For the last 5 Wednesdays and last Friday, I’ve turned over my blog to some excellent writers. They did a great job of keeping my readers happy.
I’m so glad you’re here to catch the last indie author in my series.
Today’s guest is the beautiful and hilarious, Tameri Etherton!
When most of us think of women who are sexy, smart, and from the heart, Queen Elizabeth I probably isn’t at the top of our lists. I totally think she should be.
I’m sure many of us think our family is a bit crazy, but Elizabeth’s was more than a little nuts. Especially her dad, King Henry VIII. Before she was thirteen years old she saw the beheading of her mother, Anne Boleyn, a succession of four step-moms, the death of her father, and the acts of Parliament that would declare both her and her sister Mary illegitimate. Fortunately for Elizabeth, Henry’s last wife Katherine Parr adored her and took Elizabeth into her household, making certain she received the same schooling as her brother Edward. It was these early lessons in philosophy, theology, and rhetoric that would eventually help Elizabeth stay alive.
The Tudor Court was nothing if not filled with drama and intrigue. When Henry died, Elizabeth’s brother ascended the throne, which was all fine and well until he up and died six years later without an heir. Here’s where it gets interesting. Henry might have declared both Mary and Elizabeth illegitimate, but in his will he listed them in the line of succession after Edward. What’s a Parliament to do?
Find a new successor.
Poor Lady Jane Grey. She was Elizabeth’s cousin and a pawn in English politics. She was named Queen and ruled for just nine days before she was beheaded then Mary became Queen of England.
Ever heard of ‘Bloody Mary’? Yep, that’s Elizabeth’s sister. The Queen.
Elizabeth grew up Protestant and Mary, a devout Catholic. The two were never close and Mary always suspected her sister of trying to steal her throne. She even went so far as to have Elizabeth put in the Tower of London as a prisoner. For two long months Elizabeth didn’t know if she would ever leave the Tower or if, like her mother, she would die there.
Her release came in part due to her ability to write a darn good letter that extolled the majesty of Mary’s reign while also giving reasons why Elizabeth was innocent.
Elizabeth’s gift with words would benefit her throughout her reign. Once she ascended the throne it became the focus of nearly everyone around her to find her a husband. Having grown up seeing what marriage did to a person, Elizabeth wasn’t interested. But she would often dangle her availability to potential allies with letters or poems worded in such a way the receiver wasn’t sure exactly what Elizabeth was saying.
She never took a husband and whether or not she died a virgin is open to debate. Some say she fathered at least two sons, but Elizabeth herself said she had ‘a thousand eyes’ watching her at all times. If she did have an affair, it was the best kept secret of her reign.
In the movie, Elizabeth there is a line where she tells her advisor Cecil that she is married to England. She was. Elizabeth loved her subjects more than most kings and queens before her. She fought to make their lives better while keeping an open opinion regarding their religious beliefs. As long as they were true to her Crown, she didn’t care what religion they followed. That was crazy talk back in the day and Elizabeth made a few enemies over it, but her subjects adored her, calling her ‘Good Queen Bess’.
When Elizabeth took the throne in 1558 she inherited a bankrupt government, a country divided by religious turmoil, even her own legitimacy to the throne was still being questioned. Instead of breaking under the pressure of inheriting such a dismal state, Elizabeth set about to make her nation great. In the end, she did exactly that. When James inherited the throne in 1603, England was one of the most powerful in Europe.
Queen Elizabeth I was the longest ruling monarch in English history. Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II held the throne longer than her, but they didn’t and don’t rule. By the time they took the throne, England was ruled by a Parliament with the monarch acting more as an advisor. Elizabeth I made certain her Parliament knew she valued their opinion, but it was the Queen who ruled.
Can you see now why Queen Elizabeth I was sexy, smart, and from the heart?
She was a passionate woman who believed in her country enough to put aside her own needs for her people. She was smart enough to know when to flirt and when to fight, either with words or swords. Her love of life flowed from her court into the arts and enlightenment, giving her name to one of the most glorious ages in English history.
To say I wish I was born a faerie princess with magical powers is an understatement. The fact that I’m a mortal is my everlasting curse. Perhaps that’s why I write fantasy. Every day I get to delve into worlds of mystery and beauty. I can become the sorceress of my dreams or the villain of my nightmares. Being able to create worlds and creatures from my imagination is a marvelous thing.
As a mother, I am blessed to be able to stay at home with my children. My daughter is a beautiful and intelligent twenty-year old and my son is now a teenager. When people say they grow up so fast, they aren’t kidding!
I live a charmed life. I know this and am grateful for every single day. My husband is my best friend and soul mate. He works hard so that I can be a good mother to my children and live out my fantasies on paper.
Would you have wanted to live during the Renaissance period? For me, all that glitz, glamour and pampering wasn’t worth the risk of being beheaded. What do you think?