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.
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Fascinating from first sentence to the very end.
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.
- Stuart Hagmann
Half history book, half fictional novel.
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.