Food, Clothes, People, Entertainment, Books/Films

Monday, June 21, 2010

Modern Elizabethan

Keira Knightly recently co-starred in a short film titled Maze which is the directorial debut of Stuart Pearson Wright (who also co-stars in the production). In the film Keira and Stuart play Elizabethan courtiers lost in a maze and trying to reach each other. Apparently the film is a metaphor for a relationship breaking down.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

Today is Father's Day, and though it was not celebrated in the time of Elizabeth, I think it is befitting to explore who her father was: Henry VIII. Interestingly, Henry was not suppose to be King. He had an older brother, Arthur (older by 5 years), but who was a sickly child and a few months after being married to a certain Spanish Princess, died unexpectedly. This meant that Henry became Heir Presumptive and given the title Prince of Wales, as well bear all the burdens that came with it. Their father Henry VII was still eager to have an alliance with Spain and proposed that the newly widowed Princess, marry Henry. The marriage was allowed but only after consent from the Pope, as to marry his brother's wife would be considered incest. After 7 years of marriage, Catherine gave birth to their only surviving child. A daughter, they named her Mary (who would later become Mary I a.k.a Bloody Mary). Henry became increasingly agitated by the fact that no male heir had been born and survived during his marriage to Catherine. With the idea that God was punishing him for having committed an incestuous act, as well as been enchanted by one of Catherine's Lady-in-Waiting, Anne Boleyn, Henry tried to obtain an annulment from the Pope. Contrary to popular belief, Henry after becoming the "Supreme Head of the English Church" granted an annulment to his marriage with Catherine, not a divorce, as Catherine would never have consented since she was a staunch Catholic. Anne Boleyn had refused to become Henry's mistress, like her sister Mary, but only his wife and Queen. When this was accomplished she consented, and nine months after their marriage, she gave birth to a daughter whom they named Elizabeth.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Today in History

Today two key events in Elizabeth's life took place, though at the time she may or may not have known of their significance. The first event, which took place in 1566 was the birth of King James I (of England and VI of Scotland). James was born at Edinburgh Castle in Scotland; he was the only son of Mary, Queen of Scots, and her second husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. After Mary was forced to abdicate the Scottish throne, James became King. In 1601, with the increasing worry of who would succeed the aging Queen Elizabeth, some of her councilors began a secret correspondence with James, to ensure a smooth succession. Elizabeth died on March 24, 1603, and James was proclaimed King later that day. He died in 1625.

The second event was the death of Francis, Duke of Anjou in 1584. Francis is perhaps best known in history as being one of the many suitors to Elizabeth. During the courtship he was 24 and she was 46, but in spite of their ages they grew very close. Elizabeth, as was often her custom to give her "favorites" nicknames, she called Francis her "frog". This was because of a frog-shaped earring he had given her. How very French! After a humiliating military defeat in Antwerp in 1583, Elizabeth formally cut all possible courtship. Francis soon became ill and in 1584 died.


Dear Readers,

For many years now I have had a great passion for history. There are several blogs I have come across devoted to historical icons, and yet I have never found one for Elizabeth I. I am the first to admit that I am not a great fan of blogs, but this I felt was different. The purpose of this blog is to explore the Elizabethan era; such as food, entertainment, lifestyle, courtiers, events. There will of course be a great focus on Elizabeth I herself. I will not be posting things about myself unless it is germane to the Elizabethan subject. I hope that you will enjoy this blog, and I will try my best to post often and enhance this blog for your greater benefit.

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