Popular historian Alison Weir has crafted best-selling biographies of such prominent icons as King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I. A master at uncovering fascinating and little-known details, Weir brings these historical figures to life with a brilliant blend of entertainment and scholarship. No English queen has drawn more ire than the vilified Queen Isabella. Weir, at long last, delivers the definitive biography of one of the most controversial members of English royalty.
©2005 Alison Weir (P)2005 Recorded Books
Anyone with an interest in discovering the many facets of the truth behind some of English history's most notorious events will be riveted by this straightforward account that presents the facts as recorded and puts them into context of the myths that have survived.
Too many to mention.
One of the finest readers I have ever heard.
If you even think you might like medieval history, don't miss this; the entire age in presented in a way that fills you with actual documented facts that are more amazing than historical fiction.
Lisette Lecat is a wonderful reader with a lovely voice and perfect diction, in French [this is rare!] no less than in English. I returned to the audible website with the intention of buying whatever other book she might have recorded and was disappointed not to find any within my range of interest. She is the only reader to so rouse my enthusiasm. I am incapable of imagining a better one.
I was particularly struck by Queen Isabella losing her immense popularly because she made peace with Scotland rather than committing resources and lives to continuing a war that was hard if not impossible to win.
I was also amazed at how the canny Mortimer, abetted by Isabella, so quickly slid into the same kind of arrogance and rapaciousness that had brought about the Despensers' and Edward II's downfall.
I doubt if anybody would want to listen to 21 hours in one sitting.
This book filled in some important gaps in my knowledge and understanding of 14th century history and quite held my interest throughout. It made me realize yet again how much one needs to go into the details to build up a sense of history.
I've always been interested in the Plantagenets, and Edward II is always one of the more colorful individuals. I was excited to find an audiobook that's more specific to this rule. Sadly, while this book is full of good information and paints a vivid picture of the circumstances Isabella found her self in regards to her relationship to her husband and his favorites, the author constantly inserts her opinions and hypotheticals, and then presents them as facts. The whole book is filled with 'probably', 'must have felt', 'perhaps', and 'possibly's, with only the author's vision inserted, and very few other views represented.
It wasn't too bad for the first two thirds of the book, but then after Edward's overthrow and death, the author started grasping at any straw possible to preserve her opinions, to the point often it seemed like she was grasping at straws. At her husband's death, the author wouldn't even consider the possibility that Isabella was involved in any way, and wouldn't even consider that the queen even knew of it. Then she goes off on how the king wasn't murdered, but actually alive, and bases this on a single letter which basically amounts to an Elvis sighting. This letter has several errors, including dates and names, but the author just waves them off as the letter writer 'being confused', and then states that there's absolutely no reason this letter should be discounted. Amusingly, this letter implicates the queen as trying to kill the king, but the author counters this by saying that there's no way the letter writer could've known that innocent Isabella was far away in another castle and didn't even know about the attempts on his life! From then on, the author presents this theory that Edward was still alive and living as a hermit as fact throughout the rest of the book, ignoring all evidence to the contrary. Nevermind the fact that hundreds of people viewed the body, (the author explains that away by saying they 'probably embalmed and wrapped the body' and that the people that viewed him weren't people that were close to him. Or the fact that the body used instead was a random servant who had been killed in the king's escape. The King was an unusually tall man for the age, what are the odds that a randomly killed servant had the same body build as him?
Anyways, all things considered, the author of this book for the most part has done excellent research, and there is a lot of good information in the book, which makes is sad that there's so much fluff and personal opinion filling up the pages.
Sadly, the author does do some disservice to the queen in my opinion. Though she tried to paint her in a feminist view, she turns her into an innocent, doe-eyed queen who only got a bad rep because of the 'evil men' dominating her life, instead of the master of court intrigue that she surely was.
The narration was very decent, with Lisette keeping it interesting. The only slight complaint I have is the constant small pauses in narration with each punctuation mark, but it's easily overlooked.
Like the other books I've listened to written by Ms. Weir, this was yet another example of excellent research matched with interesting bits of information about the time and culture in which she narrates the character's life. Wonderful listening.
Hated it ended up returned it to get my credit refunded. The author kept inserting herself into,the history rather than engaging the reader with the queens life.
I enjoy the writer and the narrator , this book is nothing but a chronological order or dates and names it's exhausting to listen too .
I thought the history would be woven into a story as it was in The Captive Queen.
It was just like a history lesson.
"Well I solved my insomnia.."
I love both the author and the narrator, however this book wasn't for me. If i have trouble sleeping, the subject matter and the gentle tones of Lisette Lecat help me on my way to slumberland.
To be perfectly honest, It can't be improved upon, it's just dry.
Oh lissette did an excellent job.
If you love the subject matter yes, if you want excitement no.
"a good book but very boring narrator"
I'm a real history boff and was really looking forward to listening to this but was very disappointed.the content is good but the narrators voice just seemed to drone on and I actually fell asleep a couple of times!
"A cure for Insomnia"
A better narrator, this narrator put me to sleep listening to her slow speech.
Written it as a more exciting drama. Less description , More story.
She was slow, had no interest in her voice and flat tone.
Dissapointment, was looking for more of a story. This was like a shopping list
Yes . Would definitely like to return this book. After listening for about an hour I was Bored.Waste of a credit.
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