Isabella of Castile: Europe’s First Great Queen
People in America really only know her from when we were in elementary school learning about Christopher Columbus sailing the ocean blue. Beyond that, most Americans would be hard pressed to know anything about Queen Isabella of Castile. This new biography by Giles Tremlett hopefully will start to change that. We get an inside look at the chaotic world of Castilian politics in the fifteenth century and at how Isabella had to fight to marry Ferdinand and to save what she felt were her privileges. She overcame men who wanted to dominate her and united Spain into the modern country we know today. Mr. Tremlett makes a convincing argument that she might be the first great European Queen.
This is an excellent biography of a figure who is hardly known, even for history majors. Mr. Tremlett brings Isabella to life and delves into the forces she was working against and how she used one side against the other to get her way. Hopefully, people will read this to further understand how a queen in Europe help set off the scramble for the New World.