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Isabella of France, Part 1
Isabella of France, Part 2
Isabella of France, Part 3
Isabella of France, Part 4
Isabella of France, part 5
Isabella of France, Part 6
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She was the daughter of two very powerful people. She had a destiny that was certain to involve power, power over peole's lives. Sometimes described as the she-wolf of France, she was Isabella of France. Powerful, and full of French spirit, she went on to marry Edward II, and give birth to Edward III. She knew what she wanted in life, and wasn’t afraid to kill people to get what she wanted.
Born in 1295, from birth was known as a beautiful and spirited, witty and smart. She arrived in England at age 12 in a time of growing conflict between the barons of England and the King, and of-course, ended up marrying him. Naturally. However, their happiness wasn’t meant to last. Edward’s favourite, Piers Gaveston was killed, and the conflict between the barons and Edward increased. He soon had a new favourite, Hugh Despenser. This obviously resulted in a war. The Despenser war, actually. Because Isabella was smart, she loathed Despenser, and the war, and probably her husband too, because she ended up leaving him, going to France under the disguise of diplomatic matters. And then she had an affair, With Charles Mortimer. And she started to plot with him about overthrowing Edward as King. You can tell how well their “marriage” was going, hey?
Then, Edward got murdered. Wonder who that was? So, Isabella ruled on behalf of her son, Edward III. “Ruling on behalf” is just a nice way of saying that she basically kicked her son of the throne and made her own decisions, and made herself queen instead of him.
Then she suddenly became unpopular, and her and Mortimer’s reign began to crumple. Wonder why. Even though she was a good queen and resolved wars with Scotland, the people loathed her because of her lavish spending of money. Her court was beautiful, and she was smart, but that doesn’t mean she succeeded as Queen after deposing and supposedly murdering her husband.
After a long battle with the people, Isabella finally got deposed by her son, Edward III. Mortimer was executed, and she lived in considerable wealth, just not in Edwards’s court.
To be fair, though, you can understand why Isabella did what she did. Her husband, though handsome, was supposed to be in love with first Gaveston, then Despenser. Yes, they were both men. You can understand Isabella’s anger. And because of this, Isabella will always be viewed as a strong woman, who did what she could to make her and her people’s lives better.
Sophie Marceau as Isabella of France
in the movie "Braveheart"
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