Thursday, April 26, 2012
But how did she rise to such power, and have the ability to hold the attentions of a King so much younger than herself? Diane served several of King Francois I's Queens, and became a member of the King's inner circle. In 1525, Francois was captured by Charles V's troops. His ransom? A trade for his two sons, Henri and Francois. Upon leaving France for captivity in Spain, Henri was apparently kissed goodbye by the lovely Diane. In 1530, the two boys were finally returned to France. It is thought that Diane was appointed by Francois I to teach his son Henri courtly manners, as his education had greatly suffered during his captivity. In 1533, Henri married Catherine de Medici. However, around 1538 he took on a mistress; Diane.
The love triangle continued until Henri's death in 1559. Catherine finally got her revenge by banishing Diane from the King's bedside, despite his pleading for her. Once he died, Diane was banished from court, though she lived in comfort on her estates for the rest of her life. Even upon her death at 66, spectators remarked on her strikingly youthful appearance.
Her secret? Drinking gold.
So why drink gold, if one is so healthy? Alchemy was all the rage in the Medieval and Renaissance world. Often times, alchemists would also serve as apothecaries. Henry VIII himself dappled in it, creating elixirs to rid his favorites (and himself) of ill humors. Gold was (and still is) considered the most valuable of metals. It was also, for the Kings of France, a symbolic link to the Sun. Thus, it is no surprise that the King's mistress, who would have had the very best of everything, would drink gold. It is highly likely that the King himself partook of gold elixirs. However, Diane seems to have taken it to the next level.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012
This panel, depicting an elephant, is among several done by Mary, Queen of Scots and her attendants during her captivity in England. This panel dates from about 1570. It is currently held and the V&A.
Read more about it here.
Friday, April 20, 2012
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Here we see Lady Elizabeth wearing an elegant black gown, covered in a silver damask pattern. Her dress is topped with a large lace ruff and accented with gold trim and jewelry. She couldn't decide which broach to wear, so wore three in her hair, one of her ruff, and three on her dress.
What think ye? An overkill flop or true fashion?
Monday, April 16, 2012
Sunday, April 8, 2012
It wouldn't be Stuart Week without deciding if King James was a trend setter or flopper. Here we see James in a simple white doublet and hoses, accented with black and silver trousers. He wears a large chain of estate, set off with gold and black jewels. He finishes his ensemble with a black, gold, and silver cloak and delicate black shoes, accented with silver and pearls. What think ye? Fashion or Flop?
How does he compare to his predecessor?
Friday, April 6, 2012
|Pocahontas around 1616. |
She is attired in English Garb.
But how true is this?
Pocahontas was originally named Matoaka, and was daughter to the powerful Chief of the Powhatans, Wahunsenachawh. She was born around 1595 and lived in Virginia.
The most famous story relating to her is that she rescued John Smith. Smith was an English sailor and soldier. He lead the Virginia Colony (including Jamestown) between 1608 and 1609.
In 1607, Smith was captured by the Powhatans and brought to Werowoconoco, the capital of the Powhatan tribe. There, he claimed to have been brought before the chief and nearly executed, but that "at the minute of my execution, [Pocahontas] hazarded the beating out of her own brains to save mine; and not only that, but so prevailed with her father, that I was safely conducted to Jamestown."
What is true about the story is that Pocahontas did befriend Smith and helped save the Jamestown settlement. It was said that "every once in four or five days, Pocahontas with her attendants brought...so much provision that saved many of their lives that else for all this had starved with hunger."
In 1613, Pocahontas was captured by the settlers and held for ransom. By this time, Smith has left for England due to an injury. The Indians were told he was dead. War between the tribe and settlers had been going on for several years as the Indians felt their land was being encroached on. For a year, Pocahontas lived with the settlers. When she was finally allowed to return to her people, she refused and stayed with the English.
|Pocahontas in "The New World."|
|Portrait thought to be|
of Pocahontas and her son.
In 1616 the family traveled to England. Smith learned of their arrival and asked the Wueen to welcome Pocahontas as a royal visitor. The couple were invited to a masque the Banqueting Hall at Whitehall. She was warmly welcomed, though due to James I's unimposing nature, did not realize she had met the King until later.
In 1617, the couple attempted to return to Virginia. However, Pocahontas died of unknown causes and was buried near Gravesend, Kent in England.
