History Podcasts

Elizabeth I’s Rocky Road to the Crown

Elizabeth I’s Rocky Road to the Crown

Elizabeth I in her coronation robes. Image credit: NPG / CC.

One of the most powerful women in history, Elizabeth I defeated the Spanish Armada, reinstated Protestantism, quelled the religious strife that had threatened to break the country and forged an England that was a strong, independent nation.

But from her very first breath to the day she breathed her last, Elizabeth was surrounded by enemies who threatened her crown and her life.

A Seymour plot

Throughout her childhood and teenage years, Elizabeth was accused of being involved with a series of dangerous allegations that could have resulted in her imprisonment, or even her execution.

When her 9-year-old half-brother Edward ascended to the throne, Elizabeth joined the Chelsea household of her stepmother Katherine Parr and Katherine’s new husband, Thomas Seymour.

While she was there, Seymour – approaching 40 but good looking and charming – engaged in romps and horseplay with the 14-year-old Elizabeth. These included entering her bedroom in his nightgown and slapping her on the bottom. Rather than confronting her husband, Parr joined in.

But eventually Parr discovered Elizabeth and Thomas in an embrace. Elizabeth left the Seymour house the very next day.

In 1548 Katherine died in childbirth. Seymour was subsequently executed for plotting to marry Elizabeth without the council’s consent, kidnap Edward VI and become de facto king.

Elizabeth was questioned to find out whether she was involved in the treasonous plot, but denied all charges. Her stubbornness exasperated her interrogator, Sir Robert Tyrwhitt, who reported, “I do see it in her face that she is guilty”.

The Wyatt plot

Elizabeth’s life during Mary’s reign began well, but there were irreconcilable differences between them, particularly their differing faiths.

Then in 1554, just 4 short years before she came to the throne, a terrified Elizabeth was being smuggled through Traitors’ Gate at the Tower of London, implicated in an unsuccessful rebellion against her newly crowned half-sister Mary I.

Dr Suzannah Lipscomb is a broadcaster and Head of Faculty and Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History at New College of the Humanities.

Listen Now

Mary’s plan to marry Prince Phillip of Spain had sparked the unsuccessful Wyatt rebellion and Elizabeth was once again interrogated about her desire for the crown. When the rebels were captured for questioning, it became known that one of their plans was to have Elizabeth marry Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devon, to ensure an English succession to the throne.

She fervently protested her innocence, and Wyatt himself maintained – even under torture – that Elizabeth was blameless. But Simon Renard, the Queen’s adviser, did not believe her, and counselled Mary to bring her to trial. Elizabeth was not put on trial, but on 18 March she was imprisoned in the Tower of London.

Held in her mother’s former apartments, Elizabeth was comfortable but under severe psychological strain. Eventually lack of evidence meant she was released into house arrest in Woodstock, Oxfordshire on 19 May – the anniversary of Anne Boleyn’s execution.

Mary’s final years

In September 1554 Mary stopped menstruating, gained weight and felt nauseous in the mornings. Almost the entirety of her court, including her doctors, believed her to be pregnant. Elizabeth was no longer seen as a significant threat when Mary had become pregnant.

Dan talks to Helen Castor about her book on Elizabeth I and the way she governed.

Listen Now

In the last week of April 1555 Elizabeth was released from house arrest and called to court as a witness to the birth, which was expected imminently. Despite the pregnancy being revealed as false Elizabeth remained at court until October, apparently restored to favour.

But Mary’s rule disintegrated after another false pregnancy. Elizabeth refused to marry the Catholic Duke of Savoy, who would have secured a Catholic succession and preserved the Habsburg interest in England. As tensions over Mary’s succession arose once again, Elizabeth spent these years fearing for her safety while earnestly trying to preserve her independence.

By 1558 a weak and frail Mary knew that Elizabeth would soon succeed her to the throne. After Elizabeth, the most powerful claim to the throne resided in the name of Mary, Queen of Scots, who had not long before married Francois, the French heir to the throne and enemy of Spain. Thus, although Elizabeth was not Catholic, it was in Spain’s best interest to secure her accession to the throne, in order to prevent the French from obtaining it.

By October Elizabeth was already making plans for her government whilst at Hatfield and in November Mary recognised Elizabeth as her heir.

End of the rocky road

Mary I died on 17 November 1558 and the crown was finally Elizabeth’s. She had survived and was finally Queen of England, crowned on 14 Jan 1559.

Elizabeth I was crowned by Owen Oglethorpe, Bishop of Carlisle, because the more senior prelates did not recognise her as the Sovereign, and, apart from the archbishopric of Canterbury, no less than 8 sees were vacant.

Of the remainder, Bishop White of Winchester had been confined to his house by royal command for his sermon at Cardinal Pole’s funeral; and the Queen had an especial enmity toward Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London. With a touch of irony, she had ordered Bonner to lend his richest vestments to Oglethorpe for the coronation.

Princess Margaret's Ex-Husband Stayed Close To The Royal Family Even After Their Divorce

As The Crown moves into Season 2 and continues to portray the life of Queen Elizabeth, one of the most tragic, complicated subplots has been the love life of her sister, Princess Margaret. Elizabeth's sister seems to be learning the hard way that being a princess doesn't automatically make all of your relationships a fairy-tale romance. Season 1 showed the disintegration of her relationship with Peter Townsend, and Season 2 introduces her eventual ex-husband, Antony Armstrong-Jones. The series may hint at the rocky road ahead for these two, but the details of what happened in Antony Armstrong-Jones' life are more dramatic that any fan of The Crown may expect.

In an excerpt of Snowden: The Biography by Anne de Courcey, published in Vanity Fair, de Courcey explains that he and Margaret had met during a photo shoot in 1958, where he had treated Princess Margaret "as if she were any other [photo] sitter . chatting away with his mixture of jokes, gossip about mutual friends, and stories of the theatrical luminaries he had photographed." Armstrong-Jones' penchant for the hip and artistic left an impression on Margaret and the two quickly began spending a great deal of time together. Season 2 of The Crown covers the beginning of their relationship – and their relationship will likely be a complicated presence on the show, leading up to their 1978 divorce — the first in the royal family since Princess Victoria of Edinburgh in 1901, according to People magazine.

