Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Question from Jessica - Elizabeth I's temper

This question may not exactly be 'Tudor,' but it is Elizabethan which I though it was close enough. Several years ago when I was in junior high, I had a history teacher who told me that Queen Elizabeth I had a violent, abusive temper and would do things like throw objects, cuss like a sailor, and even bully and torment both her courtiers and servants by starving them, beating them, pressuring them to look/act a certain way, threatening to behead them, and expecting them to be as meek as a mouse, all the while. So, exactly how much of this info is true? Was Good Queen Bess actually this horrible? Did she really mistreat those around her, or is that all just a big myth/rumor?

Related threads:


Jessica said...

Hey Lara, thank you for the related threads you put there for me. I read them. However, I'm still questioning the starvation part. In all the portraits I've seen of her courtiers like Robert Dudley, William Cecil, and some of the female courtiers, too, they all look way too skinny, tired, and miserable. I understand that no one smiled in their portraits for very good reasons back then, but still. I also thought that in this time fatness/weight gain was a fertility and (positive) status symbol. Anyways, please excuse my wordiness, and I would appreciate a response if/when it's convenient on your take on the matter.

Howard said...

Lol! Queen Elizabeth I's court was NOT a modeling agency! Lol! Per reading your entire question, Queen Elizabeth I may have done a lot of things but I don't think fat-shaming her courtiers or her servants (male or female) was one of them. In fact, I think that in an era where fatter/bigger people were more idealized, (or the very least for men, if not overweight, to be more muscular, and for women, if they were slimmer, to be expected to have curves, at the same time), she may have been more likely, when it came to their appearance, to berate them and skinny-shame them for being/getting too thin. Anyways, I always like to try to help someone who has a question about history, at least once per day. Hope that helps with your other part of your question.