Isabella of Spain was a great woman, a great Queen. Crown of Aloes is presented as a personal chronicle.
Within the framework of known fact and detail drawn from hitherto unexploited contemporary Spanish sources, a novelist’s imagination and understanding have provided motives, thoughts, and private conversations, helping to build up the fascinating character Isabella must have been.
Her fortunes were varied indeed: she knew acute poverty, faced anxiety and danger with high courage, gave much, suffered much, lived to the full. At the end she was mainly aware of her failures. It was left to others to realise how spectacular her successes had been.
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Really enjoyable listen
A fascinating listen
Early on in Isabels life where she feels fear for the first time, also Juanna and the parrot.
She has a lovely voice to listen to and doesn't waste time with many accents but does put emphasis where it should be.
My one problem with this book was the fact that as historical fiction I expect at the end of the book a section on what was real and what was made up and why the author said such and such, this book had no such section, leaving me with lots of information on Isabel but no idea what of it is true. I found that very disappointing.