Shagging the Tudors and Stuarts

While I’m having a go at the Scots, I am going to settle down and have a thoroughly good bitch about Mary Queen of.

Mary StuartI have finally pinned down what annoys me about Mary Stuart-Darnley-Bothwell or whatever her surname was. Some people are ruled by their heads, some are ruled by their hearts and some do all their thinking with organs that are slightly lower down, and I suspect Mary Stuart was one of these. There are lots of good things about having a powerful libido, however far too many women whose cognitive abilities have been washed away by their hormones deny that they have a strong sex drive and present themselves as being sensitive, emotional or romantic, because it’s nicer than being a hot babe. Their admirers describe them as ‘passionate’ though that’s often no more than a polite euphemism. In fact many of them are drama queens, and the rest of them are just plain needy because all they want to do is buck like rabbits but they can’t face the implications, so they wrap their lust up in pink bows and say that they are longing for a relationship. As I said, Mary Stuart’s series of overly-emotional and frequently disastrous marriages suggest to me that she came into this category of self-indulgent and rather precious women.

Eliabeth TudorIf we look at Elizabeth we find a much cooler customer. Whether or not Elizabeth bedded her various favourites is a matter of speculation but whatever her sexual history she didn’t for a moment get off on the emotion of it all. She sometimes comes across as ruthless and cold-hearted, but in fact I think it is simply that she had a very strong survival instinct, honed by the extreme precariousness of her upbringing as the sometime illegitimate daughter of Henry VIII. Elizabeth could never afford to put a hair wrong; her mother had been executed while Elizabeth was still an infant and she had veered from heir to bastard and back again depending on the political and religious inclinations of her father and siblings. Whatever other speculations you make about Elizabeth’s sexuality and gender, it is quite clear that personal survival was a primary goal.

Mary by contrast was raised as the golden little darling of the French court, feted, spoiled and flattered, and never developed any of the survival instincts which Elizabeth learned as a toddler. Maybe Mary didn’t need them, maybe she was just incapable of developing them. Mary comes across as emotionally self-indulgent and short term: Liz Taylor to Elizabeth’s Katherine Hepburn.

It is probably unfair of me to admire Elizabeth’s self-control and dislike to what I see as Mary’s self-indulgence, but women who wail about love and betrayal when all they want is a good shag scrape on my nerves like chalk on a blackboard. If you want a good shag, go out and shag someone.

Right. That’s the Scots insulted. Again. I’m off to read up about Owain Glyndwr now.

18 responses to “Shagging the Tudors and Stuarts

  1. I can’t wait to read your dissection of Maggie Thatcher!

  2. Yeah, right! Look what happened when Helen did just that! And I refuse to accept that is was Paris’ fault. He was only a weak manipulable male.

    Much of history is written by and about men and their conquests, both martial and marital. One wonders at the influence of their women, who had an itch and went out and got it scratched, on that history.

  3. I wouldn’t dare, anticant. Besides which, the men’s reaction to her is much more interesting than she is herself!

    Helen’s always seemed a bit of an air-head to me, Archie.

    The two really interesting women in that cycle are Cassandra and Clytemnestra. As for Penelope – I’ve never been able to work out if she was a domestic creature and glad that Oddeseus was back, or a political manipulator in her own right and mightily pissed off about it. But Cassandra and Clytemnestra were both intelligent and clear-eyed, and their story, and Iphiginia’s for that matter, only go to show what an unpleasant c**t Agamenmon was.

    I really ought to see what Hollywood made of all that, sometime. The problem is that I’ve always had the hots for Oddeseus, and I was never entirely sure about the Sean bean casting. Don’t get me wrong, Sean’s excellent beef-cake, but it is Oddeseus’s brain that makes him sexy. I went out with a dead ringer once. Bastard broke my heart and I didn’t even turn his men into pigs. I ask you.

  4. My old sparring-partner, ex-MP Leo Abse, who’s the original barefoot freudian, dissected Maggie T in his book “Margaret – Daughter of Beatrice” [theme; significance of the absent mother]. Leo, who’s turned 90, is indefatigable: he’s just produced “Tony Blair: the Man Behind the Smile”. It’s on my reading list…..

  5. Any thoughts on Eleanor of Aquitaine?— a fascinating woman, right up your alley one would have thought.

  6. You know, that’s _just_ what I’ve always thought about Mary Queen of Scots. Although I’d also say that Elizabeth also had a stronger sense of what serving your country as the monarch actually meant in terms of duty and sacrifice, whereas Mary was self indulgent in all respects, not just sexually or emotionally.

    Although I suppose you could say that Elizabeth had more of a clear eyed understanding of what the different standards of behaviour from a female would be demanded as opposed to a male monarch. You couldn’t really accuse Henry the eighth of restraint, or even of not putting his libedo into affairs of state.