The Pocahontas Archive
Women's History in Virginia - Pocahontas
Thursday, April 5, 2012
"A slight, crooked, hump-backed young gentleman, dwarfish in stature, but with a face not irregular in feature, and thoughtful and subtle in expression, with reddish hair, a thin tawny beard, and lear, pathetic greenish-colored eyes, with a mind and manners already trained to courts and cabinets, and with a disposition almost ingenuous..."However, I have a bit of gossip for you today which might paint a new picture of Cecil for you. How about one of him as the lover?
Shocking, I know. However, there is strong evidence that Cecil had at least two affairs with notable ladies at the Tudor and Stuart court.
The first is Katherine Knyvet, Countess of Suffolk. Katherine was known at court for her great beauty. She was also known to be a bit of a trollop. Her string of affairs were said to have included Robert Cecil. Her husband, Sir Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk, seems to have turned a blind eye to the affairs, though she used his influence to gain favors for her lovers. Katherine bore twelve children, all of whom her husband claimed as his. No one may ever know if they all were or not.
As stated before, there is little evidence to support an affair with Robert Cecil. However, considering she was one of the most notorious women of James' court, and Robert one of the most despised, it is no surprise the two were linked.
Lady Audrey (sometimes referred to as Ethelred) Walsingham, was wife of Thomas Walsingham and Mistress of the Robes to Queen Anne of Denmark. She was a close friend of the Cecils, which sparked rumors that she and Robert had an affair. In 1608, William Cecil (Robert's son) and Katherine Howard (Katherine Knycert's daughter) were married in Audrey's lodgings. She was well liked, with the continuation of Marlowe's Hero and Leander by George Chapman being dedicated to her.
Unfortunately, there is little evidence that Robert Cecil had affairs with these two women. However, they had some sort of relationship, enough so to incite rumors. With the description above, I wouldn't be surprised if he did have affairs. He was certainly an intelligent and charming man, which would have certainly made him attractive, even if he had a slight physical deformity. If affairs did take place, I would like to know how he became entangled with two so very different women as Katherine and Audrey.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Here we see Ann Wortley, Lady Morton wearing a burnt orange silk gown. It is accented with orange lace embroidery, and white lace cuffs and frill. The Lady's hair and accent frill and jewels are very reminiscent of the late Queen Elizabeth. Her dress is scandalously short, revealing a wee bit of her delicate slipper.
What think ye? Did the Jacobeans continue in fashion, or flop?
*Note: This is one of two "Fashion or Flops?" this week. I am also posting about Jacobean fashion later this week! Stay tuned.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Why couldn't he perform? Rumors abounded that Frances was slipping him herbs that prevented it. Others stated that he was "bewitched." During the divorce proceedings, it was seriously debated whether he should be sent to Poland to be "unwitched!" Regardless, Carr had the ear of the King. James intervened and the divorce went through.
Curiously, Overbury died in the Tower. The divorce was finalized soon after.
Rumors abounded that Frances had had Overbury poisoned. Despite this, Carr and Frances married in Dec. of 1613. The two were soon arrested on suspicion of murder. Carr proclaimed his innocence. Frances, however, admitted a small part in the crime. She was convicted of murder, but spared execution. Why was the King so lenient? Some think he had a part in the murder, too. He apparently resented Overbury, with one witness saying that James "hath long had a desire to remove him from about [Carr], as thinking it a dishonour to him that the world should have an opinion that [Carr] ruled him and Overbury ruled [Carr]." Both Carr and She were pardoned and finally released from the Tower in 1622. They lived happily together.
With the evidence in, what think ye? Was Frances an innocent woman, whose only crime was to be stuck in a loveless marriage, easily becoming a scapegoat for a jealous King's will? Or was she a loose woman, who would stop at nothing, including murder, to get what she wanted?
Fraser, Antoina. The Weaker Vessel.
Lindley, David. The Trials of Frances Howard.
Monday, April 2, 2012
Hi guys! I'm currently on a much needed vacation until Wednesday. I am having some technical difficulties getting some posts up. Today I am only posting the Artifact Monday and tomorrow the Tudor Tart. However, I will be making up the rest of the posts (and adding a few extras such as a Fashion or Flop) Wednesday thru Sunday! Thanks for your patience and understanding!