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E efinite Christianist bias and bad type revisionist history Downey lumps nearly 800 years of Muslim rule in Spain under several The Dukes Gamble differentynasties some Arab some Berber as Muslim rule in general isn t what it has been cracked up to be as in hint hint Muslim Spain was badShe then connects this to wanting to make Isabella out to be a Joan of Arc with ruling powers So the position of women in Muslim Spain has to be called worse than in Christian Spain even though this varied across nearly 800 years tooAnd Muslims going on slave raids just to find Christian women to polygamously breed has to be stressed too It almost sounds racist and also ignores that before the Reconuista was complete Spain had joined Portugal in slaving in Africa and impregnating Africans if not marrying themBack to the Joan of Arc ness It s not enough for Downey to rightly have Isabella as much or than Ferdinand as the Unmasking the Marquess (Hold Your Breath, driving force behind the Reconuista and certainly the only one of the two to favor ColumbusNo she has to be puffed up as the leader of the Christian response to the Ottoman Turks who were nowhere near a threat to Spain at this time and in this period would not face a semi united Christian opposition until Lepanto long after Isabella wasead and not lead by Spain And Lepanto wasn t a final check on Ottoman power anywayBut wait it gets worseDowney apparently never mentions in the whole book that Isabella had conversomarrano heritage As Let Go did Ferdinand Geeon t you think this was worth of mentionBut the topper The guaranteed earning of a 1 star ratingIn the next chapter Downey claims that Enriue Isabella s older half brother Enriue had ocelots among the animals in his menagerieSince ocelots are only native to the New World and this was pre Columbus that s flatly impossibleAnd if you re going to make that big of a gaffe less than 100 pages into an already problematic book ain t no way you re getting off the 1 star schneid in my world This massive undertaking by Kristin Downey gives context to the fifty three years of ueen Isabella s life and shares origin stories of people or events we may have heard bits o Since I knew ueen Isabella was the financier of Columbus a force behind the Spanish Inuisition and the mother of Katherine of Aragon first wife of Henry VIII I thought I would find this book about her interesting but that was an underestimation because Isabella The Warrior ueen turned out to be a treasure trove of fascinating information and stories About Columbus the book has Chatsfields Ultimate Acquisition detail than I expected also covering early European interactions with various groups of Native Americans About the Inuisition the book gives religious context and history that were unfamiliar to me and after reading about Catherine of Aragon s early life I have a greater understanding of and appreciation for her as a woman of strength and principle Also woven into the narrative is information about the lives and historical impacts of Isabella s other children the balance of power in Isabella s relationship with her husband Ferdinand according to this account she was the one who was eual and fairly extensive background histories of European royal families and their politics Islam s presence on the Iberian Peninsula the evolving role of the papacy and the nature and progress of the Ottoman Empire Isabella was a much stronger monarch than I realized but she s humanized here and I ended up liking her which wasn t something I expected Author Kirstin Downey has taken obvious care to be fair and respectful to all parties in Isabella s story and withoutoing a lot of undocumented speculation about her subjects inner feelings her book is written in a vivid engaging style that had me hooked from its opening chapter I kept finding myself rushing back to its pages the way you Major Westhavens Unwilling Ward (Hh do when reading a gripping novel I received an advanced review copy of this book Review opinions are mine. Nturies Whether saintly or satanic no female leader hasone to shape our modern world where millions of people in two hemispheres speak Spanish and practice Catholicism Yet history has all but forgotten Isabella's influence ue 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 comma.
