It is Christmas of 1183, and Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitane are, for once, together in the drafty castle at Chinon. For all their regal status, they are much like any long-estranged but inseparably married couple: Henry flaunts his new mistress; Eleanor plots against him with their sons. They will do anything they can to hurt each other. And they love each other to distraction.
In the persons of Henry, that "master bastard," and the incorrigibly devious Eleanor, playwright James Goldman has created the most volitile romantic match since Petrucio met Kate. In "The Lion in Winter," he has given us a drama of Shakesperean firceness, eloquence, and emotional impact. The play is an engagingly epic, furiously witty tragicomedy of royalty at love and war, till death do them part.