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{ kindle } Isabella BY Kirstin Downey

Kirstin Downey õ 6 Review

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 darken Spain's reputation for ce. 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 used her religion as a vicious weapon of mass destruction She was virulently and violently Catholic which was unfortunately 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 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 the ueen that sends Columbus on an expedition that claims populated land masses as her own This 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 m unsure how a historian could consider Muslim violence in light of the blood bath that Isabel will unleash 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 uestion 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 of Islam throughout Europe However she seems unconcerned 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 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 t update for some reasonSo Isabella has married Ferdinand become ueen 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 ueen 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

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Isabella

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 brought under her comma. 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 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 description 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

Free read ¶ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB õ Kirstin Downey

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 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. 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 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 recount later exactly what happened because the Portuguese and Castilian accounts differedthe Castilians seized the battle flag the royal standard of Portugal despite the valiant efforts of a Portuguese soldier Duarte de Almeida to retain it Almeida had been holding the flag aloft in his right arm which was slashed from his body and so he transferred the pendant to his other arm and kept fighting Then his other arm was cut off and he held the flag in his teeth until he finally succumbed to deathCount Dracula Mehmed the Conuerer was determined to expand the Ottoman Empire and conuered Constantinople in 1453 Mehmed renamed the city Istanbul and swore to take Rome within two years He didn t but he managed to take Athens and Corinth and Serbia In 1462 as Mehmed was attempting to subdue the geographical region of Romania then called Wallachia Mehmed came up against his father s former hostage Vlad who had been beaten and abused in the Turkish court and then sent back to Wallachia to rule Vlad fought Mehmed ferociously earning himself the name of Vlad the Impaler the prototype for the character that came to be known as Count Dracula He is estimated to have killed tens of thousands of people partly in efforts to repel the Turks He was finally assassinated The game of chess Chess was enormously popular in Spain during Isabella s ruleand soon after the battle of Almeria during the Reconuest the ueen became the single most powerful piece on the chessboard able to move great distances in all directions her mission is to protect and defend the key piece on the board the King Some versions of chess had had a ueen figure before Isabella s birth but it was at this time that the fame originally invented in India underwent a complete metamorphosis and the ueen became a dominant figure The changes in the game were chronicled in a popular book on the new rules of chess published in Salamanca about 1496 written by Ramirez de Lucena He described the game now as ueen s chess and her new powers allowed her to advance as far as she liked as long as her path was clear ueen Isabella had memorialized herself as a powerful player in the game of war1492 was the year that Americans have enshrined as the year Columbus discovered North America But in Spain it is the year that Isabella and Ferdinand finally took back Granada after the fighting of many years from the Muslim Nasrid dynasty The victory over Granada won acclaim for Isabella and Ferdinand throughout Europe because it was the first significant triumph against Islam in hundreds of years and to many Europeans it was partial payback for the loss of Constantinople Crist bal Col n was at Granada when the city finally fell to the Christians to petition the ueenbut court scholars once again rejected Columbus s proposal as unsound Shortly after that unsuccessful meeting of Columbus with the ueen in Granada however the ueen sent a messenger after Columbus reaching him about ten miles outside of Granada The trip was approved Three well known mariners the Pinzon brothers agreed to sign on in leadership positions Juan de la Costa brought his own ship Santa Maria They left August 3 1492 and sighted land in the Caribbean on October 12 1492Crist bal Col n Christopher Columbus was a dreamer with a streak of madness He wrote in cipher signed his name in and indecipherable combination of letters and images He heard voices in the air and spent many hours writing feverishly in the margins of books developing his theories although