Becoming Elizabeth – Episode 1 – Keep the Knife Bright – Fictions versus history

In the first of these weekly videos on the Starz series “Becoming Elizabeth”, I discuss Episode 1 “Keep your knife bright”.

I look at the main scenes of this episode and explores just how close they were to the real history of the events of early 1547, just after the death of King Henry VIII,

What really happened in early 1547? Was the timeline correct? Was Catherine Parr really already involved with Thomas Seymour? Did Edward Seymour dash off to Scotland? And what about Thomas Seymour and the young Elizabeth I? We know that Thomas’s behaviour with Elizabeth caused a scandal, but were his advances welcome?

I explore these issues and will be going into even more detail this Friday, 17th June, in a live chatroom chat that’s part of my online event “Elizabeth I: The Life of Gloriana, the Virgin Queen”. These chats will be held weekly to discuss each episode.

You can find out more about the event and how to register at

2 thoughts on “Becoming Elizabeth – Episode 1 – Keep the Knife Bright – Fictions versus history

  1. Hello Claire: I had not seen you for a bit and I was bowled over when I saw your new hair cut. You looked so lovely. Having not seen the program as yet I really enjoyed hearing your comments and look forward to seeing the program even more having heard your comments. Regarding Thomas and Elizabeth and how you describe the flirtation between these two I think that it is sad to think that Elizabeth would have regarded the advances as a good and happy thing as showed in this program. It might make good viewing but history tells us that even though other females had been wed and had babies at 13, it is as you mentioned this encounter was seen in a bad light by people of this time. If nothing else Thomas was a married man who was married to Kathryn. Kathryn had acted in a loving fashion to Elizabeth much like a friend and step mother which were both needed by orphaned Elizabeth. To think that Elizabeth openly welcomed his advances diminishes her character greatly and as such I just don’t buy it.

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