Queen Elisabeth!

Is a woman fit to rule? Is a woman's place behind a pulpit? Or in politics?

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Good Queen Bess
Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History
see book by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

A woman has no business in government

"A woman has no business in politics." So we still hear today. America's all-time most famous Talk Radio "personality" RUSH LIMBAUGH -- has said as much on numerous occasions. (And has alluded to his attitudes on countless more.) Feminism is a devil philosophy. A woman's place is in the home, or raising kids, or cooking, or sitting QUIETLY in church. Never must a woman "teach" (so said the apostle Paul). Never must a woman lead a country: she is not fit "TO RULE." -- that being a man's job.

Yet time and again, in all places and all times, we see the claim utterly disproved by facts on the gound. In our own time Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto and Maggie Thatcher (the friend of Ronald Reagan) have disproved it. In Bible times several women were judges or savior's from Israel's troubles (Miriam, Deborah, Judith). Muhammad's wife Khadija was the first to believe in him. His wife of later years, Aisha, as his widow showed leadership, resourcefulness, and military brilliance. Joan of Arc, with divine intervention, led France to victory.

Well-behaved Women Seldom Make History

In our day, the calumnies against smart woman or "leaders" is as old as the human race (no doubt). In the current debates, the Catholic Church is often singled out for no other reason than it is the oldest Christian denomination and its position against women priests is most clearly spelled out. Yet in its theological attacks against Elizabeth, it was not alone by any means. John Knox, the eloquent Calvinist grumbled against her, too (along with her cousin the Francophone Mary Queen of Scots) "this monstrous regiment of Women."

The Bible itself, by and large, gives a great deal of aid and comfort to the sexist viewpoints, the misogynist and male-supremacist bias. Yet there are also an abundance of subterranean clues, as it were subtly contradicting the surface male chauvinist assumptions.

In the days of the prophets, there was a prevalent attitude that women, for their sexual function, are unclean things. These attitudes had roots in ancient custom and taboo. Women are unclean. One prophet asked the men, if that is so, "Can a clean thing come from an unclean?" If we men are so "clean," -- didn't all of us have mothers?

The People who Make History? (Churchill Quote)

The destiny of mankind is not decided by material computation. When great causes are on the move in the world, stirring all men's souls, drawing them from their firesides, casting aside comfort, wealth and the pursuit of happiness in response to impulses at once awe-striking and irresistible, we learn that we are spirits, not animals, and that something is going on in space and time, and beyond space and time, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty. [Winston Churchill broadcast to America June 12, 1941]

Natural Superiority of Queens

Elizabeth Gould Davis cites John Stuart Mill to the effect that queens have invariably proved better monarchs and rulers than kings, although they have been a minority in historical times. England's history, she says, proves Mill's dictum. There, the greatest eras bear women's names: The Elizabethan Age of Discovery and Expansion, the age of Queen Anne, and the Victorian Age of the Pax Britanica. [p 120]

That red-headed Welsh harridan
The pope considered her a witch

But oh. She loved her finery.
that red-headed Welsh harridan
thanks to i.imgur.com

Good Queen Bess

"that red-headed Welsh harridan"
(she was NOT a 'well-behaved woman')

And certainly not a meek or mousy Anglo-Saxon girl

Tudor Rose
Cymru am byth
True enough, Elizabeth was red-haired, she was temperamental, and she was Welsh to the bone, with the sombre-hued, olive complection of the Dark Welsh (which she daily whitenened with cosmetics). But far from being ashamed of her Tudor Welsh bloodlines, she was proud of it. She thrilled to the stories of Arthurian romance, and like the American Presidents Kennedy and Reagan (themselves of Celtic heritage, too), delighted in the "Matter of Britain" -- the legends and lore of Camelot and Avalon, of Joseph of Arimathea and Merlin. The Tudors, after all, were said to be descended from King Arthur. They believed themselves to be the bloodline prophesied in the famous prophecy of Merlin (Myrddin) that the Welsh would rise again, that King Arthur (Y Mab Darogan) would return again to lead them. Far-fetched it may seem to us today, but (as John Kennedy said in another context) the hope still lives and the dream will never die. Humans need our "myths" to sustain us through the dark times. Elizabeth had her share of dark times, but strove to live up to high ideals.

