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The First Plantagenet



A great deal has been written about Eleanor of Aquitaine, not so much about her husband. Ambitious, intelligent and energetic, Henry II was one of England’s most effective kings. Unfortunately, he did not do so well with personal relationships. His attempt to claim ancestral rights over the church brought him into conflict with his erstwhile friend, Archbishop Becket. His inability to control his four sons, added to their quarrelsome natures, resulted in their making war on him and on each other and the imprisonment of his queen. Henry survived war, rebellion, treachery and the threat of excommunication. But there was one enemy he couldn’t defeat.

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