History’onics’

There was hue and cry in the British Press when I made Elizabeth. She was called the Virgin Queen and I showed her in bed with Robert Dudley.


How, I asked the Historians, do you know ? She had a number of liasons. Because she declared herself so, was the most stock answer, and because everyone of that time said so.
That set us thinking and we realized that the most important fact was that she ‘declared’ herself a Virgin. And so we decided to make the film about why Elizabeth ‘declared’ herself a Virgin.
That was the interpretation of the last film. Was she, or was she not a Virgin ? Does it matter ? and does anyone truly know historical facts ?
Even a conversation yiou have with your best friend is interpreted by each friend differently when narrated to someone else within 20 minutes of that conversation. So everything we narrate post the even is our interpretation of that event. And when we go back into History, often the even itself is an interpretation.
So to ask a film maker to be true to ‘taught’ historical facts is unfair.
The film maker interprest History once again. As the original authors did.
More. The film maker is not making a documentary. He is trying to find contemporary meaning to our lives through stated History. For example it is very relavent to me that Elizabeth was not a fundamentalist while PHillip of Spain was. It is very relavent that she stood for religeous tolerance in a word where fanaticism was rife.
But ask the Irish about Elizabeth and you will get a completely opposite picture of Elizabeth’s sense of fairness and tolerance. Which one is right ?
For me, I interpret the story in the context of the conflicts within myself.
Where does my soirituality lie ? and why do I always feel the conflict between my basic human needs and my aspiration to spirituality ?
So, was Elizabeth a Virgin ? Does it matter ?
Shekhar

50 Responses to “History’onics’”

  1. ravi swami says:

    “Virgin” I suppose is an allusion to her spiritual purity as perceived by people of her era, rather than a literal interpretation – but again successive generations overlay their own notions on this, perhaps to bolster an idea of her strength of character and resolve – like that of nun….
    The idea that she was semi-divine is also reinforced by the virgin tag, since deitys (god forbid…:)) never have sex…except in the “classical” world, which was seen as a template for the ideal society even in Elizabeths time, if not now…

  2. Sir Walter Rawley says:

    It is a good point ” what does it matter ”
    What does it matter
    If a courtier or prince had her
    Will we overlook her
    Will we defame her
    Will we rewrite her
    What does it matter
    If a Queen had them.
    So who do you guys think was better in bed?
    1. Raleigh
    2. Dudley
    3. Essex
    4. R. Cecill
    ans. Essex for he was the angry one, and theres nothing like making up in bed.

  3. Amber says:

    I think your interpretation in 1998’s Elizabeth movie was an intelligent one: It was not that she was sexually abstained, but moreso that she was bringing to the throne the qualities of the Virgin Mary.
    She was titling herself as a virgin to help accomodate her divine status, as well give off the impression that she was purely interested only in the people she was serving over, not about sinful lusts like her father or absolute control like her half-sister Mary.
    I honestly don’t believe her actual virginity is important when viewing Elizabeth’s life. It is true, she did not have an heir, however, her sister Mary did not either and it was not for lack of trying, so perhaps that can be coined to a genetic trait. This cannot be a conclusion of her liasons though, nor should it lower her status as the Virgin Queen. Whether or not she abstained from sex did not determine how she ruled her country, nor would it completely change history if proof was found that she did have sex (which is highly unlikely).
    I think you made a good remark by pointing out her tolerance in a fanatical world – it obviously shows her methods of thinking were very different from the dictations of the time period and could very well leave room for her to venture out. Anyways, that’s my two cents on the subject 🙂
    On another note, did you happen to catch the HBO mini-series Elizabeth I? What was your take on it?
    Wishing you luck,
    Amber

  4. iden Ford says:

    Shekkar, Elizanbeth was regularly examined gynacologically for her fertitlity. Over the years, and as she approached menopause, there was still hope in the land that she would concieve and bring an heir into her world. Surely the records of these exams were made public and never falsified. and certainly in her perelous position, she would not risk a lie of this nature. You compromise your art by rationalizing what is a known fact. Elizabeth was a virgin and died a virgin. Changing facts to suit the dramatic effects of story telling is quite acceptable and enjoyed even more when you change the identity of the real person. Then you have license to do whatever. Why call her Elizabeth if you are not using all the historical facts. Call her Miranda, or Julia, then go to town!. Regardless, I will see you new movie as I love Cate, but hold my nose where I know and see you have bent the facts and hiistorical truths. That is the place of fiction, just ask James Frey.

  5. Amber says:

    Iden:
    Despite attempts at research I found no record of Elizabeth’s records of fertility being released to the public, and though plausible, it is a grand assumption you make by stating that such information was not falsified, nor was this behaviour Elizabeth would have ever possibly risked.
    I could state at least twenty reasons why such information would be falsified, if not at least comprimised in some manner. The very biggest being that if she were found to be infertile there would have surely been a civil war as many men would have vied for the throne. Also, you are incorrect in stating that the hope was that she would concieve and bring an heir into the world. The hope was that Elizabeth would marry, and produce an heir with her husband. To concieve out of wedlock would have meant the child was nothing more than a bastard and therefore not suitable to take the throne, especially if it were a daughter.
    Your accusations of Shekhar comprimising the sanctity of Elizbeth’s person and tainting her image are nil, because we simply are not privy to such knowledge. I was surely not in her bed chamber every night, nor were you, or any other historian who claims to know that without a doubt Elizabeth died a virgin. Nor were her advisors and consorts. It’s impossible to watch someone every waking minute, even a Queen.
    Also, it seems very interesting to me that for someone who had never known a man in her bed chamber she should be so enthusiastic about one of the greatest romantic playwrights of all time, William Shakespeare. Not only this, but any study into Europen history, British or otherwise, will result in a wide array of Kings and Queens who had sexual liasons out of wedlock, this was certainly nothing new and indeed something expected during some time periods. If Elizabeth learned nothing else from her father, I’m sure it was the necessity of being discreet.

