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Open daily Friday Lates until Help us make history Become a Member. Normal view. Search About us Business and Hire Research. View 20 40 60 results per page. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother by E. Category Royalty, Rulers and Aristocracy. Places Angus Hertfordshire Kent Norfolk.
Tell us more back to top Can you tell us more about this person? Please note that we cannot provide valuations. In giving narrative voice to her subjects Alison Weir brings us into emotional contact with them in a way that an unadorned historical account does not. A chilling epitaph on a period of history that continues to fascinate and bewitch us today.
And they were both feisty redheads! Yet their characters were so dissimilar, and their ambitions too.
Elizabeth wanted power and to be the star of the court; Jane was a scholar who wanted to be left in peace with her books, and the prospect of queenship was repellent to her. And the courses—and outcomes—of their lives were very different. Elizabeth, bastard status apart, was essentially a princess, Jane a private gentlewoman. And yes, Elizabeth was far less naive than Jane, and had a far more astute grasp of Tudor realpolitik.
But the young Elizabeth as you portray her really seems to have been more than just the product of her social environment— there is a remarkable adult perspicacity to her insights and judgments from a very young age. AW: That is historically true. Elizabeth was indeed formidably intelligent and highly precocious. We know that through her early letters one of which is quoted, in slightly modernized English, in the novel and her recorded utterances.
There was little concept then of childhood as a separate phase of development—children were to be civilized as soon as possible so as to be able to take their place early on in the adult world. This makes sense when you remember that life expectancy was shorter around thirty years for women, sixty-three years for men , infant mortality was high, and girls could be married and cohabit at twelve, boys at fourteen. And children were schooled early on to have an awareness of religion, morality, and death. How could her governess, Kat Astley, have allowed the situation to go on for so long?
What was the risk for her, and for Thomas Seymour? That, to me, is the issue that underscores the Seymour episode. Elizabeth had resolved never to marry long before this episode, but I am sure that her experience with Seymour went a long way toward cementing that resolve.
Mary who was much older had been educated under the auspices of her mother, the devoutly Catholic Katherine of Aragon, who had instilled in her a deep devotion to the old faith. I am convinced that, having had such a desperately unhappy life after her father, Henry VIII, repudiated her mother, Mary clung to the faith of her childhood not only because of her religious convictions but also because it represented the old ways in which she had been brought up and the security she had known as a child.
RHRC: Surrounded by fanatical believers of one faith or another, Elizabeth as you portray her seems surprisingly modern in her recognition that religious belief should ideally be a private matter. AW: Yes, she was remarkably enlightened for her day, which is why I admire her so much. I have used her own words to illustrate her religious views. It seems like such a bizarre episode.
AW: The story is just as I tell it in the book. Mary did have a phantom pregnancy, and it was not until eleven months had passed and the gas in her abdomen began to dissipate that she was forced to accept the fact. What is your take on him?
What kind of king would he have made had he not died so young? AW: My take on Edward is that he was a little boy who had grown up in splendid isolation because he was the precious, longed-for heir to England. Consequently, he was cold, devoid of emotion, unduly precocious, conscious of his position and the need to emulate his father Henry VIII, and priggishly fervent in the reformed faith. Had he lived, I am convinced that he would have been as fanatical a Protestant as Mary Tudor was a Catholic, and that he would have been another autocratic king like his father.
For all his excesses and cruelties, he seems himself a victim caught in a snare that was by no means entirely of his own making. His quest for a son was a political imperative, his quest for love in a fruitful marriage a personal one. RHRC: Is there any possibility that Elizabeth was not really his daughter, as was rumored at the time?
AW: There is no tension, aside from the historian in me being determined to stick to the facts as faithfully as possible in my books. But at the same time, what you come up with as a novelist must be credible and convincing within the context of the known facts and the cultural, social, and moral ethos of the period. AW: My publishers wanted me to! What is the source of the quotes that you use? How rich in primary-source material is the historical record of the Tudor era?