Sunday, July 29, 2012

Question from Laura - "Secrets of the Virgin Queen"

I recently watched Secrets of the Virgin Queen on NatGeo, and one of the "secrets" was the discussion of a rumor about "the Bisley boy." I had never heard this before, and I while I think it's clear it's a ridiculous rumor, I'm wondering how many people believed it, and whether it was a rumor known during Elizabeth's time, or did it come from a later era?

The show also claimed that Elizabeth wore her makeup to hide pox scars from a bout of small pox. Is it true that she had smallpox? I've never read that before. I was under the impression that she started using the makeup to hide signs of aging (and achieve the desired pale English complexion), and that the use of the white lead makeup discolored her skin causing her to need to use more to cover the effects.

I've focused most of my reading on Henry and his wives so I'm not as familiar with the rumors and common misconceptions about Elizabeth as I am about those of her mother.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Question from Linda - Parr's "Lamentations of a Sinner"

Is there a translation or copy of the book written by Queen Catherine Parr, Lamentations of a Sinner ?

Question from Abigail - Opinions on the causes of the Reformation

Hi all,
I have always had a vast fascination with Henry VIII and his thoughts behind his actions. Having done a large factual piece on the English Reformation. I am fully aware that there are a number of reason for English reform which are all valid and all evidently played a part in the English Reformation. I would just like to get some feedback as to why in your opinion the reformation occurred? I myself believe that it was Henry's desire to be remembered. In the words of Erasmus "Our King does not desire gold or gems or precious metals, but virtue, glory, immortality." and the only way he could secure this was through a Tudor dynasty and the birth of a son.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Question from Marilyn R - Catherine of Aragon or Mary Tudor Brandon?

There is a very interesting article on the Anne Boleyn Files site about Michael Sittow's portrait of the young Catherine of Aragon really being of Mary Tudor, Henry’s sister. What does anyone think about the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna having taken the decision to re-identify the sitter?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Question from Jane - Catherine of Aragon's spare time activities

I'm writing a book with counter factual history. It's about Arthur and Catherine of Aragon, and I stumbled upon a question; What did Catherine do in her "Spare time". i read somewhere that her hobbies where praying and reading the holy word, but was that really all she cared about?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Traveling for work for a few days

I'll be headed out to our observatory in west Texas for a few days and while I should have good internet access, I don't think I'm going to have a whole lot of time to spend on the computer! So apologies in advance for any delays in approving blog comments and the lack of posts until early next week.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Question from Eva - Political confidentiality at Court

Hello all! Thank you for being a continual source of knowledge.

I am working on a historical novel and I am wondering about political confidentiality in Henry VIII's court. How much about, for example, a diplomatic visit from a neighbouring monarch would the average courtier know? The specific episode about which I am writing is Charles V's visit in 1522 which culminated in the Treaty of Windsor, whereby the war plans regarding France were laid. Would a courtier have heard that there was likelihood of war against France? Would he know when Charles V arrived that it was for this purpose? I guess the true nature of my question is how open this sort of information would be. It seems it would be kept confidential for obvious reasons, but then when the treaty was signed, did everyone find out the news at that moment? Was another reason given for such a visit?

Thank you all.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Question from Sarah - Elizabeth titles for MPs

During Elizabeth I's reign, were MPs known as MPs, knights of the shire or something else?

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Question from Sarah - Burleigh Papers

How do you access the Burleigh Papers? Are they online?

Question from Sarah - Illegitimate daughter of Bridget of York

Is it true that Elizabeth of York's sister Bridget had an illegitimate daughter when she was 11 (see Wikipedia article "Agnes of Eltham")