Antony Armstrong-Jones, a renowned photographer who shot for Vogue amongst several smaller British publications, would become known as Lord Snowden after his marriage to Princess Margaret. However, becoming a royal did little to relinquish his reported rebellious spirit. While Queen Elizabeth had the weight of royal legacy upon her shoulders, Armstong-Jones and Princess Margaret found themselves living a more free-wheeling life, interacting with more artists and celebrities than members of the royal family may be expected to at the time. As The Telegraph wrote, "their louche and, at times, reckless lifestyle of drug- and alcohol-fuelled affairs . meant that the couple came to epitomize the 'Swinging Sixties'."

However, the sixties came to an end — and so too did Armstrong-Jones' marriage with Princess Margaret. De Courcey's biography explained a few possible reasons for the divorce, specifically that while Princess Margaret was busy being a mother, Armstrong-Jones was still putting all of himself into his photography work. However, the biography also noted that Armstrong-Jones' many alleged affairs with other men and women allegedly contributed to the deterioration of their marriage. Rumors often swirled of Armstrong-Jones' speculated bisexuality, according to The Telegraph. The outlet reported that he told his biographer, "I didn’t fall in love with boys — but a few men have been in love with me."

Following the divorce, the man popularly known as Lord Snowdon "continued to mix in royal circles," per The Los Angeles Times. He also still photographed and had a healthy professional relationship with the royal family as chronicled in The Daily Mail. A few years after his divorce, Lord Snowdon was taking pictures of Lady Diana, and even portraits of his ex-wife. Lord Snowdon was even taking official portraits of the Queen as recently as 2010, according to The Daily Mail.

While Armstrong-Jones' relationship with the royal family may not have been consistent, he was still a relevant figure far after the divorce up until his passing in 2017. As his obituary in The Independent reported, Lord Snowdon was the "first real commoner to wed a king's daughter for 450 years," but it's hard to argue that there was anything common about him.

Elizabeth II had to wait for her coronation

Elizabeth II's father and predecessor, George VI, died in his sleep at the family estate Sandringham on February 6, 1952. BBC History Extra reports that the cause was later found to be a blood clot. Elizabeth was in Kenya on official heir-to-the-throne business. As was custom, she and the rest of the British royal family went into a three-month period of mourning. In June 1952, preparations for her coronation got underway, with the first meeting of the coronation committee (chaired by the Duke of Edinburgh) meeting on June 16. The date of the coronation was set for just under a year later, on June 2, 1953.

This meant that Elizabeth was officially queen for 16 months before her coronation. The official mourning period ended in the summer of 1952, and she started performing her new queenly duties. In contrast, George VI only waited six months (from December 1936 to May 1937) between accessing the throne and his coronation.

Some have blamed Prime Minister Winston Churchill for postponing Elizabeth II's coronation, but historically, George VI was the exception. Queen Victoria, Edward VII, and George V all waited at least a year between becoming the monarch and their coronation. The reason George VI didn't have to wait that long was because coronation plans were already underway for his brother, Edward VIII, who abdicated for the twice-divorced American Wallis Simpson, leaving his shy younger brother to step into the role.


Few items from before Henry VIII survive. The most important additions were made by Charles I, a passionate collector of Italian paintings and a major patron of Van Dyck and other Flemish artists. He purchased the bulk of the Gonzaga collection from the Duchy of Mantua. The entire Royal Collection, which included 1,500 paintings and 500 statues, [8] was sold after Charles's execution in 1649. The 'Sale of the Late King's Goods' at Somerset House raised £185,000 for the English Republic. Other items were given away in lieu of payment to settle the king's debts. [9] A number of pieces were recovered by Charles II after the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, and they form the basis for the collection today. The Dutch Republic also presented Charles with the Dutch Gift of 28 paintings, 12 sculptures, and a selection of furniture. He went on to buy many paintings and other works.

George III was mainly responsible for forming the collection's outstanding holdings of Old Master drawings large numbers of these, and many Venetian paintings including over 40 Canalettos, joined the collection when he bought the collection of Joseph "Consul Smith", which also included a large number of books. [11] Many other drawings were bought from Alessandro Albani, cardinal and art dealer in Rome. [12]

George IV shared Charles I's enthusiasm for collecting, buying up large numbers of Dutch Golden Age paintings and their Flemish contemporaries. Like other English collectors, he took advantage of the great quantities of French decorative art on the London market after the French Revolution, and is mostly responsible for the collection's outstanding holdings of 18th-century French furniture and porcelain, especially Sèvres. He also bought much contemporary English silver, and many recent and contemporary English paintings. [13] Queen Victoria and her husband Albert were keen collectors of contemporary and old master paintings.

Many objects have been given from the collection to museums, especially by George III and Victoria and Albert. In particular, the King's Library formed by George III with the assistance of his librarian Frederick Augusta Barnard, consisting of 65,000 printed books, was given to the British Museum, now the British Library, where they remain as a distinct collection. [14] He also donated the "Old Royal Library" of some 2,000 manuscripts, which are still segregated as the Royal manuscripts. [15] The core of this collection was the purchase by James I of the related collections of Humphrey Llwyd, Lord Lumley, and the Earl of Arundel. [16] Prince Albert's will requested the donation of a number of mostly early paintings to the National Gallery, London, which Queen Victoria fulfilled. [17]

Modern era Edit

Throughout the reign of Elizabeth II (1952–present), there have been significant additions to the collection through judicious purchases, bequests, and gifts from nation states and official bodies. [18] Since 1952, approximately 2,500 works have been added to the Royal Collection. [9] The Commonwealth is strongly represented in this manner: an example is 75 contemporary Canadian watercolours that entered the collection between 1985 and 2001 as a gift from the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour. [19] Modern art acquired by Elizabeth II includes pieces by Sir Anish Kapoor, Lucian Freud, and Andy Warhol. [9] In 2002 it was revealed that 20 paintings (excluding works on paper) were acquired by the Queen in the first 50 years of her reign, mostly portraits of previous monarchs or their close relatives. Eight were purchased at auction, six bought from dealers, three commissioned, two donated or bequeathed, and one was a purchase from Winchester Cathedral. [20] [21]

