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At Isabel will nleash over 2 continents considerably larger than all of Europe Clearly this author does not consider the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas as important as the European Catholic peoples living on part of the Iberian PeninsulaHm could it be that this author has a problem valuing people who have brown and black skin Or who don t practice Catholicism Christianity She refers to the Kingdoms of Castile and Aragon by name but refers to the Moors of Grenada as the generic Muslims So Castile is at war with The Muslims vs Castile is at war with Grenada or the Emirate or whatever It s offensive and dismissive and calls into estion the authenticity of the other facts given The author shares in the Afterward that her theory is that Isabel protects Europe From The Muslims And The Expansion from the Muslims and the expansion Islam throughout Europe However she seems nconcerned about Isabel doing that very same thing to continents full of millions of peopleThe theory screams Islamophobic and explains much of why this book rubs me the wrong way TLDR The author s bias is so blatant it makes me Descent into Chaos uncomfortable gleaning any true facts from this biography It s a shame as this is very readable and interestingUpdates while reading as my app was glitchingStill reading I m about 30% done I couldn tpdate for some reasonSo Isabella has married Ferdinand become een of Castile won the war of succession against Portugal and is setting about restoring orderI am enjoying this book but the authors clear bias is difficult to ignore I also am deeply impressed by Isabella s ability to maintain absolute control in Castile It s impressive how she is able to keep Ferdinand both from power and still married to her It s really too bad she turns into such a rampant racist and human rights violator She had such promiseBelow was in response to a comment that was later erasedI am not a European and so I will not be reviewing this book from that standpoint If that causes you to clutch your pearls in shock I advise you not to continue to read my review of this book een Isabella is a horrible human rights violator the first in history on such a global scale I have little that is nice to say about her Or the author of this biased biography view spoiler Bettie s Books hide spoiler This massive The Icarus Girl undertaking by Kristin Downey gives context to the fifty three years ofeen Isabella s life and shares origin stories of people or events we may have heard bits of in our lives but never knew where to find the referencesMonty Python The Monty Python skit of the soldier who first loses a leg then an arm then another armyou know itwas based on the struggles of Portuguese soldier Duarte de Almeida to keep the Portuguese flag flying in the Battle of Toro against Ferdinand and Isabella who were thought to be illegally seizing the throne in Castile It was difficult to be illegally seizing the throne in Castile It was difficult recount later exactly what happened because the Portuguese and Castilian accounts differedthe Castilians seized the battle flag the royal Received from firstreadsThis was probably the most enjoyable biographyhistory book that I ve read in ite 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
felt there was a tendency 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 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 nderstand 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 nderstand Isahella s family and how she engineered her own marriage and coronation You come to nderstand 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 of daughters are presented in separate chapters In these parts with the exception of the marriage and family parts the narratives bog down in detailAnother 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 descripti. 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 nified 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 darken Spain's reputation for ce. Truly enjoyable and highly educating at the very least I suspect it Be A Little be a 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 doesn t tip over I cannot tell for sure how much this account of Isabella s life 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 the discussion around controversial issues that the author tries to present and defend her point of viewThere have been some accusations that the book is also biased in matters of religions I don 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 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 from different 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 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 p in their opinion of Isabella herself Was she evil incarnate or sincerely pious and devout I m still not sure which is most descriptive but her life was definitely fascinating I became interested in een Isabella after reading The Constant Princess Philippa Gregory showed Isabella as an intense formidable woman through the eyes of her daughter Katherine of Aragon As it turns out she was all that and een Isabella was a warrior an astute politico an intellectual an aesthete a 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 and dislikes Ferdinand She basically says that Isabella Finished this book finally Wonderful rich 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 war during 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 the real decisions for her Kingdom and managed to keep her eually yoked husband This is indeed a delicate and intricate dance At the same time she Programming in Objective C used her religion as a vicious weapon of mass destruction She was virulently and violently Catholic which wasnfortunately fatal for too many of her subjects She is Islamophobic Antisemtic both of which are common feelings for her time religion and place She totally steals the thrown from her niece and her brother s rightful heir When family steals the crown they often say the heir is illegitimate or not the king s etc She steals from her subjects in cringeworthy ways Mostly from