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 …
Editors. "Reign of King Henry II". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 31 July 2012; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=633, accessed 26 April 2015.]