Time and Chance Author:Sharon Kay Penman The long-awaited sequel to Sharon Kay Penman's acclaimed novel When Christ and His Saints Slept, Time and Chance recounts the tempestuous marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II in a magnificent story of love, power, ambition-and betrayal. — He was nineteen when they married, she eleven years his senior, newly divorced from th... more »e King of France. She was beautiful, headstrong, intelligent, and rich. It was said he was Fortune's favorite, but he said a man makes his own luck. Within two years, Henry had made his, winning the throne of England and exercising extraordinary statecraft skills to control his unruly barons, expand his own powers, and restore peace to a land long torn by banditry and bloodshed. Only in one instance did Henry err: Elevating his good friend and confidant Thomas Becket to be Archbishop of Canterbury, he thought to gain control over the Church itself. But the once worldly Becket suddenly discovered God, and their alliance withered in the heat of his newfound zeal. What Becket saw as a holy mission-to protect the Church against State encroachments-Henry saw as arrant betrayal, and they were launched inevitably on the road to murder.
Rich in character and color, true to the historical details, sensitive to the complex emotions of these men and women, Time and Chance recreates their story with all the drama, pain, and passion of the moment. It is Penman at her best.« less
A fabulous read. Intricate plot details, intelligent characterizations and accurate historical background makes the reader feel as though s/he were living in the time. As always, a top-notch book by one of the most intelligent writers alive. Highly recommended!
This is the follow up to "When Christ and his Saints Slept" and it's about the marriage of King Henry II and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. I'd always heard that their marriage was never a happy one; this book casts a different light on the story of this historical couple.
This book is about Henry Plantagenet king of England, his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, Eleanor's first husband King Louis VII of France, and Henry Becket, as well as a cast of characters both real and fictional. It's a romantic, tragic story of human nature, ego, love, loss, and the ebb and flow of relations between nations in the 1100s.
Though for me the book pales in the fact of historic fact, and for me the fictional characters and their doings get in the way, still Penman writes excellent historical fiction. She's skillful and powerful, builds and interprets her characters nicely, keeping more or less to the facts of the matters, and the story is a fascinating one.
Penman's Eleanor is as tempestuous, intelligent, politically canny, and gorgeous as was the Queen herself. Penman's Henry is Henry II, and Becket is drawn large. The book perhaps is too ambitious and ranges too widely, but the book has the excitement that readers of fiction hope for.
Not sure why this took me so long to get through. Though not of the same caliber as her "Wales trilogy" this is still pretty moving IF you can get into it. This is book 2 of the "Henry and Elenor" trilogy (sorry, I'm making these names up) and seems to read as a setup for what I hope to be an exciting finale Book 3.
Sharon Kay Penman weaves a story so intriguing that history is almost unbelievable. Once you pick up her books, you are drawn in to a world with details so clear you can smell the dinners and see the elaborate gowns. This is the second in her three book series on the love story of Henry and Eleanor (of Aquitaine). She pulls you into their lives and draws the links of what transpired between the historical events. I can't wait to start the next book!