  6. Heather says:

    Dear Amber
    I think your sense of what happened is on the mark.
    From my point of view, ER was a “virgin” queen because it gave her very serious protection against being defamed, and thus helped stabilize her power.
    Even in current times, the label “virgin” carries a lot of weight — people are unwilling to even try to disprove a label of virginity, for fear of being seen as cruel and faithless bullies towards a potentially innocent person.

  7. iden Ford says:

    Amber, YOU make a grand assumption that I meant out of wedlock regarding conception. Not true, I meant that there was a constant search for a husband so she could conceive and heir. It is known that Elizabeth had a maid or lady in waiting with her every night. If you explore the castles of Elizabeth’s day you can see that no one, not even a Queen had total privacy. It is evident that Shekkar is taking certain liberties with historical facts to suit his dramatization. Elizabeth was very fond of theatre, and encouraged it. You need to see or read Michael Wood’s book and video “In search of Shakespeare”, you may learn more about Shakespeare’s real relationship with Elizabeth and he court. I live with a very well known historical writer and author in Canada. She uses many fictional characters who are based on real people. She does this so she can have license to bend the truth and facts to suit her narrative and story. Never would she change historical truths in the case of a real person, to justify her dramatization. She simply changes their name. End of story.

  8. ravi swami says:

    Seen in todays context, it could have simply been a very clever bit of “political spin” – as Heather suggests – a way of showing that she could never be compromised in a political climate where rivals could be bumped off and there was a constant jockeying for positions of power – to refute her “virgin” status would carry a penalty of death – to contradict would be treason…clever…we tend to forget how closely knit church and state were at that time….

  9. Sir Walter Rawley says:

    Iden Ford, I feel that you make an interesting point about the maids of honour, but they were not with the Queen at all times, if so how did Raleigh get one pregnet, and why did she send Raleigh to the tower if they had no intimacy, Why was Dudley so much in love if had no taste, how did Essex feel he deserved so much, and thought he had control over her if they did not share a bed (they didnt just play cards). How did the duc Angue (hope its spelled right) get all that money for his wars if didn’t keep a secret. Amber you sound very intelligent and know your shit.
    Iden Ford really “what does it matter”?

  10. iden Ford says:

    Rawley, we’re not talking about ladies in waiting here, we’re talking about the Queen and the notion of historical accuracy and how that accuracy, or lack thereof, is depicted in the dramatization of the Queen’s life as shown in the two films directed by Mr Karpur. We are debating what is fiction and what is truth. We are discussing whether or not changing historical facts to suit a dramatization on film is something that is acceptable or debatable. My main argument is that changing the facts as we know them through the availability of an actual documented, archival history, is unacceptable to knowledgeable people who care about how history is dramatized. I care, if the film were called Miranda the Golden Age, the story of a Queen and her court, I would completely agree with choices this production team has made and is making. I disagree with wrenching truths and facts to suit a story, and calling it a story about a real persons life. That simply imo is selling b..ls..t. But I will see the new film with grand expectations of a brilliant performance by Cate Blanchett, who is truly the best actress to ever play Elizabeth, and who imo, got right into the soul of the Queen and channeled her for us. Now that is brilliant, and only the director and producer know what took place in the audition to see, and feel, what it was about Ms. Blanchett that touched them so much. All the changes of history are window dressing compared to Cate’s performance. So how’s that for an opinion.

  11. Sir Walter Rawley says:

    Who told you that Shakespear and Elizabeth had a relatonship Iden Ford. I have read alot of this period and I have never read anything of Shakespear having any connection to Elizabeth and Court, besides Essex paying the Shakespear Company to perform Richard 2 during his rebellion against the queen. Court and Shakespear don’t go together, he was a mere playright and poet, like Marlowe except that Marlowe was at one time a Soldier.
    Again I want to mention that Elizabeth was alone when she wanted the privacy and she took many people into private and her maids were hers and the Queen was not theirs. Maids did not share the bed chamber, they helped her dress, makeup, entertainment, conversation, dinning and they played a role at court were they usually meet their future husbands, for example Dudley, Raleigh, Essex they all fell for Maids of Honour. This position was an honour and maids came from aristrocratic families ex. Throckmorton. Now about your writer, I have read 7 different Raleigh Bios and they all had different POV’s and twisted facts to meet the view the writer wanted, really NoBody knows the truth but the figures except themselfs. Some say Shakespear didn’t exist some say he did. Some say Elizabeths a Virgin and other disagree, some say Raleigh layed his cloak for the Queen others don’t see that happening, it goes on and on. My fav. is Aliens helping the Drake and Hawkins against the Spanish Armada….lol. Anyways Iden Ford oh ford relax don’t state your opinion as fact state your opinion as what it is your personal point of view of a Queen’s Virginity. I find what you stated about public vagina reports is so so so so funny. Wheres King Henry’s penis report or how is the queen mothers vagina…..lol. Shekhar did a good job and he bent no historical truths just expressed his own POV like every other writer that ever existed. Think about it, this story is 400 years old a story that was passed from person to person, the only real facts are letters that are still around and those can be misinterpreted for they have codes hidden in them were often used. Throughout time like that pass the sentence game people added little bits a info from their POV leading to a great historical story based on truth. The truth is Elizabeth was a Queen and she was proclaimed a Virgin. Do I go on and on or what. I just feel disrespected by your comments Iden Ford they are just so closed minded. Who’s your historical writer I am in Canada I might know of him/her.
    No one has an answer to mi question of who was the better lover ?