her subjects who are already marginalized This book doesn t mention the Romani peoples but it s my Beyond Band of Brothers understanding she both evicted them with the Jewish and Moorish Peoples and persecuted those that converted to Catholicism who stayed in Spsin during the InuisitionIn addition this is theeen that sends Columbus on an expedition that claims populated land masses as her own This The Water Of Life ultimately standardizes normalizes and adds the Catholic Church s blessing to a pattern of thinking that results in the horrors of colonialism theft genocide chattel slavery This impacts multiple continents and at the least hundreds probably thousands of nations countries confederates kingdoms empires democracies etc Millions of people die or are displacedYet the author spends much time excusing Isabel s choices and behaviors while demonizing the Moors of Grenada The author opens the book with the no doubt true but extremely detailed info about The Emirate conuering Granada For comparison she talks about other European conuerors who no doubt employed many of the exact methods but she glosses over it with no violence at all It s cringeworthyEspecially given the level of violence that Spain will enact in the Americas for centuries She makes colonialism s crimes seem like misunderstandings taken advantage of by a few bad apples I mnsure how a historian could consider Muslim violence in light of the blood bath th. An engrossing and revolutionary biography of Isabella of Castile the controversial The Year of Living Biblically 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 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 whonified her people and led them to victory against foreign invaders In 1474 when most women were almost powerless twenty three year old Isabella defied. On of this Blood and Faith The Purging of Muslim SpainThe chapters about after Isabella both for the years immediately following her death 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 When I read European history it s sually English or Church history Between London and Rome the rest of the European continent manages to sneak into the picture ite freuently and to significant extent As a result I have than sneak into the picture ite freuently and to significant extent As a result I have than 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 een 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 hopes of filling a knowledge voidOne thing about English history that is very annoying is the fact that the nobility in that country seemed to have a lack of imagination when it came to naming their sons In most of English history the male participants For the Love of All Thats Holy, Dont Buy a Boat When Venus is in Retrograde use only about a half dozen first names These men are primarily Edwards Henrys Williams Richards Johns Harold or Arthur and that s about it Conseuently they seem never to refer to themselves by their names but by their titles and that is the only way to keep track of who is who Now let s start our introduction to Spanish history and what do I find but that the Spanish have their own little naming tradition to make their history incomprehensible In Spain at the time of Isabella Spanish nobility preferred to name their children after their parents Of course the parents had been named after their parents and so on Isabella s mother was named Isabella and so was her grandmother When Isabella had a daughter what else was she going to be named but Isabella There were also some Juans Juanas Joaos etc just to keep the reader on hisher toes Maddening but not impossible to follow if you read slow and carefully So my limited gripe is out of the way so how was the bookite good actuallyTo begin with I picked Scary Stories 3 up an interesting bit of trivia from reading this history concerning the game of chess Chess was certainly in existence long before Isabella However around 1495 the rules were rewritten and a new version of the game calledeen s Chess came into being This is the game we are all familiar with in which the Ueen Is Dominant Piece On is dominant piece on board and whose duty is to protect the king This new version of chess is attributed to the reign of Isabella and after reading this book I don t know why Isabella wasted her time on Ferdinand let alone protected him After Isabella died the king displayed his true colors much to the displeasure of the Spanish nobility and people Aside from learning this little gem about chess there is a great deal to be learned from this biography about Isabella Ferdinand the Inuisition the discovery of the New World and the conseuences of the discovery of course Columbus is featured as is Pope Alexander VI and Isabella and Spain s influence on the world at that time and in the present is ite remarkable and to think she accomplished what she did in a time when women were generally regarded as little better than children or incompetents is astonishing Isabella would certainly seem to be the precursor to Elizabeth I Catherine the Great and Victoria and seem to be the precursor to Elizabeth I Catherine the Great and Victoria and so This was definitely a biography worth reading The book s a comedy of errors and stereotypesIn the first chapter I could see what seemed to be some definite Christianist bias and bad type revisionist history Downey lumps nearly 800 years of Muslim rule in Spain nder several different dynasties some Arab some Berber as Muslim rule in general isn t what it has been cracked The Bartender 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 Since I kneween 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 Tono Bungay underestimation because Isabella The Warrioreen turned out to be a treasure trove of fascinating information and stories About Columbus the book has 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 Magical Sweet Mermaid unfamiliar to me and after reading about Catherine of. Nturies Whether saintly or satanic no female leader has done 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 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 broughtnder her comma.