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The Queen's Bed: An Intimate History of Elizabeth's Court

By Anna Whitelock

From the non-public international of a liked English queen, a narrative of intimacy, royalty, espionage, rumor, and subterfuge

Queen Elizabeth I acceded to the throne in 1558, restoring the Protestant religion to England. on the center of the hot queen's court docket lay her bedchamber, heavily guarded via the well-liked girls who helped her costume, sorted her jewels, and shared her bed.
Elizabeth's deepest existence used to be of public obstacle. Her bedfellows have been witnesses to the face and physique underneath the make-up and raiment, in addition to to rumored dalliances with such figures as Earl Robert Dudley. Their presence used to be for safety in addition to propriety, because the nation used to be haunted via fears of assassination plots and different Catholic stratagems. Such used to be the importance of the queen's physique: it represented the very British nation itself.
In The Queen's Bed, the historian Anna Whitelock deals a revealing examine the Elizabethan courtroom and the politics of intimacy. She dramatically reconstructs, for the 1st time, the queen's quarters and the ladies who patrolled them. it's a tale of intercourse, gossip, conspiracy, and intrigue dropped at existence amid the colours, textures, smells, and workouts of the royal court.
the ladies who attended the queen held the reality approximately her wellbeing and fitness, chastity, and fertility. They have been her buddies, confidantes, and spies―nobody knew her larger. And beforehand, historians have missed them. The Queen's Bed is a revelatory, insightful check out their day-by-day lives―the untold tale of the queen laid bare.

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They have been outdated pals and Mary have been one of many sponsors on the christening of Dee’s daughter Katherine in June 1581. In his diary Dee documents the stopover at by way of Mr and Mrs Scudamore. Accompanying the celebration, he famous, used to be the Queen’s jester, a dwarf known as Mistress Tomasin – often referred to as Tomasina – an Italian girl who have been at court docket because the 1570s and used to be tremendously favoured through Elizabeth. She wore outfits tailored from these within the Queen’s dresser and frequently got presents from Elizabeth together with gilt jewelry, Spanish gloves, taffeta aprons, desk napkins and towels and several other ivory combs, a ‘penner’ (pen case) and ‘Inkhorne’ (vessel for containing writing ink).

Lethington’s Account of Negotiations with Elizabeth in September and October 1565’, Scottish heritage Society, vol. forty three (1904), pp. 38–45. 30 Pollen (ed. ), ‘Lethington’s Account of Negotiations with Elizabeth’, p. 39. 31 CSP Scot, 1547–63, p. 559. 32 Diary of Henry Machyn, pp. 267–8. 33 Elizabeth drafted letters patent calling for an research into the wedding, see TNA SP 12/21/76–7. 34 CSP international, 1561–2, p. 330. 35 Ibid. , pp. 360–1. 36 CSP Span, 1558–67, p. 220. 37 Ibid. bankruptcy nine: Arcana Imperii 1 Greg Walker, The Politics of functionality in Early Renaissance Drama (New York, 1998), p.

Now not one in 1000 of these more youthful males that search their elder fits yet doth it in facet respects,’ he introduced, ‘it is sort of opposite to his younger appetites, on the way to another way have their wish. ’ eight Elizabeth used to be appalled via Stubbs’s tract and on 27 September issued a proclamation banning the ‘lewd desitious booklet’ and ordering the Lord Mayor of London to assemble and burn all copies. Preachers have been prompt to talk out opposed to the ‘seditious libeller’. nine Stubbs was once rapidly arrested and condemned to the barbarous punishment of wasting his correct hand.

He prompt the Queen, for the ‘surety of the realm’, to marry and bring an inheritor of her personal physique: ‘When your Majesty was once with affliction, then I heard continuous voices and lamentations, announcing, “Alas! What hassle lets be in? … For the succession is so doubtful and such department of faith! Alack! What shall develop into folks? ”’14 After the carrier, the Queen, Lords and Commons left the abbey and moved to the Parliament Chamber the place Lord Keeper Nicholas Bacon introduced his starting oration. He emphasized the chance of ‘the overseas enemy abroad’, relatively the Guise in France, but additionally enemies ‘bred and taken up the following among ourselves’ who had sought to help the international enemy and lift uprising in the realm.

265, 322. 10 Letters of Philip Gawdy, p. 137. eleven Paul Hentzner’s Travels in England, pp. 33–4. See Louis Montrose, ‘“Shaping Fantasies”: Figurations of Gender and tool in Elizabethan culture’, Representations I, no. 2 (1983), pp. 61–94. bankruptcy fifty five: Lèse Majesté 1 Harrison (ed. ), Letters of Queen Elizabeth, p. x. 2 Devereux, Lives and Letters, II, pp. 40–1. three John Stow and Edmund Howes, The Annales, or Generall Chronicle of britain (London, 1615), p. 788. four Chamberlin, deepest personality of Queen Elizabeth, p.

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