In 1987 a new department of the Royal Household was established to oversee the Royal Collection, and it was financed by the commercial activities of Royal Collection Enterprises, a limited company. Before then, it was maintained using the monarch's official income paid by the Civil List. Since 1993 the collection has been funded by entrance fees to Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace. [22]

A computerised inventory of the collection was started in early 1991, [23] and it was completed in December 1997. [24] The full inventory is not available to the public, though catalogues of parts of the collection – especially paintings – have been published, and a searchable database on the Royal Collection website is increasingly comprehensive, [25] with "271,697 items found" by late 2020. [26]

About a third of the 7,000 paintings in the collection are on view or stored at buildings in London which fall under the remit of the Historic Royal Palaces agency: the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, Banqueting House (Whitehall), and Kew Palace. [27] The Jewel House and Martin Tower at the Tower of London also house the Crown Jewels. A rotating selection of art, furniture, jewellery, and other items considered to be of the highest quality is shown at the Queen's Gallery, a purpose-built exhibition centre near Buckingham Palace. [28] Many objects are displayed in the palace itself, the state rooms of which are open to visitors for much of the year, as well as in Windsor Castle, Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, and Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. Some works are on long-term or permanent loan to museums and other places the most famous of these are the Raphael Cartoons, in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London since 1865. [29]

Paintings, prints and drawings Edit

The collection's holdings of Western fine art are among the largest and most important assemblages in existence, with works of the highest quality, and in many cases artists whose works cannot be fully understood without a study of the holdings contained within the Royal Collection. There are over 7,000 paintings, spread across the Royal residences and palaces. The collection does not claim to provide a comprehensive, chronological survey of Western fine art but it has been shaped by the individual tastes of kings, queens and their families over the last 500 years.

The prints and drawings collection is based in the Print Room, Windsor, and is exceptionally strong, with famous holdings of drawings by Leonardo da Vinci (550), Raphael, Michelangelo and Hans Holbein the Younger (85). A large part of the Old Master drawings were acquired by George III. [31] Starting in early 2019, 144 of Leonardo da Vinci's drawings from the Collection went on display in 12 locations in the UK. [32] From May to October that year, 200 of the drawings were on display in the Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace. [33]

    – at least 1 painting – at least 2 paintings – at least at least 1 painting – at least at least 1 painting – at least 1 painting – at least 7 paintings – at least 4 paintings – at least 1 painting – at least 1 painting – at least 2 paintings – at least 2 paintings – at least 2 paintings – at least 4 paintings – at least 6 paintings – at least 3 paintings – at least 1 painting – at least 1 painting – at least 1 painting – at least 9 paintings – at least 5 paintings – at least 6 paintings – at least 1 painting – at least 1 painting – at least 7 paintings – at least 4 paintings – at least 7 paintings – at least 1 painting (see image) – at least 1 painting: – at least 1 painting – at least 5 paintings
    – at least 17 paintings – at least 33 paintings, including a rare mythological work, Diana and Actaeon – at least 3 paintings – at least 7 paintings – at least 2 paintings – at least 15 paintings – at least 100 paintings and drawings – at least 50 paintings – at least 20 paintings – at least 20+ paintings – at least 18 paintings
    – at least 1 painting – at least 1 painting – at least 1 painting – at least 4 paintings – at least 1 painting – at least 26 paintings – at least 1 painting – at least 1 painting – at least 1 painting – at least 1 painting – at least 1 painting – at least 1 painting – at least 2 paintings – at least 1 painting – at least 13 paintings, 5 drawings (see image) – at least 27 paintings
    – at least 3 paintings – at least 1 painting, 1 miniature – at least 3 paintings – at least 3 paintings – at least 1 painting – at least 16 paintings – at least 5 paintings – at least 1 painting – at least 1 painting – at least 4 paintings – at least A large collection of his drawings at Windsor, second only to that in the Musée du Louvre – at least 1 painting – at least 1 painting – at least 1 painting
    – at least 1 painting – at least 7 paintings, 80 drawings and 5 miniatures – at least 5 paintings – at least 1 painting – at least 1 painting – at least 120 paintings, 20 drawings & watercolours – at least 17 paintings
    – at least 1 painting – at least 1 painting – at least 1 painting – at least 6 paintings – at least 3 paintings – at least 1 painting – at least 50 drawings – at least 100 drawings (Agnolo di Cosimo) – at least 1 painting (Giovanni Antonio Canal) – at least 50 paintings and 140 drawings (Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio) – at least 2 paintings – at least 9 paintings – at least 2 paintings – at least 4 paintings , Annibale and Ludovico Carracci – at least 5 paintings, more than 350 drawings – at least 1 painting – at least 1 painting – at least 2 paintings – at least 260 drawings – at least 1 painting – at least 1 painting (Domenico Zampieri) – at least 1 painting, as well as 1,700 drawings in 34 albums, the Royal Collection's largest holdings by a single artist [citation needed] – at least 2 paintings – at least 1 painting – at least 1 painting – at least 1 painting – at least 14 paintings – at least 8 paintings (Il Garofalo) – at least 1 painting – at least 1 painting – at least 1 painting – at least 2 paintings – at least 12 paintings (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri) – at least 1 painting, and largest group of Guercino drawings in the world, some 400 sheets, as well as 200 by his assistants and 200 other works [35] – at least 600 drawings, finest collection of Leonardo drawings in the world [36] – at least 4 paintings – at least 2 paintings – at least 3 paintings – at least Portrait of Andrea Odoni – at least 9 canvases known as The Triumphs of Caesar – at least 1 painting – at least 20 drawings (Francesco Mazzola) – at least 2 paintings and 30 drawings – at least 1 painting – at least 1 painting (Jacopo da Pontormo) – at least 1 painting – at least 8 paintings, as well as an extensive collection of drawings. There are seven full-size cartoons for the tapestries designed to hang in the Sistine Chapel. During the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Raphael attained the zenith of his reputation. Consequently, the Raphael Cartoons have become some of the most famous, and widely imitated, paintings in the world. Since 1865 they have been on loan from the Royal Collection to the V&A. [37] – at least 1 painting – at least 14 paintings – at least 1 painting – at least 6 paintings – at least 130 drawings – at least 1 painting – at least 2 paintings – at least 2 paintings – at least 2 paintings – at least 1 painting – at least 1 painting – at least 5 paintings (Tiziano Vecelli) – at least 4 paintings – at least 4 paintings – at least 2 paintings – at least 1 painting – at least 2 paintings – at least 3 paintings – at least 1 painting – at least 27 paintings, together with 8 works collaborated with Antonio Visentini – at least 1 painting

Furniture Edit

Numbering over 300 items, the Royal Collection holds one of the greatest and most important collections of French furniture ever assembled. The collection is noted for its encyclopedic range as well as counting the greatest cabinet-makers of the Ancien Régime.

