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Isabella of Castile

Title: A Lady with Options

Dates: 1452 - 1503

Era in History: Late Medieval, Golden Age of Exploration

Summary: Isabella of Castile is an enigma. She is seen by the Catholic world as a saint, beloved for her religious fervor and proselytizing ambition. But there is much more to this female ruler than the robes of religion. She was a woman in a man’s world, and she used her cunning and political prowess to rule in her own right for decades.

T’was the fateful year of 1492,

Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

He conquered and captured more than a few,

but Isabella believed she could save them, too.

For Spain must be Catholic, through and through.

That same year she said poo-poo

to religious freedoms for the Jews.


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Lunenfeld, M. “Isabella I of Castile and the Company of Women in Power.” Historical Reflections / Réflexions Historiques, vol. 4, no. 2, Berghahn Books, 1977, pp. 57–79,

Marine, Nancy F. "Inventing the Catholic Queen: Images of Isabel I in History and Fiction." Queen Isabel I of Castile: Power, Patronage, Persona, edited by Barbara F. Weissberger, NED-New edition, Boydell & Brewer, 2008, pp. 186–200,

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Warren, Nancy Bradley. “Religion and Female Rule: Isabel of Castile and the Construction of Queenship.” Women of God and Arms: Female Spirituality and Political Conflict, 1380-1600, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005, pp. 87–118,

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