    I’ve seen Troy the movie. I liked Troy the movie. Mind you, I thought at the time that it’s such a great story, there’s not much that can go wrong with it no matter how it’s retold.

    Sean Bean is playing Odesseyus as bluff and utterly unidealistic. The Terry Prachett Odyseyus, in fact. In the film, it’s he who convinces Archilies, who is the reluctant one, to go off to war, on the grounds that neither of them are rulers of an important enough country to refuse Agamenmon. To be honest, he’s really not in it that much though.

    Agamenmom is portrayed as a monumantally unpleasant c*** too, which is quite satisfying.

  7. sonofrojblake

    Can’t help wondering if there’s a modern day analogue of Mary Q-of-S in your circle of acquaintances, and it’s her that’s pissing you off.

    Also can’t ever hear about that woman without thinking “Episode 2 of ‘The Death of Mary Queen of Scots’ can be heard on Radio 4 almost immediately… Tek that, Mary Queen of Scorts… Ow!… I thunk she’s did… Nor am nort… Whack… Ow! etc.

    And now, Radio 4 will explode.

  8. Troy the movie was an abomination…the siege lasted 10 exhausting, dragged out, years…the movie had it down to about a week or so with Helen [miss cast] not ageing by even a day…Bean, well cast, although he will always be Sharpe for me.

    The various Mary Stewarts should have a book dedicated to just themselves to compare and to contrast them—certainly Mary Queen of Scots was well set up by the Machaivellian Elizabeth who planted the syphyllitic and narcissistic psychopath on her like a bait on a hook—which Mary swallowed, hook, line and sinker.

  9. Anticant, you are an expensive man to know. You keep on telling me about books I want to read. 😉

    Andris – you are right, Eleanor is an exceptionally interesting woman, but I know very little about her. I read a biography of her some years ago, but have forgotten most of it. You are also right about the Mary Stewarts – Mary of Guise has always seemed to me to be worth a good ten of her daugher.

    I am glad it’s not just me, Sol. I wondered briefly if I was being unfair to the woman.

    SoRB, good to see you here. There’s a modern day Mary in every woman’s aquanitance – it was the Scots ramming her down my throat as a tragic heroine which pissed me off. As Jim Royle would say – “tragic heroine, my arse”.

    Thanks all for stopping by and commenting. And if any of you decide to write about any of the other women mentioned in this thread, please put a link here so we can troop by and read it.


  10. This entry is the most unhistorical piece of junk I’ve ever read in my life. History is not served well by making Mary and Elizabeth diametrically opposed to each other in terms of their respective lifestyles and accomplishments. The entire history of the Western Anglophone world rested more or less on the strange compromise both women achieved through the accession of James VI, I. Both women were brilliant in their own right. Moreover, before her strange fall, Mary – not Elizabeth – was considered by even the Elizabeth’s English advisers as the more ‘model’ female sovereign in that she had secured the Scottish succession. What’s more, Mary put forth the first edict of religious toleration in the British Isles, not Elizabeth. This did not serve her well later in life as those same Protestants that she had enriched and put in positions of power (at her own expense) came to rebel against her quite forcefully. Her decisions, put into historical context, actually made quite a lot of sense whereas Elizabeth’s maybe did not, particularly to her male advisers at the time. Elizabeth’s success, in many ways, was in part due to a particularly stronger central government with a greater tradition of allegiance to the sovereign whereas Mary was forced to deal with the freedom-loving Scots (just imagine how long Mary might have managed as the ‘sole’ female ruler of Scotland). And her Lords disposed of her at a particularly useful moment. Mary was on the verge of her 25 birthday when she was forced to abdicate – the age when lands given to nobles during her royal minority in France would have to be returned to the Crown.

    Go read history. Please. Your entry is absolutely ridiculous.

  11. Blimey! What a lot of facts in response to an opinion piece. If you read what I’ve said you’ll find it boils down to this:

    * “I suspect” that Mary Stuart’s primary drivers were emotional and very probably sexual. – (Opinion).

    * “I think” that Elizabeth Tudor’s primary driver was her survival instinct. – (Opinion).

    * Elizabeth’s upbringing was more precarious and uncertain than Mary’s (very well documented fact) and this may explain the differences I’ve already described (inference based on fact).

    And that’s it.

    That’s all that’s there.

    It’s a rant, and it’s not even about Mary and Elizabeth, it’s about self-indulgence versus self-control. It doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a rant, and I’m absolutely explicit in the piece itself that it’s a statement of opinion.

    Thanks for the education, though. It was – er – educative.


  12. Plus there’s what actually happened and what people and popular culture percieve to have happened, and it’s the way Mary is portrayed which I suppose pisses me off, especially when it’s done admiringly. What she was actually like, or did, is irrelevant to the rant.

  13. ur mums gay henry viii sos ur nan

  14. dnt get rude nigar lol

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