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|childhood and oterh traumas
Written by Nikki N
(9/10/2013 10:44 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, I have a Mary I bio waiting to be read, penned by Golda
yes, Mary's trauma did not begin when she was 16 or 17, it began much earlier than that when Henry VIII was trying to divorce her mother, although it certainly reached its' worst point when Elizabeth was born and she was sent to be a servant to her own half-sister. She was also forbidden to see her mother or even to correspond with her for many years, and they had to sneak their letters to each other. She and her mother used to be very close.
I think a combination of circumstances, including the terrible treatment she received from her father and Anne Boleyn, contributed into what she later became. But she was not always a fanatic, she got along well with Anne of Cleves and Katherine Parr who were Protestants, and even translated a paraphrase of Erasmus at Katherine Parr's suggestion, and won praise for her work from the reformist circle (re Porter).
Mary had a hard life -- forced separation from her mother in her most vulnerable adolescent years, ill-treatment by her father and Anne, being forced to submit to her father and slander her beloved mother's memory (and Katherine of Aragon was someone who as Agnes Strickland's biography of the queens puts it, not even her enemies could find anything evil to say of her). If other monarchs of that time had no excuse for their cruelty, Mary was the only one who could have some excuse. When her brother came to the throne, he turned out to be a fanatic Protestant and his councillors would not leave her to practise her own religion in peace. It would have been perhaps more logical that having experienced that, she should leave others to practice their religions in peace, but her deep psychological traumas might have had the opposite effect instead. Mary was merciful to her enemies when she first came to the throne, but her mercy was rewarded by Wyatt's rebellion, and her mercy was exhausted. I think Mary could be a fascinating tragic psychological study.
Mary's reputation was not bad at the time of her death, or Elizabeth would not have claimed that she possessed Mary's virtues -- Elizabeth ordered this verse at an eulogy at Mary's funeral --
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