Columbus showed himself to be an excellent mariner he was also exposed as a terrible administrator and a man of poor judgementhe faced an almost constant seuences of mutinies among his crewColumbus s ferocity in dealing with the Indians was a direct contradiction of his orders from ueen Isabella about how to interact with themColumbus was viewed with a measure of contemptColumbus had become very unpopularat court and it was getting difficult for others to stand up for himHe compounded his own problems by denying what was patently obvious He had promised the sovereigns that he would find a path to the Orient He had stumbled on something large and important but it was not the Indies Syphilis It is thought Columbus s returning ship brought the disease to Europe in 1493The Inuisition initially began as an attempt to ferret out insincere Christians and to correct them Those deemed unrepentant were burned at the stake the traditional penalty for heresy The thing was Spain was filled with Muslims and Jews as a result of previous conuests Many declared themselves to be Christians to get along but retained their old customs and methods of worship The governing principle of an Inuisition is that failing to conform to religious and political norms is treason In Isabella s age church and state were one religious authority and secular power were intermingledHistorians once believed that immense numbers of people were burned at the stake but recent scholarship has cast doubt on those assertionsThere is no uestions that during Isabella s reign hundreds of people were put to the flame probably at least 1000 Isabella chose a religious zealot Cisneros as archbishop of Toledo the most important and powerful cleric in Spain With this she put her kingdom on a less tolerant and religious path leading to excesses in the Inuisition Cesare Borgia Isabella was a devout Catholic and was pleased when Rodrigo Borgia ascended to the papacy in August 1492 the second time a Spaniard managed to do so However Borgia who had taken the name of the Greek conuerer Alexander IV proved himself a corrupt and promiscuous pontiff fathering a vast number of beautiful and intelligent children whom he suired to important ranks in society Cesare the cynical man whom Machiavelli called a political genius was one of theseBonfire of the Vanities took place in Florence Italy during Lent in 1497 and 1498 when an Italian preacher determined to rid the Catholic church of corruption convinced crowds to burn objects that represented human vices and unnecessary luxury Items thrown into the bonfire included rich clothing mirrors playing cards and paintings of books some of which represented pornography but others of which were great works that represented the celebration of sensuality at the heart of the Italian Renaissance Vasco de Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope in 1498 and returned to Portugal with Indian and Asian spices just about the time Isabella s daughter Maria married Manuel King of Portugal ueen Isabella was at the end of her reign but now that her daughter was ueen of Portugal together they ruled over much of the world and wealth poured into their countries Isabella had always been a patron of the arts commissioning paintings to mark major victories or family events Catherine of Aragon was Isabella s fourth daughter She was wed to Britain s Prince of Wales Arthur but it is uncertain whether or not the marriage was consummated before Arthur died of the plague in 1502 It was suggested that she marry Arthur s brother Henry instead of returning to Spain but in order to do so Isabella needed a papal dispensation from the Pope she had begun to hate for his excesses Pope Alexander IV Rodrigo Borgia King Ferdinand therefore drafted the reuest and after two years the dispensation returned from Italy and was subseuently sent to EnglandWhen Isabella died in 1504 even her enemies in other countries recognized her as one of the wisest and most honourable persons in the world In the prosaic way we might recognize today her son dumped her vast collection of jewels and worldly goods selling them far below market value so that they were resold later at far higher prices Her priceless collection of paintings was salvaged in part by a daughter in law Margaret who bought many of the paintings of Christ s life which were kept as a set Today most of them remain in Madrid s Royal Palace the rest are part of the treasured collections of major art museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washington I am not a historian The problem I had with this as a work of popular history is that Downey seemed to swoop and swerve stall and reverse to include every detail that she d encountered in her researches The result is a spectacularly detailed if sometimes mind numbing parade of personalities The back and forth nature of writing history I found disconcerting though it is surely the most logical way to go about telling such a large personal story We certainly see the scope and importance of Isabella s rule I read the paper copy and listened to the audio version published by Random House and narrated by Kimberly Farr Both Downey and Farr did a herculean job Fantasies of Cross-Dressing 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 who Commanders Little Surprise 