Dinner Party Fail

On 9 March 1566, Mary, Queen of Scots, though it’d be nice to have a little dinner party with David Rizzio, a singer and musician whom she’d made secretary for relations with France. Unfortunately, Rizzio’s Catholic religion and close relationship with Mary had made him unpopular with some of the more insane noblemen at court, who decided Rizzio had to go. While Mary and David … Continue reading Dinner Party Fail

Margaret the Uniter

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to witness the joining of two countries. As Princess Margaret Tudor marries King James IV, England and Scotland are united and shall remain so forevermore. Right? Well, no. That certainly was the idea behind Margaret’s marriage to James, which took place on August 8, 1503, the day after she arrived in Edinburgh, but as we all know, the … Continue reading Margaret the Uniter

Elizabeth I

Happy birthday, Queen Elizabeth! On September 7, 1533, the new queen, Anne Boleyn, gave birth to a baby girl who would unexpectedly grow up to be one of England’s most celebrated rulers. Despite being born to royalty, Elizabeth’s life wasn’t an easy one. Her mother was executed less than three years after her birth and her father had her declared illegitimate, neglecting her to such … Continue reading Elizabeth I

The Beginning of the End

May 15 was the beginning of the end for a pair of 16th century queens. First, in 1536, Anne Boleyn was brought to trial on (almost certainly) bogus charges of adultery and incest and found guilty. Her brother, George Boleyn, who was accused of having a sexual relationship with her, was tried separately the same day and also found guilty. The trials came a day … Continue reading The Beginning of the End

Mary, Queen of Scots

Oh, Mary. Mary, Mary, Mary. As I said in a previous blog, she wasn’t a bad person, she was just woefully unsuited for her job. Poor woman. She probably would have made a fine royal consort (and she did, in fact, when she was married to the French king), but she just didn’t have the firm hand needed to rule a country like Scotland. Or any country, really. So, she crashed and burned and, over the years, got romanticized all over the place. There have been plenty of movies made about her, but only one has Vanessa Redgrave in it: Mary, Queen of Scots. There’s talk of a remake with Scarlett Johansson, which I really hope won’t happen, because I like this one the way it is. Joining Vanessa in an impressive cast are Ian Holm, Patrick McGoohan, Timothy Dalton, and, of course, Glenda Jackson as Elizabeth I. It didn’t get great reviews, but it got nominated for a lot of awards because, as we know, corsets = Oscars.

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