Susan recently asked me if I could, off the top of my head, delve into some rumors about Elizabeth.
Could I ever!
Just as with Anne Boleyn, there are so many fantastical stories about Elizabeth swirling about, I have a difficult time pinpointing which tales I would like to tackle first. Shall I discuss the “pregnancy” with Thomas Seymour? The pregnancy with Robert Dudley? That she had Dudley’s wife, Amy, purposefully murdered? That she was the true writer of Shakespeare’s plays? Or, my personal favorite, that Elizabeth was actually a man, or at least an hermaphrodite?
These are just a few of the possibilities, of course, that I could tackle. I do, however, really love the questions about her sexuality and body, so I’m going to immediately start there. For each part of this rumor series, I will dismantle the rumor, trace its sources, and ruminate about why, even in this modern era, we so readily believe the information that is fed to us about Elizabeth. It should be a fun task to tackle!