    – Bas d'armoire, c. 1765–70 – at least 13 items, including:
    Deux paire de Pedestals, inset with porcelain plaques, c. 1820
    Paire de pier table, c. 1823–1824 (The Blue Drawing Room, Buckingham Palace)
    Paire de petit pier table, c. 1823–24 (The Blue Drawing Room, Buckingham Palace)
    Side table, c. 1820
    Paire de secretaire, c. 1827-28
    Paire de cabinets, (see pietra dura section), c. 1820 – at least 13 items, including:
    Armoire, c. 1700 (The Grand Corridor, Windsor Castle)
    Armoire, c. 1700 (The Grand Corridor, Windsor Castle)
    Cabinet (en première-partie), c. 1700 (The Grand Corridor, Windsor Castle)
    Cabinet (en contre-partie), c. 1700 (The Grand Corridor, Windsor Castle)
    Cabinet, (without stand, similar to ones in the State Hermitage Museum and the collections of the Duke of Buccleuch)
    Paire de bas d'armoire, (The Grand Corridor, Windsor Castle)
    Writing table, possibly delivered to Louis, the Grand Dauphin (1661–1711), c. 1680
    Paire de torchère, c. 1700
    Bureau Plat, c. 1710 (The Rubens Room, Windsor Castle)
    Petit gaines, attributed to., early 18th century – at least 2 items:
    Cabinet (commode à vantaux), (see pietra dura section), c. 1778
    Cabinet, mounted with Sèvres plaques, c. 1783 – at least 1 item:
    Bureau à cylindre, c. 1825
  • Jacob Frères – at least 1 item:
    Writing-table, c. 1805
  • Gérard-Jean Galle – at least 1 item:
    Candelabra x2, early 19th century
  • Pierre Garnier – at least 2 items:
    Paire de cabinets, c. 1770 – at least 30 items, including:
    Petit sofa, c. 1790
    Tête-à-tête, c. 1790
    Fauteuil, c. 1790
    Lit à la Polonaise, c. 1790
    Small armchairs and settees, suite of 20, c. 1786
    Armchairs x4, c. 1786 – at least 2 items:
    Pair of Pedestals, delivered for the bedroom of Louis XV at Versailles, c. 1762
  • Pierre Langlois – at least 5 items, including:
    Commode, c. 1765 Deux paire de commode, c. 1763
  • Étienne Levasseur – at least 7 items:
    Side-table, attributed to, c. 1770 Deux paire de gaines, attributed to, c. 1770 Deux secretaire, adapted from an Andre-Charles Boulle table en bureau, c. 1770 – at least 2 items:
    Paire de cabinets, (see pietra dura section), c. 1803 – at least 3 items:
    Commode, c. 1780
    Paire de secretaires, c. 1815 – at least 2 items:
    Centre-table, c. 1775
    Commode, c. 1745 – at least 6 items:
    Commode, delivered to Louis XVI's "Chambre du Roi" at Versailles, c. 1774
    Paire de encoignure, delivered to Louis XVI's "Chambre du Roi" at Versailles, c. 1774
    Jewel-cabinet, delivered to the Comtesse de Provence, c. 1787
    Writing-table, c. 1785
    Bureau à cylindre, c. 1775 – at least 1 item:
    Centre-table, 'The Table of the Grand Commanders', c. 1806–12 (The Blue Drawing Room, Buckingham Palace) – at least 15 items, including:
    Pedestal, c. 1813
    Pedestal for the equestrian statue of Louis XIV, c. 1826
    Paire de candelabra, 8 light, c. 1828
    Torchères x11, c. 1814
    Clock, mounts attributed to., 1803
    Candelabra x2, early 19th century & Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy – at least 4 items:
    Torchere x4, 1814 – at least 3 items:
    Candelabra x2, 1811
    Mantel clock, c. 1780 – at least 13 items:
    Cabinet, inset with a Sèvres plaque, late 18th century
    Cabinet, (see pietra dura section), 1780
    Side Table, (see pietra dura section), c. 1780
    Side Table, (see pietra dura section), c. 1785 (The Green Drawing Room, Buckingham Palace)
    Paire de pier-table, in chinoiserie style, c. 1787–1790
    Commode, c. 1785
    Console-table x4, c.1785
    Paire de petit bas d'armoire, manner of. boulle, late 18th century
  • Robert Hume (English) – at least 1 item:
    Pair of cabinets, (see pietra dura section), c. 1820
  • Unknown (Flemish) – at least 2 items:
    Cabinet-on-stand, c. 1660
    Cabinet-on-stand, 17th century
  • Johann Daniel Sommer (German) – at least 2 items:
    Pair of cabinets-on-stand, attributed to. (stands English), late 17th century
  • Melchior Baumgartner (German) – at least 2 items:
    Organ Clock, 1664
    Cabinet, (see Pietra Dura section), c. 1660
  • Unknown (Dutch) – at least 1 item:
    Secretaire-cabinet, in boulle marquetry, c. 1700
  • Pietra Dura – at least 11 items:
    Cabinet, Augsburg, attributed to Melchior Baumgartner, c. 1660
    Cabinet, Italian, c. 1680
    Cabinet, Adam Weisweiler – at least inset with pietra dura panels, 1780 (The Green Drawing Room, Buckingham Palace)
    Side Table, Adam Weisweiler – at least inset with pietra dura panels, c. 1780 (The Silk Tapestry Room, Buckingham Palace)
    Cabinet (commode à vantaux), Martin Carlin – at least inset with pietra dura panels re-used from Louis XIVs great Florentine cabinets, c. 1778 (The Silk Tapestry Room, Buckingham Palace)
    Casket, Italian: Florentine, c. 1720
    Paire de cabinets, Martin-Eloy Lignereux – at least inset with Florentine plaques, c. 1803
    • Paire de cabinets, Pierre-Antoine Bellangé – at least inset with precious stones based on a Florentine design by Baccio del Bianco, c. 1820

