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Written by Michal
(9/10/2013 1:48 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, but, penned by Nikki N
I don't know. I don't think that's an entirely fair assessment. Mary was sixteen or seventeen when Henry divorced Katherine of Aragon. She wasn't a child, she was almost a grown woman even by our standards. Her childhood hadn't been particularly traumatic. I think Elizabeth suffered far more because she was so young, although her nurse did protect her and Elizabeth was more fortunate in her stepmothers. Elizabeth was three, certainly old enough to be aware her mother was gone, even she didn't realize why until years later.
Was Mary badly treated by Anne, and equally by her father, yes, indeed. Badly enough to inflict psychological scars? Undoubtedly. But as you point out other sixteen century monarchs were also zealous in burning heretics sans any psychological scars. Ironically, many of the great persecutions of the era were carried out by Mary's relatives. Her grandparents, Ferdinand and Isabella, in Spain. Her cousin, Charles V in the Netherlands and elsewhere. One wonders whether Mary was scarred by her mistreatment so much as she was simply following in the footsteps of her zealous relatives, particularly Charles V, to whom she was extremely attached. She clearly identified more closely with her maternal relations; no doubt in large part because of her ill treatment at her father's hands. But also I think Mary unfortunately shared many of her maternal relatives worst qualities with a generous dose of her father's as well.
All I can say is that when my putative relative was burned, he was burned in the presence of the comptroller of the Queen's household. Mary knew and approved of the burnings. "And there in the presence of Mr. Rochester, comptroller of the queen's household, Sir Richard Southwell, both the sheriffs, and a great number of people, he was burnt to ashes, washing his hands in the flame as he was burning."
If Mary was a product of her times and her experiences, imho that's the best you can say for her. Her sister, on the other hand, was extraordinary.
I've always wondered if the double tomb was a bit of a back-handed insult from James I (I don't think he liked Elizabeth much). I'm pretty sure vain, proud, brilliant Elizabeth would have preferred a grand tomb of her own.
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