Three things I love about the Elizabethan period

1. A woman sat on the English throne as absolute monarch. A single, childfree woman, one might note. Elizabeth was the best educated prince in Europe, a woman of wit and wisdom who genuinely wished to see her people prosper. elizabeth I


2. This was a time of change, which is something I look for in a story setting. The long peace of Elizabeth allowed the English to expand in every direction: art, music, literature, obviously; but also mathematics, mining, map-making, and many things that did not begin with M. Society took a giant step toward the secular, in spite of — or more probably, because of — the constant tug-of-war between religious factions. The middling sort — yeomen, craftsmen, merchants and lawyers — prospered, educated themselves, and began to think of themselves as persons of consequence. These were golden years for many people, but there was also plenty of conflict to keep a novelist happy. Enclosures threw poor farmers off their land and into vagabondage; religious controversy set neighbor against neighbor and kept the government in a state of perpetual crisis. The growing population stressed nascent social services. Recurrent plague turned over the population of London once or twice a decade.

 3. Best of all, men wore outfits like this:earl_of_cumberland


What: you thought this was post was going to go all pointy-headed and philosophical?

Introduction to the blog

For the record: handy, the way WordPress keeps things around for future reference.

This blog will be aimed at readers, not writers. When I have something to say about writing or about self-publishing, I’ll use the Capitol Crime Writers blog. Anna Castle’s blog will be about the life and times of Francis Bacon: the endlessly fascinating Elizabethan period. I will share some of the wonderful stuff I come across in my research that doesn’t fit into a book. I’ll do reviews of biographies of my major historical characters and write mini-bios of some of the minor historical figures that appear in the books. I’ll do reviews of sources occasionally, especially the ones that can be found in Google Books or other free online repositories. And I have a zillion pictures from my trips to England to look at all the places they have preserved through the ages for people like you and me to enjoy. All hail the National Trust!


I’ll also run, irregularly, a column called Sir Francis Advises, offering assistance with thorny ethical conundrums. Who better consult on such matters than philosopher and statesman, Francis Bacon?

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