When Elizabeth Tudor comes to the throne, her (male) advisers know she has to marry. Doesn't she? Thus starts a decades-long political/ matrimonial game, during an age of high passions and high achievement.
The Virgin Queen explores the full sweep of Elizabeth's life: from her days of fear as a potential victim of her sister's terror; through her great love affair with Robert Dudley; into her ... See full summary »
In this comprehensive documentary, Henry VIII scholar David Starkey turns his attentions to the tyrant's daughter. Although most people who have a smattering of English history will know that Elizabeth ordered the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, probably few will realise that she was in some ways every bit as ruthless as her dear old Dad, that for example on one occasion she ordered a pamphleteer who had overstepped the mark have his hand amputated. And we complain about censorship today!
Another surprise is that she once accepted a proposal from a much younger suitor only to change her mind the very next morning. The big question though is was she really the Virgin Queen? Starkey doesn't really address that, but few people will take issue with the claim that her friendship with Robert Dudley was more than platonic.
Elizabeth and her court are brought to life in this series, and there are also interviews, including with a certain Anthony Babbington.
This may have been the first Elizabethan Age but it was also the rise of England and later the British Empire, and this is reflected therein. The latter may be gone forever but our own Queen Elizabeth has already long outlived and outreigned the original. And long may she continue to do so.
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