The story of a queen known as 'the she-wolf' and a fresh view of an infamous murder...
In a colourful non-fiction narrative, which provides an evocative setting for a scramble for wealth and power, Paul Doherty traces the life of Queen Isabella and her part in the mysterious death of her husband, King Edward II. Perfect for fans of Michael Jecks and Kathryn Warner.
'Riveting... Nobody reading could be left in any doubt that... Edward's murder at Berkley is open to question' - Alison Weir, Sunday Times
In chess, from the time of Queen Isabella of England, the queen has been considered the most powerful and feared piece on the board. Known to chroniclers as the 'she-wolf', Isabella, daughter of Philip IV of France, married King Edward II of England in 1308 in a union intended to create a lasting peace between the two countries. But after 13 years of enduring her husband's unkind and dissolute nature she fled abroad. With her lover, the exiled Roger Mortimer, she raised an army of mercenaries and invaded England, successfully deposing Edward.
Popular belief holds that Edward was murdered in an infamous manner at Berkeley Castle near Gloucester, at the order of his wife and her lover. But after Mortimer's execution a letter arrived at court that cast doubt over Edward's death and raised the possibility of his escape. The evidence remains controversial to this day, and here Paul Doherty examines it in his fascinating detective study, set in one of the most turbulent and exciting periods of English history.
What readers are saying about Isabella and the Strange Death of Edward II:
'A scholarly and very readable biography of the woman known as the 'She Wolf of France''
'Paul Doherty has done a wonderful job in sketching the life and career of this remarkable Queen - it's a real historical page-turner'
'I could not stop reading this book by Paul Doherty as it is very well written, immensely readable and fascinating. For me an absolute MUST'
This tidy survey of the 14th-century reign of British king Edward II and his queen, Isabella, provides thumbnail sketches of a series of massacres, tortures, plots and counterplots leading to the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of Edward, the first English king to be deposed from the throne. The prolific Doherty (author of the recent, compelling The Mysterious Death of Tutankhamun) is better known for writing several series of historical mystery novels, including the criminal investigations in an older Britain of Hugh Corbett and Brother Athelstan. Renowned for a sure ability to bring these periods to life in his fiction, Doherty seems strangely hog-tied by facts here. He notes in regard to the problems of determining why celebrity marriages go south today, that "the difficulty is compounded by speculating on such events which occurred 700 years ago." The arranged marriage of Edward, heir to the English throne, and Isabella of France, went spectacularly wrong, with the queen, after she had been in exile in her native France, returning to England with an army to depose Edward. According to one tradition, Isabella arranged his death by means of a red hot poker "thrust up into his bowels." Doherty postulates that Edward may have escaped this dire end in the year 1327, while duly recording Isabella's political supremacy and influence on history, which symbolically lives on in the powers invested in the queen in chess.