margaret philips

anonymous asked:

Was there any female writer in Shakespeare's England that you know of?

There were indeed, though fewer than men. Here’s a list of the notable ones that goes from a little before Shakespeare’s time to a little after:

  • Marguerite de Navarre, 1492-1549 (French writer of poems and plays, her works were translated into English in her time)
  • Mary Queen of Scots, 1542-1587 (wrote poems)
  • Elizabeth I, 1533-1603 (also wrote poems)
  • Isabella Whitney, c.1540s-? (secular poet. Possibly the first professional female poet in England)
  • Mary Sidney, 1561-1621 (sister of Philip Sidney, respected poet and writer of closet dramas - which are grander things than they sound like)
  • Aemilia Lanyer, 1569-1645 (poet. The section on Eve in her Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum is often regarded as one of the earliest ‘feminist’ works in British literature)
  • Elizabeth Cary, 1585-1639 (poet, playwright and translator. Likely the first English woman to write a public play)
  • Anne Clifford, 1590-1676 (writer, mainly in the form of letters and diaries. A patron of the arts and very highly regarded by John Donne)
  • Mary Wroth, c.1587-c.1653 (niece of Philip Sidney. Poet, closet dramatist and writer of prose romance
  • Lucy Hutchinson, 1620-1681 (poet, translator and biographer. Her Order and Disorder is a highly religious poetic rendition of the bible which offers rich comparisons to Milton’s Paradise Lost)
  • Margaret Cavendish, 1623-1673 (philosopher, poet, and writer ofThe Blazing World, one of the earliest science fiction pieces)
  • Katherine Philips, 1632-1664 (poet, translator and political writer. Her depictions of female friendship are often regarded as lesbianic)
  • Aphra Behn, c.1640-1689 (playwright, poet, spy, political writer, translator and fiction writer. Probably the first professional female playwright. An extremely erotic and homoerotic poet who wrote a novella with a black slave protagonist. Basically too interesting to be described in parentheses… Which is probably why Virginia Woolf mentions her in A Room of One’s Own. You can see why I stretched to Restoration literature just to include her.)

This program commemorated the coronation of Elizabeth Windsor, as Queen Elizabeth II of England, on June 2, 1953. At the same ceremony, she assumed the title of ‘Sovereign’ of most Commonwealth nations. To this day, the Queen holds sixteen regnal titles and dozens of honorifics.

The program features photos of the Royal Family, poems, songs, an overview of coronation procedures, and a history of monarchal and imperial coronations in Britain. It comes to us as part of the Barbara Denison collection. Ms. Denison was present at the coronation and was a lifelong collector of Royal Family memorabilia. 

Margaret Leicester Warren (1928). Philip Alexius de László (Hungarian, 1869-1937). Oil on canvas. Tabley House.

Margaret Alice Leicester-Warren was the daughter of Cuthbert Leicester-Warren and Hilda Marguerite Davenport. She married Lt.-Gen. Sir Oliver William Hargreaves Leese, on 18 January 1933. She is depicted holding a book which she appears to have been reading.


Prognathism is well recorded as a trait of several historical individuals. The most famous case is that of the House of Habsburg, among whom mandibular prognathism was a family trait; indeed, the condition is frequently called “Habsburg Jaw” as a result of its centuries-long association with the family. Among the Habsburgs, the most prominent case of mandibular prognathism is that of Charles II of Spain, who had prognathism so pronounced he could neither speak clearly nor chew as a result of generations of politically motivated inbreeding.


Passion ran in the family: The Catholic Monarchs and their children

Isabel & Fernando:

Ferdinand’s letters are passionate; ‘being in hell I would suffer less than I do now, and so many times I wish myself to die…I don’t know why Our Lord gave me so much good and so little time to enjoy it…’ Ferdinand’s letters were not rhetorical or insincere. They were a flushy passion, in a colour of crimson, roused by the separation, and exhaustion, caused by the battle over the succession in the kingdom. The remedy was to come back to live together; ‘because in getting together we help each other more than anything in life, and now is the time that all our power should be jointly exerted’.

Tarsicio de Azcona, “Isabel La Católica: Vida y reinado”

Isabel was eighteen, auburn haired and comely, her blue-green eyes steady. From all indications she was tall and stately, her bearing regal. (Her surviving portraits show only a much older and ill queen). She saw enter the room a gallant youth, eyes sparkling, taut with energy, a cousin, and a very welcome one. She and he talked for two hours. ‘The presence of the Archbishop repressed the amorous impulses of the lovers,’ according to Palencia, ‘though they soon enjoyed the licit joys of matrimony.’ By all accounts, theirs was an instant attraction, and, remarkably, it proved a passionate and long-lasting love.

