Time and Chance (Eleanor of Aquitaine Trilogy 2)

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9780140270778: Time and Chance (Eleanor of Aquitaine Trilogy 2)

TIME AND CHANCE, the second part of the trilogy about Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, opens during the glory years of their reign.

While Henry redefined the role of medieval kingship, Eleanor gave birth to their children, founding a dynasty that would endure for 300 years. But even in these happy times, shadows were lurking. Battles on two borders. The disastrous appointment of Thomas Becket as Archbishop of Canterbury. And when Henry took lovely young Rosumund Clifford into his bed, little did he realise that in making an enemy of his proud, passionate queen he was making the gravest mistake of all ...

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Review:

The Sunne in Splendour confirmed Sharon Penman's place in the upper echelons of historical novelists, combining a breathtaking panoply of the past with an acute psychological observation of her characters. Time and Chance is the second part of her trilogy about Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, beginning in the glory years of their reign. Penman conjures for us an astonishing era in which Henry battles with the Welsh and the French king, appoints Thomas Becket as Archbishop of Canterbury and, by taking a mistress, makes a bitter enemy of his wife.

Novelists are all too conscious of the pitfalls of the second book in a trilogy--traditionally, the weakest before the rallying of the final volume. Penman deals with this problem with panache. We knew from her earlier work the scalpel-like precision of her character building, but the emotional lives of Henry and the troubled Eleanor are powerfully realised. As in the first book of the sequence, When Christ and his Saints Slept, conflict is ever the driving force. Henry and Eleanor's remarkable partnership was proving highly fecund, both politically (as Henry created a new image of medieval kingship), and physically, as Eleanor gave birth to five sons and three daughters, laying to rest her reputation as a barren queen and founding a dynasty that was to last three centuries. But auguries of trouble ahead were apparent: war with the Welsh; acrimonious battles with Eleanor's first husband, the French King. But the truly destabilising factor was Henry's decision to appoint his friend and confidant Thomas Becket as Archbishop of Canterbury. Henry had assumed that the worldly, ambitious Becket would be the perfect ally, and was devastated when the new archbishop cast off his own worldly past as he embraced his role as Defender of the Faith, swapping dissolution for piety.

As Penman vividly demonstrates, Henry saw Becket's action as a humiliating betrayal. One of the most famous murders in history ensued, with further conflict in the kingdom caused by a liaison with the daughter of a baron. In bedding Rosamund Clifford, Henry put his marriage and even his kingship at risk. As always Penman wears her research lightly: the personal drama is the engine of her narrative, with each fresh scandal and intrigue delivered with a beguiling combination of relish and restraint. She is assured in her detailing of the political and ecclesiastical clashes of the court, but it is Henry II who strides her novel like a colossus--just as he did the kingdom he ruled. --Barry Forshaw

Review:

"Did Eleanor get lost in Aquitaine?" was the e-mail that Penman received from one of her anxious readers after this, the second part of a trilogy that started with When Christ and His Saints Slept (1994), seemed to be a long time in coming. Well, the wait is over and Time and Chance continues from the year 1156 the story of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Central to this account is the famous episode of Thomas Becket's appointment as Archbishop of Canterbury, and Henry's betrayal of Eleanor. The murder of Thomas Becket, which is hardly giving away the plot, is still perhaps Christendom's greatest scandal. This is historical fiction conceived on a grand scale, graced with good period detail and a gripping narrative pace.

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. TIME AND CHANCE, the second part of the trilogy about Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, opens during the glory years of their reign. While Henry redefined the role of medieval kingship, Eleanor gave birth to their children, founding a dynasty that would endure for 300 years. But even in these happy times, shadows were lurking. Battles on two borders. The disastrous appointment of Thomas Becket as Archbishop of Canterbury. And when Henry took lovely young Rosumund Clifford into his bed, little did he realise that in making an enemy of his proud, passionate queen he was making the gravest mistake of all. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780140270778

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Time and Chance, Sharon Penman, TIME AND CHANCE, the second part of the trilogy about Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, opens during the glory years of their reign. While Henry redefined the role of medieval kingship, Eleanor gave birth to their children, founding a dynasty that would endure for 300 years. But even in these happy times, shadows were lurking. Battles on two borders. The disastrous appointment of Thomas Becket as Archbishop of Canterbury. And when Henry took lovely young Rosumund Clifford into his bed, little did he realise that in making an enemy of his proud, passionate queen he was making the gravest mistake of all. Bookseller Inventory # B9780140270778

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. TIME AND CHANCE, the second part of the trilogy about Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, opens during the glory years of their reign. While Henry redefined the role of medieval kingship, Eleanor gave birth to their children, founding a dynasty that would endure for 300 years. But even in these happy times, shadows were lurking. Battles on two borders. The disastrous appointment of Thomas Becket as Archbishop of Canterbury. And when Henry took lovely young Rosumund Clifford into his bed, little did he realise that in making an enemy of his proud, passionate queen he was making the gravest mistake of all. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780140270778

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Book Description 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 2nd. 129mm x 198mm x 30mm. Paperback. TIME AND CHANCE, the second part of the trilogy about Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, opens during the glory years of their reign. While Henry redefined the role of medieval kingship, Eleanor gav.Shipping may be from our UK, US or Australian warehouse depending on stock availability. 496 pages. 0.340. Bookseller Inventory # 9780140270778

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