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Queen Isabella : Treachery, Adultery, and Murder in Medieval England
Queen Isabella Treachery Adultery and Murder in Medieval England
Author: Alison Weir
Isabella arrived in London in 1308, the spirited twelve-year-old daughter of King Philip IV of France. Her marriage to the heir to England’s throne was designed to heal old political wounds between the two countries, and in the years that followed, she would become an important figure, a determined and clever woman whose influence would co...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780345453198
ISBN-10: 0345453190
Publication Date: 10/11/2005
Pages: 528
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.

3.9 stars, based on 16 ratings
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 3
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review
Read All 4 Book Reviews of "Queen Isabella Treachery Adultery and Murder in Medieval England"

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deltatiger avatar reviewed Queen Isabella : Treachery, Adultery, and Murder in Medieval England on + 74 more book reviews
As interesting as it is to read a biography of a queen as important to English history as Isabella, Weir's treatment should be viewed with caution. As she always seems to do, Weir slants the history and stretches her interpretations to the breaking point in order to "prove" her theories. For example, she veers sharply between stating that Isabella was a strong and confident woman and then, a few pages later, insisting that she was dominated entirely by Mortimer, then very soon she's back to being in control.

Of particular interest in this case is her theory that Edward II was not murdered but escaped and survived to die of natural causes in exile without his identity ever being acknowledged. While it is possible this is the case (though I believe it to be unlikely), Weir provides the evidence, admits that it is not conclusive, then proceeds to act as if the matter had been settled favorably and future events are interpreted as if his survival was a given.

So by all means read and enjoy the book, but maintain a healthy skepticism over her claims in favor of Isabella being a good woman whose only flaw was greed.
Aileene avatar reviewed Queen Isabella : Treachery, Adultery, and Murder in Medieval England on + 14 more book reviews
I have to agree totally with the review below. The only part that my husband and I found a bit tedious(and more him, than myself tbh) was when they began listing what was in their larder/pantry and how many candles/linens/etc. they bought for such and such castle, simply because it was a list that Isabella was supposed to have written or edited or simply, possibly touched/looked at. Once those parts (which were mildly intriguing the first couple of times) were over--these were relatively few and far between--the story itself was entertaining and even though I know the story, I found myself feeling tension at parts were I knew the outcome and even hoping so and so would or would not die/live/speak lol.

The narrator did an excellent job of bringing the words alive so that it didn't feel as if the book was being read to you. I don't read/listen to many audio books, but if I was looking for another I would definitely look for this narrator to see if she was available in other works.

The Washington Post - Lisa Jardine

Isabella emerges in this biography as a politically deft and intelligent protagonist, competent to intervene effectively in affairs of state. Weir makes a strong case for the historical importance of Isabella's decision to seize the English throne for her son, as the country slipped into chaos under her increasingly feckless husband's inadequate command. Though she cannot alter the record to make Isabella good and admirable, she does succeed in giving us an utterly compelling, gripping and believable portrait of a formidable medieval queen.