When she was crowned after her older sister's death, Elizabeth was 25 years old. She hoped to encourage peace among the sects. She had recoiled at the murderous religious bloodshed of her father's days (Henry VIII) and of her older sister (Mary Tudor), even then dubbed "bloody Mary." Yes, her own life survival had been no doubt somewhat precarious, with some of Mary's advisors wishing Elizabeth dead, yet while Mary allowed Elizabeth's imprisonment, she spared her life, despite the advice of Stephen Gardiner, who wanted Elizabeth killed. [from W.K. Jordan]

~ I have no desire to make windows into men's souls ~

At first it looked like Elizabeth would be able to promote peace among the proliferating religious strands. It was a wish she had oft expressed -- at the beginning.

  "I have no desire to make windows into men's souls," Elizabeth stated, at the beginning.

It is said of her, Queen Elizabeth was remarkably tolerant of different religions. At least at the beginning. "There is only one Christ, Jesus," she said, "only one faith. All else is a dispute over trifles." In a sense, her views roughly paralleled those of Erasmus, who believed unity and toleration would be achievable among Christians of differing perspectives, if charity were put first by all the parties of the Christian Church. Elizabeth had seen more than her share of religious strife in her own father's household. Videlicit, the executions of martyrs for their respective scruples.

She at first seemed to bear no ill-will to the Spanish. Her step mother (Catherine) after all was Aragonese, and her half-sister Mary was, too.

However, Elizabeth did not or could not fulfill her initial benign intention. A careful Catholic writer, James Carroll, noted the effect that Pope Paul IV (Giovanni Pietro Carafa) severe actions -- "rejecting reconciling overtures from Queen Elizabeth" -- had in dooming prospects for rapprochement with England. This Pope, distinguished by his energy in other respects (attacks on Jews, punishing Michelangelo, creating the Roman ghetto, curtailing the Spirituali, suppressing Cardinal Pole) rather than assuaging the English, actually alienated them. [see p 377, Constantine's Sword]

Virulent language from one Pope against her

In retrospect it is amazing the measures taken to ensure Elizabeth's survival. The plots against her were innumerable. Lawrence & Nancy Goldstone point out that Elizabeth's reign coincided with one of the most dangerous periods in European history. To understand Elizabeth is to understand that she was the only female head of state of the only avowedly Protestant nation in all of Europe. Sandwiched in between all-powerful Catholic Spain and anguished France like a "bone between two dogs" as one of her councilors put it.

Her majesty's government felt compelled to take a harsher stance against Catholics than it wanted to do, and it is said that Elizabeth was never comfortable with the persecution of a person for their faith. Her own temper notwithstanding, she seemed less inclined than her father to destroy the enemies who tried to subvert her. But the Catholics, at least Spain and that Pope, were out to bring her down. (It would be bad news for any loyal Catholics in England.)

  Indeed, Elizabeth had tried to pursue a course of comparative toleration for Catholics but then Pope Pius more or less figured he could get England's Catholics to do his dirty work. In 1569 a papal representative was sent to the northern counties of England.

  Thomas Percy and Charles Neville led an armed rebellion against Elizabeth. This was the Northern Rebellion of 1569, and it failed. The Catholics of the time, spurred on by edicts and decretals, egged on by papal enticements and foreign lust for English booty, just would not quit.

Then there was the the Ridolfi plot, (with Norfolk aiding and abetting). This plot was yet another Roman Catholic plot (1570) to assassinate Elizabeth and replace her with Mary I of Scotland (who spoke neither Scottish nor English -- only French). Norfolk was caught, but Elizabeth was reluctant to have him executed. Ridolfi escaped to Europe. But implicated was Mary Queen of Scots. Her machinations proved she had broke her repeated assurances to her cousin Elizabeth, who had given Mary sanctuary in England.

