An engrossing and innovative biography of Isabella of Castile, the debatable Queen of Spain who backed Christopher Columbus’s adventure to the New International, dependent the Spanish Inquisition, and was one of the vital influential feminine rulers in historical past.

In 1474, whilst such a lot girls have been virtually powerless, twenty-3-12 months-antique Isabella defied a antagonistic brother and a mercurial husband to take hold of regulate of Castile and León. Her next feats have been mythical. She ended a twenty-4-era battle among Muslims and Christians, forcing North African invaders again over the Mediterranean Sea. She laid the basis for a unified Spain. She backed Columbus’s travel to the Indies and negotiated Spanish regulate over a lot of the New International. She additionally annihilated all who stood towards her by way of setting up a bloody non secular Inquisition that may darken Spain’s popularity for hundreds of years.

Whether saintly or satanic, no feminine chief has performed extra to form our up to date International. But historical past has all however forgotten Isabella’s affect. The usage of new scholarship, Downey’s luminous biography tells the tale of this sensible, fervent, forgotten lady, the religion that propelled her via lifestyles, and the land of historical conflicts and intrigue she introduced below her command.