The Lioness Roared: Introduction

  • Charles Beem
Part of the Queenship and Power book series (QAP)


So roared Mary I of England, in the midst of a formidable rebellion against her authority as monarch. Even John Foxe, the Protestant martyrologist who created the enduring image of “Bloody Mary,” marveled, for one brief historical moment, at the exercise of kingly authority emanating from this diminutive, thirty-nine-year-old unmarried woman.2 As England’s first ruling queen, Mary forcefully reminded her subjects that she was their legitimate monarch, capable of mastering her own and England’s destiny. Unlike her male predecessors, the kings of England, Mary I was compelled to justify to her subjects why a woman should be holding an estate and wielding an office that formerly had been occupied only by men. Simultaneously proclaiming herself her kingdom’s wife and demanding the obedience of her kingdom’s subjects, Mary I demonstrated a response to the opponents of her rule that was contradictory in its premises yet remarkable in its attempt to project a gendered representation of womanhood upon the historical template of English kingship.


Unmarried Woman Male Dominance Gender Analysis Public Role English History 
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© Charles Beem 2008

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