King Phillip II of Spain had been supporting plots to overthrow Elizabeth. Despite vast amounts of gold and silver and other property expropriated from Jews, and even more gold and silver plundered from New World peoples, Spain was already broke. Loans from the Pope to fight the Protestants had been promised, but were slow in coming. The Catholic king was desperate. To him, England looked like an apple ripe for the plucking -- and a way out of his financial woes. (Spain's literate and flourishing "middle class" -- the Jews and Moors -- were now gone.)

Cross of Saint George
I vow to thee my country
Flag of England

  The goal of the numerous plots and intrusions was of course to restore the Catholic Church and to overthrow that woman Elizabeth. They intended to overthrow Elizabeth and to replace her with Mary Queen of Scots (Catholic) mother of the future King James I.

Hard on the heels of the armed Catholic rebellion, early in 1570, the supreme pontiff Pius V issued a Papal Bull declaring that all of
Elizabeth's subjects were absolved from all allegiance to her. Moreover, anyone who obeyed any of her orders was declare "anathema" -- that is, eternally condemned. Imagine the dilemma this put the people of England in. Barely a few years earlier, it was easy and natural for anyone to be both loyal Christian Catholic and loyal subject of the Crown. Now, to be loyal to Rome, one had to assert rebellion and enmity against one's own nation.

The papal bull, Regnans in Excelsis, dated April 27, 1570, declared Elizabeth I a heretic, condemned to hell. It formally and fully released and absolved ALL her subjects from their allegiance to her. In response, Elizabeth, who had thus far left Catholics alone, was urged by here counselors to defend herself and her realm (and them). Again, much pleading, cajoling, and "threats" were necessary to persuade the reluctant Queen. Ultimately, she now actively started persecuting those whose "actions, not beliefs" broke the laws of England.

Queen Buddig - Warrior Queen of the Welsh
Queen Boudicca
Queen Boudicca : warrior queen of the Welsh

That red-headed Welsh harridan
They might as well be calling her a "bitch." King James Stuart had said as much. A couple of the popes had seethed in similar manner. The King of Spain was at one point beside himself in frustration against that red-headed Welsh female. (With a mind of her own.)

And the Pope, besides his bull, now involved himself with abetting plots and fomenting rebellions against "the very woman." My impression is that the fact Elizabeth was a woman is secondary to other considerations, such as political and economic ones. Spain had been the superpower. Who was this upstart England? Sure, Elizabeth had a woman's style, but she could be tough, when double-crossed. Or bullied. Malleus Maleficarum, that infamous misogynist treatise against women (witches) would make our age (at least in America) wince. This "hammer of witches" literally reeked with righteous hatred of women, declaring nothing more dangerous to the Catholic faith than midwives (witches by definition). But the Church has always relegated woman to a set-apart status. Women should be seen but not heard. A tough woman is an emasculator. (Witch?)

From the perspective of today, the Pope was merely playing world politics -- a necessary gamble for a world player like the Church of those days. England was a poor north land, a bustling shopkeeper nation, to be sure. But compared to Spain, what had she to offer? Spain had just inherited the wealth and culture of the Jews and Moors, now outlawed by the Inquisition. Then, with the conquest of the new world, Spain had a second source of vast troves of treasure. Little England, led by a WOMAN, was an irritant. It made pre-eminent sense to just invade, take over, and be done with that bitty, that harridan.

Elizabeth felt vulnerable. But the mushrooming English middle classes by and large forgave even her weaknesses, her vanity and occasional hot temper, her constant love of elegance and theatrical amusements and chivalry. Puritans and such evangelicals may have grumbled against the pleasure loving indulgent frivolities of the Elizabethan court, but they did so, for the most part, privately. (All that was to change when James, the Scot French intellectual, succeeded Elizabeth.)

But with Spain and Rome and even France out to get her, Elizabeth felt precarious. England's middle class, with their newfound civic participation, their increasing literacy, and their access to learning of sorts (the Bible) were also worried. Catholic (Papal) hostility to democracy was proved daily, it seemed. Catholic kings destroyed their middle class. Catholic inquisitors regularly hunted down heretics, burnt books, opposed freedom of the press.

