Glamour in Austerity

| January 3, 2012

Thank you so much to Evangelia Palios on Twitter for telling me about Lisa Jardine’s radio programme “Glamour in Austerity” which follows on from the article I mentioned in my last post Elizabeth I’s Use of Dress as a Political Tool. You can listen to the programme via BBC iPlayer at and the blurb […]

Elizabeth I’s Use of Dress as a Political Tool

| January 1, 2012

There’s an interesting article on the BBC website entitled A Point of View: Dazzling in an age of austerity in which historian Lisa Jardine talks about how “Elizabeth used ostentation and opulence in her dress as a political tool to increase national confidence in the solvency of her regime”. It is an excellent article and […]

Is Anne Boleyn’s Famous Portrait Actually Elizabeth I?

| September 28, 2010

I was inspired to write this post today by a member of The Anne Boleyn Files Facebook page, Jane, who commented that the portrait of Elizabeth I on the cover of the latest issue of History Today looks like an older Anne Boleyn. As you can see from looking at the National Portrait Gallery portrait […]

The Spanish Armada 8 – Elizabeth’s Tilbury Speech

| August 9, 2010

On the 9th August 1588 (old calendar) Elizabeth I appeared before her troops gathered at Tilbury. In her article “The Myth of Elizabeth at Tilbury”, Susan Frye, writes that there are no reliable eye-witness accounts regarding Elizabeth I’s appearance on that day, but that tradition places the Queen in armour, giving a rousing speech – […]

Elizabeth I Phoenix Portrait

| July 7, 2010

Today we’re going to look at a portrait which is startlingly similar to last week’s Pelican Portrait, a portrait which almost looks like a mirror of the Pelican Portrait if you just glance at it quickly. Here it is, it is the Phoenix Portrait:- The Phoenix Portrait was painted around the same time (perhaps a […]

The Elizabeth I Pelican Portrait

| June 29, 2010

Thank you so much for all of your comments regarding symbolism in the Armada portrait, I still can’t figure out whether it’s a pomegranate or a finial behind Elizabeth, but it’s great fun discussing these portraits and puzzling them out. Today, we’re going to look at the famous Pelican Portrait thought to have been painted […]

The Armada Portrait

| June 23, 2010

Following on from last week’s article “Elizabeth I – Queen of PR”, I thought it would be good to start our examination of Elizabeth I portraits with the famous Armada portrait. This portrait is by an unknown artist (possibly George Gower) and was painted circa 1588, the same year as Elizabeth I’s defeat of the […]

Elizabeth I – Queen of PR

| June 17, 2010

A few months ago I wrote an article entitled “Elizabeth I’s Image” which was based on the BBC series “The Seven Ages of Britain”, a series which looked at Britain’s history through its art and treasure. In that article I mentioned how Elizabeth I, like her father Henry VIII, used her portraits as propaganda, as […]

Elizabeth I’s Image

| February 15, 2010

This post continues from The Anne Boleyn Files post “Henry VIII’s England” which is an article on last night’s episode of “The Seven Ages of Britain” where David Dimbleby explored the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I through examining the art and treasure of the period. Hatfield House David Dimbleby’s first stop, in considering […]

Elizabeth I – Her Father’s Daughter and the Lion’s Cub

| February 4, 2010

As someone who spend a lot of time researching Elizabeth’s mother, Anne Boleyn, and her tragic end, I find it fascinating that Elizabeth seemed to bear her father, Henry VIII, no ill will for her mother’s execution and, instead, idolised him. Whatever you believe about the causes of the fall of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII […]