An engrossing and revolutionary biography of Isabella of Castile, the controversial Queen of Spain who sponsored Christopher Columbus's journey to the New World, established the Spanish Inquisition, and became one of the most influential female rulers in history
Born 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, twenty-three-year-old Isabella defied a hostile brother and a mercurial husband to seize control of Castile and LeOn. Her subsequent feats were legendary. She ended a twenty-four-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 Inquisition that would darken Spain's reputation for centuries. Whether saintly or satanic, no female leader has done more to 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 command.
From the Hardcover edition.
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by Kirstin Downey
by Robert Kanigel
by Lynne Olson
by Susan Quinn
by Elizabeth Brown Pryor
by Kirstin Valdez Quade
by Rich Blake
by J. Courtney Sullivan
by Bill Dedman, Paul Clark Newell, Jr.
by Jonathan Allen, Amie Parnes
by Elizabeth Strout
by Joseph J. Ellis
"Controversial, powerful, and insightful, Isabella of Spain, the Warrior Queen, was inspired as a child by women of strength and surpassed even her own dreams. Narrator Kimberly Farr adds strength to this fascinating history of an extraordinary ruler. Farr provides pace and clarity as she describes Isabella's struggles with males--a difficult brother and Ferdinand, her fiery husband--as she rose above them in stature. While Isabella has been underestimated over time, the author reminds listeners of her vast accomplishments: Her sponsorship of Columbus's exploration, establishment of Spanish control over most of the New World by way of partnerships with Pope Alexander VI and the Borgias, brilliant strategy to bring Muslims and Christians together, unifying influence over millions of Catholics, and ability to ward off invaders. Farr's performance provides an elegance and poise that are appropriate for Isabella's biography. B.J.P. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine"
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