Written by Peter Stiffell When we discuss England’s first queen regnant the history books and documentaries usually first recall the break with Rome, the struggle of a princess against her autocratic father, and the burnings. Yet Mary I’s reign is not seen in the same regard as her father or half-sister despite Henry executing c.72,000and Elizabeth hanging, drawing, and quartering around two hundred Catholic priests. Though Geoffrey Elton once described Mary as ‘arrogant, [More]
Guest post written by Johanna Strong Mary I, England’s first crowned queen regnant (1553-1558), is often popularly remembered as either a tragic figure or as a tyrannical one. While traditional histories such as G.R. Elton’s focus on the religious persecution undertaken throughout Mary’s reign, others attempt to soften her character by narrating her phantom pregnancies and the frequent absences of her husband, Philip II of Spain. Both of these approaches and styles of [More]
Guest article by Samantha K. Cohen On Monday, November 28, 1558, Queen Elizabeth rode in procession to the Tower, her Master of the Horse riding close behind her. He was athletic, accomplished, brilliant, witty, extremely handsome, and Elizabeth was in love with him. He was Robert Dudley, the future Earl of Leicester. Robert Dudley’s appointment as Master of the Horse raised eyebrows and roused jealousy, but no one who knew him could doubt he was in every [More]
Book Review by Sarah J. Hodder, This book centres around William Maitland, secretary to Mary Queen of Scots and one of the men around her who both supported her and, it seems, played a large part in engineering her downfall. I have long had an interest in Mary as a character, who seems to have been an incredibly strong woman who made some incredibly bad decisions. But I knew nothing about Maitland, other than perhaps his name, so was keen to find out how more about him and [More]
Guest post by Rebecca Lyon Deep dish pizza, the Higgs bosun and swimming pool floaties all make an appearance in my new play for kids to perform, Anne of Cleves, Super Queen! Aspects of the play are very fictional and very silly. Although I would not have been able to write it without the meticulous scholarship of historians, it is interesting to consider how our responsibilities – those of historians and those of writers of historical fiction – are [More]
Guest article by Samantha K. Cohen It is said that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Of course this was said long after Gloriana left the stage for as everybody knows Cynthia, goddess of the moon adored pearls. Pearls, because of their shimmering beauty, are linked to the moon. They represent purity, virginity, and femininity all of which Elizabeth I put great store in.