02-02-2007 03:22 PM
Even if you've just started reading the book, do you like Isabella? Why or why not? How far should we apply modern feminist perspectives when studying women of the past?
It could be said that Isabella was a victim rather than a villainess. Would you agree with that view, based on what you've read so far?
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Note: This topic refers to events in the book through Part I. Some readers of this thread may not have finished the book. If you are referring to events that occur later in the book, please use "Spoiler Warning" in the subject line of your post. Thanks!
02-06-2007 07:27 AM
The second shock was the real Edward II. Expecting (because of the movie) an effeminate wimp, I see a big, strong, physically courageous man who fathered a half dozen children and was a devoted and loving father (if obviously no great shakes as a husband and ruler). Of course the fact he reigned for 20 years after the death of his father is a far cry from "your son will not sit long on his throne" whispered maliciously into the dyng Edward I's ear in Braveheart.
Fortunately, as a student of history, I can correct my ignorance. After Braveheart (one of my favorite movies. It may not be great history, but it is a great film.) I went on to read biographies of Edward I, William Wallace, and Robert the Bruce. None were much like their depictions in the film (I am shocked - shocked! - that Hollywood has mangled history in a film.) Now I'm reading about Isabella, and I suppose I'll need to read a good biography of Edward II next. Oh, rats.
02-06-2007 11:52 AM - edited 02-06-2007 11:52 AM
Isabella is an amazing, interesting, and complex person. Imagine a young girl of 12 leaving her country to meet a husband, several years older, and faced with all that was happening at court. Everything that she went through at the hands of her husband and his favorites could have broken her, but instead, she grew stronger and, unfortunately, greedy & too amibitious.
She was both victim and villianess - she started as one and developed into the other.
SPOILER FOR END OF BOOK
She suffered much early on; but then turned the tables. Her relationship with Mortimer, helpful at the beginning, became downright unhealthy. In a way, she became Edward. Mortimer's greed & ambition and Isabella's greed and ambition rivalled those of their predecessors. Their treatment of her son Edward III was inexcusable, and Mortimer got his just desserts. I think though, Isabella got away easy.
Message Edited by LizzieAnn on 02-06-200711:52 AM
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
02-08-2007 11:57 PM
I have to say I am very intrigued by Isabella at this point. I am only about 80 pages into the book so I know I am only just getting to know her but I find myself raising my eyebrows slightly as I read. Isabella seems very contradictory at this point ... I am sure things will change as I move forward in the book, and please bear with my lack of knowledge about Isabella. I know nothing about her story, so I have a feeling my thoughts on her will change as I read more of her story. I am just surprised thus far by somebody who has shown such a great distaste for her husband's "favorite," Priers Gaveston, but yet she most likely came to her husband's aid and support when Gaveston was arrested and (spoiler warning!) executed. Why? This is a woman in her early teens ... what was she hoping to accomplish by protecting Gaveston? Did she have a vindictive and malicious motive? Or was she sincerely trying to help her husband? I am sure these are questions whose answers will come but I am very intrigued thus far.
02-18-2007 09:15 AM
Edward I put Wallace to death. Isabella came to England at the age of twelve and William Wallace was already dead. It amazes me how a girl of twelve became such a great queen.
02-18-2007 12:06 PM