Peggy K. Liss, „Isabel the Queen: Life and Times”

Palencia claimed that the young couple, aged eighteen and seventeen, were so smitten with each other that only the presence of the archbishop during their two-hour meeting prevented them from misbehaving.

 Giles Tremlett, „Isabella of Castile: Europe’s First Great Queen”

Love at firts sight? Possibly. And it is an issue that should be taken into consideration, given the political consequences of perfect assembling between the two heirs of the greatest crowns of Spain, but that we can not be sure of. 

Manuel Fernández Álvarez, „Isabel la Católica”

Isabel & Alfonso:

The infanta Isabel was twenty and had become her mother’s inseparable companion. As a child she had been placed in the care of Teresa Enríquez, the wife of Gutierre de Cárdenas, a woman renowned for her devotion and piety. Intelligent and dutiful, she had been hostage to the Cabreras and then to the peace between Castile and Portugal. She knew Afonso well, for both had lived for over three years in the care of her great-aunt, Beatriz.

 Peggy K. Liss, „Isabel the Queen: Life and Times”

Although this was a political union, they fell passionately in love, lust or both. She was twenty, he was just fifteen, and their marriage ended dramatically after just eight months with Afonso’s sudden death in July 1491. Like the tragic heroines of the first Spanish sentimental novels that the new printing presses in Burgos and other cities were beginning to produce – including the popular Treatise on the Loves of Arnalte and Lucenda, which was dedicated to the queen’s ladies, who must have been the novels’ most avid readers – the young Isabella reacted dramatically. She cut off her magnificent reddish-blonde hair and dressed in the habit of a Poor Clare nun. ‘She does not want to know another man,’ reported Peter Martyr d’Anghiera.

Giles Tremlett, „Isabella of Castile: Europe’s First Great Queen

Juana & Philip

Finally, at Lier, on 12 October 1496, the first meeting took place. And then, the unexpected happened; the stroke of passion, the uncontrollable sexual fury. ‘At first sight - according to German historian, Ludwig Pfandl - the breeding instinct of the two youngsters (she was 16 and he 18 years old) flared up, with such ardor that they did not wait for the ceremony, that was to take place two days later, but summoned the first priest they could find, so he would give them his blessing, and they could consummate the marriage the same evening.’

Manuel Fernández Álvarez, “Juana La Loca: La Cautiva de Tordesillas”

Juan & Margaret:

The wedding took place on April 2, although it was Lententime. ‘Our prince,’ Mártir explains, ‘burning with love, got his parents to dispense with protocol in order to get to the desired embraces.’ There was one somber note, a knight died jousting. Mártir, at his most prescient, worried that it was a portent of unhappiness to come. In a letter of June 13 he described Margaret: ‘if you saw her, you would think you were contemplating Venus herself.’ Yet he trembled to think that some day that beauty might lead to unhappiness and the loss of Spain. For the prince, carried away with love of her, was pale and thin and ‘bore himself sadly.’ The doctors and the king were counseling the queen that some of the time the two should be separated, ‘for too frequent copulation constitutes a danger to the Prince.’

Peggy K. Liss, „Isabel the Queen: Life and Times”

María & Manuel:

Isabel soon heard that Maria’s marriage was a happy one, Manuel solicitous and giving his bride magnificent presents, María beaming and, reassuringly, spending much time with her sagacious great-aunt, Beatriz of Braganza. María, least promising of Isabel’s children, proved the happiest, and assuredly the most fertile, raising ten children of her own.

 Peggy K. Liss, „Isabel the Queen: Life and Times”

Katherine & Henry:

Catalina wrote to her father: ‘Our English kingdoms enjoy peace and the people love us, as my husband and I love one another.’

 Peggy K. Liss, „Isabel the Queen: Life and Times”

Catherine was expected to play her part in the king’s pleasures. She and her husband were quite different in character. Where he was all fun-loving ebullience, she was good-humouredly serious. Fortunately she also shared many of his interests. From hunting to music, from their outwardly pious religious orthodoxy to their views on foreign affairs, they were more than compatible. Both were well read and well educated by humanist teachers. She could sew his shirts, but also discuss how to make war on France. He could spend all day hunting in the saddle. She was the daughter of a woman who employed 450 staff to keep her hunting estates ready and whose father took 120 falconers out on a single day’s hunt. Her father even ignored those who worried about his health, preferring an early grave with hunting to a dull old age without it. Catherine herself liked to hunt with hawks – something that Henry also eventually came to enjoy.
The newly-weds matched, too, in bed. Henry had none of the sexual problems attributed to his brother – at least, not yet. The court went to bed late, often after midnight.

 Giles Tremlett,  „Catherine of Aragon: Henry’s Spanish Queen”