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 […]

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 […]

Elizabeth and Mary Part 1

| October 15, 2009

Today’s post is the first about two sisters (or rather half-sisters): Mary and Elizabeth, their relationship as children and what they both were like when Mary became Queen Mary I of England. A Royal Childhood Mary had hated Elizabeth’s mother Anne Boleyn, after all she was responsible in Mary’s eyes for the break-up of her […]

Was Elizabeth a Jealous Old Hag?

| September 18, 2009

I’ve just been listening to a BBC History Magazine interview with Tracy Borman, writer of “Elizabeth’s Women: The Hidden Story of the Virgin Queen”, which takes as its theme Elizabeth I’s jealous streak. It really is an interesting interview and well worth a listen – you can either download it from iTunes (BBC History Magazine […]

What Did Elizabeth I Look Like?

| September 11, 2009

“What a silly question!”, you may say, after all we’ve got an abundance of portraits and depictions of this famous queen of England! But, can we trust these to give an accurate record of what Good Queen Bess really looked like? Probably not. Why do I say this? Because, like many monarchs of her time, […]