If King Arthur had his Merlin, Queen Elizabeth had Dr. Dee
When things looked bleakest for Elizabeth, with all the continental (and Catholic) monarchies of Europe against her, a Welshman with a strange omen appeared before Elizabeth. This man, John Dee, was a bit of a Celt sorcerer or alchemist in the Brythonic "bardic" tradition. Yet defenders call him educated, a scientist, a mathematician and a humanist. He came to the Queen bearing documentation claiming north America for Britain. Based on the voyage of a bygone Welsh explorer named Madoc, John Dee showed Elizabeth maps, drawn in detail, proving Britain's legitimate ownership of north America. He asserted that Britain, then with zero overseas territory (except Ireland) was rightful owner of a "British Empire" - a term that Dr. Dee himself coined.

In 1572 more handwriting appeared on the wall: the Catholics massacred the Protestants of France. Known in history as the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, it was an ambush, carefully planned by the princes of the Church in collusion with their allies in the State. Traditionally believed to have been instigated by Catherine de' Medici, literally thousands of Protestants were murdered, first in Paris, then most of the cities in France. Wikipedia says that modern estimates for the number of dead vary widely between 5,000 and 30,000 in total. Throughout Europe, it "printed on Protestant minds the indelible conviction that Catholicism was a bloody and treacherous religion". [see wiki]

As if that were not enough, in 1576 came the "Spanish Fury." Antwerp was sacked by Spanish soldiers run amok, and the city fell to the ravages of three days of horror among the population of Antwerp, the cultural, economic and financial centre of the Netherlands. The attack was wanton and unprovoked, and some 7,000 Dutch lives were lost. The city's large Jewish population was particularly hard hit and Antwerp subsequently lost its status as one of the richest, most influential cities in Europe.

Then, in 1580 Pope Gregory XIII conspired to have Queen Elizabeth I assassinated after his initial failure to get Emperor King Philip II of Spain to attack Ireland, the Netherlands and then England.

More bad news came in 1584, when the Protestant King of Holland, William of Orange, was murdered. Alarmed, Elizabeth responded by sending aid to the Netherlands. The fanatical Catholics in Spain saw a war, and the conquest of England, as a religious crusade which had been given Papal blessing

Even closer to home, two years later (1586), one of Elizabeth's men, Sir Francis Walsingham, discovered "the Babington Plot" to assassinate Queen Elizabeth and replace her with Catholic Mary Queen of Scots. Repeatedly, Mary had solemnly vowed to Elizabeth (her cousin) her utter loyalty and support. Elizabeth felt crushed. [more]

After the death of Pope Gregory, the new pope Sixtus V promised to pay Spain's King Philip one million gold ducats if his troops invaded (landed in) England. Sixtus had Cardinal Allen draw up "An Admonition to the Nobility and Laity of England," a proclamation to be published in England if the invasion had been successful. This "White Pope," harsher than those who went before, has been called by Americanist Feminist Adrienne Rich "a fanatic Counter-Reformation cleanser of the Church." [p 266. Of Woman Born.]

On the theological front, the new Pope was doing his part to destroy "that woman" (Elizabeth). Renewing her excommunitcation, for establishing a heretical kingdom, Elizabeth's excommunication was reinforced and she was declared o be deprived of her "pretended title" to the throne. Thus, all faithful Catholics in England were given an irreconcilable choice: remain loyal to England and the queen (and be officially damned to hell by formal order of the pope), or obey the pope and "be sent to heaven immediately" by order of the queen's government.

Alas, Catholic threats continued throughout Elizabeth's reign. In 1580 Jesuit priests were sent to England for expressly subversive purposes.

  When war threatened, Elizabeth sounded an attitude of pugnacity that reminds me of a later statesman - Winston Churchill: "I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too; and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realms."

