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FREE MOBI í DOC Isabella The Warrior Queen The Warrior Queen ì JOIN OR CREATE BOOK CLUBS ß ❴Read❵ ➵ Isabella: The Warrior Queen Author Join or create book clubs – An engrossing and revolutionary biography of Isabella of Castile tEsWhether saintly or satanic no female leader has doneto shape our modern world in which millions of people in two hemispheres speak Spanish and practice Catholicism Yet history has all but forgotten Isabella's influence due to hundreds of years of misreporting that often attributed her accomplishments to Ferdinand the bold and philandering husband she adored Using new scholarship Downey's luminous biography tells the story of this brilliant fervent forgotten woman the faith that propelled her through life and the land of ancient conflicts and intrigue she brought under her comman Excellent reading

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An engrossing and revolutionary biography of Isabella of Castile the controversial ueen of Spain who sponsored Christopher Columbus's journey to the New World established the Spanish Inuisition and became one of the most influential female rulers in historyBorn at a time when Christianity was dying out and the Ottoman Empire was aggressively expanding Isabella was inspired in her youth by tales of Joan of Arc a devout young woman who unified her people and led them to victory against foreign invaders In 1474 when most women were almost powerless 23 year old Isabella defied a hosti The advantage a reader unfamiliar with the subject of a biography has is that heshe can approach the subject with few if any preconceived notions I knew that Isabella was the mother of Catherine of Aragon the first wife of the famously non uxorious King Henry VIII of England; and that she launched Columbus sailing 'the ocean blue in 1492' Given the characterization of the book elsewhere I had suspected that Kirstin Downey's book might be something of a feminist screed not that there's anything wrong with that but this was not the case Downey has written a fascinating book that is feminist but only insofar as the life of Isabella was female She was in fact one of the pivotal characters of world historyThe world of Isabella was dangerous complex and violent She led a somewhat unsettled childhood and grew up in the shadow of her elder half brother King Enriue of Castile At his death the succession was unclear but Isabella seized the throne in her own right Marrying Ferdinand of Aragon Isabella and her husband completed the reconuest of the Iberian peninsula an accomplishment that threw Light on Isabella's supreme worth as a ruler While Ferdinand commanded the Spanish army Isabella worked tirelessly to supply her husband with troops armaments food and medical supplies What is starkly clear and what is proved by Ferdinand's sorry record as sole ruler after Isabella's death was that the military successes of Ferdinand were only made possible by the efforts of his ueen No need for feminist special pleading here the facts speak for themselvesIt' is readily apparent that a biography of Isabella could easily turn into a multi volume monument The European discovery of the Americas the Inuisition the continual threat from the Ottoman Turks Castile Aragon's relationship with the Portuguese and European politics in general particularly the predations of the French; each of these topics would reuire at least one book to explicate Downey's singular triumph is to distill all this into an easy read Not easy to plumb but easy in the sense that the book flows uite nicely It reads like a novelThe chapter dealing with the first voyages of Columbus is very lucid and Downey makes it clear that the impetus for exploration came from Isabella as ueen of Castile This was her enterprise she funded it and Ferdinand just wasn't that interested And here it is important to emphasize that Isabella was first and foremost ueen of Castile Ferdinand was not allowed to interfere in her rule in Castile She and her husband single mindedly fought the Muslim rulers in southern Iberia but it was Isabella who controlled everything else when it came to the interests of HER kingdom This is a point that has been glossed over for 500 years and it bears re emphasizingDowney handles the Inuisition with kid gloves She finds Isabella culpable for its genesis and subseuent horrors of its execution but she tempers her criticism with something like the standard device of pointing out the dangers of anachronistic finger pointing Still Downey does not shy away from describing the injustices served to Muslims Jews and Conversos Downey also does not refrain from telling the sorry tale of Isabella and Ferdinand reneging on their promises to let the Muslims and Jews practice their religions in perpetuity and that the Conversos would not be subjected to the prying eyes of the inuisitorsDowney's feminist slant is rightly deployed to prove convincingly that her daughter Juana later dubbed La Loca was the victim of bad press Isabella worked tirelessly to find suitable and advantageous marriages for her children She married off her daughter Juana to Philip of Austria and in a sort of two for one deal acuired Philip's sister Margaret for Prince Juan heir to the throne of Castile Philip and Margaret were the children of Maximilian who became the Holy Roman Emperor Excellent matches politically but Juan died young and Juana's husband turned out to be a classic example of spousal abuse toward Juana It is too complicated to go into detail here but it appears than likely that the abuse heaped on Juana led to her being seuestered and being declared insane after Isabella's death Downey's evidence to the contrary is persuasive but the clincher for me was that when Juana and Philip were forced to land in England on their way to claim the throne of Castile no less a personage than King Henry VII of England future father in law of Isabella's daughter Catherine deemed Juana to be uite sane and self possessed If anyone could read people it was Henry VII who had spent his life reading people and their motivesThere is so much to this fascinating book Isabella's ups and downs with Rodrigo Borgia who became Pope Alexander VI and father of the even infamous Cesare her relations with the Portuguese monarchy and above all her constant fretting about the aims of the Ottoman sultan du jour would all make for further books If anything though Downey's book is a model of concision and an excellent launching pad for further reading There are extensive end notes a good bibliography and a useful index The only things missing are genealogies of the Castilian and Aragonese monarchies and one of the concurrent Portuguese monarchy would have been welcome Isabella's reign echoes down the centuries Except for Brazil and the Guayanas Spanish is the dominant language of South America and Central America the Roman Catholic Church paid dearly for its excesses during the Spanish Civil War and far away in the Middle East some would be caliph dreams of regaining Al Andalus for the ProphetA great read

