31 Responses to “Isabella of France”

  1. StonedHoney

    Loved it, thank you~

  2. Cindy Zelmore

    I was just trying to research her today at work for a project on Medieval England! I found so many conflicting accounts of what happened to her – thank you so much! This will help me sift through sources immensely!

  3. Eoraptor

    Interesting how one grand woman can beget others like this…

  4. D.S. Ryelle

    Now I wonder who I guessed, because I thought I guessed her…(Hey brain…what’s in there right now? xD )

  5. D.S. Ryelle

    P.S.: Allison’s book is on my reading list! Somewhere…

    (Read: it’s in my tablet’s storage. I’m just in the middle of something else right now, as my last “royal read” was the latest Pippa Gregory.)

  6. Dee

    Too bad you couldn’t get into the Tour de Nesle Affair, where she started a chain of events that revealed 2 of her sisters-in-law were cheating on their princely husbands, and the 3rd apparently was helping cover it up. But that had nothing to do with England or Edward.

  7. archersangel

    i’ve read queen isabella: treachery, adultery, and murder in medieval england by allison weir. i recommend it.

  8. Deb Salisbury

    Fascinating! Another great entry!

  9. Jeanette Wu

    This was yet another excellent entry. Isabella of France is one of those awesome women of history who, because she was a woman, attracted criticism instead of praise. At least she was more successful than the tragic Margaret of Anjou, who lost husband, son, and kingdom. Medieval women are more awesome than people give them credit for. (Not just the nobles, but the peasant women who worked hard, did business, and bought land)

  10. Jeanette Wu

    http://midgleywebpages.com/edward2.html Oh, and while looking over Plantagenet kings, I discovered this website that collects quite a few contemporary depictions of Isabella. Her tomb is gone, unlike the tomb of her husband Edward II, but her face (along with that of her husband) has been used as decoration in a few of the churches that they patronized. Honestly, it’s a little sad to compare her face at fifteen, with bright eyes and a wide mouth that should have been full of laughter, with the misfortunes of her marriage.

  11. Gjertrud Fludal

    In footnote 27, I think the first “Edward III” is supposed to say “Edward II”?

  12. Jason Porath

    Fixed! Thank you, sorry about that.

  13. Anon

    I find it strange how you mentioned that she was buried in her wedding cloak, but didn’t mention that she was also buried with Edward’s heart.

  14. Jason Porath

    My understanding, from the book I read, was that this was not an uncommon practice for the time, and putting it in without a side discussion as to the practice would have given the wrong impression to modern readers as to its import. Given that the wedding cloak hit the same emotional beat, storytelling-wise, I let it stand in for her lingering feelings towards him. But you’re right, I should have included it in the footnotes – adding now. Thank you!

  15. Hugsie Muffinball

    IMO, the best measure of an actress nowadays is how well they can curse up a storm as Margaret and Lady Anne.

    And as a history geek, I’m quite fond of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Bertha Broadfoot.

    And Caterina Sforza, but that goes without saying. (though that was well-into the Renaissance)

  16. Jackal

    Fuck yeah Eleanor of Aquitaine.

  17. Jackal

    I used to feel a bit sorry for poor gay Edward II, but you treat your wife that bad, you’ve gotta expect something like this.

  18. Jason Porath

    There’s definitely some opposing views I have sitting in my inbox that are well-researched – I will probably issue an update here once I get some time, but literally every second of my day is booked for the next couple weeks.

  19. Jackal

    Well, it’s apparently quite true about the jewelry, and that’s just trashy.

  20. Korrine Dawn Heyden

    There’s a really great documentary and book by Helen Caster called She Wolves (the documentary’s subtitle is England’s Early Queens, the book The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth.) it’s absolutely fascinating and covers 7 queens. The documentary is available on YouTube if anyone’s interested. Isabelle is the second episode with Margaret of Anjou.

  21. Jae Ackert-Reaney

    Shout out to Isabella for winning me the costume contest at the book signing in Boston!

  22. Jeanette Wu

    I’m not quite as familiar with Bertha Broadfoot as I am Eleanor of Aquitaine. However, it’s quite interesting that the story of the Goose Girl showed up attached to her.

  23. Isabel L

    Isabella was very Machiavellian in the end, which was obviously caused by her many years of abuse. it was actually she who suggested she go to france and used her son as a pawn, she also was quite a tryrant when she and Roger acted as regents. but, at the same time she was a victimized woman, who had had the misfortune to be born as a political pawn. she went from a naive girl to to calculating mastermind to a devout woman and loving grandmother. all in all a fascinating woman.

  24. Harranhal

    Unfortunately Philippa of Hainhult wasn’t “black” as you thought. Prior to the 18th and 19th century, the concept of race wasn’t a thing. People used the word “black” to describe people with dark skins or very dark hair, not a racial term. Historians check her genealogy and made it clear that she’s definitely not sub saharan African. So in this context, Philippa being ‘black’ was referred to her black hair.

  25. JoiaJ

    Edward II had terrible taste in men. ::shakes head::
    The Isabella-Philippa sections make me tear up. Happiness is complicated.

  26. JoiaJ

    Your note got me curious (fan of Richard I): there’s got to be a good history book that’s clear-eyed about how pre-Modern homosexual monarchs navigated their roles. Christopher Marlowe’s “Edward II” is, naturally, more sympathetic than this account. But it still makes the point that Edward’s tragic fate didn’t come about because he was gay, but because he placed power in untrustworthy people, who perhaps he over-trusted because they were his lovers. ::shrug:: It’s quite complicated, and it should be.

  27. Ashleigh North

    Can I ask where you got your sources? I’m having trouble tracking down good ones for my final assignment. I’m afraid we’re expected to use quite a few, and RP usually only uses a couple.

  28. esmeralda


  29. Lukas S.

    From what I’ve heard from realiable sources, that’s a big fat myth and lie Jackal.