Thanks to Anne Boleyn’s fiery personality and overall appeal to modern women, most of Tudor-based fiction and media revolves around Henry VIII’s infamous second wife. But what about his long-suffering first wife, Katherine of Aragon? Jean Plaidy’s historical novel The Shadow of the Pomegranate peels away the usual stereotypes of Katherine of Aragon–that she was a frumpy, ugly religious fanatic who would have killed Anne Boleyn if she had the chance–to reveal a woman of great intellect, power, and courage.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Thursday, February 19th, 2015||No Comments »|
Thanks to movies like Elizabeth: The Golden Age and television shows like Showtime’s The Tudors, historical fiction set in Tudor era England is always a hit with readers. Whether it’s a novel about the young Elizabeth I struggling for the throne or the life and death of the fiery Anne Boleyn, the Tudors are back in vogue. However, if you want to get to know the real Gloriana, there’s no better historian than David Starkey.
His work Elizabeth: The Struggle for the Throne takes a closer look at the young Princess’s formative years. From the manner of her birth (both parents were desperately hoping for a son) to her ascension as the reigning Queen of England in 1558, Starkey’s biography on this enigmatic ruler dethrones her mystique and allows readers to catch a glimpse of the very mortal woman underneath the crown.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, January 28th, 2014||No Comments »|
Much of we think about the famous “Good Queen Bess” aka Elizabeth I Tudor, the daughter of the infamous Queen Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII Tudor, is actually a compilation of myths that have been generated and handed down over the past 500 years, says historian David Starkey in a video from May 2001.
Starkey, who has studied the Tudors extensively and has written quite a few books on them including Elizabeth: The Struggle for the Throne and The Six Wives of Henry the Eighth, assert the claim that Elizabeth I has been the “real beneficiary” of the mythic status of her dynasty.
Starkey also adds that in his book, which covers the first 25 years of her life, “the best gift that could have been given to a future ruler” was the taste of insecurity and instability—an idea that directly contrasts our modern notions of giving our children a safe and loving environment to grow up in. Due to the fact that she grew up in a situation where “death was just around the corner,” Elizabeth never forgot her early trials and it made her averse to signing warrants for executions.
Although the British historian humanizes the famous Queen, he also reminds his audience that she was something of a child prodigy who was gifted with poise and could speak at least six different languages including Latin, French, and Ancient Greek. As Elizabeth grew older, she became a political genius who used the common folk’s love for her to shape her image both at home and abroad. She also learned from the extreme religious leanings of her older sister Mary and her younger brother Edward and steered her country towards more moderate waters.
Starkey’s discussion in the video gives viewers a taste of Elizabeth: The Struggle for the Throne and allows them to better understand the woman behind the myth of “Good Queen Bess.”
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, November 22nd, 2013||No Comments »|