  12. Sir Walter Rawley says:

    Idem Ford,
    I forgot an example of the Queen and Raleigh,
    On a mirror Raleigh wrote with a diamond
    ” Fain would I climb, yet I fear to fall ” Elizabeth responded to the message by writing ” If thy heart fails thee, climb not at all ” It seems that Raliegh was aware of the burdens of love towards Elizabeth, and she responded with in my view, if you don’t love me don’t get to close. Was to “climb not at all” a meaning for moving to the next step in a good relationship? You can not have toys for 40 years and never use them, so I doubt she was a Virgin.

  13. Sir Walter Rawley says:

    Shekhar,
    I have a few questions on Raleigh
    1. Will you curl Owen’s hair
    2. Will you give him brown eye lenses
    3. Will you mention Damerie his first born
    4. I heard the movie started with Raleigh in the middle of Armada Action, well he never did that?
    5. Will you make fun of his Potatoe and Tobbacco
    6. Will you mention the School of Night
    7. I hope you do a good job on Bess because the pics Ive seen of your actress is nothing like her.
    8.Please no duels, it always ended with a night in prison.
    9. Essex was responsible for telling the Queen of the secret marraige, use this?
    10. mention Virginia?
    11. Are you focusing on Court rivalry for favour?
    12. Raleigh was a low talker using that?
    13. please don’t make him snobby he was to intelligent for snobby, proud ya, snob no.?
    14. Raleigh had a daughter in Ireland using that?
    15. Are you using Cadiz?
    16. Drake and Forbisher involved?
    17. Raleigh had a thing for being noticed and being in the public view good or bad he enjoyed being known, and his main concern is that his name would live on, and me possibly being the reincarnation of Raleigh appreciate this film being made because he has been left out of many Tudor movies and its about time.
    Cheers Shekhar

  14. Sir Walter Rawley says:

    Ok Ok, I see your point, but like I said unless you lived a life in that time you don’t know the truth, the truth is usually always hidden in terms of Princes, all we have to go on are books from the period, parliament records, correspondense, and biographers from the 16th century and whatever documents are still around from the period. This leaves many holes with missing information, historical accuracy is not extremely important but is important, Shekhar just had Elizabeth in bed with Dudley, it may have happened, and I feel it did before and after she was Queen. It’s not innaccurate because their are no documents stating if it happened or not. Its acurate because their are letters suggesting a close relationship between them based on chilhood love, how far did it go NO BODY KNOWS but them. So saying Elizabeth was a Virgin in just as accurate as saying she wasn’t. Virgin, I believe is just symbolic like Elizabeth The Queen Mother. I feel Virgin just meant I am not getting married so get used to it, no other country was going to get involved, England will not be penetrated by another country as long as the Virgin Queen is around….lol… And you were talking about Ladies in Waiting by mentioning that they were always by her side with or without her wanting them around, sorry its BS. Raleigh was her Capton of her Guard and he was usually always at her door, or traveling with her (before his marraige) she wanted her favourites out of danger and close to her, she loved the company of men…I wonder why…..lol… In my opinion you comment are just as innaccurate as the first movie. Now how is naming the movie Miranda The Golden Age is just disrespectful and in no way to be compared to Shekhars POV of historical events.
    Hope that covers it Idem Ford

  15. Iden Ford says:

    Rawley, read more carefully. I never said Shakespeare had a relationship with Elizabeth, I said: “Elizabeth was very fond of theatre, and encouraged it. You need to see or read Michael Wood’s book and video “In search of Shakespeare”, you may learn more about Shakespeare’s real relationship with Elizabeth and her court.”
    So your argument is now with Michael Wood, not me, and last I noticed he is not involved in this conversation, but the video is available. I will let you figure out who my wife is by entering the book title “Night’s Child” or “Vices of My Blood” into Google. You should get an author’s name attached to those titles. Then you can link to her website, and send her an email telling her to tell her husband to loosen up. But in the end it will do you no good because she agrees with my point of view. Thank you Rawley. Oh, work on your spelling as well, your posts are sometimes confusing because of the spelling errors.

  16. Sir Walter Rawley says:

    I agree with all point of views I am just a College student and am creating my own, I just enjoy a good discussion to learn from others. If I am corrected I will enjoy the correction, please don’t get all worked up over my ranting I just enjoy it. What I meant by relationship is friend not sexual, she didn’t know him personally, just by his work. Thats what I meant, what you say was a POV you agreed with and thats ok. I will look up the books.

