Dr Linda Porter is one of the experts speaking at my online event “Elizabeth I: The Life of Gloriana, the Virgin Queen”.
Linda will be talking to us on “Two Queens In One Isle: Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots”:
The rivalry between cousins Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots is one of the most famous in British history, the stuff of endless biographies, romantic novels, Hollywood films and frequent exhibitions. Yet there are different views among historians about the significance of this fraught relationship. Dr Linda Porter will examine the upbringing of these two women, their experience as ruling queens, their attitudes to marriage and the importance of Mary’s fateful decision to seek Elizabeth’s help in regaining her Scottish throne. Linda will also consider who was the real victor of this deadly rivalry between two queens who never actually met.
Dr Linda Porter has a B.A. and a D.Phil from the University of York, where she studied under the direction of two inspirational professors, Gerald Aylmer and Gwyn A. Williams. She spent nearly ten years lecturing in New York, at Fordham and City Universities among others, before returning with her American husband and daughter to England, where she embarked on a complete change of career. For more than twenty years she worked as a senior public relations practitioner in BT, introducing a ground-breaking international public relations programme during the years of BT’s international expansion. The attractions of early retirement were too good to miss and she has gone back to historical writing as well as reviewing for the BBC History Magazine, The Literary Review and History Today.
Her first book, Mary Tudor: The First Queen, was published to critical acclaim by Piatkus in the UK. It is available from St. Martin’s Press in the US under the title The First Queen of England: The Myth of “Bloody Mary”. This is a personal history of Mary I, the eldest of Henry VIII’s three children.
The book shows that the popular image of Bloody Mary, the evil queen who sent hundreds of Protestant martyrs to the stake and effectively sold her realm to Spain, is an invention of Elizabethan propagandists. The real Mary suffered much in her tragic life but her memory has suffered even more. A determined and courageous survivor, Mary’s life and reign deserved re-appraisal. Linda’s book about Mary has been translated into Polish by Adam Tuz and published as Maria Tudor Pierwsza Królowa by Wydawnicrwo Astra in 2013.
Linda’s second book is a biography of Katherine Parr, titled Katherine the Queen: The Remarkable Life of Katherine Parr and published by Macmillan. It is the first serious but accessible life of Henry VIII’s last queen, a woman of intellect and charm who had a profound influence on the young Elizabeth I.
Her third book, Crown of Thistles: The Fatal Inheritance of Mary Queen of Scots, was also published by Macmillan. It is the story of the Tudor Stewart rivalry.
Her fourth book is Royal Renegades: The Children of Charles I and the English Civil Wars.
Linda won the Biographers Club prize in 2004. She is presently doing research for her fourth book.