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. This massive The Holy Roman Empire, 1495-1806 undertaking by Kristin Downey gives context to the fifty three years of Come Hell or High Water ueen 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 recount later exactly what happened because the Portuguese and Castilian accounts differedthe Castilians seized the battle flag the royal standard of Portugal despite the valiant efforts of a Portuguese soldier Duarte de Almeida to retain it Almeida had been holding the flag aloft in his right arm which was slashed from his body and so he transferred the pendant to his other arm and kept fighting Then his other arm was cut off and he held the flag in his teeth Selim III, Social Control and Policing in Istanbul at the End of the Eighteenth Century until he finally succumbed to deathCount Dracula Mehmed the Conuerer was determined to expand the Ottoman Empire and conuered Constantinople in 1453 Mehmed renamed the city Istanbul and swore to take Rome within two years He didn t but he managed to take Athens and Corinth and Serbia In 1462 as Mehmed was attempting to subdue the geographical region of Romania then called Wallachia Mehmed came Propaganda Performed up against his father s former hostage Vlad who had been beaten and abused in the Turkish court and then sent back to Wallachia to rule Vlad fought Mehmed ferociously earning himself the name of Vlad the Impaler the prototype for the character that came to be known as Count Dracula He is estimated to have killed tens of thousands of people partly in efforts to repel the Turks He was finally assassinated The game of chess Chess was enormously popular in Spain during Isabella s ruleand soon after the battle of Almeria during the Reconuest the Hinterlands and Commodities ueen became the single most powerful piece on the chessboard able to move great distances in all directions her mission is to protect and defend the key piece on the board the King Some versions of chess had had a Untold Secrets of Planet Earth ueen figure before Isabella s birth but it was at this time that the fame originally invented in India Apocalyptic Cartography underwent a complete metamorphosis and the Doubts on Avicenna ueen became a dominant figure The changes in the game were chronicled in a popular book on the new rules of chess published in Salamanca about 1496 written by Ramirez de Lucena He described the game now as Uninvited ueen s chess and her new powers allowed her to advance as far as she liked as long as her path was clear CaddyGirls ueen Isabella had memorialized herself as a powerful player in the game of war1492 was the year that Americans have enshrined as the year Columbus discovered North America But in Spain it is the year that Isabella and Ferdinand finally took back Granada after the fighting of many years from the Muslim Nasrid dynasty The victory over Granada won acclaim for Isabella and Ferdinand throughout Europe because it was the first significant triumph against Islam in hundreds of years and to many Europeans it was partial payback for the loss of Constantinople Crist bal Col n was at Granada when the city finally fell to the Christians to petition the Chris (Ties of Passion, ueenbut court scholars once again rejected Columbus s proposal as The Matchmakers Apprentice unsound Shortly after that The Saint Peters Plot unsuccessful meeting of Columbus with the Dangerous Waters (Cold Case Files ueen in Granada however the The Other Mrs. Kennedy ueen sent a messenger after Columbus reaching him about ten miles outside of Granada The trip was approved Three well known mariners the Pinzon brothers agreed to sign on in leadership positions Juan de la Costa brought his own ship Santa Maria They left August 3 1492 and sighted land in the Caribbean on October 12 1492Crist bal Col n Christopher Columbus was a dreamer with a streak of madness He wrote in cipher signed his name in and indecipherable combination of letters and images He heard voices in the air and spent many hours writing feverishly in the margins of books developing his theories although Columbus showed himself to be an excellent mariner he was also exposed as a terrible administrator and a man of poor judgementhe faced an almost constant seuences of mutinies among his crewColumbus s ferocity in dealing with the Indians was a direct contradiction of his orders from Double Deception (Code Name: Danger ueen Isabella about how to interact with themColumbus was viewed with a measure of contemptColumbus had become very The Pastor Takes a Wife unpopularat court and it was getting difficult for others to stand A Passionate Proposition up for himHe compounded his own problems by denying what was patently obvious He had promised the sovereigns that he would find a path to the Orient He had stumbled on something large and important but it was not the Indies Syphilis It is thought Columbus s returning ship brought the disease to Europe in 1493The Inuisition initially began as an attempt to ferret out insincere Christians and to correct them Those deemed The Calamity Janes unrepentant were burned at the stake the traditional penalty for heresy The thing was Spain was filled with Muslims and Jews as a result of previous conuests Many declared themselves to be Christians to get along but retained their