  17. North says:

    I’m wondering if Elizabeth was “barren” and the declaration of virginity; was to hide that fact!? IF she’d been found infertile; if I am not mistaken, her crown could have been legally taken away, because she could not provide an heir.
    IF England were to learn their Queen was infirtile, she would have been de-throwned. The only alternative, was to concoct the virgin-queen story; to protect her dignity and possible infirtile womb and keep her thrown.
    North
    http://spiritsinmotion.blogspot.com/

  18. Lizzie says:

    Mr Iden Ford – You need to seriously lighten up! Get out of your wife’s shadow and do some research of your own, or better still write a book because you clearly have author envy! If you’re offering an opinion be sure it’s your own otherwise you run the risk of sounding a bit deranged! You’ll be watching the Golden Age because you probably actually admire Shekhar Kapur, otherwise why come onto his website? If you’re such a fan of Cate Blancett then find her website and wax lyrical to her there! And lastly, you’d do well to remember that Shekhar actually helped make Cate Blanchett into the star she is today. No one doubts that she is a brilliant actress BUT stars are made! Think of Russell Crowe before Gladiator – He’d been Oscar nominated for The Insider and was generally perceived to be a great talent – BUT it’s that role in Gladiator, in that director’s vision, that made him a star and a sex symbol. Anyway, hopefully you’ll be too busy writing your new book to respond to this!!!!!

  19. iden Ford says:

    Lizzie, do not make any generalizations or assumptions about me because you do not know me or my motivation. I have a specific point of view which the hosts of this web site have generously let me express. I think it better that you respond to my point of view about historical accuracy in drama, and not make false generalizations about my motivation or who or what I envy. As far as your comments about making someone a star, you are in the dark. The cream, the best people in any industry, especially film and television, always get noticed regardless of the vehicle they have been provided for that notice.

  20. Sir Walter Rawley says:

    Oh Iden Ford, don’t get all worked up. Lizzie is only expressing her thoughts about your comments. She does go a little too far but ” what does it matter”. You are right ford she should be focused on expressing her own POV of historical accuracy in film for the case of Elizabeths viginity, not trying to debunk other opinions without her own being mentioned.
    Lizzie whats with the Blanchett talk?
    Ford try to expand your sources besides a Shakespear documentary, I watched it and its a POV of twisted facts like everything else we know, but its was interesting.
    Cheers

  21. North says:

    Even in the romantic comedy: “Shakespeare in Love” there is note of the Queen’s interest in theatre. One can almost see Elizabeth as a suffragate?
    North
    http://spiritsinmotion.blogspot.com/

  22. Amber says:

    Thanks to all who made comments on my posts, they were appreciated.
    Iden: Firstly, I did not make a “grand assumption” about your meaning of conception out of wedlock, just a general inference from the way your worded your sentence, no need to get snippy.
    In order to clear things up and not continue a muck, I want to state that I never said that Elizabeth was a virgin. My arguement is just that we cannot know either way, despite the historical records that are available for they may very well be, as many have been proven before, falsified or misinformed.
    I think to state that, without a doubt Elizabeth was born a virgin and died a virgin is a claim that cannot be made with any concept to justice because we simply do not have all the details. I think your holier-than-thou claim that Shekhar is doing some great injustice to Elizabeth’s name is absolutely ridiculous.
    This isn’t come from the standpoint of some fan who will bow down at any film he directs and say that it is absolutely magnificent and not even the sun can touch it. This is coming from a logical appeal: despite documents, despite common knowledge of British history, and despite prevailing opinion WE DO NOT KNOW IF SHE WAS A VIRGIN. Sure, it’s a nice title to go by, and yes it is POSSIBLE that she was, but it’s not a fact because a fact is something which can be proven and leaves no doubt. Is there reasonable doubt that she was not a virgin? Yes.
    I am aware there were councilmen, chambermaids, ladies in waiting, etc. etc. etc. etc. however, they were not present every waking second of her life. You cannot sit there and state that without a doubt Elizabeth was never alone. It seems natural, especially for a woman in Elizabeth’s position to need time to think in solitude. It also seems natural that if she were sexually active, her chambermaids and ladies in waiting may have known about it, as they were quite likely also her confidants and friends.
    I’m not trying to trample on Elizabeth and say she was the flaming whore of England, on the contrary if she did have any sexual relations, I highly doubt they were numerous nor do I doubt she was as discreet and noble about them as possible.
    For you to march in and accuse Shekhar of twisting historical opinions is just ridiculous. Until you can prove to me that without a doubt Elizabeth died a virgin you should hold such remarks to yourself. Expressing a general belief is one thing, marking it as a fact and then saying any deveation from it is an insult to history is completely different. I’m all for freedom of speech, but throw a little logos behind it.

  23. iden Ford says:

    Amber, you’re over reacting and not seeing the truth between the shadows and fog. Shekkar and Julian have STATED that they are bending historical truths in this new film, and in the previous Elizabeth film for their purposes. Elizabeth’s Virginity was just one example. Re-read some of the posts, you will see that he created a brother for Walsingham, etc. These examples ARE historically innacurate. My position and belief in Elizabeth’s virginity is one held by many. I do not have to defend it to anyone, it is simply what I believe based on the historical facts. Belief is a powerful force, Just look at the many Catholic priests who were prepared to die, and did die under the Tudor reign. You’re talk of Elizabeth’s false virginity would have ended you up either tortured, hung, drawn and quartered, or burned at the stake back in Tudor times.

