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.
I 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.
If 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.