Reign of King Henry II

(289 words)
  • Editors

Historical Context Note

Henry II was the eldest son of Geoffrey of Anjou and Matilda, who had largely successfully fought Stephen of Blois for the throne of England after her father Henry I's death. After a protracted war, Stephen had recognised Henry I as his adopted son and heir before his death in 1154. He had already married Eleanor of Aquitaine in 1152, and between them they ruled a sizeable "Angevin Empire" stretching right down the eastern seaboard of France. Henry was from the outset a determined and pro-active ruler, extending English control in Wales, and trying to expand his territories in France. He had a famously tumultous relationship with his wife and sons: he was estranged from Eleanor of Aquitaine from the late 1160s, and after her son Henry …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Editors. "Reign of King Henry II". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 31 July 2012
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Reigns and Monarchy in the British Isles