Still, the promised Catholic invasion did not come. The English sea dogs, like much of the rest of England, loved their Queen. But were they ready to face the mighty "invincible" Spanish armada, the majestic galleons? Spain was then, after all, the single super power of the world at that time, surpassing all others. The English may have had a bustling commercial spirit, but the Spainish had just inherited all the wealth of the Moors and Jews of Old Spain, had just conquerored three empires in the Western Hemisphere, and were even then appropriating their gold and silver as well (or trying to). Who were these upstart English, anyway?

Elizabeth's pugnacity had that same English spirit of resolve that the world later saw when Hitler also threatened to invade England at any moment. Winston Churchill's taunt to Hitler was,

We are waiting for the long-promised invasion. So are the fishes.

Impatient with waiting, the English sea dogs went looking for their enemies, and harried them even in their home ports.

Divina virago: Elizabeth as Amazon
In 1588, the Spaniards and their allies came, and Elizabeth stood majestically as if to lead her men personally. Like a true warrior Queen, Elizabeth, upon a White Horse, inspected her soldiers, and made what was possibly her most famous speech of all. It certainly was (to borrow from Winston Churchill) her finest hour. Indeed, she sounded like Churchill! What a warrior!

She was arrayed like a goddess, or an Amazon. "Habited like an Amazonian Queen, buskined and plumed, having a golden truncheon, gantlet and gorget." Her spirit was fearless and proud. What a Queen!

dux fœmina facti
I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart
and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too; and I think foul scorn
that Parma or Spain -- or any prince of Europe --
should dare to invade the borders of my realms.

The "invincible" Armada ran into not merely the highly maneuverable and evasive English sea dogs, but forces of Nature that seemed to be playing favorites -- on behalf of England. In the aftermath of the Spanish defeat, many of the English considered those winds (which had helped defeat the Spanish) to have been providential. This was a sign of God's favor, as the Bible verse had said of ancient Israel, Flavit Deus et Dissipati Sunt. (God blew with his winds and his enemies were scattered.)

In Rome the shrewd, vigorous, "peasant pope," the Illyrian Sixtus V had just succeeded his old enemy Gregory as Pope. He greeted the news of Mary's death with lamentation, but added in an aside about Elizabeth: 'What a valiant woman --she braves the two greatest kings by land and sea. A pity we cannot marry, she and I, for our children would have ruled the world!' To the Spanish Ambassador he repeated his promise to give Philip one million ducats as soon as Spanish soldiers landed on English soil, but would not advance a single one by way of a forward loan. (Graham, The Spanish Armadas, p. 67).

When news of the doomed Armada finally reached Rome, Pope Sixtus refused to pay the promised one million ducats (about 1 billion dollars or 1/6 of the cost of the Armada).

Pope Sixtus V was delighted with the destruction of the "Invincible" Armada!!

Believe it or not, the reigning White Pope, Sixtus V, greatly admired the courage and intelligence of Queen Elizabeth and even wished he could marry her. Here is a quote from a pro-Spanish English writer:

Elizabeth's reign was one of the more constructive periods in English history: tight-fisted with money, she helped the economy by reining in government spending. Literature bloomed through the works of Spenser, Marlowe and Shakespeare; Francis Drake and Walter Raleigh were instrumental in expanding English influence in the New World; Elizabeth's religious compromise laid many fears to rest and de-fused a potential powder keg. Fashion and education came to the fore because of Elizabeth's penchant for knowledge, courtly behavior and extravagant dress.
See Was Shakespeare a crypto-Catholic?

Good Queen Bess, as she came to called, maintained a regal air until the day she died; a quote, from a letter by Paul Hentzen, reveals the aging queen's regal nature: "Next came the Queen in the sixty-fifth year of her age, as we were told, very majestic; her face oblong, fair, but wrinkled; her eyes small yet black and pleasant; her nose a little hooked; her lips narrow... she had in her ear two pearls, with very rich drops... her air was stately; her manner of speaking mild and obliging." This regal figure surely had her faults, but she excelled at rising to challenges and emerging victorious.

