Isabella of Castile: Europe's First Great Queen

Author(s): Giles Tremlett


In 1474, a twenty-three year old woman ascended the throne of Castile, the largest and strongest kingdom in Spain. Ahead of her lay the considerable challenge not only of being a young, female ruler in an overwhelmingly male-dominated world, but also of reforming a major European kingdom that was riddled with crime, corruption, and violent political factionism. Her marriage to Ferdinand of Aragon was crucial to her success, bringing together as it did two kingdoms, but it was a royal partnership in which Isabella more than held her own. Her pivotal reign was long and transformative, uniting Spain and setting the stage for its golden era of global dominance. For by the time of her death in 1504, Isabella had laid the foundations not just of modern Spain, but of one of the world's greatest empires. Acclaimed historian Giles Tremlett chronicles the life of Isabella of Castile as she led her country out of the murky middle ages and harnessed the newest ideas and tools of the early Renaissance to turn her ill-disciplined, quarrelsome nation into a sharper, modern state with a powerful, clear-minded, and ambitious monarch at its centre. With authority, insight and flair he relates the story of this legendary, if controversial, first initiate in a small club of great European queens that includes Elizabeth I of England, Russia's Catherine the Great, and Britain's Queen Victoria.


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A major biography of the queen who transformed Spain into a principal global power.

Enthralling ... Tremlett brilliantly breathes life into the shadowy figure of a stubborn and finally heroic woman -- Miranda Seymour Daily Telegraph on Catherine of Aragon Here is history with everything: romance, violence, eroticism, drama, spectacular personalities in gorgeous settings and on an international stage, God and original research ... A serious and irresistible book. Daily Express on Catherine of Aragon Rigorous yet accessible ... Tremlett has done an excellent job of accessing Catherine of Aragon's more private moments. -- Kathryn Hughes Guardian on Catherine of Aragon

Giles Tremlett is the Madrid correspondent for the Economist. Until 2013, he covered Spain for the Guardian, for which he is now a contributing editor. He has lived in, and written about, Spain for the past twenty years, and is the author of Catherine of Aragon: The Spanish Queen of Henry VIII and Ghosts of Spain: Travels Through Spain and Its Silent Past. He lives in Madrid with his wife and their two children.

General Fields

  • : 9781408853955
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : February 2017
  • : 234mm X 153mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : March 2017
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Giles Tremlett
  • : Hardback
  • : 417
  • : 946.03092
  • : 624
  • : 2x8 page colour inserts