    Sculpture and decorative arts Edit

      – at least 4 items:
      Mantle clock, c. 1710 (The Green Drawing Room, Windsor Castle)
      Pedestal clock, (Similar to ones in Blenheim Palace, Chateau de Versailles, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Frick Collection and the Cleveland Museum of Art)
      Pedestal clock, late 17th century
      Pedestal clock, c. 1720 – at least 1 item:
      Empire regulator clock, 1825
  • De La Croix – at least 1 item:
    Large clock, raised on a bronze plaque plinth, c. 1775 (The East Gallery, Buckingham Palace)
  • Gérard-Jean Galle – at least 1 item:
    Clock, figures and frieze representing the Oath of the Horaatii, early 19th century – at least 2 items:
    Pedestal Clock, (reputed from the Chateau de Versailles), c. 1735–40
    Barometer and Pedestal, c. 1735 – at least 1 item:
    Clock, in the form of an African Diana, the goddess of the Hunt, 1790 (The Blue Drawing Room, Buckingham Palace)
    Astronomical Clock, c. 1790 (The Blue Drawing Room, Buckingham Palace)
  • Martin-Eloy Lignereux – at least 1 item:
    Clock, 1803 – at least 1 item:
    Clock, in the form of Apollo's chariot, c. 1805 (The State Dining Room, Buckingham Palace) – at least 1 item:
    Clock, in the form of a bull, c. 1755–1760 – at least 1 item:
    Clock, fitted with three porcelain figures, c. 1788 (The State Dining Room, Buckingham Palace)
    • – at least 4 items:
      Two pairs of vases, c. late 18th century (The Marble Hall, Buckingham Palace) – at least 3 Imperial Eggs and 1 Easter Egg
    • Gérard-Jean Galle – at least 2 items:
      Candelabra x2, in the form of cornucopias, c. early 19th century – at least 12 items:
      Candelabra x8, 4 pairs, c. 1787 (The Blue Drawing Room & The Music Room, Buckingham Palace)
      Candelabra x4, delivered to the comte d'Artois for the cabinet de Turc at Versailles, 1783 (The State Dining Room, Buckingham Palace) – at least 3 items:
      Vase, c. early 19th century (The Music Room, Windsor Castle)
      Candelabra x2, malachite and bronze, early 19th century (The White Drawing Room, Buckingham Palace)
      Candelabra x2, malachite and bronze, c. 1828 (The State Dining Room, Buckingham Palace)
      Candelabra x4, figures of patinated bronze, c. 1810 (The East Gallery, Buckingham Palace)
      – at least 3 items:
      Mars and Venus, c. 1815–1817 (The Ministers' Staircase, Buckingham Palace)
      Fountain nymph, 1819 (The Marble Hall, Buckingham Palace)
      Dirce, 1824 (The Marble Hall, Buckingham Palace)
    • François Girardon – at least 1 item:
      Bronze equestrian statue of Louis XIV, after Girardon, c. 1700
    • Louis-Claude Vassé – at least 1 item:
      Equestrian statue of Louis XV, a small reduction copy after the original by Edmé Bouchardon, c. 1764
    • Antiquities – at least 2 items:
      British Bronze Age - the Rillaton Gold Cup, on long-term loan to the British Museum. [38]
      Lely Venus, a Hellenistic statue of the "crouching Venus" type, bought by Charles I, on long-term loan to the British Museum.
      , set of 10, woven in Brussels in the 1540s for Henry VIII – at least 36 items:
      Tapestry, four (from a series of twenty-eight designs) from the 'History of Don Quixote' given by Louis XVI to Richard Cosway, by whom presented to George IV, c. 1788
      Tapestry, eight from the series 'Les Portières des Dieux', c. 18th century
      Tapestry, four from the series 'Les Amours des Dieux', c. late 18th century
      Tapestry, eight from the series 'Jason and the Golden Fleece', 1776-1779
      Tapestry, seven from the series 'History of Esther', 1783
      Tapestry, three from the series 'Story of Daphnis and Chloë', 1754
      Tapestry, two from the series 'Story of Meleager and Atalanta', 1844

    Costume Edit

    The collection has a number of items of clothing, including those worn by members of the Royal family, especially female members, some going back to the early 19th century. These include ceremonial dress and several wedding dresses, including that of Queen Victoria (1840). [39] There are also servant's livery uniforms, and a number of exotic pieces presented over the years, going back to a "war coat" of Tipu Sultan (d. 1799). [40] In recent years these have featured more prominently in displays and exhibitions, and are popular with the public.

    Gems and Jewels Edit

    A collection of 277 cameos, intaglios, badges of insignia, snuffboxes and pieces of jewellery known as the Gems and Jewels are kept at Windsor Castle. Separate from Elizabeth II's jewels and the Crown Jewels, 24 pre-date the Renaissance and the rest were made in the 16th–19th centuries. In 1862, it was first shown publicly at the South Kensington Museum, now the Victoria and Albert Museum. Several objects were removed and others added in the second half of the Victorian period. An inventory of the collection was made in 1872, and a catalogue, Ancient and Modern Gems and Jewels in the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen, was published in 2008 by the Royal Collection Trust. [41]

    The Royal Collection is privately owned, although some of the works are displayed in areas of palaces and other royal residences open to visitors for the public to enjoy. [42] Some of the collection is owned by the monarch personally, [43] and everything else is described as being held in trust by the monarch in right of the Crown. It is understood that works of art acquired by monarchs up to the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 are heirlooms which fall into the latter category. Items the British royal family acquired later, including official gifts, [44] can be added to that part of the collection by a monarch at his or her discretion. Ambiguity surrounds the status of objects that have come into the possession of Elizabeth II during her reign. [45] The Royal Collection Trust has confirmed that all pieces left to the Queen by the Queen Mother, which include works by Monet, Nash, and Fabergé, belong to her personally. [46] It has also been confirmed that she owns the Royal stamp collection, inherited from her father George VI, as a private individual. [47]

