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)
Obsessive reader, 6-10 books a week, chosen from Member reviews. Fact & fiction, subjects from the Tudors to Tookie, Harlem to Hiroshima, Huey Long to Huey Newton. In-depth fair reviews - from 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.
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.
A serious student of English royalty through the ages would probably find this fascinating.
I would listen to a historical novel, but not a biography by Alison Weir..
No, I haven't listened to any other performances by Lisette Lecat, but I find her voice pleasant and clearly understandable.
I was disappointed.
I found this book fascinating. If you looking for fiction you will be disappointed but if you are looking for an interesting history. This is it, I loved it. It looks at what we do know about Queen Isabella and what we do not know. It does speculate a little and brings some new theories to the forefront that I had not heard before or did not remember. It also looks at her and the changes that her actions caused to the monarchy. I would read Alison Weir's non fiction again. I liked it as much as her fiction. Just keep in mind that this is not her fiction.
Having recently had to make a very long car trip at short notice, I was very lucky to have Isabella on my Ipod. A great story, well read, beautifully enunciated, it was an excellent companion, and helped make my journey less tedious.
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