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Queen Isabella of France

Medieval Europe Personality (Semester 1 Term 1 History Assignment 2015)
by

Keiley Mead

on 1 April 2015

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Transcript of Queen Isabella of France

Background Information
Background Information
Background Information
Background Information
Marriage
Keiley Mead 8Yellow
Queen Isabella of France c.1292-1358
Legacy & Impact
Legacy & Impact
Significance to the Time Period
Source Analysis
In 1292, Queen Isabella of France, daughter of Philip IV of France and Joan I of Navarre was born. Isabella was born into a royal family that ruled the most powerful state in Western Europe - France.
Early Life
As was customary for the period, Isabella was married young for political benefit - so she was promised to Edward II to resolve conflicts between France and England. Isabella, only 12 years of age at the time, married King Edward on the 25th of January 1308.
Isabella had fought for her rights as anointed Queen of England. She had shown that female leadership could represent the legitimacy of the crown forcefully enough to dispose a king.

There was one more way in which Isabella continued to shape English politics even after she had accepted her enforced retreat into retirement.
1312 saw England becoming deeply unstable and descent into civil war. The constituents were unhappy with Edward as a leader, so when he left Isabella to run away with his other lover, Charles Glavestone, Isabella gathered an army with her lover Roger de Mortimer, captured Edward II, and murdered him in private as a strategic move to advance England.
Primary Source
Edward III strengthened the authority of parliament, which was through Isabella, that Edward III would claim the French throne launching the Hundred Years' War. Many lives were lost during this war, but parliament was further strengthened, and the economy stabilised.
Isabella took her duties very seriously, and she was extremely popular in England, which is why she was remembered as 'Isabella the Fair,' but other sources suggest that Isabella, while a very influential leader, was ruthless and scheming.
Isabella did not tend to resort to war as she appreciated peace negotiations. She was very influential, and was successful in France when she brokered a peace deal with her brother, Charles IV, to prevent another war between France and England.

Isabella was hailed as peace maker during her reign but her murder of Edward II, despite his unpopular status, created a different image for what we are led to believe about her view on the comparatives of war and peace.
"She wolf of France but worse than the wolves of France, whose tongue more poisons than the adder's tooth!
{Act 1.4 112 The True Tragedy of Richard Duke of York and the Good King Henry the Sixth' (Written by Shakespeare)}

Shakespeare wrote this play after Isabella's death. Like most poets in this time, he depicted Isabella to be a cruel murderess to accumulate for the likes of both the rich and poor. Shakespeare wrote this play for the simple purpose of entertainment. Being his perspective, we can start to detect signs of resentment from Shakespeare, as he refers to her like she is 'more horrible than an actual wolf.'

The source is useful as it is a primary source depiction of what happened in that time, shows a broad perspective of the community's thoughts about Isabella's reign, ideas and motives. It is also reliable as it is from the time period, so Shakespeare was able to create his own ideas based on what he saw and heard. Which is helpful even though her image was affected by her son's decisions as king.
Isabella's Duties
Removal of King Edward II
Thomas Grey later used the term 'She-wolf' in his poem,
The Bard
. This depiction of Isabella has remained the most popular image of Isabella as we remember her today as the 'She-Wolf of France.' In modern society, we view her as a cruel, manipulative murderess.
Children
Despite Edward being bisexual, and his relationship with Charles Glavestone, Queen Isabella bore four children of his; Edward III, Joan of the Tower, Elanor of Woodstock, and Joan of Eltham (Earl of Cornwall).
Edward II's death affected Isabella's reputation in those days, making her popular as she 'saved them from him,' but it also sealed her reputation as the 'She-Wolf of France'.
Over time, the opinions of Isabella's reasoning for her actions have varied, but contemporaries describe her with 'her high lineage, beauty and tribulations,' and viewed her as a 'lovely and tragic queen.'
Later Life
Isabella's genius led her into an easy retirement, and she remained a respected elder - stateswoman in the English court.

