Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Real Catherine Parr

We cannot underestimate the influence she had on the future Elizabeth I, as Claire of The Anne Boleyn Files explains. It is a shame that the young Elizabeth would lose the only mother she had ever known because of Tom Seymour's shenanigans. (Via Gareth Russell.)
As for the precocious Lady Elizabeth, she was completely won over by her stepmother’s warmth, charm, wit and intelligence. Elizabeth’s love and respect for her stepmother is clearly shown in the beautiful gift given to Catherine by Elizabeth at New Year 1544/1545. The gift was a translation of the famous literary work by Marguerite of Navarre, “Le miroir de l’ame pecheresse”, the mirror or glass of the sinful soul. The eleven year old Elizabeth had managed to translate a poem which David Starkey12 says “leaves today’s undergraduates blank”. Not only did it show Elizabeth’s intelligence, but it also showed her love for her stepmother, in that it would have taken many hours of work, and her appreciation of Catherine’s religious views. Starkey wonders if Catherine had actually been sharing Le Miroir with Elizabeth in the summer of 1544 with the mission of converting her. Whatever the truth of the matter, it was a special gift to a beloved stepmother and shows that Catherine was a major influence on the young Elizabeth.

After Henry VIII’s death in January 1547, Catherine Parr became Elizabeth’s guardian and took her to live with her. Their shared love of religion and learning meant that the two were incredibly close but in May 1548 Catherine sent Elizabeth to live at her friend Sir Anthony Denny’s house and the two never saw each other again. Why? One word: Thomas Seymour. (Read More.)


May said...

What is it with the Six Wives? We never seem to be able to get enough of them.

Have you seen Claire's new website, "The History Files"? Perhaps you might consider joining it? I'm sure you could make many contributions.

elena maria vidal said...

Yes, there seems to be always something more to discover about Henry and his ladies.

I'll check out Claire's new site. It sounds wonderful. I already have too many irons in the fire, though.

AdvertSolutions.com said...

You'd be more than welcome over at TheHistoryFiles.com - we are getting new content added all the time, and it is one of our ways to give things back to the history community.

Thanks so much for the mention!