"Crown of Aloes" is presented as a personal chronicle. Within the framework of known fact and detail drawn from hitherto unexploited contemporary Spanish sources, a novelist's imagination and understanding have provided motives, thoughts, and private conversations, helping to build up the fascinating character Isabella must have been. Her fortunes were varied indeed: she knew acute poverty, faced anxiety and danger with high courage, gave much, suffered much, lived to the full. At the end she was mainly aware of her failures. It was left to others to realize how spectacular her successes had been.