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Isabella The Warrior QueenLe brother and a mercurial husband to seize control of Castile and León Her subseuent feats were legendary She ended a 24 generation struggle between Muslims and Christians forcing North African invaders back over the Mediterranean Sea She laid the foundation for a unified Spain She sponsored Columbus's trip to the Indies and negotiated Spanish control over much of the New World with the help of Rodrigo Borgia the infamous Pope Alexander VI She also annihilated all who stood against her by establishing a bloody religious Inuisition that would darken Spain's reputation for centuri I was looking forward to reading this new biography of Isabella of Castile the ueen who with her husband Ferdinand conuered the last Moorish kingdom of Granada sponsored the voyages of Columbus and raised Spain to the ranks of the great European powers However Kirsten Downey's book failed to live up to my expectationsThe 'blurb' on the front cover was a sign of things to come as it described Isabella as a 'forgotten ueen' Really? Isabella must be one of the best known ueens in history She is the subject of numerous modern biographies in both Spanish and English including recent works by Peggy Liss and Nancy Rubin Stewart and the Spanish drama series 'Isabel' based on her life and times has been shown in many countries and is currently on its third seasonAccuracy is an essential component of any historical biography and Ms Downey significantly fails to achieve this The book is riddled with factual errors Dates are wrongly recorded for example the siege of Gerona took place in 1462 not 1463 and King Ferrante of Naples is given two different causes of death Ms Downey correctly states that the counties of Roussillon and Cerdagne were returned to Spain by France in 1493 but later describes them as cities and says that they were in French hands in 1502 Cesare Borgia is stated to have been transferred to the fortress of La Mota 'under Isabella's watchful eye' but this did not happen until June 1505 seven month's after the ueen's death Isabella is said to have been married for twenty five years but as she married in 1469 and died in 1504 the correct figure is thirty five These and other mistakes really should have been corrected by the author or her editor prior to publicationThe book is also strangely unbalanced by the inclusion of material which is of limited relevance Ms Downey expends a whole chapter on the conuest of Constantinople by the Ottoman sultan Mehmet II an event which occurred when Isabella was only a baby She also writes at some length about the invasion of Spain by Moslem troops in the 8th century but includes little information on the subseuent Spanish reconuest through the medieval period The ten year war waged by Ferdinand and Isabella to conuer the kingdom of Granada is given only one chapter but was undoubtedly one of the ueen's major achievements There is little or no information on the ueen's economic policies and very little on her efforts to reform the Castilian church in contrast to the amount of space devoted to the failings of the papacy of Rodrigo BorgiaAlthough the book is generally well written it is marred by some clumsy terms of phrase such as 'she had had to learn to live with' and 'he took up company with other women' The author is over fond of uoting from secondary sources within the text rather than leaving these to the footnotes Her lack of training as a historian sometimes shows in her lack of understanding of contemporary terms for example 'lusty' means strong and healthy in sixteenth century English not lecherous She struggles to critically evaluate her sources most notably in her treatment of the Spanish general Gonsalvo de Cordoba who was a favourite of the ueen Ms Downey takes contemporary and modern hagiographies of 'the Great Captain' at face value criticising Ferdinand for sidelining him after Isabella's deathbut the King had good reason to be suspicious of a man who attempted to use Spanish resources to win himself a state in Pisa took kickbacks from contractors when Viceroy of Naples and leaked state secrets to the Venetian ambassadorHowever the greatest weakness of this biography is its treatment of Isabella's husband Ferdinand Ms Downey clearly believes that many of Isabella's achievements have been wrongly credited to her husband Whilst this may have been the case with some contemporary writers such as Niccolo Machiavelli modern writers have generally redressed the balance In her efforts to address what she sees as an injustice Ms Downey falls into the trap of virtually ignoring Ferdinand's contribution Although Isabella was as the author says the driving force behind the conuest of Granada she could hardly have achieved this without Ferdinand's leadership of the army Bizarrely she also describes Isabella as the driving force behind foreign policy an area in which Ferdinand took the lead She appears to base this assertion on Isabella's involvement in the negotiations with England for her daughter Catherine's marriage but this was only one part of Spain's international relations The author also dismisses Ferdinand's achievements as sole ruler of Castile after Isabella's death as almost nothing of significance' ignoring the consolidation of Spanish power in Italy and the Americas and the conuest of the kingdom of Navarre As a result of this prejudice against Ferdinand MsDowney fails to explore one of the most interesting and uniue aspects of Isabella's reign namely how she worked in partnership with her husbandReaders who want to learn about Isabella and her achievements should seek out the excellent biographies by Peggy Liss and NancyRubin Stewart rather than this book The television series 'Isabel' also gives a accurate account of the life of this important ueen