Jan 10, 2009

Arbella & Elizabeth .. what was the story?


Sitting here reading Arbella: England's Lost Queen by Sarah Gristwood makes me wonder what could have been for England after the death of Elizabeth I. Why after a long & successful reign did Elizabeth have such an aversion to answering her councils' questions regarding her succession? What was she afraid of, and why did she not recognize Arbella Stuart, a Tudor, a Stuart, a woman just as Elizabeth was? Why would she not procure any marriage for Arbella?

Arbella was essentially a prisoner, once a jewel to her grandmother, Bess of Hardwick, and suddenly realizing she was a prisoner. At 27 Arbella displays porphyria (a symptom being hysteria among others) tendencies later shown to be genetic in the Stuart lineage yet she must have known that she pretty much reached her climax in life and had nothing to show for it. Elizabeth was old, and dying.. And showed no affection towards Arbella. Bess was old as well & could no longer understand the distress Arbella was feeling. It is here at this point where I am in the book, Arbella; and history tells us Arbella is about to do something foolish. Fall in love? I must keep reading.