Agnes Strickland, a Victorian historian, argued that Isabella "suffered from occasional fits of madness" during her retirement. It has been suggested that she had a nervous breakdown following the death of her partner Roger de Mortimer.
Queen Isabella of France died on the 22nd of August 1358 around the age of 62 in Norfolk, England. She was buried at Grey Frairs' Church at Newgate.
Death
Isabella was said to resemble her father, rather than her mother. This indicates that Isabella was slender and pale-skinned.

She was given a good education and was taught to read and write, developing a love for books. Queen Isabella was also noted as charming & diplomatic, with particular skills for convincing people to follow her course of action and instructions. While this was unusual in the Medieval period, contemporaries commented on her high intelligence.
Appearance & Personality
Significance to the Time Period
Contributions to the Warfare:
Queen Isabella assisted Edward II (King of England) from the 25th of January 1308 until the 20th of January 1327 which is around 19 years. She then later ruled as regent until 1330 until Edward III demanded the throne, after four years of her reign.
Reign of Power
Bibliography
Books/Articles:
Castor, H. (2011). She-wolves. New York: HarperCollins, pp.30-31, 227-321, 329, 350-351, 452-453.
de Castries, Duc, The Lives of the Kings and Queens of France, (1979)
Doherty, Paul, Isabella and the Strange Death of Edward II, (2003)
Fraser, A. (1975). Kings & Queens of England. Wellington House, 125 Strand, London:
Mercer, Derrik, Chronicle of the Royal Family, (1991)
Mortimer, Ian, The Greatest Traitor: The Life of Sir Roger Mortimer 1st Earl of March Ruler of England 1327-1330, (2003)
Mortimer, Ian, The Perfect King: The Life of Edward III, Father of the English Nation, (2006)
Ormrod, W. (2001). The Kings & Queens of England. Gloucestershire, England: Tempus Publishing, pp.94, 140-142, 146-149, 158, 176-177.
Ormonde, William (ed), The Kings and Queens of England, (2001)
Prestwich, Michael, The Three Edwards: War and State in England 1272-1377, (1980)
Phillips, C. (2006). Kings & Queens of Britain. Hermes House, 88-89 Blackfriars Road, London: Anness Publishing, pp.48-53.
Prestwich, Michael, Plantaganet England 1225-1360, (2005)
Rubin, Miri, The Hollow Crown; A History of Britain in the Late Middle Ages, (2005)
Stephen, Leslie and Sydney, Lee (eds) Dictionary of National Biography (63 vols 1885-1903)
Strickland, Agnes, The Lives of the Queens of England, Volume 1, (1851)
Weidenfield & Nicolson, pp.84, 92-93, 97-99, 100-104, 114-115, 134-135.
Weir, Alison, Isabella; She-Wolf of France, Queen of England, (2006)
Bibliography
Websites:
Britannia.com, (2015). Britannia: Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell. [online] Available at: http://britannia.com/history/biographies/isabella_france.html [Accessed 6 Mar. 2015].
Historyhouse.com, (2015). History House: Edward II, Part II: The She-Wolf of France. [online] Available at: http://www.historyhouse.com/in_history/isabella/ [Accessed 6 Mar. 2015].
Historytoday.com, (2015). Edward II marries Isabella of France | History Today. [online] Available at: http://www.historytoday.com/richard-cavendish/edward-ii-marries-isabella-france [Accessed 6 Mar. 2015].
Lewis, J. (2015). England's Queen Isabella, She-Wolf of France. [online] About.com Education. Available at: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/medbritishqueens/a/Isabella-of-France.htm [Accessed 6 Mar. 2015].
Newworldencyclopedia.org, (2015). Isabella of France - New World Encyclopedia. [online] Available at: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Isabella_of_France [Accessed 6 Mar. 2015].
Wikipedia, (2015). Isabella of France. [online] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isabella_of_France [Accessed 6 Mar. 2015].


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