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Isabella: the she-wolf of France


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#1 kingmaker

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Posted 02 November 2005 - 08:04 AM

Has anyody read this book yet? I've heard some grumbling on other forums about her conclusions concerning Edward II. Is it any good?
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#2 KristoCat

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Posted 02 November 2005 - 07:40 PM

I'm trying to find your book on Amazon, Kingmaker, and I'm not sure which book you mean. Do you mean The She-Wolf of France by Maurice Druon, or Isabella and the Strange Death of Edward II by P.C. Doherty? Or is the book you're talking about something different entirely?
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#3 Adso de Fimnu

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Posted 02 November 2005 - 07:44 PM

The She-Wolf of France by Maurice Druon

I hate to put words in somebody else's mouth, but I think it's that one; I've heard it's an interesting read. Fascinating historical character, she was. And her husband, well... he was certainly unusual for his day...
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#4 Frederick

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Posted 02 November 2005 - 09:16 PM

And her husband, well... he was certainly unusual for his day...



What?! Whats wrong with a medieval monarch that wants to be a farmer?
:)

#5 hobilar

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Posted 03 November 2005 - 12:55 AM

What?! Whats wrong with a medieval monarch that wants to be a farmer?
:)


The Prince of Wales is not a Monarch YET
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#6 Frederick

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Posted 03 November 2005 - 07:49 AM

The Prince of Wales is not a Monarch YET
:)



:madviking: :) :) :) :)

#7 kingmaker

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Posted 03 November 2005 - 09:13 AM

No the English title is Isabella: the she-wolf of france ( by alison weir). I think the title might be just 'Isabella' in America (not certain it's come out there yet though). The book by Maurice Druon is something different: historical fiction, very good but still fiction (I read it in the french original). It's about the 5th book in a series of 6 so I don't recommend getting it. First book is 'the iron king'.
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#8 KristoCat

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Posted 03 November 2005 - 03:23 PM

Gotcha. Looks like the American title is Queen Isabella : Treachery, Adultery, and Murder in Medieval England. Here's a review from Publisher's Weekly if anyone is interested:

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Isabella of France (1295?–1358) married the bisexual Edward II of England as a 12-year-old, lived with him for 17 years, bore him four children, fled to France in fear of his powerful favorite, returned with her lover, Roger Mortimer, to lead a rebellion and place her son on the throne and eventually saw Mortimer executed as her son asserted his power. Veteran biographer Weir (Eleanor of Aquitaine, etc.) battles Isabella's near-contemporaries and later storytellers and historians for control of the narrative, successfully rescuing the queen from writers all too willing to imagine the worst of a medieval woman who dared pursue power. Weir makes great use of inventories to recreate Isabella's activities and surroundings and, strikingly, to establish the timing of the queen's turn against her husband and her probable ignorance of the plot to kill him. Weir convincingly argues that the infamous story of Edward II being murdered with a red-hot iron emerged from propaganda against Isabella and Mortimer. (Her unlikely assertion that Edward escaped and lived out his life as a hermit is less believable.) Weir presents a fascinating rewriting of a controversial life that should supersede all previous accounts. Isabella is so intertwined with the greatest figures of her century and the next that any reader of English history will want this book.


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#9 Frederick

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Posted 03 November 2005 - 09:43 PM

I've heard of this book and will likely pick it up, _however,_ I'm challenged by the premise of this book. Not that I'm not interested in a well thought out argument for the rehabilitation of Isabelle, but rather I find it problematic when an author seems to begin with the aim of rehabilitating a persona from history, then builds a case from that supposition. (The notion that Edward lived his life out as a hermit makes me doubly suspicious).


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#10 Alianore

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 11:46 AM

I've read the Weir biography quite recently, and *mostly* enjoyed it - lots of nice details I'd never heard before. Like Frederick, however, I'm extremely dubious about the 'Edward II survived and became a hermit' story. It just seems to me like an attempt to get Isabella off the hook of regicide and 'husband-cide'!?? (Can't remember the correct word!) I seem to remember Weir did much the same thing with Mary Queen of Scots - all Bothwell's fault, apparently. I was delighted to see a full-length biography of Isabella, at all events, but it's just a bit over-indulgent, IMHO. Common fault of biographies, I suppose!
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