Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Reputations - Elizabeth I

Last evening's lecture in the extra-mural series of lectures by the Dept of History in Trinity was delivered by Professor CiarĂ¡n Brady. The subject was the reputation of Queen Elizabeth I.

Elizabeth I.
Image link to Wikipedia.
Prof Brady must be the most enthusiastic lecturer I have ever heard. He absolutely loves his subject and is extremely knowledgeable about Elizabeth, the Tudors, and the mid to late 16th century. In what was a very entertaining lecture, and the best so far in the series, Prof Brady discussed first the reason why Elizabeth never married. This was a combination of her not wanting to marry a Catholic, get involved in Europe's wars, and not wanting to offend the local aristocracy. He told us that he cannot get inside her mind, but he believes these to be the main reasons why she defied everyone's wishes that she should marry.

Prof Brady also discussed Elizabeth as a politician and her difficulties being a woman in a man's world. Her principle predicament was not having the elements at Court that her father Henry VIII had in gathering intelligence to keep her informed of what was going on. Instead she turned to hunting and setting up a series of favourites to keep her informed.

A lively discussion followed during which I asked why she was not married off at an early age by her siblings. Apparently this was because her family were afraid of her producing offspring and the best way to manage her was to keep her barren.

A two week break now before the next lecture. This is an excellent series with lectures by some of the country's most foremost historians - well worth the €100 fee.

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