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Queen Isabella and the Unification of Spain
     

Queen Isabella and the Unification of Spain

by Nancy Whitelaw
 
Although Queen Isabella is most famous for funding the voyages of Christopher Columbus, which opened up the Western Hemisphere for European settlement, she and her husband Ferdinand of Aragon focused most of their reign on the daunting task of uniting Spain under one government. Born into the ruling family of Castile, Isabella lost her parents at a young age and was

Overview

Although Queen Isabella is most famous for funding the voyages of Christopher Columbus, which opened up the Western Hemisphere for European settlement, she and her husband Ferdinand of Aragon focused most of their reign on the daunting task of uniting Spain under one government. Born into the ruling family of Castile, Isabella lost her parents at a young age and was raised by her unstable and unpopular half-brother, King Enrique IV. When Enrique, on his deathbed, refused to name an heir, twenty-three-year old Isabella seized the throne. It took Isabella and Ferdinand five years of war to consolidate control in Castile. Next, they turned to the long and bloody process of driving the last of the Moors from Spain and unifying most of the Iberian Peninsula. Their commitment to their faith, and to removing all non-Christians from their kingdom, earned the Catholic Monarchs, as they were called, the support of the Catholic Church, but also led to the infamous Spanish Inquisition and to the violent expulsion of all Muslims and Jews from the kingdom. Queen Isabella and the Unification of Spain introduces readers to this intriguing and controversial ruler, and to this fascinating period in European history.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Although Queen Isabella I of Spain is probably best known as the patroness of Christopher Columbus, Whitelaw's biography consigns this episode in Isabella's life to a single chapter. Instead, the focus of this title is on the efforts of Isabella and her husband Ferdinand to unite Spain under a single monarchy and a single religion. The Inquisition and the persecution of the Jews and the Moors are largely covered neutrally, without evaluation or condemnation of the monarchs' methods. Lacking in the biography is coverage of Isabella's early life, an omission that might make the book less attractive to young readers. Woodenly-written and compiled with little source information and other ancillary materials (including a timeline that is so minimalist as to be virtually useless), this biography's utility as a research source is limited. Also limiting its appeal and function are the illustrations, most of which are too small. Maps, too, are reproduced at a scale so small they are essentially worthless. 2005, Morgan Reynolds, Ages 9 to 13.
—Norah Piehl
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Royalty holds an eternal fascination for many, and queens can be positive role models of powerful women. Unfortunately, these biographies are utterly uninspiring. Wordy, repetitious, and badly written, they are full of errors, omissions, and inconsistencies. Numerous problems with footnoting (citations attributed to the wrong page, wrong title, wrong individual, and wrong occasion, as well as being incorrectly quoted) don't create any confidence in Whitelaw's research techniques. The few maps are small, old-fashioned, and difficult to decipher, and both titles would benefit greatly from genealogical charts. Isabella plunges straight into the reign of her half-brother with no background material, and lacks her birth date and anything about her childhood before age 13. Victoria is unbalanced, with far more information on the British Empire than the queen's life and family.-Ann W. Moore, Schenectady County Public Library, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781931798259
Publisher:
Morgan Reynolds, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/28/2004
Series:
European Queens Series
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
6.22(w) x 9.28(h) x 0.58(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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