    Non-personal items are said to be inalienable as they can only be willed to the monarch's successor. The legal accuracy of this claim has never been substantiated in court. [48] According to Cameron Cobbold, then Lord Chamberlain, speaking in 1971, minor items have occasionally been sold to help raise money for acquisitions, and duplicates of items are given away as presents within the Commonwealth. [45] In 1995, Iain Sproat, then Secretary of State for National Heritage, told the House of Commons that selling objects was "entirely a matter for the Queen". [49] In a 2000 television interview, the Duke of Edinburgh said that the Queen was "technically, perfectly at liberty to sell them". [28]

    Hypothetical questions have been asked in Parliament about what should happen to the collection if the UK ever becomes a republic. [50] In other European countries, the art collections of deposed monarchies usually have been taken into state ownership or become part of other national collections held in trust for the public's enjoyment. [51] Under the European Convention on Human Rights, incorporated into British law in 1998, the monarch may have to be compensated for the loss of any assets held in right of the Crown unless he or she agreed to surrender them voluntarily. [52]

    A registered charity, the Royal Collection Trust was set up in 1993 after the Windsor Castle fire with a mandate to conserve the works and enhance the public's appreciation and understanding of art. [53] It employs around 500 staff and is one of the five departments of the Royal Household. [54] Buildings do not come under its remit. In 2012, the team of curatorial staff numbered 29, and there were 32 conservationists. [55] Income is raised by charging entrance fees to see the collection at various locations and selling books and merchandise to the public. The Trust is financially independent and receives no Government funding or public subsidy. [56] A studio at Marlborough House is responsible for the conservation of furniture and decorative objects. [57]

    Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trust lost £64 million during 2020 and announced 130 redundancies, including the roles of Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures and Surveyor of the Queen's Works of Art. [58]

    The Royal Collection Trust is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, No. 2713536. It is a Registered Charity No. 1016972 Registered Office: York House, St James's Palace, London SW1A 1BQ.

    On its website, the Trust describes its purpose as overseeing the "maintenance and conservation of the Royal Collection, subject to proper custodial control in the service of the Queen and the nation." It also deals with acquisitions for the Royal Collection, and the display of the Royal Collection to the public.

    The Board of Trustees includes the following officers of the Royal Household: the Lord Chamberlain, the Private Secretary to the Sovereign and the Keeper of the Privy Purse. Other Trustees are appointed for their knowledge and expertise in areas relevant to the charity's activities. Currently, the trustees are:

    London Histories: A Look at Queen Elizabeth I’s Hunting Lodge in Epping Forest

    Missing proper British Food? Then order from the British Corner Shop – Thousands of Quality British Products – including Waitrose, Shipping Worldwide. Click to Shop now.

    As I mentioned in the recent Copped Hall article, I have been enjoying exploring Epping Forest during the lockdown restrictions. This time, we will have a closer look at an early and rare example of a hunting lodge in Chingford.

    Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge is a Grade II* listed building that has been saved as a museum. This old timber-framed and plastered building is a unique example of a Tudor ‘grand stand’. The sport-loving sovereign and associates could climb to the top floor to watch a drive past of the Forest deer.

    While this isn’t a Tudor palace, like Hampton Court Palace in west London or the long-gone Palace of Placentia that was in Greenwich, it is a remarkable and rare survival of an intact timber-framed hunt standing still surrounded by its medieval royal hunting forest.

    Source: Ethan Doyle White, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

    Epping Forest

    Epping Forest is a 2400 hectare ancient woodland stretching some 12 miles from Manor Park in east London to just north of Epping in Essex. It is contained within the M25 orbital motorway and is never more than two and a half miles wide. (Here is an Epping Forest Map.)

    It was first designated as a royal hunting forest in the twelfth century by Henry II and is now managed by the City of London Corporation.

    The Forest is nationally and internationally important for conservation, with two-thirds of it being designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation.

    Chingford is in the borough of Waltham Forest, and this was the original name for Epping Forest. The name Waltham is created from a derivation of ‘wald,’ meaning forest, and ‘ham’ meaning an enclosure. The borough only became part of Greater London in 1965. Before that, Waltham Forest was an institution that managed deer in southwest Essex.

    Source: Diliff, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

    Tudor Times

    It was during Tudor times that Waltham Forest really came into its own as a royal hunting forest. Henry VIII decided to make a deer park at Chingford, where he held many of the manorial lands. It was probably at his command that Chingford Plain was cleared of trees, through to Fairmead. He would then have needed grandstands for views of the hunt.

    Chingford Plain. Image: Matthew Black (CC BY-SA 2.0)

    Little Standing

    Henry already had the use of a lodge known as the Little Standing on the far side of Fairmead in Loughton. About a mile away from Chingford, Little Standing had been used to view the chase since 1378.

    Great Standing

    In 1542, Henry VIII commissioned the building, then known as Great Standing, that we now know as Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge. The hunt ‘standing’ is constructed of massive oak timbers, which illustrate the skills of the royal craftsmen.

    Source: Ethan Doyle White, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

    Typically of Henry, it was designed to be grander than anything that had come before. When built, it was the only three-floor standing in England.

    It was completed in 1543, so he could then view the deer chase at Chingford. The whole area was fenced to keep out the commoners’ animals and to enclose the deer park.

    Source: Ethan Doyle White, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

    No Windows

    There were no glazed windows except on the ground floor. Originally the first and second floors were an open gallery providing an ideal vantage point for spectators across the plain and into the forest. The floors were specially made to slope to the side so that any rain coming in would drain away. There would have been colorful banners and flags draped around the building.

    View from the top story looking out to Chingford Plain. (c) Stephen McKay

    Henry Died

    Sir Richard Rich was appointed Keeper of the deer park, but Henry died in 1547, and in 1553 the area was thrown open to the Forest again.

    Queen Elizabeth I

    After the king died, the building passed through the royal family.

    It is said that Queen Elizabeth I received the news of the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 when out hunting in the forest whilst staying at the lodge. She supposedly celebrated by riding her horse up the stairs!

    This portrait was made to commemorate the defeat of the Spanish Armada (depicted in the background). By George Gower, circa 1588.

