Monday, November 28, 2011

Guest Post by Jamie Salisbury - Elizabeth I: Sixteenth Century Diva

Please help me welcome the extraordinary Jamie Salisbury author of Perpetual Love.  She has been kind enough to do a guest post for me and on one of my favorite subjects “Elizabeth I”.

 Christine graced my blog earlier with a historical piece on Henry VIII (why does that song always plague my brain when I see his name?) as a “rock star” of his era. I am returning the favor by presenting Elizabeth I. Thank you Christine for giving me the opportunity.

With December fast approaching I am getting the “great golly washers” in anticipation of the launch of my second eNovel, “Tudor Rose”. This is the first in a series I’ve named “The Tudor Dynasty” series. I’ve been mildly amused by the comments that have come in already. Why? Well, people hear the name “Tudor” and they immediately conger up visions of the late Henry VIII or Elizabeth I and assume that “Tudor Rose” is a novel set in this era. As a history buff, the age of Henry VIII and a cast of other great people I embraced the feedback. I have dabbled in writing a novel set in that era. Not an easy task, but one I am researching.

If Elizabeth lived today I would place her right alongside Hillary Clinton, Eleanor Roosevelt and her descendent, Elizabeth II. If I were making her a female sixteenth century rock star, I would set her right next to the great Barbra Streisand. For she would have been not just a singer, but a woman with political ambitions. She was an extraordinary woman living in a time when the mere thought of a woman holding office much less becoming one of the most powerful women of her era would have been laughed at by her male counterparts.

Elizabeth was born in Greenwich on September 7, 1533. She was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty. She reigned for 45-years, considered one of the most glorious in English history. She was quite well educated, spoke six languages fluently, having inherited her intelligence, shrewdness and determination from both her parents.

Perhaps her greatest contribution was that of making sure the Church of England was established and secure. Its doctrines were a compromise between Roman Catholic and Protestantism. Most of her subjects accepted the compromise as the basis of their faith. This probably saved England from religious wars like those France suffered during the second half of the century. Remember religion was (and still is in some cases) a man’s topic.

The arts flourished during Elizabeth’s time. She attended the first performance of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. I wonder what she would think of Will’s phenomenal success century’s later?

Her reign was also a dangerous one, not only for her but many others. A lot had to do with religion. After a papal document specifically released her subjects from their allegiance to her, she passed harsh laws against Roman Catholics after threats against her life were discovered. One such plot involved Mary, Queen of Scots. But we’ll save that juicy story for another time.

Of course one of the most well known facts about Elizabeth was the fact she never married. If she lived today, this fact wouldn’t even make headlines. In her time, well that was another matter indeed. Elizabeth herself chose to never marry. If she had married a foreign prince, he would have drawn England into foreign policies for his advantages; marrying a fellow countryman could have drawn her into factional infighting. Her last courtship was with the Duke of Anjou, who was twenty-two years her junior.

Elizabeth, or the ‘Virgin Queen’ as she became known (and if you believe that. . .)was a selfless woman who put her country and her people above her own personal happiness, for the good of the nation. She was in essence married to her kingdom.

She died at Richmond Palace on March 24, 1603 at age of 70, having become a legend in her own lifetime.

Indeed Elizabeth I was centuries ahead of her time.

So, getting back to my upcoming eNovel, Tudor Rose, I daresay I could envision Elizabeth in the part of Zara Middleton. Zara is a strong, educated, self-made woman living in the 21st century. Unlike Elizabeth though, Zara has love. . .

Please stop by my blog, leave a comment, just say ‘hi’. I’d love to hear from you.

 Jamie Salisbury

Author of Perpetual Love, Book 1 of the “Albert and Anne” series.

Follow me at:

Twitter: @JamieRSalisbury


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