Recent searches that brought readers to this blog:
unknown to him, mortimer has summoned a hit man from abroad Completely irrelevant to this post, but I loved that one.
What did Queen Isabella do for a job? Believe it or not, she was emperor of England (see below).
critical comments on queen isabella of edward the second Critical of Isabella? Moi?
18th century princesse to be the next queen isabella Actually, I think one was enough.
why did queen isabella believe it was important to give a tall bed as a gift rather than a short bed? I'm afraid I have no idea, but if anyone knows the answer, I'm on tenterhooks.
what did queen isabella want The question that Edward II couldn't or wouldn't answer, and Roger Mortimer could and did.
"cuckolding me" Closely related to above.
eduard 11 of england and Isabella of france now emperor of the kingdom
And lots, lots more searches for her. Given that Isabella seems to be very much in demand at the moment, here are seven random facts about the lady herself, Eduard II's wife, emperor of the kingdom of England...;)
- Isabella was the third daughter of Philip IV of France and Queen Jeanne of Navarre, but the only one to survive early childhood; her sisters were Marguerite (1288 or 1290 to 1294) and Blanche (circa 1290/94 to 1295). Both Marguerite, and then Blanche after Marguerite's death, were betrothed to Edward II's first cousin once removed Fernando IV of Castile (born 1285), who eventually married Constança of Portugal. Isabella also had a younger brother Robert, who died in July 1308, probably aged eleven, six months after Isabella married Edward II. Her three elder brothers all reigned as kings of France.
- Like her husband, Isabella was an avid reader*, and owned more than thirty books by the time of her death, a large number for the fourteenth century. Among them were: at least ten romances, two history books, a book on the genealogy of her family, an encyclopedia, and numerous religious volumes including a Bible, several Books of Hours and a book of sermons. Edward II was also a history fan, owning a Latin history of the kings of England and a French biography of Edward the Confessor. (Wonder what he'd make of people reading about him 700 years later, in English?)
Edward II founded King's Hall at Cambridge University (which was later refounded by Henry VIII as Trinity College) in 1317, and gave books on canon and civil law, worth ten pounds, to the Master. During her regency, Isabella, ahem, 'borrowed' the books, and never returned them.
[* it was usual in the Middle Ages for royalty/nobility to be read to by their clerks, rather than to read silently by themselves. However, it's highly likely that Isabella was indeed literate.]
- On a visit to France in 1313 (the one where Edward spent vast sums on clothes and wine), the pavilion where Edward II and Isabella were staying in caught fire. Edward scooped up Isabella and ran outside with her, both of them naked. However, poor Isabella suffered burns to her hand and arm, which her physician was still treating with olive oil, rosewater and lead plasters (lead plasters?) some time later.
- During the same trip, Edward and Isabella were late for a meeting with her father Philip IV, as they had overslept. (You'd think someone could have woken them up.)
- Both Isabella and Edward II revered St Thomas Becket, and made frequent pilgrimages to Canterbury. In October 1311, Isabella made an offering to the saint's shrine of a gold nugget, worth four pounds, six shillings and eight pence.
- For Isabella's churching after the birth of her second child John in 1316, her tailor Stephen Taloise made her a robe out of five pieces of white velvet. Edward II gave her lands and jewellery in gratitude for bearing him another son.
- Isabella had a household of around 180 people, double the size of previous queens' households, thanks to Edward II's generosity in providing for his wife. They included: three cooks; two apothecaries and a physician; an almoner; two watchmen; thirty-nine grooms; twenty-five palfreymen; twenty-two sumptermen; five messengers; twenty-eight squires.