    1589 Renovations

    The earliest known mention of the Lodge is in a Report dated 23 June 1589 on two of Queen Elizabeth‘s houses in Waltham Forest (Epping Forest). One of these is referred to as the ‘Greate Standinge’ or ‘lodg’ on ‘Dannet’ or ‘Dannetts’ Hill.

    That year the Queen ordered major repairs, and the building became known as Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge. While there is no evidence that Elizabeth ever visited, we do know that temporary access to the lodge was used as a gift to nobles and visiting foreign dignitaries.

    The open gallery remained “for convenient standing to viewe the game.” From here, the Queen and her Court had an extensive view over all the surrounding country. From the upper floors, The Queen could shoot at the deer as they were driven towards her by the hunting party.

    It was reported in 1602 (the year before she died) that the Queen regularly hunted on horseback, even at the age of 69. It was likely that she still enjoyed the thrill of the chase in Waltham Forest, as she had done in her younger days.

    Dark Fallow Deer

    Elizabeth’s successor, James I, was also keen on hunting, and in 1612 he introduced some dark fallow deer to the forest, by courtesy of his father-in-law, the King of Denmark. By interbreeding with the deer already present, the dark strain predominated, and even today, the wild deer in the estate bordering the forest are mostly dark.

    Source: martin_vmorris (CC BY-SA 2.0)

    Manorial Court

    The Lodge was used as the Manorial Court in the 17th century through to 1851. This was the lowest court of law in England and governed those areas over which the lord of the manor had jurisdiction.

    Chingford Train Station

    Chingford was a quiet and isolated parish lacking public transport until the railway line from central London was extended here in 1873. (The railway already reached Loughton from 1856 and Epping from 1865.)

    Originally the terminus was at the village green, but it was extended half a mile to its current position on the edge of the town in 1878. This made the grandiose new station much less convenient for most of the village’s residents, but that was not the primary concern.

    There were plans to extend the line further to High Beech in the center of Epping Forest. The new Chingford station was built as a through-station with platforms and tracks leading out onto an embankment ready to cross the newly-named Station Road and enter the forest. This was going to attract great volumes of tourists and stimulate suburban growth in the surrounding area. The groundwork for the railway’s extension into the forest was eventually removed to make way for the bus station.

    Epping Forest Act 1878

    The arrival of the railway coincided with the Epping Forest Act of 1878. Epping Forest had been privately owned for the 300 years prior to the Epping Forest Acts of 1871,1878 & 1880 but remained subject to the requirements of Royal Forest Law between 1217 and 1878. The sale of Forest Law rights to raise funds for the Crown from the 1850s fueled damaging encroachments of the Royal Forest of Epping and facilitated the felling of much of neighboring Hainault Forest. The City Corporation supported a landmark case in 1874, which halted enclosures before purchasing much of the Forest prior to 1878 and settling the boundaries of the Forest in 1882.

    The 1878 Act abolished all the rights of the Crown and the power of the Forest courts and empowered the City of London Corporation to administer Epping Forest as Conservators, with a duty to keep it unenclosed as an open space for the recreation and enjoyment of the public. The following decades saw thousands of daytrippers come by train and bus.

    The fallow deer in the Forest had decreased to one buck, and eleven does in 1870. Fortunately, they were able to breed successfully, and their numbers increased rapidly after 1878.

    By the Epping Forest Act of 1878 (Sec.8), the Lodge was transferred to the custody of the Corporation of London as Conservators of the Forest with the stipulation that it “shall be preserved and maintained by then as an object of public and antiquarian interest.“ Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge is also included in the Schedule under the Ancient Monuments Act of 1913 for further protection.

    Butler’s Retreat

    To cater for the multitude of day-trippers, a number of enterprises were set up around Epping Forest to provide refreshments. Many of these ‘Retreats’ were associated with the Temperance Movement, which urged moderation or abstinence in the consumption of alcohol.

    Butler’s Retreat is next to Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge and is the only example of an Epping Forest retreat that survives today. It was built as a barn to store the harvest for the lord of Chingford in the mid-19th century.

    It is named after John Butler, who began providing refreshments here in 1891. Thanks to Heritage Lottery Funding, the Grade II listed building has been restored, and there is a new café inside which is popular for tea and cakes.

    Butler’s Retreat. Source: Northmetpit, via Wikimedia Commons

    Royal Forest Hotel

    Do not be fooled by the mock Tudor decor. Next to the Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge, The Forest Hotel was built in 1879 as a hostelry to accommodate the hordes of people visiting the Forest. It was renamed the Royal Forest Hotel in 1882 after Queen Victoria’s visit to Epping Forest (see below). Back then, it was by far the largest inn in the district. It had its own coach house with stabling and 60 bedrooms, some with en-suite sitting rooms.

    In 1912, a huge fire swept through the building, destroying many parts of the hotel. The owner’s Brewers Fayre say that the fire burned for two days and trapped and killed two guests and a fireman on the top floor. When the building was restored, the top floor of the previously four-story structure was not replaced.

    The Royal Forest Hotel. (c) Stephen McKay

    Queen Victoria’s Visit

    On 6 May 1882, Queen Victoria came to officially open Epping Forest. She arrived at Chingford railway station to see an archway proclaiming ‘The Forest Welcomes The Queen,’ which she later described in her diary as “very pretty.” (Do also see this illustration of the event in The Illustrated London News.)

    A procession was formed from the train station, and an estimated 500,000 people came to cheer their Queen as she passed by.

    Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge had been renovated, and it was expected that Her Majesty would visit the building, although the procession did not in fact stop there. The recently built Royal Forest Hotel was tastefully decorated for the occasion, and the fences enclosing parts of Chingford Plain were hastily demolished. In the evening, after the Queen had left the area, the festivities continued, and there was a grand firework display behind the Royal Forest Hotel.

    Source: Edwardx, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

    At High Beech, she declared, “it gives me great satisfaction to dedicate this beautiful Forest to the use and enjoyment of my people for all time.” Some believe today that Queen Victoria gave a ‘gift’ of Epping Forest to the public, and the Forest is sometimes referred to as ‘the People’s Forest.’ The reality is that Queen Victoria’s dedication to the public at the official opening in 1882 was simply recognizing the City of London Corporation’s purchase of the Forest.

