Perhaps the most enduring example of a Renaissance woman, Queen Isabella drastically altered the landscape of European politics, culture, science, law, and religion. Isabella established the foundations of modern day Spain, overseeing the Reconquista. This wasn’t achieved, however, without the brutal religious persecution of the Inquisition - a less savory hallmark of Isabella’s reign, nevertheless, indicative of her relentless ambition. As Christopher Columbus’ patron, Isabella instigated the age of European exploration, expansion, and empire. Here, distinguished English actor Valentine Palmer provides a fittingly regal voice for Isabella’s biography, while Shirley Dixon and Hugh Morton color the proceedings with lively dramatic reenactments drawn from primary sources. Dixon’s dulcet declamations provide a sonorous canvas for the famous monarch, capturing Isabella’s uncompromising will, diplomatic prowess, and high-minded piety.
Isabella has been called a genius, crusader, patriot - and bigot. She brought law and order, founded universities and libraries, patronised the arts and sciences - while behind her lay the shadow of the dreaded inquisition. Hers was a remarkable life of cruelty tempered by enlightenment.
©1976 Geoffrey Orme (P)1976 Ivan and Inge Berg
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