What are your opinions regarding Lady Rochford's motivation in aiding & abetting Kathryn Howard in her relationship with Culpepper? I've never quite bought Julia Fox's suggestion that she was simply following orders and felt unable to refuse Kathryn's requests to facilitate meetings (after all, it wouldn't have been so difficult for Lady Rochford to have gone down with a diplomatic illness and left court for a while)but on the other hand Julia's research seems to demonstrate fairly convincingly that Lady Rochford's sinister reputation was a later invention (which suggests that Lacey Baldwin Smith's take on it- that Lady Rochford was probably always verging on insane- doesn't hold water either). Starkey suggests Lady Rochford's relationship with Kathryn was akin to that of Juliet & her nurse in "Romeo & Juliet" but I find that a bit hard to believe as well. Admittedly, Lady Rochford had no children but I can't really see Kathryn coming to represent the daughter Lady Rochford never had.
What I don't get is how, with her considerable experience of life (and intrigue) at court, not to mention her first-hand knowledge of the consequences of adultery in a queen, Lady Rochford could have behaved in such a suicidally stupid and naive fashion.
I'd be very interested in your opinions.
[There was a similar discussion last year, but on opinion questions it's worth bringing them up again for fresh views. Previous thread linked below. - Lara]