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Written by Michal
(9/11/2013 1:55 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, childhood and oterh traumas, penned by Nikki N
You know, I hadn't thought about this much before but I guess I'm one of the few that find fault with Katherine of Aragon. Queen Katherine was a very stubborn person, just like her daughter. Katherine's intransigence in opposing the divorce in the face of Henry's unwavering insistence was destructive. Katherine could have accepted the proposed annulment and perhaps worked out a dispensation to keep Mary legitimate. The Catholic Church was at least initially a bit open minded about some solution that would satisfy both parties. As I recall, there was talk of Katherine retiring to a religious vocation (an excuse that had been used elsewhere). Katherine, through Charles V, shut any Catholic options down. By doing so, Katherine helped bring down Catholicism in England. Katherine was also, granted, unintentionally, responsible for the death of a number of people who supported her against angry paranoid Henry VIII. Thomas Moore. Exeter. Margaret Beaufort.
Katherine knew what Henry was like and she had to know Henry was not only stubborn but wilful and vindictive. Was Katherine morally in the right? From her point of view, yes, absolutely. But sometimes we have to use common sense and stand down before we bring everything down with us.
I've always thought Katherine was very like her daughter in taking what she perceived as the moral high road without considering where that road might lead. That, I think was part of Elizabeth's genius, and maybe the effect of Elizabeth growing up amidst all this train wreckage - her father, his six wives, Mary - she learned a very useful pragmatism and tolerance that helped make her such an exceptional ruler.
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