Isabella of Castile by Nancy Rubin
The First Renaissance Queen

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Synopsis

Originally published in 1991 as a Book of the Month Club Featured dividend and awarded the Best Nonfiction Book by the American Society of Journalists and Authors, this authoritatively researched portrait of Queen Isabella brings to life one of the most fascinating figures in European history -- a woman who was passionate lover to Ferdinand of Aragon, conquered the Moors (Muslims) of Spain,funded Columbus on his famous journey, brought the Renaissance to Spain and was hated for introducing the Spanish Inquisition. Like many modern career women, Isabella was torn between her workaday obligations, her marriage and child-rearing. Which was she -- a visionary, a saint or a she-devil? Read "Isabella of Castile" and decide for yourself.

A fascinating portrait of Spain's most powerful queen who united Castile and Aragon, brought Renaissance artists and musicians to Spain, sponsored Columbus on his famous journey to the New World, conquered the Moors, expelled the Jews, and initiated the Spanish Inquisition.

Who then, was the real Isabella?

Was she, as some people still believe, an unrecognized saint who deserved beatification because of her charitable acts to her subjects, her special concern for widows and orphans, and insistence upon cleansing the Church of corruption?

Or was she a heartless bigot -- a religious fanatic who forced conversions of Spanish Moors and Jews to Christianity on pain of death through the instruments of the Spanish Inquisition?

Was she, as history suggests, a brilliant woman -- the only European monarch who understood the implications of a successful transatlantic crossing -- and consequently sponsored Christopher Columbus's famous journey across the Ocean Seas to the New World.

Who then, was the flesh-and-blood Isabella? As her dramatic biography reveals, the Queen was a very human blend of these three historical images.

Isabella of Castile describes the complex social and psychological forces that drove the queen to become one of history's most famous and quixotic monarchs, a monumental figure who is alternately revered and despised to this very day.

About the Author:
Nancy Rubin Stuart is an award-winning author and journalist who specializes in women, biography and social history.

Nancy graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. in English and an M.A.T. from Brown University. In 1995, Mount Vernon College, now part of Georgetown University, awarded her an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters.
 

About Nancy Rubin

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NANCY RUBIN STUART is an award-winning author, journalist, and producer who specializes in women and social history. She also serves as one of the directors of the Women Writing Women's Lives Seminar at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She lives in New York City.
 
Published June 14, 2011 by St Martins Pr. 480 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Biographies & Memoirs, War. Non-fiction

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 In this scholarly, limpidly written work, Rubin (The Mother Mirror, 1984; The New Suburban Woman, 1982) recounts the story of Spain's greatest queen and the impact of her reign on her country and the world.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Isabella of Castile: The Firs...

Publishers Weekly

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Isabella (1441-1504) was a master strategist, seizing the crown of Castile and, with husband Ferdinand of Aragon, ruling both her kingdom and his and winning a virtually nonstop succession of wars to

Jul 29 1991 | Read Full Review of Isabella of Castile: The Firs...

Publishers Weekly

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Isabella (1441-1504) was a master strategist, seizing the crown of Castile and, with husband Ferdinand of Aragon, ruling both her kingdom and his and winning a virtually nonstop succession of wars to

Jul 29 1991 | Read Full Review of Isabella of Castile: The Firs...

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