  24. Amber says:

    Just adding a few corrections, I meant to state that I never said Elizabeth was not a virgin, apologies for the mistype. Also there are a few grammar and spelling errors, forgive me I was a bit tired when writing this up.

  25. North says:

    Hi Amber- I watched some of the HBO special on Elizabeth-and found great disappointment! I found, it just didn’t cut the mustard-though I found the woman playing Elizabeth was great!
    North

  26. Sir Walter Rawley says:

    Wow Amber, here here

  27. Sir Walter Rawley says:

    Hey North, all most everyone at that time was interested in theatre, but the scene you speak of in S. in Love, is BS. Queen hated bad smell and she would have never gone to a public theatre , it stunk way too much. Even a gentleman could hardly handle the smell of all the collection of dirty people. Ofcourse Elizabeth had private theatre viewings but so did other aristrocratic families, I say there was no special relationship between Elizabeth and shakespear just a business relationship, and James 1 is another story. Remember that during the 16th century Shakespear was not as famous as he is now, not even close. For example his fame would be like Shekhar’s, just a well known writer, poet, director, and actor. That movie was funnie though for its historical innaccuracy which was the point of this comment page.

  28. Heather says:

    Once again, Amber, you seem to be right on the mark with your views and comments.

  29. iden Ford says:

    Amber, Can you say without a doubt that Christ was the son of God? Can you prove it, if your answer is yes? Thousands upon thousands of people have died because of their “beliefs”. Can you prove the existance of God? can you prove that the erased portions of the Watergate tapes indeed implicated Richard Nixon in the cover up? Can you prove that Kennedy was assasinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, and that he was the lone gunman. So for you to say to me that I should not state my opinion or belief in Elizabeth’s virginity unless I can “prove it”, is moot because there are hundreds of historical events which are very difficult to prove, and require forming an opinion based on known facts. There are historical points and truths which are being bent and changed in this production of Elizabeth to create a more dramatic effect by the director. He chooses to ignore this fact and adjusts his script and characterizations to suit his point of view. That is his choice, his artistic license. I feel he does not need to do this to create a great film. That is my belief, which is held be many. I will see the film, no doubt enjoy it as much as I did the first Elizabeth film, and then hold my nose where I know he is not conveying real events.

  30. Amber says:

    Iden: I never stated that all of Shekhar’s film was accurate, however, once again you aren’t seeing the point of my argument: Elizabeth’s virginity is NOT a fact. You are confusing beliefs and opinions with facts. I’m not saying it’s not possible Elizabeth was a virgin, because it is.
    As for your whole bend on belief being a powerful force.. so what? What does that have to do with anything in this argument? Priests dying has absolutely nothing to do with what we are discussing. And sure, maybe my talk of Elizabeth’s “false virginity”, which I will repeat again I have not ever stated she was definitely not a virgin, would have ended me up tortured back then, so I guess it’s good I’m living in the twenty-first century. Part of what our world has evolved into is a more practical form of living: we are allowed to state our opinions, at least in the west, without fear of being tortured and killed. All I am saying is that you cannot prove to me, or anyone, that she was 100% definitely, without any doubt a virgin. I’m not asking you to defend your beliefs to me, nor am I asking you to sway and say that she was definitely not a virgin. All I am asking is that you admit there is a possibility that she was sexually active during her life. Not that she was, that it was possible. Get off your galloping white stallion and realize that while your opinions may be held by many that she was a virgin, so is the idea that McDonald’s happy meal is a nutritional meal. Point being: the masses aren’t always right, it is intelligence and logic which make something right, not the number of believers.

  31. iden Ford says:

    Amber, a McDonalds meal during Elizabeth’s day would have been very nutritious for most people. That is a fact, when you look at all the diseases people suffered back then. That can be proved by taking an average person, and their diet in Tudor Times, and feed them everything the on McDonalds menu for a month. Their health would have improved. They were active people, they were more physically active than people like you for example who can spend time writing provocative comments on chat sites about people you know nothing about. Just the facts please in future, without all the “galloping white horse” commentary. I did not get into name calling and personal attacks on this chat site.

  32. Sir Walter Rawlegh says:

    First of all there is no way you would of been burnt at the stake for believing Elizabeth not a Virgin, remember she in to free religion and most likely free speech. Her reign was one of the least bloody of the Tudors. Iden you say we cant prove she wasn’t a Virgin, well can you prove she was a Virgin? And again Ford you make a comparison that makes no sense and is disrespectful. Jesus to God is genetics and Virginity to Elizabeth is an act not the same. Your better of saying ” was the Virgin Mary mother of Jesus really a Virgin ?”.
    Why couldn’t of Walshingham have a brother? Many marraiges produced many children, half brothers an half sisters, step brothers and step sisters, and most likely would not share the same name.

