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A 16th Century Sexy, Smart and Passionate Woman

For the last 5 Wednesdays and last Friday, I’ve turned over my blog to some excellent writers. They did a great job of keeping my readers happy.

If you missed any of them, click on name and…whoosh!…you’ll be swept off to blogland so you can catch up: Jillian Dodd, Steena Holmes, Elena Aitken, Angela Wallace, Barbara McDowell.

I’m so glad you’re here to catch the last indie author in my series.

Today’s guest is the beautiful  and hilarious, Tameri Etherton!

Rocking the Renaissance ~ Queen Elizabeth IQueen Elizabeth I

When most of us think of women who are sexy, smart, and from the heart, Queen Elizabeth I probably isn’t at the top of our lists. I totally think she should be.

I’m sure many of us think our family is a bit crazy, but Elizabeth’s was more than a little nuts. Especially her dad, King Henry VIII. Before she was thirteen years old she saw the beheading of her mother, Anne Boleyn, a succession of four step-moms, the death of her father, and the acts of Parliament that would declare both her and her sister Mary illegitimate. Fortunately for Elizabeth, Henry’s last wife Katherine Parr adored her and took Elizabeth into her household, making certain she received the same schooling as her brother Edward. It was these early lessons in philosophy, theology, and rhetoric that would eventually help Elizabeth stay alive.

The Tudor Court was nothing if not filled with drama and intrigue. When Henry died, Elizabeth’s brother ascended the throne, which was all fine and well until he up and died six years later without an heir. Here’s where it gets interesting. Henry might have declared both Mary and Elizabeth illegitimate, but in his will he listed them in the line of succession after Edward. What’s a Parliament to do?

Find a new successor.

Poor Lady Jane Grey. She was Elizabeth’s cousin and a pawn in English politics. She was named Queen and ruled for just nine days before she was beheaded then Mary became Queen of England.

Ever heard of ‘Bloody Mary’? Yep, that’s Elizabeth’s sister. The Queen.

Elizabeth grew up Protestant and Mary, a devout Catholic. The two were never close and Mary always suspected her sister of trying to steal her throne. She even went so far as to have Elizabeth put in the Tower of London as a prisoner. For two long months Elizabeth didn’t know if she would ever leave the Tower or if, like her mother, she would die there.

Her release came in part due to her ability to write a darn good letter that extolled the majesty of Mary’s reign while also giving reasons why Elizabeth was innocent.

Elizabeth’s gift with words would benefit her throughout her reign. Once she ascended the throne it became the focus of nearly everyone around her to find her a husband. Having grown up seeing what marriage did to a person, Elizabeth wasn’t interested. But she would often dangle her availability to potential allies with letters or poems worded in such a way the receiver wasn’t sure exactly what Elizabeth was saying.

She never took a husband and whether or not she died a virgin is open to debate. Some say she fathered at least two sons, but Elizabeth herself said she had ‘a thousand eyes’ watching her at all times. If she did have an affair, it was the best kept secret of her reign.

In the movie, Elizabeth there is a line where she tells her advisor Cecil that she is married to England. She was. Elizabeth loved her subjects more than most kings and queens before her. She fought to make their lives better while keeping an open opinion regarding their religious beliefs. As long as they were true to her Crown, she didn’t care what religion they followed. That was crazy talk back in the day and Elizabeth made a few enemies over it, but her subjects adored her, calling her ‘Good Queen Bess’.

When Elizabeth took the throne in 1558 she inherited a bankrupt government, a country divided by religious turmoil, even her own legitimacy to the throne was still being questioned. Instead of breaking under the pressure of inheriting such a dismal state, Elizabeth set about to make her nation great. In the end, she did exactly that. When James inherited the throne in 1603, England was one of the most powerful in Europe.

Queen Elizabeth I was the longest ruling monarch in English history. Queen Victoria and  Queen Elizabeth II held the throne longer than her, but they didn’t and don’t rule. By the time they took the throne, England was ruled by a Parliament with the monarch acting more as an advisor. Elizabeth I made certain her Parliament knew she valued their opinion, but it was the Queen who ruled.

