This piece is to pay homage to a woman I’ve always admired, Elizabeth I. The only good thing to come out of Henry IIIV, in my opinion.
She was a woman that had to survive in a minefield. It was a wonder that she made it to the throne. I can completely understand her frustration with her gender and with the role that being female forced on her. I totally understand why she didn’t marry. In her position, I wouldn’t have either.
So, here we go. The name of the piece is Glorianna.
“Gloriana was the name given by the 16th-century poet Edmund Spenser to his character representing Queen Elizabeth I in his poem The Faerie Queene. It became the popular name given to Elizabeth I. It is recorded that the troops at Tilbury hailed her with cries of “Gloriana, Gloriana, Gloriana”, after the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. “
She is illuminated, like all of my mosaics, with LED lights, that are supposed to last a very long time.
Her ruff is made of lace, satin, silk and cotton. She has a green brocade back, hand sewn with gold metallic thread, and silk. Her lace is made of wide cotton, in the style of the era. All is hand-sewn with silk thread.
For reasons known only to WordPress, the two images below won’t sit next to one another, not like the bottom images. I have no idea, and after a very long time fooling around with this, I give up!
Elizabeth was a fascinating character. She was a survivor, no doubt. She was raised in a metaphorical piranha pool that was called the English royal court. She survived to rule for over 44 years.
She managed to remain unmarried, and therefore, the sole power on the throne. This is really not surprising. She had many reasons to not want a man in power over her.
Her own mother was beheaded by her father, her sister, Mary, had seen her mother put aside, as well. Because Elizabeth was a woman, she had to endure a daily life that required hypervigilance. It was very easy to lose one’s head, literally, in Mary’s court.
In fact, it was no picnic to have been under her brother, either. When he died, leaving the throne to Lady Jane Grey, who ended up beheaded, that most likely reinforced to Elizabeth that the status of women was fluid and totally up to the men in power over those women.
So no, I can completely understand why Elizabeth, after having achieved the stability as queen, would be determined to not share that power. To share was to lose her stability. To be sole ruler was to be in control of her own destiny.
I would have acted the same way. In fact, I have. I grew up during the Sixties and Seventies. At that time, it wasn’t easy to be a woman. We still have pay inequality, we still have laws that favor men in many domains, from employment to domestic to civil law.
Our culture, in many ways, would be very recognizable to the Elizabethan. We are bawdy, as were they. We are vain, and like our costume, as did they. Women are still not equal to men and that also is the same. In many ways, we are going backwards.
The current political climate has reduced women in many states, to being nothing more than a vessel. We see a religious push that is not biblically based, that opposes birth control. In the Old Testament, God gives a recipe to induce abortion. I suspect that means that God is down with abortion AND birth control. Where they get the idea that God worships the fetus is beyond me. God actually is pretty good with infanticide. I point to the order to Joshua to bash out the brains of infants.
This is the kind of thing that has stuck with us. That is the kind of thing that shaped Elizabeth. In her place, I suspect I would have done the same, refused marriage and kept the power to myself.
It was then and now, the best way for a woman to stay safe.