  33. Amber says:

    Bah.. this is getting to be a case against dead weight. Listen, and I mean actually comprehend what I’m saying here. I’m not trying to tell you what you should and should not believe, that was never my intention. I am trying to convey to you that there is a very large difference between a belief and a fact. To answer all your questions: no, I can’t prove Christ was the son of God, nor can I prove there is a God, same with Nixon and Kennedy. BUT I DON’T STATE THOSE INSTANCES AS FACTS. I don’t go around saying “God exists, this is a fact” because I don’t know that it is. Might I believe it? Sure. But I’m not going to tell an atheist he is wrong because I just don’t know the answer and for all we know the atheist is as right as the Christian fanatic.
    Basing an opinion off of known facts doesn’t transform the opinion into a fact itself. It makes it an opinion that was considered carefully and thought out. If you go off spouting that most of our known history are made up of facts then I suggest you take a serious second glance because most of what people consider “historical facts” are merely theories made by historians and anthropologists. A lot of them a very well thought out, and some may even be the actual truth, but each instance carries its own variables.
    It’s one thing to declare that a war happened in such and such a place between so and so, it’s a completely differet thing to say you know the complete life of a person and their behaviours and attitudes. You can’t sit there and tell me that Elizabeth’s virginity is a fact. It is a wide belief, but it cannot be declared a fact. I’m not saying Shekhar doesn’t use an artistic liscence to change historical facts, but if you’re going to say that you can’t use Elizabeth’s virginity as your flaming example because it’s just not a fact.

  34. iden Ford says:

    Amber, thank you for your last post. We are now discussing things instead of name calling. Here is what I mean, in my lifetime I have come to accept certain beliefs as facts, or “truths”. By doing that, I am able to live my life according to my beliefs. If someone asks me if I believe in God, I say yes, without a doubt. Do I believe Jesus was the son of God? Yes I believe that, but I also respect the opinion, or beliefs of others who do not agree with me. Do I believe Oswald was the lone gunman? Yes without a doubt, based on the information that has been presented. So when I say Elizabeth was a Virgin, that is a fact, I am able to hold to my belief, then my conscience is clear, not filled with doubt, and I am able to make a strong case for my life based on my beliefs, which come from examining the facts and truths that I have learned from examining historical evidence. I make sure I have enough information before I form my belief, so that it does not become blind fanatacism, which we have witnessed over the past few years in our world with the acts of terrorism that have taken place. By holding to my beliefs, and stating that I have examined historical facts to form that belief, I become a straight forward, non wishy washy person who has strong opinions. Is there any wiggle room? Only if you can show me otherwise with anything we are discussing. But a tree that lays down strong roots, will weather most storms and live a long time. Thank You.

  35. Amber says:

    Please, if you’re going to attempt at debating keep to the points we are discussing and stop going off on inane sidetracks. The comment about McDonalds was to prove a point that popular belief does not necessarily mean that it is correct. I never stated anything about malnutrition during Tudor times, so why are you bringing it up? It has absolutely nothing to do with the debate at hand and is a deflector from the arguments I have been presenting to you, which you have conveniently ignored.
    You talk about how low personal comments are and lash out at others who have made them to you and then add in a remark on how my replies to you are a representation of my physical activity. Hypocrisy much? To set the record straight, I run 3 miles every morning (Sundays excluded) and surprisingly have over 23 hours left in the day to “write provocative comments on chat sites”. And that comment was coming from someone who has replied to this debate more so than myself, hmm.
    I’ve already granted you a reply to your last series of remarks which had little to do with what I presented as my case. Unless you can defend yourself against my argument or debunk it in some manner please don’t waste my time.

  36. Heather says:

    Dear Amber
    Your cheering section here has just let out a loud cheer.
    Dear Iden
    Women are complex beings, and powerful women are even more so. Who knows what Elizabeth was exposed to in her quite stressful life, and who knows what her private actions really were? For her to have declared herself virgin shows she’d thought long and hard about the societal attitudes towards, and values of, female sexuality. It takes great boldness of spirit and mind to conceive of declaring oneself a virigin — much more boldness than actually living as a virgin, which is an act of fear or innocence — Elizabeth was not a fearful person, nor was she an innocent. There’s always much difference between what’s written, and what’s lived.

  37. iden Ford says:

    Okay Amber and Raleigh and the rest of you non believers, read this from a quote I picked up: “British biographer Jane Dunn, who wrote Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens, welcomed Blanchett’s casting. “I loved what Cate did in the first film because I think she was extremely moving in the lead role,” she said.
    “Having said that, the history in the first film was bunkum. The remarkable thing about Elizabeth was not that she jumped into bed with every man she met but that she so effectively resisted temptation.”

  38. Sir Walter Rawley says:

    Oh my God, a God I believe in so much, but it is not fact. Good example Amby.
    Ford you are a wacko man, you are nuts. The Elizabethan diet was great, lots of meat, oats, fruits, all natural baby, besides wine and ale. The shit we it now, the fast food is killing people every day, fast food is the plague of the now. What killed people in those days was not being clean, not aware of this people then died of plague and disease, hygene was the key to survival, buts thats my theory not fact like the BS you just said. Whats wrong with you man she meant no harm, relax get to it, where do you want to go…lol.?

