Queen Isabella: A role model for women everywhere



The story of Queen Isabella is one that empowers young women today. Queen Isabella was such an inspiring character in history and the author, Kirstin Downey, does a great job in capturing the struggles and successes of Isabella living and ruling as a women in the 1400s. 

“Isabella: The Warrior Queen” is a well researched biography that describes in great detail the life of Queen Isabella of Castile.

One thing that stuck with me throughout the story was how Isabella managed to hold power and create big change. Gender stereotypes and inequality have always been present and Downey writes how Isabella was originally thought to not be intelligent enough to rule. This didn’t stop Isabella though. With a Borgia connection and dedication she was able to achieve so many great things in her lifetime that others before her couldn’t.

Isabella was born as the third in line to the throne but when her two brothers died the next ruler of Castile was undetermined. Isabella took this as an opportunity to rule and quickly staged a coup that got her announced as Queen and Ferdinand as her consort. Within years she was able to accomplish what her half-brother, King Enrique, was unable to, also banishing any thoughts people may have had about her being incapable of ruling.

Downey writes how Queen Isabella was able to bring harmony to her country, bring peace between Castile and Portugal, secure the Iberian Peninsula, start the exploration of the New World, end generations of bloody conflict between Muslims and Christians, and so much more. Isabella may have been born as a women and considered only important during arranging marriages but that didn’t limit her.

Isabella set the stage for Spain to become a global superpower and left an imprint in Spain as a brilliant ruler. Her being a women in the 1400s didn’t hinder her. “Isabella: The Warrior Queen” beautifully illustrates how Queen Isabella of Castile is clearly a role model for generations of women to come.