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ELIZABETH - the Virgin Queen and the Men who Loved Her: Biographical Sketches from the Elizabethan Court Kindle Edition
A unique blend of fact and fiction brings the Elizabethan court and its inhabitants to life in an evocative series of biographical sketches that will inform and entertain in equal measure.
From the Publisher
A fictional memoir, in which reality and the inhabitants of the past meet up in the company of the reader
The location is somewhere in England, a country-house setting that forms the backdrop for a series of talks by the enigmatic Dr Dejon and during which several biographical sketches are delivered on the principal men in the life of Queen Elizabeth I, including:
- King Henry VIII
- Thomas Seymour
- Robert Dudley
- John Dee
- Francois, Duke of Alençon
- Francis Walsingham
- William Cecil
- Walter Raleigh
- Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex
- And a Tudor ghost
Each presentation is enhanced by a short story or ‘vignette’ in which the relationship or romance is explored through an imagined scene or conflict. Additional chapters include observations on 16th-century Elizabethan court life, its fashions and formalities, and how the remarkable woman at the centre of it all succeeded in retaining power for so long through her professed virginity.
Elements that make up the cover
Our book is very much an intimate, fly-on-the-wall study of the Elizabethan court which inevitably gravitated towards a centre that was female. The Queen surrounded herself with ladies in waiting, who wore modest black attire, the better to show off the Queen’s own magnificent and varied wardrobe.
The men, meanwhile, also had to make concessions and behave very differently to what would have been expected under a kingship. They were expected to demonstrate refinement and sensitivity.
The Elizabethan Age was part of an even greater Tudor one that had its origins much earlier at the conclusion of the Wars of the Roses. The title here is seen against a panel featuring a repeated motif of Tudor Roses, a powerful emblem of national harmony between the once-warring houses of York and Lancaster.
Although Elizabeth eventually had her own forces of division to contend with at home and overseas, it was always her aim to preserve that precious state of harmony and to keep the peace.
Among the many portraits Elizabeth commissioned for herself, the presence of pearls in one form or another is pretty much universal. Due to its symbolic connections with the sea, the pearl was also considered to be a gemstone associated with the Moon.
This, in turn, extended to an association with various goddesses of antiquity such as Selene or Diana, all of which reinforced Elizabeth’s status as the all-powerful Virgin Queen. Pearls, therefore, did not simply indicate status; they were also a subtle instrument of public relations and propaganda.
The decorative ruff (a detachable pleated collar of linen) has it’s origin in the second half of the 16th century. It was popular throughout Europe as well as in England, and went through a well-documented process of evolution, from being little more than a tall collar at the start, to eventually something resembling a large plate.
It’s possible, therefore, to date most portraits by the design of the ruff. Here, we see Elizabeth at the early-middle period of her reign, around the 1570’s when the item was still quite comfortable and practical.
The Elizabethan Court and the demise of the codpiece.
"The court of Elizabeth was one of display and ostentation on an unprecedented scale; and nowhere was this more vividly illustrated than in the clothes they wore. The men were permitted, and indeed no doubt encouraged to sport themselves in elaborate, colourful and extravagant fashions which through the years became ever more impractical, producing in time what to us might appear as an oddly curvaceous, almost feminine silhouette. Lace collars or ruffs grew larger and larger until they virtually covered the shoulders. The once masculine, cuirass doublets of former times became sculptured and padded into long, swollen peascod bellies above breeches with capacious pumpkin shaped thighs. Everywhere, the look was one of embroidered velvets and silks, gathered, layered and slashed; pinked, puckered and teased in ever variation of daintiness - while that outstanding bastion of Tudor manhood, the codpiece, once flaunted so openly by Elizabeth’s father Henry VIII, fell out of favour entirely during Elizabeth’s tenure. Was she impressed? Well, we will suppose she was, but only if it suited her."
From Chapter Twelve: The Qualities of an Elizabethan Courtier
Much to celebrate
"She ruled the nation with constancy, dedication and energy for nigh on 45 years, and the peace and stability she brought proved a fertile ground for the true flowering of the English Renaissance, a time of exploration, adventure and creative genius. There is much to celebrate in the life and times of England’s Virgin Queen."
From Chapter One: A Brief History
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robert Stephen Parry is a UK writer of adult historical fiction, bringing you stories from a wide range of time periods - from Tudor & Elizabethan, through 18th-century Georgian, right up to the era of Victorian England and the Belle Époque. Well researched and vivid historical settings combine with unusual elements of mystery, romance and magical realism.
On a lighter note, he has also collaborated recently with the distinguished author, A.Robin, Esq. in providing the illustrations to the book 'The Magnificent British Garden Robin'.
About the Author
- ASIN : B00LG6WD9S
- Language : English
- File size : 2679 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 158 pages
- Customer Reviews: