Monday, 28 December 2009

More Elizabethan Musings

So I've been researching the sequence I'm toying with about Elizabeth by listening to the audiobook of David Starkey's Elizabeth, which is read excellently by Patricia Hodge (it's a performance which is, what I call, quite good).

One thing I've learned from this is that the final line of yesterday's poem will need changing. Elizabeth wouldn't have regarded Henry as a 'fiend' - if anything she seems to have been something of a daddy's girl, at least after Henry welcomed her back to court - which is a shame because I quite like that line. But there are two interestingly juicy points which will be worked into the sequence. First of all, Elizabeth was meant to be a boy: all the major astrologers Henry had consulted had predicted she would be male, the letters announcing the birth of 'a young prince' had already been written, and Henry's biggest problem was whether to call the lad Edward or Henry. The second interesting fact, while not strictly gender-related, is that Anne Boleyn supplied Elizabeth with loads of expensive clothes after the young prince(ss) was installed at her own private court in Hatfield House. Unsurprisingly, this supply dried up after Anne's execution, and there was a period during Elizabeth's childhood when she literally had nothing to wear. Later in life, she apparently made sure the royal wardrobes were stocked with hundreds of dresses...

I'm not sure at this point what form the Elizabeth sequence is going to take, but it'll definitely include something about these.

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