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Queen Isabella: Treachery, Adultery, and Murder in Medieval England Paperback – December 26, 2006
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
She is one of the pivotal characters of British history. Married to the king she bore him 4 children before escaping to France. She returned with Roger Mortimer and together they overthrew the King and set her son on the throne.
Using things are diverse as inventories Weir has pieced together an excellent picture of life in Medieval times, and particularly that of this powerful queen.
The Macinations of court, make a disturbing read, to live in this time was to live in constant threat it seems. It is hard to imagine just how anyone survived to any age at all. Of course the strength of the barons derives from this period too.
I was a bit unsettled with her theory that Edward had survived the overthrow and lived out his life. On the other hand I have just been reading Byron Roger's book "And Audience with an Elephant" which talks about the lost children of Wales, these were children of royalty who were put into monasterys and convents by the English Kings to keep them from marrying and carrying on their royal line. They were locked up for their entire lives where they lived sometimes without even seeing the outside to 'play'. They had no contact and it was as though they were never heard from again.Read more ›
Alison Weir, a dedicated if pedestrian historian, has set out to redeem Isabella's reputation. Frankly, she does not quite succeed, as her tone throughout "Queen Isabella" is rather hestitant than firm in its ascertations that the Queen was as sinned against as sinning.
Still, it is a fascinating story, peopled by a rich array of characters and Weir, despite her rather dull style, does make the most of this Medieval murder mystery/romance/political thriller. Isabella may not end up any less villified, but she remains an intriguing woman of her -- and for these -- times.
I can't say that it is a bad book, but upon reflection, perhaps the most telling fact is that it took me so long to finish it. A book of this size generally takes me about a week to finish, reading for an hour or so each night before bed. Most nights, however, found me nodding off in less than half the time. Weir's style can best be described as a dry recitation of historical facts with frequent asides in which she injects her own analysis. Hardly scintillating entertainment and simply not lively enough to keep me awake.
From the standpoint of substance, I can't say that I agree with her efforts to rehabiltate the universally condemned Queen Isabella, the wife of Edward II of England. Isabella conspired against, overthrew, cheated on and likely participated in the murder of her husband and sovereign. According to Weir, she was simply misunderstood and unfairly judged. To my knowledge, she is the only one that believes so.
In order to back up her position, Weir not only spins facts to the benefit of the Queen, but she weaves many out of whole cloth and disregards the numerous facts which clearly implicate her in the crimes for which history has condemned her. In an attempt to absolve the Queen of the crime of murder, she even trots out the old, roundly rejected canard that Edward II escaped from his captors and lived the remainder of his life as a hermit in France. This despite the public, state funeral in which the body and face of the King were clearly displayed and visible to thousands.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
She is always very clear. One of my favorite historians for all things BritishPublished 2 days ago by Audrey Myers
Love Alison Weir's books but this one I am having trouble getting into and keep putting down after reading a few pages and instead, go to Jean Plaidy's historical fiction books... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Tess
For me Alison Weir writes history in a most absorbing and exciting style; always a pager turner.Published 2 months ago by tb16
Lease favourite book from my most favourite author! Bogged down in minutia. I own and have read most of Weir's books. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Frisbee
Great book for anyone interested in the medieval period of English history, especially if you have visited the ruins at Castle Rising in Norfolk! Read morePublished 4 months ago by SRL
I am an avid reader of history of this period and of this author. This work was far below her usual. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Ed Holsten
An amazing story, well told. Possibly goes into a little too much detail in times, particularly when enumerating all the places the protagonists stayed in while travelling, but... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Paul John Francis
It has been some years since Queen Isabella by Alison Weir was published; I am only now getting around to reading and reviewing it. Read morePublished 8 months ago by elena maria vidal