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)
author of Lowcountry Legend's series
considering the time period, this is a wonderful history of the middle ages. I especially enjoyed the little details about the castles, clothing and so on. It also does a good job with a woman of dubious character, the author does a pretty good job with her though. Isabella was no saint and she wasn't made out to be such, but I do believe she makes a great case for how important this one woman was to the history of England and Europe. The seeds of the Hundred Years War and the War of the Roses began with her and good ole' Mortimer. I'm pretty certain though that Edward the Second didn't end up in a monastic order. He didn't die per Lancastrian propaganda BUT I can't picture him in hermit garb either. Bottom line, this woman survived them all........
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.
"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.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.