Polychronicon 154: Elizabeth I

Teaching History feature

By Jackie Eales, published 31st March 2014

Interpreting Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I is admired today for her power dressing and her power portraits; her political acumen and her success in a man's world.

The adulation of Elizabeth started during her own lifetime when she was praised as a goddess and even as a celestial power. Elizabeth's semi-mythical status is reflected in the many extraordinary portraits of her painted during her lifetime. Among the most iconic is the Rainbow Portrait at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire. Elizabeth's dress is covered in human eyes, ears and lips, which have been interpreted as a  reference to Elizabeth's secret service headed by Sir Francis Walsingham...

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