I just wanted to share with you this replay of my live talk “Was Elizabeth I really a man?”, in which I look at the Bisley Boy legend and why some people believe that Elizabeth I was really a man.

Register for my Elizabeth I event now at https://claireridgway.com/events/elizabeth-i-the-life-of-gloriana-the-virgin-queen-online-event-7-16-september-2022/

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One thought on “Replay – Was Elizabeth I really a man?”
  1. Cannot understand Bram Stoker giving credence to this daft myth, but maybe being Irish there was something personal in it, as for Robert Berry I agree with Claire, it’s just a way to make money, the queens so called ‘ masculine features’ do not exist she did not have a strong jaw and no one ever commented on her deep voice, which she would have had being male, look at her frame – how delicate she was, look at her slender long hands, the painting of her as a young girl, you can clearly see the roundness of her breasts under her bodice, and surely her elder sister Mary would have noticed anything amiss? Identical twins often play tricks on their friends family and teachers, they say their own parents cannot tell which from which, for the Bisley boy to have taken the place of a royal child, he would have had to be Elizabeth’s double in everything, her voice her mannerisms her gait, also her precocity was noticed from a young age, hard put to find a child that was her equal in not only her looks but her mind, her tutors records of her prowess where she did better one year then the previous one are taken out of context, such as her Tilbury speech where she declared she had the heart and stomach of a king, we hear the daft theory that the pretender could have been the child of Henry Fitzroy, Henry’s V111’s bastard and therefore his grandchild, and of his wife Mary Howard, a blood connection would have explained the likeness, what utter drivel! her laundress’s noted her periods were often irregular, the fact she had any proved she was undoubtedly female, this source Stoker chose to ignore and so does Berry, we hear that there was a great secret that was shared between the queen and her old favourites, Kathleen Ashley and Thomas Parry, this ‘secret’ was the fact that their mistress was really the lad from the cotswalds not the daughter of Henry V111 at all, if there actually had been a great secret, I believe it could have been that their beloved charge had actually been seduced by Thomas Seymour and that would explain her emotional state when she left his household, although her peace of mind was obviously shattered by the unsettling events at Sudeley and the schoolgirl attachment towards her stepfather, it is really all fantasy did these two authors, one long dead really believe that this unknown boy managed to fool the world for nearly sixty years, a bevy of foreign ambassadors, the queens own court, her friends and relatives, William Cecil Robert Dudley etc ? The fact remains that Elizabeth 1st was a remarkable woman, she was a strong ruler and a very capable one, some men find that hard to accept, it was a most interesting topic Claire one I highly enjoyed thank you.

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