Arbella England’s Lost Queen January 2022 book
In January, the book club read a brilliant biography about a foot note of England’s royal history, Arbella Stuart. Who was also a Tudor… Unfortunately, as seems to be her lot in life and now in death, she got cheated. Our book club discussion was unfortunately not possible due to snow storm. A very real issue in this region of the US in the winter months. These things can do and will happen from time to time. The roads were bad, so for reasons of safety we did cancel this meeting. So no fun photos, just this shot of a crown we were going to use for a game of trivia pulled from the book about Arbella’s life. Not too much to say about this book as I really like having a group discussion before I speak too much here about any of our reads.
Arbella England’s Lost Queen was written by Sarah Gristwood, to whom I give great props. She has a wonderful and highly informative writing style. Her word choice is broad and her vocabulary vast. You can’t read her work without walking away from it significantly more educated for having read it than you were before you read it. Which to me, is what makes some authors and writers the truest of lights in this world. So Sarah, has my deepest gratitude, for that. She also has my deepest respect. A work like this… Where clearly so much research went in… Is truly a gift to the world. A priceless gift of a piece of where humans have been so that we might learn from our own story. Of which Arbella, is a small but important piece, most particularly for Great Britain. But for everyone.
Arbella, may have been part of something that was a but of a long game Bess of Hardwick her grandmother was playing. She was produced strategically is might seem in a union that was unsanctioned by the crown, of some very royal young people. Who met because they were set up and the result was Arbella. Who was so royal, that she was in many respects one of the best candidates to follow Elizabeth 1. For some time she was in fact recognized as the predecessor of Elizabeth 1.
Arbella’s parents tragically passed young. leaving her to be raised by her grandmother Bess. She spent some time in a house likely with some regular contact with Mary Queen Of Scotts. Her grandmother and queen Elizabeth, kept her out of the lime light in effect keeping her prison till she very well may have lost her marbles. During which time she was promised in marriage again and again, she was used as a pawn by Queen Elizabeth. None of the marriages ever quite panned out due Arbella’s value as a pawn for Queen Elizabeth 1.
A number of times Arbella got herself in some trouble before Queen Elizabeth 1 passed. In part for these reasons the support wasn’t there when the monarch died, and the crown wound up on the head of James of Scotland. Also due to his being a man. Arbella, was also less supported due to her gender and no one really wanted another woman on the throne. Sexism for the win. We still see it happen today. it has not left us. Even after all these years.
James, gave Arbella her freedom, and made her part of his court. She fell in love with a man and found herself in an unsanctioned relationship wanting to marry. So they tried to flee England and escape to France, to be together. Only to be captured. Arbella, died in the tower, when her cousin James now king of England sent her there. She was only 39 when she perished.
One thing we see reading this book… Is not just the high education this woman had in a time before women were educated. But how intelligent she was. how her yearnings and desires reflected in her writing are so similar in many respects to modern women. A desire to simply be who they are and to live life freely.
There is a lot to unpack in this book unfortunately as we did not unpack it, I will not be discussing beyond this here.
This genre, is not one I tend to read much. But for this genre, this book is absolutely fantastic and exquisitely well done. There is a lot to be learned from the life of Arbella Stuart.