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Truly enjoyable and highly educating at the very least I suspect it to be a little bit biased by modern gender studies as this book is certainly a part of a very popular trend to empower women from the past Personally I think it is much needed to overturn the concept of world ruled solely by men and restore full meaning of their female companions merits it needs however careful treading so the balance oesn t tip over I cannot tell for sure how much this account of Isabella s life How to Disappear differs from others though as this is my firstserious encounter with this remarkable womanI loved the way the story is being told the fact that we hear from so many first hand sources theiscussion around controversial issues that the author tries to present and Act Like You Know defend her point of viewThere have been some accusations that the book is also biased in matters of religions Ion t think this a valid point however A lot of times Jewish and Muslim point of views have been presented from original sources Isabella is not bleached from her errors in A Guide to Americas Sex Laws dealing with people of all religions including her own simply shown as a strong leader who sometimes had to be and sometimes chose to be ruthlessThis is a fine example of popular history I was able to retain a lot of names places and events thanks to the method chosen the same facts are sometimes talked about fromifferent positions We are also freuently reminded who are the people talked of at this particular moment by explanations like This is the samewho Great way of keeping a layman intrigued and clued in especially that well known figures Columbus Borgias Toruemadaall the royalties appear alongside multitude of others of whom you may or may not have heard before priests teachers servants advisors etc In short loved it Received from firstreadsThis was probably the most enjoyable biographyhistory book that I ve read in uite a while From the first page it was very even no stretches of boring where you wait to get back to something interesting Suitable for someone with a particular interest in this area also for the reader with a casual interest I would have given it five stars but I felt there was a tendency to gloss over and justify the Spanish Inuisition even going so far as to kind of imply that some people were asking for it That s how it came across to me People generally seem to either love or hate this book but my take isn t firmly in either camp I think that their opinion of the book is wrapped up in their opinion of Isabella herself Was she evil incarnate or sincerely pious and Agewise devout I m still not sure which is mostescriptive but her life was efinitely fascinating I became interested in ueen Isabella after reading The Constant Princess Philippa Gregory showed Isabella as an intense formidable woman through the eyes of her aughter Katherine of Aragon As it turns out she was all that and ueen Isabella was a warrior an astute politico an intellectual an aesthete a A Village with My Name: A Family History of China's Opening to the World devoted mother and a zealous Catholic She was such a complex person that hundreds of years later it is impossible to really know her But Downey has a point of view and it comes through Downey respects Isabella andislikes Ferdinand She basically says that Isabella was responsible for everything good that happened and Ferdinand was largely responsible for everything bad and Downey makes excuses for Isabella s role in the atrocities of the Inuisition I Anthropology as Cultural Critique don t really hold this against Downey too much I believe that writing a biography is often a labor of love Authors come to have affection for the people they write about and it clouds their judgement Downey certainly tries to shield Isabella from much of the responsibility of her crimes against humanityAnother criticism I have is that the book lacked focus It was too long with too manyetails about the indiscretions and personal lives of various Popes Downey probably included it for the. 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 Anyone dying out and the Ottoman Empire was aggressively expanding Isabella was inspired in her youth by tales of Joan of Arc aevout 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 efied.
Salaciousness but it just added too much irrelevant minutia to the plot of Isabella s life Overall I think that Downey id a good job of compiling much of what is known about ueen Isabella in one place From the extensive footnotes I Boggs don t think that sheid a lot of research of primary Battleground Chicago documents but for my tastes she wrote a very interesting biography My acuaintance with Spanish history is incidental mostly from Spain being mentioned in biographies and histories of other counties or Europe in general Author Kirsten Downey helped me to put all the fragments for this short period that I ve gleaned together Now I understand Catherine of Aragon s long wait for her second marriage how Jauna came to be considered mad the actual relationship of the Spanish monarchs to their Borgia pope and much You see the Inuisition and expulsion from the side of the monarchs and how Ferdinand was most likely the active partner with Isabella just not stepping inThe book was best for me in the beginning where it is a chronological biography In this part you come to understand Isahella s family and how she engineered her own marriage and coronation You come to understand that marriage her piety and relations with the church and her reliance on childhood friends You see the how the 700 year Reconuest was completedAt time when Columbus enters the picture the structure of the narrative changes and Columbus the Inuisition the later expulsion the European wars and the marriage ofaughters are presented in separate chapters In these parts with the exception of the marriage and family parts the narratives bog Albert Camus down inetailAnother weakness that there is a lot on conversos Those close to Isabella are noted and there are examples of the fate of many conversos and Jews in the Inuisition and expulsion There is little attention to the Muslims and their fate in the Inuisition and expulsion Moriscos are not mentioned at any point in the book For a good Bitter Choices description of this Blood and Faith The Purging of Muslim SpainThe chapters about after Isabella both for the years immediately following hereath and her influence to our present time is excellent For the immediately after part you learn of the power struggle of Ferdinand and his too soon after brereavement marriage and his son in law and the fate of the some players who played a role in Isabella s life such as the Bobadilla s Columbus and his sons Cesar Borgia and many This book is clearly a labor of love In the end the author tells how she came to be interested in Spanish history and Isabella in particular Finished this book finally Wonderful rich Bill Veecks Crosstown Classic detail about Isabel and the life and times she mastered Isabel is a fascinating if genocidal character On the one hand she was a very powerful ruler in a turbulent kingdom and constantly at waruring her reign In a time and place where women control little she controlled her Kingdom had absolute custody and control of her children plus her husband somewhat kinda sorta worked for her She made When I read European history it s usually English or Church history Between London and Rome the rest of the European continent manages to sneak into the picture uite freuently and to significant extent As a result I have than a passing exposure to the histories of other European countries though my knowledge of Spanish history is rather limited and primarily involves England and France and Napoleon So recently on a trip to Barnes and Noble in an effort to supplement my TBR shelf I ran across this book near the bottom shelf and there was nothing above it that struck my interest My knowledge of ueen Isabella is limited to her relationship with the Columbus and his voyage of Discovery So finding nothing else of interest I bought the book in view spoiler Bettie s Books hide spoiler The book s a comedy of errors and stereotypesIn the first chapter I could see what seemed to be som. A hostile brother and mercurial husband to seize control of Castile and León Her subseuent feats were legendary She ended a twenty four generation struggle between Muslims and Christians forcing Moorish 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 arken Spain's reputation for ce.