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The Revolt of the Eaglets by Jean Plaidy

The Revolt of the Eaglets (1977)

by Jean Plaidy

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169370,359 (3.39)5



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may be in the minority for having given this, my fourth Plaidy novel less than four stars, but I just don’t feel a higher rating was deserved. For one thing, the writing style seemed very repetitive, and, as other reviewers have said, Plaidy seemed to have been very much in the habit of telling rather than showing what was happening. I don’t really hold that against her, as that may have been a style common to the ‘70s when this book was first published.

It was good in places, showing the breakdown of the relationships between Henry and his sons, and illustrating how his apparent desire to keep power for himself seems to have contributed to it. The strong personalities of both King Henry and Eleanor also came though, with the friction between them quite well written. However, perhaps due to the constraints of space it did seem as though things were a little rushed, and events covered very quickly and not in great detail. To me, the novel seemed to read a little like ‘A Brief History of’ book in some places. Perhaps I’m just not so used to the older style.

My only other gripe was that I was not sure of the accuracy of the incidents presented. Now I know no novel is going to be entirely accurate, and authors need to use artistic licence, but it seems that the alleged homosexual relationship between Richard and King Phillip II of France is little more than a myth, albeit one that seems to have been common at the time (in light of a similar insinuation in ‘The Lion in Winter’). I believe modern writers and historians are starting to question to whole idea that King Richard was ‘gay’.
I don’t know of any contemporary evidence the he was, and he did have at least one illegitimate son. Personally I think that just because the two men had a close relationship it does automatically follow they were romantically attracted to each other- and even for two men to share a bed did not necessarily carry sexual connotations at this time.

What with this and the mention of King Henry seducing Richard’s betrothed at the age of 11, which was just sick, (which also may not have happened) I believe this may have been a case of artistic licence carried too far.

So in overall summary, Revolt of the Eaglets is worth reading, but may be prove frustrating for people who are more familiar than me with the details of the life and reign of Henry II, and those more used to recent writing styles.
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  Medievalgirl | Oct 4, 2016 |
Although Jean Plaidy is one of my favourite authors, she does annoy me in books like this by repeating certain themes, over and over. The amount of times Henry II wishes his sons loved him and questioning why they don't is one such example.

This period of English and French history is a fascinating one, and at times this novel does a good job of re-enacting them, but the repetition of several characters' views and feelings dampens what could've been a much better novels.

Overall I'm more impressed than otherwise with "The Revolt of the Eaglets", as the four stars suggest, but there's a lot of missed potential here. ( )
  PhilSyphe | Jun 13, 2016 |
Another Plaidy novel that is a good intro to history, but too sanitised. History buffs would agree I am sure, that while these novels are mainly factual, they rely a great deal on conjecture. I suppose this is to be expected in a work of fiction, but it is well for readers to be aware of the difference. ( )
  CarolBurnett | Jan 18, 2015 |
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News of Thomas a Becket's martyrdom has spread throughout Christendom and the blame is laid at the feet of Henry Plantagenet, King of England. Two years later, with Becket canonized, Henry's position is precarious: punished at the Pope's insistence for his part in Becket's death, he now also has an enemy in his Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, after her discovery of his longstanding infidelity with Rosamund Clifford. Eleanor is determined to seek vengeance, so, with King Philip of France, she encourages her sons to conspire, both against their father and each other. Much embattled, the old eagle Henry struggles to fend off both rebellion and the plots of his aggressively circling offspring...
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Henry Plantagenet bestrode the throne of England like an aging eagle perching dangerously in the evening of his life. The murder of the sainted Becket had earned him the condemnation of all Christendom. Since discovering his infidelity with Rosamund Clifford, his queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, has determined to destroy him.… (more)

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