  39. iden Ford says:

    Amber and Rawley, It is only your decision to decide whether I am wasting your time or not. If you choose to respond to my “opinions” and “statements”, that is your choice. I will keep posting on this website, that is my choice, so if you think I am wasting your time, then do not respond to my comments, simple as that. Rawley, your spelling is terrible for a University student, and I never name call anybody on this chat site. So please keep your comments to my arguments, and not say “You’re nuts” or “you’re wacko” .You may believe my opinions are not relevant to the argument here, but that is different than name calling. Thank you

  40. Amber says:

    To clear something up: While I appreciate the comments everyone has left on my behalf, which I really do enjoy reading, I must point out that Iden is has just as much right to state his opinion as we do. Though I may not agree with it full-heartedly, I understand under what logical path he is following and while I myself made a snarky remark to him which at the time I felt was in due cause, a good argument never need stray from the points at hand into a petty playground match of name calling.
    Iden: The post you last responded to was put up after I read your post on the nutritional values of McDonald’s etc., and it was in response to your assumption that all I do all day is sit at my computer waiting for you to post so I can reply with some stabbing comment. After reading your post in which you explain how you can view your beliefs as facts I was glad to see we were finally seeing things more clearly.
    While I myself am unable to take the view you have, it is refreshing to know why you view Elizabeth’s virginity as a fact. It is, I now know, not from blind faith but through thoughts which you have decided to incorporate as your personals truths that Elizabeth is a virgin.
    However, you must be careful when displaying your personal beliefs as truths to the rest of the world. I’ve never stated that it was a fact Elizabeth was not a virgin, but you have stated it was true that she was. It is this belief in absolute truth which has led you to problems because even though you said you respect other people’s beliefs you became offended when these other beliefs were shown in film and stated here. To me, respect is more than merely disagreeing in a polite manner, it is not just sitting there going “Oh well this is a quaint idea, but mine is always going to be better”. I am aware you did not state it quite like that, but that is the impression you give people when you say you are going to “hold you nose” at certain portions of the film because it makes you sound egotistical and unwilling to consider the ideas of others. For you to admit Elizabeth’s virginity as truth to yourself is your own choice, however, I think when coming in to such a group of diverse beliefs you should consider the other sides as possibilities, just as I have yours. I don’t presume to know you, nor your methods of thinking, but I am giving you my impressions off of your responses. These are not meant to insult you, I think we have both made remarks which are below us and hope that in the future we can learn to be more agreeable.
    As to my comment on your quote: I honestly don’t think sources are going to be of much use in this debate, though I welcome them in many others. While she may be referring directly to Shekhar’s film it is still an opinion which she holds, and even as a historian it has little merit above mine or ours in this case.
    Also, continuing Shekhar’s main point of this, do you think that her virginity would have such a large impact on the history she left? Would the discovery of some document which states that without a doubt she had lost her virginity completely tarnish your view of her? In my opinion, Elizabeth’s greatness is based off of the many things she did for England, not off of her virgin title. To me, her virginity is just another representation of her greatness, not the paradigm.

  41. Iden Ford says:

    Heather, you comment: “For her to have declared herself virgin shows she’d thought long and hard about the societal attitudes towards, and values of, female sexuality. . . . ” is utter rubbish. That is now what motivated Elizabeth at all. This is a woman whose mother was beheaded by a tyrannical dictator. Her association with marriage, from her own experience and at a very young age, was one of absolute heartbreak and terror. She had the umbilical cord of her love ripped from her soul in an absolute travesty of justice and waste of human life. Elizabeth would be terrified of marriage, even as an adult, because her most prominent memory and association with marriage, would be that of her own demise. Elizabeth did not marry because she would not be ruled by any man, and in her own subconscious, I am sure she felt marriage would be a fate worse than death, that of her own death. You try to modernize, in the cloak of feminism, another historical fact. Women were ruled by men in Tudor times and had no rights.

  42. Heather says:

    Dear Iden
    Unwittingly, you have supported my point…
    I didn’t address the issue of marriage directly. The issue of marriage would not have been completely united to the issue of virginity in one so powerful as Elizabeth was. Had she moved towards a marriage, it’s almost certainly likely she could, and would, have avoided submitting to a physical verification of her virginity before marriage.
    However, the points you raise regarding Elizabeth’s experiences and their effect on her continued single state, are exactly what I had in mind when I wrote “Who knows what Elizabeth was exposed to in her quite stressful life…”
    When I said “Who knows…” I meant:
    How can any of us know what it felt like for Elizabeth to endure the events of her life as far as we know them? Moreover, there will have been events that were not written down, of which we can know nothing. And, there are her basic nature and character, which we can only guess at — how did these affect Elizabeth’s perception of, and response to, her life?
    When I said “For her to have declared herself virgin shows she’d thought long and hard about the societal attitudes towards, and values of, female sexuality…” this is what I meant:
    Elizabeth was a brilliant political strategist at the personal level. To make a public statement — as head of her country and church — that she was a virgin, was not a shot from the hip. She thought long and hard about what she was going to do — and the effects it would likely have on her position, and on perceptions of her. I did not address her motives! I have no idea what these might have been. I did address the intelligence and care with which she woul have taken such a step.
    Looking at the intelligence and care she would have used when she took this decision, and seeing that she went on nonetheless and declared herself a virgin, we can infer that she thought long and hard about what it means to be a virgin relgiously and politically in the evironment of her culture at the time. She also thought what it would mean to her a personally political level. The announcement both challenged anyone to defame her past, and put up a barrier to marriage in the future, as virgins are more difficult to win than sluts, which gives virgins more power of choice, and more power is something Elizabeth would certainly have valued. Yet notice what I say just above: “The announcement … challenged anyone to defame her past…” While for the ordinary man, a challenge is often effectively a message to stand down and walk away, for the extraordinary it’s an open invitation to action. And Elizabeth was surrounded by extraordinary people, many of them enemies, in secret or openly so. And she understood the nature of challenge. She knew quite well that her statement might provoke some to publically disbelieve her on this issue. She was calling peoples’ bluffs. She was throwing down the glove to anyone who might have already defamed her in private conversations or attitude. The boldness of her action in publically labeling herself virgin was a statement of belief by herself, to her enemies, about the stability and strength of her position.
    Once again, I said, “The issue of marriage is not directly related to the issue of virginity, in one so powerful as Elizabeth was…” I didn’t talk about marriage, I talked about the personal political strategizing that Elizabeth would have undertaken before she made her announcement of virginity. That you responded with an argument about her motives for not marrying, instead of addressing the issue I brought up, is unconsciously supportive of the psychological validity of my conception of Elizabeth’s thought processes before she undertook her momentous step.
    Dear Shekhar:
    How aptly you titled your post in this issue!
    love, Heather

