Whilst reviewing Mathew Lyons’ excellent The Favourite: Ambition, Politics and Love – Sir Walter Ralegh in Elizabeth I’s Court, I remembered a poem I wrote a few years ago about Ralegh. I reread the poem and thought it good enough to publish on Hobbinol’s Blog. The poem reflects on Ralegh’s ‘achievements’ as explorer, coloniser and entrepreneur as he -Continue reading>
The Favourite is an examination of the relationship between Sir Walter Ralegh and Queen Elizabeth I. Ralegh is not usually viewed as engaging the queen’s affections with the same intimacy as Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester and Robert Devereux, the second Earl of Essex. In the popular imagination, Ralegh’s defining moment as a courtier is to lay his cloak over a puddle for Queen Elizabeth to step on. Lyons sees this famous event -Continue reading>
In the classical and medieval traditions of the courtly love ideal, the male Lover pronounces his undying love to the Lady of his desires who is cruel and unobtainable. Writing about courtly love, Denis De Rougement argues that it is ‘the passion of the two lovers [that] creates obstruction‘ (De Rougemont 42). He implies that the Lover’s feelings for the Lady who feigns disinterest creates a playful discourse masking sexual interest. In the picture below, for instance, the courtly love couple are playing chess. No doubt, they’d rather be in bed together.
Queen Elizabeth I revived the courtly love ideal to encourage courtiers to woo and flatter her. She maintained ‘control’ over a patriarchal society because -continue reading>