Elizabeth, "Gloriana," the last of the Tudors, died without leaving an heir at seventy years of age after a reign that had exceeded all realistic expectations for it and qualifies her to be considered in the top rank of British monarchs.

It is said that the Irish have magic tongues, that they are born poets. Elizabeth was not Irish (though she had her fair share of Tudor WELSH, the Tudors claiming direct descent from King Arthur) but she often proved to have a gift for the choice phrase, even an apt nickname for those about her.

Her famous valedictory, her Golden Speech of 1601, has often been mined for quotes:

Robert Shepherd (site creator) adds

My family seems to have loved Elizabeth, that most un-puritanitcal, and un-Quakerly of monarchs. Perhaps the bias has been our Welsh heritage. The Welsh loved the Tudors. And though Elizabeth and her older sister Mary both were striking redheads, it was Elizabeth who has found favor in history. Except among Roman Catholics. What a tragedy of history that this clash should have occurred. Innocent victims bore the brunt of what the politicians in distant lands orchestrated. The machinations and fulminations of distant Spanish plotters, and papal meddlers, produced a climate in which the early tolerance that Elizabeth personally wished for -- was to evaporate.

Eventually, some 312 Roman Catholics (so the usual figure says) were to suffer martyrdom for their complicity in the plots against Elizabeth's life (on the several occasions they were uncovered). And to her dying day, Elizabeth remained "Catholic" through and through, though NOT Roman Catholic, merely English Catholic. In the climate of the times, the Spanish Inquisition could not tolerate such a thing. Nor could the Pope's contract on Elizabeth's life. The one million gold ducats promised to the King of Spain, which later Pope Sixtus V refused to pay.

Spanish King Philip II then ordered Jesuit general Claudius Aquaviva to poison Pope Sixtus V. Philip II actually went through 5 more Popes before his own demise in 1598. The joke at the time was that being Pope in those days was more dangerous than sailing with the Armada!! [See more]

Queen Elizabeth I
Queen Elizabeth I
thanks to earlywomenmasters

Only a Woman
Michael Lewis (1960)

The lonely young woman, hitherto in constant danger of her life (she once had already passed through the Traitor's Gate and remained there for over a year), now became Queen Elizabeth of England. And what a Queen! Though appearances at the start may have seemed all against her she never looked back, nor seriously faltered. A mere complex character, perhaps, never mystified historians ....

But the master-key to her astonishing success is not hard to find. She began at once to seek the love of her people, all of them: from the highest to the lowest. The devotion she gained at once, and she never lost it. Rather, it grew and grew until, long before the end, she had become much more than simply, "our gracious princess." She was the core, the symbol, the embodiment of a new England. Did she deserve it? That may be arguable, but it is immaterial: it does not alter the fact. The England she ruled for forty five years became, and still remains in English hearts and understandings, Elizabethan England: and that great formative period in England's national life is still the AGE OF ELIZABETH.

Among the English people of Henry VIII's time, his "great matter" (of replacing Catherine with Anne) was viewed with much less single-mindedness than what Henry himself did. And when once he accomplished his resolve, marrying his beloved Anne Boleyn, she found herself unloved by the people. Instead, the jilted Catherine was viewed sympathetically, despite her Spanish accent, her Spanish manners, her Spanish relatives, her Spanish entourage. Anne Boleyn, one of their own, was seen (I suspect) almost like a home wrecker. Anne's father, Thomas, was known to them, a prominent gentry, not unliked. Erasmus of Rotterdam, in fact, had dedicated his Commentary on the Lord's Prayer to Thomas Boleyn (who sent him fifty gold crowns in gratitude.)

A Few Good Links

England's Saint George
the bible in english
knight-martyr, servant of our Lord Jesus Christ
Protector of Women, and Patron saint of chivalry

Winston Churchill Invoked

Britain's Queens
Elizabeth Gould Davis writes:

Britain has been very fortunate in her queens. Whether as monarchs or as consorts, they have shown greater talent for rule, as [John Stuart] Mill noted, than kings; and since time immemorial British queens have been in the forefront of the struggle for social and civic reform. The English common law, on which our legal system is based and which provides the germ of the United States Bill of Rights, was first devised and promulgated by a queen, a Celtic queen, Martia Proba, who reigned in Britain in the third century BC.

