I have Tudor Mania, which never resolves, but grows into even more Tudor Mania. The problem with that feisty and terrible clan is that none of them and none of their eras can be viewed through one lens. It takes many books, biographies, the entire Wikipedia set and a whole lot more to get anything close to an understanding.
Now, I am reading Jane Dunn's "Elizabeth and Mary". She has done a comprehensive and beautifully written dual biography that examines the parallel lives and tragedies of two cousins who were set against each other as they ruled and coveted either France, Scotland or England.
Then what happened? That harrowing and great masterpiece "The Lion In Winter" was on last night. No one can ignore an ensemble that included Katherine Hepburn, Peter O'Toole and a very young Anthony Hopkins. This monster of a film centered on the relationship between King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitane, both of who put the "Bick" in the word "bickering".
And here is why the Tudors cannot be viewed with one lens. The events that occurred in one time and space cannot be disconnected from people who lived in other times and spaces.
Every action had a reaction. Every connection had multiple arms that latched on and intertwined with other connections. Every life influenced millions of other lives.
There is no camera that can take this picture! The ghosts, spirits and demons of both the past and the future create such static and interference that the history of the Tudors can only be heard with one ear glued to a very bad radio while one eye watches a static filled television.
Why Angry Black Millenial Woman Cares About Tudors
Why is an angry Black woman, living at the beginning of the year 2012, so interested? Because, while the Tudors were indulging and bulging, the Great Zimbabwe civilization was at its pinnacle, and the North Africans were working to civilize those Europeans out of the dark ages.
Here is a great article about the Moors in Spain.
There was a point where there was no racism. The Romans freely assimilated and intermixed with other races as they conquered them. The Spaniards recognized the culture and the skills of the "Barbarians". One single drop of Spanish blood was the only important drop.
Even the name "Barbarian" was not a derogatory term. It simply identified the people.
It was too early for slavery and colonialism, so there was no need to develop false religious dogma or fake science in order to justify centuries of pure European evil.
But women were, as ever, confined to a status that was slightly above the position that was held by the wild beasts and domesticated animals.
So I have detoured from my journey of Black discovery to make some comparisons between the conspiracies of the Tudor era and our own conspiracy to draw American women into a gender based civil war.
Certain deviant and corrupted elements of American politics seek to destroy the work of generations of American women who started as the suffragettes and who are the history makers of today.
Where we once climbed high enough to broadcast voices of reason to the women of the world, we are now reduced to being helpless subjects while the corrupted, deviant and intrusive open their mouths and blather on about our lives and issues. One political party is responsible for this: the Republican party. (The Tea party does not count as they are a product of the Republican party.)
It is important to revisit a time when women were nothing but chattel to be bartered, given away, traded, forced to marry while still children, or even killed when not wanted. We need to remind ourselves of shocking lives, where even the one percent of women lived in fear.
Until recently, there has been constant fear that, although miserable, women's lives were more than likely to end early from disease, war, accident, injury, overwork, starvation, childbirth or murder.
Elizabeth and Mary
Elizabeth of England went through trial after trial, never knowing when she might find her head lying on the block, ready for the executioner's axe. She was redefined as being legitimate, then illegitimate so many times that she trusted few people. She prepared herself for internecine battle of wit, diplomacy and equisitely executed equivocation with anyone who attacked or tried to control her. (Yes, her legendary equivocation was her weapon against the skeeves who sought to use her for their own ends.)
Elizabeth I understood how tenuous her hold on power truly was. She had no intention of losing her hard earned grip. She related more to the 99 percent than to the one percent, given her experiences in life.
Mary of Scotland and France was born and bred to be married to the Dauphin of France and ultimately to become the Queen of England, France and Scotland. But she was so sheltered, pampered and constantly reminded of her automatic greatness that she was never prepared for the realities of life.
Mary embarked on a life of impetuous and tragic actions that started her neck toward its final destination between the block and the executioner's axe. Her obsession with destroying and replacing Elizabeth as the rightful heir to the throne of England was fueled by constant reminders of her assured position among the one percent of Europe.
The truth was that Mary was the more legitimate heir to the English throne, while Elizabeth's position was vulnerable to many legal and religious arguments. But the English people wanted Elizabeth, who had discovered the power of demonstrating humility and goodness. This was another of the powerful tools that Elizabeth weilded while staring, often blinded, into the face of incredible and complex treachery.
This great battle, fought between two women who were cousins and queens, parallels with events in our lives. We live in an increasingly treacherous, unstable and dogmatic world.
There are plenty of obsessed and entitled women of our own one percent who are willing to drag us all back to zero percent. There are many who are willing to destroy us all in the process.
We women of the 99 percent need to take a lesson here.
And those parallels, viewed through so many lenses, and followed along lengthy, complicated and incomplete routes, is why I have Tudor Mania.