Can you see now why Queen Elizabeth I was sexy, smart, and from the heart?
She was a passionate woman who believed in her country enough to put aside her own needs for her people. She was smart enough to know when to flirt and when to fight, either with words or swords. Her love of life flowed from her court into the arts and enlightenment, giving her name to one of the most glorious ages in English history.

Tameri Etherton, writer of fantasy, author of the blog A Cup of Tea and SorceryTo say I wish I was born a faerie princess with magical powers is an understatement. The fact that I’m a mortal is my everlasting curse. Perhaps that’s why I write fantasy. Every day I get to delve into worlds of mystery and beauty. I can become the sorceress of my dreams or the villain of my nightmares. Being able to create worlds and creatures from my imagination is a marvelous thing.

As a mother, I am blessed to be able to stay at home with my children. My daughter is a beautiful and intelligent twenty-year old and my son is now a teenager. When people say they grow up so fast, they aren’t kidding!

I live a charmed life. I know this and am grateful for every single day. My husband is my best friend and soul mate. He works hard so that I can be a good mother to my children and live out my fantasies on paper.

Visit me at A Cup of Tea and Sorcery, and connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

Would you have wanted to live during the Renaissance period? For me, all that glitz, glamour and pampering wasn’t worth the risk of being beheaded. What do you think?

Before you go — Don’t forget to stop over at the Life List Club blog today! Lara Schiffbauer is posting today. Go see what she’s up to and give her some comment luv!
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Discussion

  1. Debra Eve  April 28, 2012

    It’s a fascinating time, but certainly not one to lose your head over :) I adore Elizabeth, but find Lady Jane Grey’s story so tragic. Did you see the movie about her with a very young Helen Bonham-Carter? Wonderful storytelling, Tameri!

    (reply)
    • Tameri Etherton  April 29, 2012

      I absolutely agree, Debra. That is one of my favorite movies, by the way. Poor Lady Jane. I’ve often wondered what she thought of all that happened to her. At some point she had to either have huge doubts or fully believe she could be Queen. Fascinating tale either way. Thanks for stopping in!

      (reply)
  2. Kate MacNicol  April 26, 2012

    I enjoy stories about the Renaissance and how strong women overcame great societal roadblocks in order to stay true to who they were. Thanks for bringing Elizabeth I to life Tameri. She was an amazing queen.

    (reply)
    • Tameri Etherton  April 29, 2012

      She certainly was, Kate. Being a woman back then was challenging to say the least. There are many great examples, but Elizabeth I is my favorite. Thanks for stopping in, I’m so glad you enjoyed hanging out in the Renaissance for a bit.

      (reply)
  3. Emma  April 26, 2012

    Great post Tameri. I’m learning lots of history from you lately.

    (reply)
    • Tameri Etherton  April 29, 2012

      Thanks Emma. I’ve been on a bit of history charge, haven’t I? Well, I’m glad you’re enjoying it!!

      (reply)
  4. Marcia  April 26, 2012

    I loved having you over to visit, Tameri. Elizabeth I is one of my fave sexy, strong women now!

    (reply)
    • Tameri Etherton  April 26, 2012

      It was fun to hang out with you and your readers. All this talk about Elizabeth has spurred a book idea and you know she’ll be sexy and smart in it!

      Thanks again for inviting me over.

      (reply)
  5. subtlekate  April 26, 2012

    Elizabeth is high on my list of sexy women.

    (reply)
    • Tameri Etherton  April 26, 2012

      Mine too. She was very savvy for her time, which makes me wonder how amazing she’d be in our time. Unstoppable, most likely. Thanks for stopping in to comment!

