jack Thompson. All her novels have been translated into other languages. Author Location: Sydney, NSW.