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William Marshal's Wife (Hardback)

Isabel de Clare, Woman of Influence

P&S History > British History P&S History > By Century > 12th Century P&S History > Medieval World > Medieval History Women of History World History > UK & Ireland > England World History > UK & Ireland > Ireland

By Julia A Hickey
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 12 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399043274
Published: 27th February 2024



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Isabel de Clare, the descendant of kings, dukes and freebooters, was one of the wealthiest heiresses in Henry II’s kingdom thanks to the ambitions of her father Richard, Strongbow, de Clare and his marriage to Aoife, daughter of the last king of Leinster. Nature gave her beauty and intelligence. Destiny made her a key figure in the history of Ireland, England, Wales and Normandy. Isabel’s role as a daughter, wife, mother and countess in her own right is the story of medieval aristocratic women and the power that they could wield.

Married to a complete stranger when she was just eighteen on the orders of Richard the Lionheart, she found love in the arms of William Marshal - known as the greatest knight who ever lived. Together they established powerbases in Ireland and in Wales, beat off their foes; negotiated the perils of serving King John; and built a powerful kinship network. Marshal declared, ‘I have no claim to anything save through her.’ She was a peerless wife and remarkable woman who played the political game alongside her husband serving successive Plantagenet monarchs, consolidating and extending her inheritance as well as giving birth to ten children.

Like her mother before her and her brood of Marshall daughters after her, she was a prize, not a pawn, who knew how to balance her role as a wife and mother alongside the brutal politics of the period.

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About Julia A Hickey

Julia has been passionate about history since she visited Buckland Abbey as a child more than forty years ago. She has an MA as well as a BA in History and English Literature. She has taught in a range of educational settings but is currently an independent lecturer and speaker based in the Midlands and Yorkshire. In addition to a text for Literacy Specialists she has written about border reivers, the grisly tale of Carlisle’s gallows and is the author of many short stories set in the past. She writes a regular blog at thehistoryjar.com about all things historical and can often be found exploring castles and stately stacks.

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