"Martia, surnamed Proba, 'The Just,'" writes Raphael Holinshed, "perceiving much in the conduct of her subjects which needed reform, devised sundry laws which the Britons, after her death, named the Martian Statutes. Alfred the Great caused the laws of this excellently learned princess .... to be established in the entire realm of England." Geoffrey of Monmouth, writing in the twelfth century, says of Martia: "On the death of King Guithelen, Martia, a noble woman who was skilled in all the arts and who was extremely intelligent yet at the same time most practical, ruled over this entire land.... Among the many extraordinary things she used her natural talents to invent was a law she devised which was called the Lex Martiana by the Britons. King Alfred translated this along with other laws. In the Saxon tongue he called it the Mercian Law."

Thus the common law, generally attributed to King Alfred the Great, was originally promulgated a millennium before his reign by a Celtic queen of the Britons whose name no longer appears in the encyclopedias. Among her great reforms, many no doubt borrowed from the Brehon laws of the Celts, was the right to trial by jury -- a concept unknown in Roman law. It is ironic that the idea of peer-jury trial, so sacred in modern jurisprudence and first promulgated by a woman, has been denied to women almost since its inception.

A brief flowering
Elizabeth Gould Davis sees the Elizabethan age as a brief flowering sandwiched between the misogyny of medieval Catholicism and the prudish Puritanical oppression of women instigated during the so-called puritan revolution. Elizabeth herself was such a lover of the joys and pleasures of life, of the arts, of theatre and dance and music. She likewise enjoyed the liturgical elegance and the seasonal pageantry of traditional Christian celebration -- branded by Puritans as "Papist" in flavor.

A particular gift for languages -- which she enjoyed showing off
Though a woman, "Elizabeth was one of the foremost scholars of the later sixteenth century. Her tutor Roger Ascham, among the greatest scholars of all time, considered Elizabeth even as a young girl more learned than any six gentlemen of the Court. She spoke and wrote Greek and Latin, as well as French, Italian, Spanish, and Welsh, with ease, and was the translator of Plato, Aristotle, and Xenophon. She wrote passable poetry, among her sonnets, ironically, being one addressed to that 'lovely daughter of debate,' her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots."

Early Roots of the House of Tudor (Tewdwr)
The Tudor dynasty of Wales and England were female line descendants of the House of Dinefwr through their ancestor Owen Tudor. Owain ap Maredudd ap Tewdwr.

The FitzGerald dynasty and related families of Ireland are female line descendants of the Welsh royal family through Nest, daughter of Rhys ap Tewdwr, last King of Deheubarth, whose descendants include Elizabeth I, John F. Kennedy, and Diana Princess of Wales.

Today's colonial "burden"
The BBC has published several exposés on the ongoing problem of sexual tourism in former colonies of the British Empire. The contemporary version has bored and unhappy white matrons (or even younger women), often wives whose husbands have either left them for younger women, or are "married" to their careers (the bitch goddess success), or have died, condemning the surviving wives to a fate -- of being a Merry Widow. Places like Kenya and Jamaica with their pristine beaches and balmy breezes have become Meccas for these horny cougars who travel half way around the globe and spend large amounts of cash to entertain themselves with virile young black "boys." But what is good for the local economy is hardly good for the souls or moral character of anyone involved, and local preachers often raise an outcry over the "mixed blessing."

Defenders of this modern hedonism call it simple economics. They point out that where there's a will there's almost always a way. If one outlet is denied, another soon takes its place. And what these white woman are doing now, white men have done for hundreds of years. Sex, after all (defenders claim) is as much a human need (and thus where available, a resource) as for example coffee or chocolate, molasses or rum.

"bbc sexual tourism"

saint george

Robert Shepherd
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Site creator Robert Shepherd