In Newgate Street, in the city of London, stand the meagre ruins of Christ Church. On the same site once stood a royal mausoleum set to rival Westminster Abbey in the 14th century. Among the many crowned heads buried there was Isabella of France, Edward II's queen - one of the most notorious femme fatales in history. But how did she acquire her evil reputation? And is it justified? Alison Weir's engrossing biography sets out to put the record straight.
©2005 Alison Weir; (P) W F Howes Ltd
"Pierces the veil of history with scholarly precision....A serious rendering of a sensational life." (Irish Times)
Very long and drawn out with absolutely no personality involved in the narration. It MIGHT be an interesting read but it wasn't read with much interest
OCD over books, listening to 1 a day; ANY genre, fact & fiction. Influenced by Audible reviewers so I keep mine unbiased - FRONT to BLACK!
I got this book for the Audible $7.95 membership fee. If I'd paid $40, I would be the "The She-Wolf of America! Weir is out of her league with this ambitious project, better left to writers like Antonia Fraser. Weir ruins the book by summing up the 21 hour foray in the first 30 minutes. The book could have been a mere 4 hours if the writer didn't wast so much time on minutiae. For example, spend a lot of time on Isabella's birth date, going from 1291 to 1298, then back again, like the reader will check her facts at the Hall of Records. She quotes whole sermons, speeches, letters, TOMBSTONES, in ad nauseum. She claims that Isabella was a "debauched Jesebel", yet never tells what the queen did to deserve these labels. We get indepth descriptions of rooms in every palace and estate in Christendom in mind-numbing detail but we never get a real picture of what Isabelle looked like, other than "beautiful". No hair color, height, weight, etc. Weir admits that very little is known about the French princess' life prior to coming to England so she compensates by devoting almost 10 hours on her husband's homosexual liaisons. Isabella may deserve a place in history for driving her husband from the throne but hardly compares to Queens Elizabeth I and Victoria. If you really want to learn of Isabella's exploits, check out "The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England" by Antonia Fraser for a lot less money, with a big bonus of the bios of every English monarch from William The Conqueror to Queen Elizabeth II. Or just read Isabella's bio at Wikipedia.org which is what I was forced to do after this confusing hodgepodge. "She-Wolf" Not so much. Isabella was no Elizabeth Bathory. Unless you want to stick a pencil in your neck, spend your money on a good meal with friends!
I bought 3 books by this author. this one was a dry reading of history not a novel with historical base. couldn't get past the first have of part one. so far one of the other books are what i expected but this one was a disappointment.
I began this book with the expectation that it would be somewhat dry but chose it anyway because this was an area of history in England heretofore unknown by me and I was ready for the education. While Isobella's story is certainly not one to keep the reader on the edge of one's seat, it is filled with a wealth of historical detail that historyphiles like me go "ga-ga" over. What appeared texious for some of the other readers was like literary cotten candy for me. Load me down with shat people wear, and eat, and fight about, and I'm happy. What I didn't care for in the book was I often lost track of where I was in the Queen's life because of all the attention to date details. Just simply saying 'Isobella was 23 when this occurred' would have been so much easier on me than getting all these dates, then having to do the mathmatical atheletics to figure out where I was in her lifetime. But that was my own preference, someone else might not think another thing about it. Overall, I enjoyed the book. Isobella has definately gotten a bad rap over the centuries for what she did and didn't do. Score another one for the misogynistic historians in our midst!
I have read other books by Alison Weir however this one is more a list of dates rather than a story about the Queen of England.
No characters were performed. Just a list of dates with what has been documented or conjecture from other authors.
This is a very good book, and is read brilliantly by Ms Lecat. I was hoping for a book as good as Katherine, and this one didn't quite make that mark, primarily because Ms Weir spent a bit too much time on some of the more mundane descriptions than I felt was warranted. Nonetheless, she certainly wrote a compelling book that provides ample argument for revisiting the harsh historical judgment so often associated with Isabella. Enjoy diving into this stormy period of English history!
The much maligned Isabella is portrayed as a strong and loving Leader
not at this time
Yes. I would listen again because there was way too much information to absorb in one hearing. Lisette Lecat did an excellent job as narrator and brought the book to life.
The factual history.
Alison Weir is really good at the detective work needed for this kind of book. She gives you detailed facts and then draws conclusions to come up with her take on history's mysteries. I learn a lot from her books.
Unless my friend was a history buff, I would not recommend this book. It is very dry, full of historical facts....basically a history text. Very unlike her books "The Innocent Traitor" and " The Lady Elizabeth" where she blends the historical facts with the characters and makes history interesting.
Yes, I would read more of her books, because I enjoyed the first two I purchased.
"Very good in parts but editing would have helped"
Having listened to this book I know a lot more about Isabella, Mortimer and Edward II. There were times when I felt I needed to force myself to continue to listen as details of household accounts were listed and, for some reason I cannot understand, translated from pounds, shillings and pence to pounds and new pence without any attempt to account for inflation. There is little point in knowing three shillings and sixpence spent on food is equivalent to 17 pence without understanding that an annual income of ten pounds would have been considered a large amount.
The description of the disrespect shown to Isabella by Edward II and his infatuation and dominance by Piers Gaveston and Hugh Dispencer sticks in my mind. It showed the arrogance of absolute monarchs and the way being in the Kings favour was a route to fame and riches( not to say animosity and death)
Other than some americanism and mispronunciations Lisette Lecat made a good job of the reading. I am sometime left wondering who actually listens to the whole of the readings before they are release and whether they don't notice the errors or si,ply let them pass.
About 75% of this book is interesting, well argued and very well presented. The problem is you have to listen to the other 25% to get to it.
"Meticulous detail, but a bit boring"
Having listened to and really enjoyed Lancaster and York by Alison Weir, I very much looked forward to listening to Isabella, She-Wolf of France. This book is meticulous in its level of detail, but unfortunately in my opinion this made it rather dry and boring at times. That said, I finished it as I am very interested in learning more about this historical period. I would recommend the book in terms of increasing my knowledge - but not as a pleasurable read.
"Was it the kings fault or Isabella's?"
Isabella of France is shown as the victim, the perpetrator and the third wheel on a racing bike. AW shows the decisions Isabelle was forced to make from when she first becomes a wife until she dies. I will definitely read again.
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