      (reply)
  6. Louise Behiel  April 25, 2012

    who knew all that about this amazing woman? now i’m going to have to research and read more. thanks Tameri

    (reply)
    • Tameri Etherton  April 26, 2012

      You’re so welcome, Louise! Glad you liked Elizabeth. She’s a very interesting character and her family was a riot. I’d love for you to ‘analyze’ them. :)

      (reply)
  7. Diana Douglas  April 25, 2012

    I love history, but personally don’t want to live in any era before the invention of blow driers. If I did find myself hurled back in time, I wouldn’t want to be a member of the Royal Family. I like my head where it is. Great post!

    (reply)
    • Marcia  April 26, 2012

      I’m with you, Diana! If I didn’t have my ionic hot rollers, I wouldn’t be seen in public, and it would be no fun getting an axe to the neck!

      (reply)
    • Tameri Etherton  April 26, 2012

      That’s crazy funny, Diana. Blow dryers have revolutionized our morning routine, that’s for sure. I think being privileged would be nice back then, but I’m with you ~ I like my head attached to my neck. Thanks for your fab comment.

      (reply)
  8. Walker  April 25, 2012

    Great post. I have Elizabeth 1 by Margaret George on my ‘to read’ list. All the more excited now.

    (reply)
    • Tameri Etherton  April 26, 2012

      Ooh, I hope you enjoy the book! There are so many written either about Elizabeth or around the time of her reign, but Margaret George’s is one of my faves. Thanks for stopping in to say hi!

      (reply)
  9. Coleen Patrick  April 25, 2012

    I agree with you on the beheading risk, but I’ve always been fascinated with royals and the Tudor period especially! :)

    (reply)
    • Tameri Etherton  April 26, 2012

      Those Tudors changed England is many, many ways, starting with Henry VII on Bosworth Field. It’s a great time in history and one of the most fun to research.

      (reply)
  10. Natalie Hartford  April 25, 2012

    Amazing!!! LOVED the post Tameri (thanks so much for hosting Marcia). I couldn’t agree more, Elizabeth was one hell of a woman especially in that time and era. Incredible that she not only lived but thrived and was so successful.
    I am with you, although I love the era, I don’t think I’d have wanted to have lived as a woman in that period. We really had no rights other than through marriage and you just kept your fingers crossed you got a good one. LOL!
    I have read a lot of Philippa Gregory’s books that were set around the story of Elizabeth and that era – amazing!!
    LOVE LOVE LOVE your BIO!!!

    (reply)
    • Tameri Etherton  April 26, 2012

      Thanks so much, Natalie! It’s always amazed me that Elizabeth was so successful in that time for the exact reason you mention. Women had very little power so that makes her all the more amazing to me that she defied every stereotype. Love her! Philippa Gregory tells fascinating tales ~ I almost feel like I’m in the court gossiping about everyone. Super fun!

      (reply)
  11. Tameri Etherton  April 25, 2012

    Marcia, thank you so much for having me today! I always love to visit your gorgeous blog and to see my post here is humbling.

    I hope your readers enjoy this little snipped of Elizabeth’s life.

    (reply)
    • Tameri Etherton  April 25, 2012

      Sherry, I have that book too. One of my favorite books on Elizabeth is a fictionalized account of her life. It’s called ‘The Tudor Wench’ by Alswyth Thane. If you can find it, definitely read it. Great fun and gives a wonderful account of Elizabeth’s romance with Dudley.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I always love finding fellow QEI fans.

      (reply)
      • Sherry Isaac  April 26, 2012

        The Tudor Wench. I’ll have to look for that. I have a few Philippa Gregory novels, not all, and probably not in order, and not yet read. Oh, the TBR pile, how she topples.

        (reply)
  12. Sherry Isaac  April 25, 2012

    Tameri, I adore Elizabeth I. Henry left chaos in his wake, and she took it all on with grace and her head held high. I have a fabulous book by Jane Dunn, Elizabeth & Mary, that I’ve yet to read. I feel you’ve given me the Coles version.

    (reply)
    • Tameri Etherton  April 26, 2012

      Sorry Sherry, I seem to be a spaz and left the reply on my own comment. See above for my reply to you. Ugh. Must’ve been before my morning tea. ;)

      (reply)

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