Isabella and the Strange Death of Edward II

Front Cover
Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2003 - History - 262 pages
For good reason, the queen in chess inherits its fearsome power on the game board from the reputedly murderous maneuvers of the fourteenth-century Queen Isabella of England, as historian and biographer Paul Doherty shows in his engaging account of a savage chapter in medieval English history. What begins with a peace match—the marriage of the twelve-year-old daughter of France’s Philip IV to the dissolute Edward II in 1308—ends in bloody conflict, a possible regicide, the usurpation of royal power, execution, and exile. In a lively narrative that brings a fresh perspective to the history of Isabella’s catastrophic marriage, Doherty illuminates the people, passions, and politics that prompted the young queen, after thirteen years, to flee the feckless, ineffectual king who had sacrificed the English army to ignominious and unnecessary defeat at Bannockburn and to escape court intrigues and her personal persecution by men like the sinister Hugh Despenser. At Isabella’s command, though, Despenser eventually met a gruesome death, when she returned to England with the exiled Roger Mortimer and a mercenary army that deposed Edward and enthroned the conquering queen in the name of her young son, Edward III.

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User Review  - wealhtheowwylfing - www.librarything.com

Well written history book. Despite the prurient interest we have in Edward II’s life (was his relationship with his favorites sexual? Did Isabella join in? Etc.) and his death (did Isabella actually ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - waltzmn - www.librarything.com

Conspiracy theorists, this book is for you. Start with the facts. King Edward II of England (ascended 1307) had a disastrous reign; he constantly fought with his barons, and he lost his war with ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Mystery writer P. C. Doherty was born in Middlesborough, England. He is probably best known for the series which includes Ghostly Murders, A Tournament of Murders, A Tapestry of Murders, and An Ancient Evil. Other works include The Rose Demon, Satan's Fire, and The Devil's Hunt. Doherty also has published under the pen names of Paul Harding (The Nightingale Gallery) and Michael Clynes (The White Rose Murders).

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