Queen Isabel of Spain was probably the greatest woman ruler in history–not only an outstanding Queen, but a devoted wife and mother as well. She and her husband Fernando were solemly granted the title “the Catholic sovereigns” by the Pope.
The many evidences of her personal holiness led to the introduction and substantial progress of her cause for canonization.
Isabel’s patronage of Christopher Columbus made possible his discovery of America. On the eve of the 500th anniversary of that discovery, Dr. Warren Carroll presents the first full scholarly biography of Queen Isabel in English in more than sixty years–extensively annotated, strictly accurate, and highly readable.
Isabel’s Catholic faith and all that it meant to her life are central in this biography, as they were central to Isabel herself. Set against the background of Spain’s 770-year crusade to regain the land from the conquering Moors–a crusade which Isabel successfully completed–Isabel’s story is intensely dramatic and inspiring.
Her life began in deadly danger, for her father died when she was only three years old, and for the next twenty years her enemies dominated the land. Crowned Queen, she was at once attacked by neighboring Portugal. After defeating the invaders, she had to restore justice to a ravaged country which had known law and order for a generation. Then she was able to undertake and achieve the reconquest of Granada, the last part of Spain still held by the ancient Muslim enemy. As soon as this tremendous victory was won, she sent Columbus on his epoch-making voyage. Isabel’s Spain became the greatest power in the world, but Isabel herself suffered much during her last years from a series of tragedies befalling her children, which she bore as her cross with Christ.
The Isabel you will meet in this biography is not only a great and holy woman, but also a warm and loving human being you will never forget.