January 23rd, 2014 → 8:06 am @ // No Comments

“The bird of wonder…the maiden phoenix.” – Henry VIII

The above is a quote Shakespeare actually made about Queen Elizabeth I (and not somebody else which I then appropriated for the sake of this blog).  I have always admired this single ruler of England for 45 years in the 16th century, but never more so than after reading about what she faced in the quasi-history book What If?  I mean, I always knew that she faced a tough struggle with Spain, over twenty assassination attempts, and tons of misogyny, but what I had failed to really appreciate was how trul alone she (and England) were at the time.  This was well before England was a great empire.  In 1588 when the Spanish Armada attacked, the entire world was against her.  There was, literally, only one country that stood with England:  the Dutch.  How she stayed firm to England’s independence, to her own determination not to marry, how she stayed alive at all (!) I really have a hard time fathoming.  Very impressive.

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