Beneath the Tudor Axe

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boleyn03.jpg
Anne Boleyn in The Tower
The sixteenth century women were entering the sphere of politics like never before. Queens would inherit, and consorts would rule. But hand in hand with the privilege of politics, are also the dangers. And in monarchial governments, where personal loyalties and frail egos steer the course of political intrigue, dissent and distrust can cost you your life.

Tudor England (1483 - 1603) saw two queens inherit the throne for the first time in four hundred years, and a parade of influential consorts slip in and out of Henry Tudor's bed. Unfortunately, the only way to get out of bed with Henry, was through your grave, all too often not by natural causes.

From the feisty Anne Boleyn, who ensared Henry's affection, and thus was the catalyst for the English Reformation, the rambunctiously silly Catherine Howard, the bookish & timid Jane Grey, to the final rose in our crown, the bright, witty, passionately compulsive, and ultimately fatal, Mary Stuart Queen of Scots, All marched to the scaffold with dignity, as custom and religion demanded (well, perhaps except for Catherine Howard), in the end thanking and praising their Sovereign and executioner for the privilege of dying.

Anne Boleyn was the first English queen to die under the axe, and Mary Stuart (though Queen of Scotland) was the last.

Fun Link: TudorHistory.org! Happy clicking. Bright and fun to read, wonderful pictures and good selection of portraits with lots of juicy tidbits. Awesome time-killer!

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This page contains a single entry by Kallisti published on September 18, 2006 2:46 PM.

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