Isabella of Castile

  • by Giles Tremlett
  • Narrated by Karen Cass
  • 19 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1474, a 23-year-old woman ascended the throne of Castile, the largest and strongest kingdom in Spain. Ahead of her lay the considerable challenge not only of being a young female ruler in an overwhelmingly male-dominated world but also of reforming a major European kingdom that was riddled with crime, corruption, and violent political factionism. Her marriage to Ferdinand of Aragon was crucial to her success, bringing together as it did two kingdoms, but it was a royal partnership in which Isabella more than held her own. Her pivotal reign was long and transformative, uniting Spain and setting the stage for its golden era of global dominance. For by the time of her death in 1504, Isabella had laid the foundations not just of modern Spain but of one of the world's greatest empires.
Acclaimed historian Giles Tremlett chronicles the life of Isabella of Castile as she led her country out of the murky middle ages and harnessed the newest ideas and tools of the early Renaissance to turn her ill-disciplined, quarrelsome nation into a sharper, modern state with a powerful, clear-minded, and ambitious monarch at its centre. With authority, insight and flair, he relates the story of this legendary, if controversial, first initiate in a small club of great European queens that includes Elizabeth I of England, Russia's Catherine the Great, and Britain's Queen Victoria.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great book, very good narration!

History made interesting. I love the way the book is written and hope there is another book to come soon from this fantastic author.
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- Mark

Blood curdling horror

What did you like best about Isabella of Castile? What did you like least?

I enjoyed the historic value of this book. I did not enjoy the seemingly extended section on Christopher Columbus and the author's attempts to make Isabella of Castile a sympathetic character.


Would you recommend Isabella of Castile to your friends? Why or why not?

No. The ethnic cleansing, slavery and the Spanish Inquisition would turn most stomach's


What about Karen Cass’s performance did you like?

Very clearly spoken. She did not hiss her s's or make audible gasps when inhaling. Those sounds can ruin an audible book.


Could you see Isabella of Castile being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

The extreme violence would have to be turned down a great deal and thereby not giving a true portrait of this woman.


Any additional comments?

I didn't read all the blurb for this audio book and wish I had done so now. This book is blood curdling in its horror against tens of thousands of people.

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- Debbie Rowe

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-02-2017
  • Publisher: Audible Studios for Bloomsbury