.....is the Plantagenet family of the 12th century whose ancestress, reputed to be Melusine, the daughter of Satan, founded a line which lived under her curse. The domination figure is Henry II of England and it is in the chronicle of his life, that of his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and their four sons that a mediaeval panorama unrolls. The theories of feudalism and homage, of the proper rewards -- and punishments, of the politics of that day are a background for a closed corporation of a squabbling family. Henry III (the Young King) was also King of England in his father's time; Richard, Geoffrey and John (Lackland), with their older brother, rebelled at their father's division of wealth and lands, with always the constant attention of the French kings, the Church -- and Queen Eleanor. There was fighting, plenty of it; the Young King's war against his father; the Old King's broken vows, amazing journeys from Ireland and England to the farthest reaches of his lands; the stigma of the murder of Thomas Becket; the intrigues for advantageous marriages for his sons and daughters; the continuous flow of treaties, pacts and broken promises. Here is the history of a period and a lineage endowed with all its tempestuousness, detail and emotion to delight a general as well as a scholarly reader.