The book is much better than my review. I need to read Queen Isabella again and give it the attention it deserves.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Never designate a serious book as bedtime reading if you've also got a Sudoku addiction. I think I've put off reviewing Queen Isabella because I didn't give it the level of attention an Alison Weir biography deserves. Isabella of France, like most medieval princesses, made a political marriage. Unluckily, her husband Edward II was a weak man who had no desire to be king and rejected her for his male lovers. Even worse, he had horrible taste in men, choosing corrupt, social-climbing lovers. Piers Gaveston never really understood court life, and that led to his downfall but the more courtly and manipulative Hugh le Despenser brought England to the brink of civil war. Isabella made a similar mistake, because Roger Mortimer was also manipulative and corrupt, but he was a better tactician than any of Edward's knights. Isabella and Mortimer led the only successful invasion of England, deposed Edward II, and acted as regents to Edward III. Mortimer's greed eventually brought him out of favor and Isabella into disgrace, and she retired from public life and eventually regained some of her reputation - a reputation later ripped apart by early historians.