old customs and methods of worship The governing principle of an Inuisition is that failing to conform to religious and political norms is treason In Isabella s age church and state were one religious authority and secular power were intermingledHistorians once believed that immense numbers of people were burned at the stake but recent scholarship has cast doubt on those assertionsThere is no Internal Affairs / Protector of One uestions that during Isabella s reign hundreds of people were put to the flame probably at least 1000 Isabella chose a religious zealot Cisneros as archbishop of Toledo the most important and powerful cleric in Spain With this she put her kingdom on a less tolerant and religious path leading to excesses in the Inuisition Cesare Borgia Isabella was a devout Catholic and was pleased when Rodrigo Borgia ascended to the papacy in August 1492 the second time a Spaniard managed to do so However Borgia who had taken the name of the Greek conuerer Alexander IV proved himself a corrupt and promiscuous pontiff fathering a vast number of beautiful and intelligent children whom he suired to important ranks in society Cesare the cynical man whom Machiavelli called a political genius was one of theseBonfire of the Vanities took place in Florence Italy during Lent in 1497 and 1498 when an Italian preacher determined to rid the Catholic church of corruption convinced crowds to burn objects that represented human vices and Fallen Angel unnecessary luxury Items thrown into the bonfire included rich clothing mirrors playing cards and paintings of books some of which represented pornography but others of which were great works that represented the celebration of sensuality at the heart of the Italian Renaissance Vasco de Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope in 1498 and returned to Portugal with Indian and Asian spices just about the time Isabella s daughter Maria married Manuel King of Portugal The Honor-Bound Gambler ueen Isabella was at the end of her reign but now that her daughter was Duister kwaad (Maggie ODell ueen of Portugal together they ruled over much of the world and wealth poured into their countries Isabella had always been a patron of the arts commissioning paintings to mark major victories or family events Catherine of Aragon was Isabella s fourth daughter She was wed to Britain s Prince of Wales Arthur but it is A Matter of Chance uncertain whether or not the marriage was consummated before Arthur died of the plague in 1502 It was suggested that she marry Arthur s brother Henry instead of returning to Spain but in order to do so Isabella needed a papal dispensation from the Pope she had begun to hate for his excesses Pope Alexander IV Rodrigo Borgia King Ferdinand therefore drafted the reuest and after two years the dispensation returned from Italy and was subseuently sent to EnglandWhen Isabella died in 1504 even her enemies in other countries recognized her as one of the wisest and most honourable persons in the world In the prosaic way we might recognize today her son dumped her vast collection of jewels and worldly goods selling them far below market value so that they were resold later at far higher prices Her priceless collection of paintings was salvaged in part by a daughter in law Margaret who bought many of the paintings of Christ s life which were kept as a set Today most of them remain in Madrid s Royal Palace the rest are part of the treasured collections of major art museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washington I am not a historian The problem I had with this as a work of popular history is that Downey seemed to swoop and swerve stall and reverse to include every detail that she d encountered in her researches The result is a spectacularly detailed if sometimes mind numbing parade of personalities The back and forth nature of writing history I found disconcerting though it is surely the most logical way to go about telling such a large personal story We certainly see the scope and importance of Isabella s rule I read the paper copy and listened to the audio version published by Random House and narrated by Kimberly Farr Both Downey and Farr did a herculean job


10 thoughts on “Isabella

  1. says:

    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

  2. says:

    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 of in our lives but never knew where to find the refer

  3. says:

    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 under several different dynasties some Arab some Berber as Muslim rule in general isn't what it has been cracked up to be as i

  4. says:

    view spoiler Bettie's Books hide spoiler

  5. says:

    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 tr

  6. says:

    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

  7. says:

    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 p

  8. says:

    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 devout? I’m still not sure which is most descriptive but her life was definitely fascinating I be

  9. says:

    Received from firstreadsThis was probably the most enjoyable biographyhistory book that I've read in uite a while

  10. says:

    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

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