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Isabella: Queen Without a Conscience

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Isabella: Queen Without a Conscience.pdf | Language: ENGLISH

In her day the beauteous Isabella of Angouleme was called a Jezebel, a sorceress, an adulteress. As the young bride of King John of England she was charged with seducing John into neglecting his kingly duties. Back in her native land she and her second husband were accused of trying to assassinate the King of France. Now meet the real Isabella, Relive the turbulent twelfth and thirteenth centuries when France and England were struggling for control of western France. You'll encounter kings and queens, popes and prelates, warriors and courtiers who were the power elite of their day. You'll become intimately acquainted with this fascinating and enigmatic woman, prey to strong passions and ambitions, aware of the power of her beauty, willing to dare all in order to be and be seen as queen.

A wonderful job of bringing Berengaria and her time period to life. See above --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Book details

  • PDF | 460 pages
  • Book Publishers Network; 1st edition (October 15, 2007)
  • English
  • 3
  • Literature & Fiction

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Review Text

  • By Richard B. Anderson on May 31, 2015

    The best novelistic treatments of historical characters depict their subjects as real -- or at least plausible -- people and avoid distortions drawn from folklore, modern prejudices, and partisanship. Rachel Bard's book about Isabella Taillefer gave me so much pleasure that I've gone on to her newer(?) one about Joanna Plantagenet. I approached each somewhat gingerly, wanting to have a deeper understanding of these thousand-year-old people whom the genealogists identify as my relatives. Having read fairly widely in history and chronicle, I was delighted to find that Bard has stayed faithful to the details I thought I already knew, presenting in addition a lot of convincing humanity, without obvious whitewash or calumny.I'd hate to believe that Bard hung that title on her work, because "Queen Without a Conscience" doesn't come close to fitting the image of Isabella with which I finished the book. Sounds more like something a publisher's minion who never read the book thought would contribute to its marketing.

  • By Rachel on June 5, 2009

    I really enjoyed Rachel Bard's first novel, "Queen without a Country," which focused on Berengaria of Navarre, and was looking forward to this one. Isabella of Angouleme, the wife of King John of England, is another interesting medieval queen who tends to get somewhat overlooked in historical fiction (when I first saw the title I initially thought it referred to another notorious Isabella, Edward II's Queen). I'm only aware of Jean Plaidy's novels that featured her, so I had high hopes for a new retelling.The language is accessible and it is an easy read, with some sense of the period, although the style of writing was not as visually evocative as it was in Bard's first novel. The dialogue is modern English, but not ridiculously so.However, while this was not a *bad* book, it read more like a first draft than the finished product. The use of alternating first person narratives, when done well, can be very compelling; however it is a risk, and extremely difficult to get away with. Unfortunately, it really did not work. There were far too many narrators - Isabella herself, a lady in waiting, King John, Hugh de Lusignan, and so it went on - with little distinction in style between the different voices. Bard would have been much better advised to stick with Isabella's POV, or use alternating limited third person or third person omniscient.The opening of the book has Isabella telling us that her life was nothing like the way the hostile chroniclers have portrayed her, but we're not really *shown* this (to be honest, there were times when it comes across as though the chroniclers were right!). In fact, telling rather than showing, and a great deal of exposition, is one of the main issues I had with it. Further, the latter part of the novel, dealing with Isabella's life-after-John, is extremely rushed. At the end of it, I still did not have a clear picture of Isabella as a character, as opposed to Isabella-the-myth.I didn't dislike this novel, but I was somewhat disappointed. For anyone interested in this period, I don't seek to discourage you from reading it, but suggest borrowing it from the library and then buy it if you love it.

  • By ShopperGirl on April 4, 2015

    First of all, shame on the editors for not making sure that the text didn't get cut off by the margins. It occurs in a few chapters but easy to skip over since the content is simplistic.Interesting because it covers a period that I don't know much about so probably an easy introduction.For those interested in a simple introduction to this period of history, this area of France, and a fairly good diverting read, this book works.

  • By MAUREEN PRITCHARD on November 14, 2014

    It is fascinating to see the lives of movers and shakers from another time, how the emotions and actions that we think are so much of the modern way of life, were evident so long ago. People have always been exactly the same.

  • By Livi's Nana on April 6, 2015

    The characters in this book seem so real that at times you feel you are right there. This is the first book I've read by this author and I will certainly look for more. Absolutely delightful.

  • By CooperGirl 52 on August 21, 2015


  • By Steve Plain on April 16, 2015

    I don't understand why she was said to have been "without a conscience". John was not a nice guy to have been married to.

  • By Sandra Nawrocki on January 18, 2015

    The book is a good read and Rachael Bard is a good writer. However, Amazon did a terrible job digitizing this book for the Kindle as much text is cut off on the right side on many pages.

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