Friday, February 10, 2012

I, Elizabeth


I'm mad about history, and thanks to the wonders of YouTube, I'd managed to catch a 5-part documentary on Elizabeth I of England (unfortunately, I don't know the name of the documentary, or who produced it, as the person who'd uploaded it cut those out).

Well, if you know anything about Elizabeth I at all, you'd know that despite her various shortcomings -- including exceeding vanity, aggravating indecision and a hot temper -- she was widely admired for her prodigious intellect, willpower, energy and drive. She was generally loved by her people, and ruled England for over 44 years.

The documentary featured several authorities on the queen, including a couple of well-known authors, and I was struck by what one of them -- Rosalind Miles, the author of I, Elizabeth -- said. Contrary to expectations, Jane Grey had just been executed, and Mary, Elizabeth's half-sister, had become queen.

"Elizabeth at this point must have just got her eyes on the ball and thought, 'Walk carefully. Watch your step. Do as little as possible, and it will come to you'. And throughout her life, that was her policy. Masterly inactivity -- watch and wait".

In Part 5, Ms Miles closed the documentary with these words, worthy enough for an epitaph: "She had everything that women want. She lived her life to the full, she knew the love of good men and a good country, and she died at peace in her own bed".


Miss Val's Creations said...

Elizabeth I was amazing! I love the ending quote of this documentary. It is perfect!

Elizabeth Rose Stanton said...

Sounds fascinating! I share your interest in history!! Elizabeth I sounds a lot like Catherine the Great. I am just finishing up a really good book about her. You might enjoy reading it ("Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman" by Robert K. Massie).


O yes, Robert Massie is a great writer! I read his "Nicholas & Alexandra". I read "Catherine The Great" by Henri Troyat and enjoyed that very much too.


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