  43. iden Ford says:

    Yes well, okay, but your essay is a bit wordy. However it is clear that you have thought long and hard about this and your opinion is interesting. I disagree with your using affirmative statements as if you actually know how . . . “She also thought”. I make my suppositions based on historical facts and arguments. I never assume I knew “how she thought”. I only know how she acted and the decisions she made based on history. I would never assume I knew “how the Queen thought”. That is a huge leap in my opinion and one that implies a personal relationship with your stated subject, in this case Elizabeth. Unless you were a member of her inner circle, and came back in time to visit us, I would have to say that you did not know “how she thought”. Thanks Heather

  44. Sir Walter Rawley says:

    I am tired of all this chat so I wrote a poem.
    Shekhar, shekhar!
    Bess lay with Dudley
    Shekhar, shekhar!
    They complain badly
    Shekhar, shekhar!
    Amber saw quality
    Shekhar, shekhar!
    Iden saw you falsely
    Shekhar, shekhar!
    Amber researched promptly
    Shekhar, shekhar!
    Iden found it smelly
    Shekhar, shekhar!
    Heather agreed Ambly
    Shekhar, shekhar!
    Iden states wrongly
    Shekhar, shekhar!
    Lizzie said truthly
    Shekhar, shekhar!
    Iden responds proudly
    Shekhar, shekhar!
    Amber restates actively
    Shekhar, shekhar!
    Iden is ranting heavily
    Shekhar, shekhar!
    Rawley rants more heavily
    Shekhar, shekhar!
    Amber is right, Obviously
    Shekhar, shekhar!
    Iden eats McDonalds regularly
    Shekhar, shekhar!
    Lets end this properly
    Shekhar, shekhar!
    It is just historical inaccuracy
    Shekhar, shekhar!
    please admit your guilty
    Shekhar, shekhar!
    Stop Iden Fordy
    I dedicate this poem to Iden Ford and his historical wife.
    Thankyou all I soaked up alot fom this massive discussion, I truly enjoyed but I feel we have all said enough on the subject and we should wait for the next historyonic to start up again…lol.
    Cheers
    The Queens dearest minion WR

  45. iden Ford says:

    Rawley!
    I laugh our loudly!
    And thank you kindly!
    For your words spoken so wisely!
    Which are quite friendly!
    In matters of history!
    Which we express so gracefully!
    To prove our thoughts so pointedly!
    And debate eachother so brotherly and sisterly!
    But this debate can never end
    Because history is what it is
    and what it was not
    So we carry on with our beliefs
    And our opinions
    To enjoy the great pleasure
    Of making new friends
    And reaching for the high idealism
    Of seeking Truth, Justice, and freedom of expression for all!
    Thank You Rawley.

  46. Amber says:

    I won’t horrify you all with a poem, however, I’d like to state that I enjoyed the debate immensely and look forward to more.
    It’s been a pleasure.

  47. Sir Walter Rawley says:

    Here, Here Iden Fordy.
    I enjoyed your well done poem…cheers.
    P.S I don’t appoligize for any name calling for I have committed no such act. What I mean by Crazy, is how far your going with this, and nuts as in you got balls for going there. Sorry I am Canadian…..A…
    Amber can’t wait for your poem…..lol.

  48. Mercutio says:

    Helen Mirren states on the HBO website:
    “She [Elizabeth I] knew that her body as a woman was also a political body. It was something to be bought and sold politically. That’s why she was always flirting with foreign princes. She was supposed to be a virgin, and she used it as a political pawn to keep her enemies at bay. So the practical side of my brain doesn’t think that she would ever have jeopardized that. But having said that, I suspect she did everything else. She probably had sex in the Clintonian sense. I did not have sex with that woman. You know? I wouldn’t be surprised if she got up to a lot of those kinds of sexual games.”
    Here, here, Iden Fordy and Really Rawley (like sushi?), be respectful. You should listen to Ms. Mirren. She knows what she is talking about. Why must you both be so boring and verbose? Do you rawley consider your comments before you type them? Perhaps you should both learn to spell, take more than one writing course and have a Clintonian moment, eh?
    Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!

  49. nadia says:

    Dear Cate Blancett,
    ELias Tsitsaras, is my 5 year old son. He is having his birthday 1st of June and the only present he asked me for his birthday is a n authograph of yours. He is ill, and I really want to make him happy. As your autograph is the only thing he keeps asking it would be very much appreciated if you could send him one.
    Our address is: Elias Tsitsaras, Majestic Cafeteria, Agiou Andreou 67, Patra- Greece.
    Many-many thanks.
    Elias mother.

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