    While the Crown gave up all rights in the Forest, the monarch was entitled to appoint a Ranger who would have control over important matters of policy. Queen Victoria chose her third and favorite son, Arthur, Duke of Connaught, to hold this position, as he had a great interest in trees. When the swamp near Chingford Plain was dried out by means of a large lake which was made both for drainage and as an amenity, it was named Connaught Water after the Ranger, as was the newly constructed Rangers Road.

    The Royal Forest Hotel and Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge Museum, 1928. (c) Britain From Above

    WWII Bombing

    At 12 o’clock midday on Friday 22 October 1944, the first long-range rocket fell in the Borough of Waltham Forest. Fortunately, it fell on forest land, approximately 150 yards east of the Royal Forest Hotel and 30 yards north of Rangers Road. Although it was a fine morning, there was apparently no one about at the time, and, apart from two minor casualties caused by flying glass, the Civil Defence Services were not required.

    Some damage was caused to property – Butler’s Retreat was probably the worst affected, although much minor damage was caused to the Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge and the Forest Keeper’s Lodge of Rangers Road. Damage was also caused to the Royal Forest Hotel and one or two buses standing outside the hotel at the time suffered damage to windows.

    This rocket made a very large crater some 60 feet across, and about 20 feet deep, and several large boughs were blown off the oak trees nearby.

    The Royal Forest Hotel and Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge, 1928. (c) Britain From Above

    Epping Forest Museum

    The building was converted in 1899-1900 into the Epping Forest Museum. The extensive alterations were carried out by the City Corporation at a cost of over £1000. Across the three floors of the museum, you can explore the Tudor history of Epping Forest. The Lodge has been managed by the City of London Corporation since 1960.

    The original entrance to the upper galleries was by a door in the east wall at the foot of the stairs, but this has now gone. The central oak staircase was where, according to popular but unsupported tradition, Elizabeth is said to have ridden her horse.

    Inside the Lodge, there are examples of the methods of construction used in the building and displays explaining its history. On the ground floor, you can discover the sights and sounds of a Tudor kitchen plus the servants’ quarters.

    Source: Edwardx, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

    Then climb the stairs built purposefully shallow so that the Tudor nobility could climb up in a dignified fashion. On the first floor, you can explore the world of Tudor fashion, and there are period dress-up clothes available. The doors to each room are higher than the ones downstairs to indicate the raised status of those using them. And as you peer out of the first-floor windows to the forest below, look out for the symbols etched into the woodwork to ward off evil.

    From the second-floor windows, you can admire the most spectacular view of the Forest and imagine it on a Tudor hunt day. The views from the upper floors cover vast tracts of the forest land and are very much what Tudor visitors would have seen as they watched the progress of hunts.

    Source: User:Ethan Doyle White, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

    The great feature of the interior is the massive open timber roof to the upper room. It consists of three bays divided by two bold curved and molded roof-trusses and with chamfered purlins and curved braces and boldly mounted wall plate (I’m told). The roof over the square-neweled staircase is of similar construction. The beams shaped like antlers are purely decorative for the original purpose of the building.

    Source: Edwardx, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

    The two stone mantelpieces are ‘modern.’ The one in the upper room is dated 1879 and bears shields in the spandrils, the arms of the City of London, and the intertwined initials JTB in commemoration of J.T.Bedford. He was the energetic member of the Court of Common Council to whose efforts the saving of the Forest was largely due.

    Source: Edwardx, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

    The pleasing lead diamond-latticed casement glazing in the windows in the Tudor-headed openings are also a later addition.

    The picturesque half-timbered exterior with its elaborate-pierced bargeboard is unfortunately only a sham veneer added during victorian improvements.

    1990s Renovation

    The last complete restoration was carried out after extensive surveys in the early 1990s. By this time, the building had suffered a number of Victorian alterations and ‘improvements.’ But in 1993, it was restored to the more authentic Tudor appearance that you see today.

    (c) Stephen McKay


    Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge is a ten-minute walk from Chingford train station.

    Address: 6 Rangers Road, Chingford, London E4 7QH

    Car Parking: While there is a car park opposite, do be aware that The City of London Corporation has recently started charging at their car parks which have been a controversial move. The justification has been that managing Epping Forest for public access, heritage, land, and nature conservation is an expensive undertaking. The City Corporation has met these costs without support from national or local taxation.

    The Epping Forest Acts 1878 & 1880 pre-date the invention of the motor car in 1886. Recognizing the need to manage the post-1950s growth of car ownership and subsequent car parking pressure at Epping Forest, the City of London (Various Powers) Act 1977 granted additional powers to Epping Forest to provide car parks and to charge for car parking.

    The View: The View visitor center is between the Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge and The Royal Forest Hotel. It showcases some of the main themes, stories, and habitats of the forest.

    (c) Paul Farmer

    The Disastrous Shadow Looming over The Crown Season 2

    There was more than enough interpersonal, romantic, and familial drama in the first season of The Crown to give Peter Morgan’s intellectual exploration of Queen Elizabeth’s first years on the throne a nice, soapy sheen. The sisterly conflict over Princess Margaret’s affair, the insinuations about Philip’s roving eye, and Elizabeth’s strong emotional connection to Lord Carnarvon were all the stuff dynastic family dramas are built on. And while we know there will be no lack of royal tension moving forward—Season 1 very cleverly laid the groundwork for the tumultuous marriage of Charles and Diana, decades later—it’s probable that Season 2 will actually be a good deal more political. Elizabeth and her country are headed into one of the biggest tests they would ever face. And, sadly, they’ll end up failing it.

    The Crown creator Peter Morgan is no stranger to the life of Queen Elizabeth. And as his previous works on the monarch—the 2006 film The Queen and the 2013 play The Audience—reveal, he is very fascinated by her relationship with her various prime ministers. The complicated dealings of Tony Blair and the Queen are at the center of the former, while Elizabeth’s interactions with every single one of her P.M.s, from Winston Churchill to David Cameron, comprise the plot of the latter. Season 1 of The Crown gave plenty of space to Elizabeth’s power struggle with John Lithgow’s domineering Winston Churchill, but it’s the catastrophically short reign of Jeremy Northam’s Anthony Eden that will drive Season 2. The penultimate scene of the series’s first season shows an unwell Eden passed out from a drug injection as newsreel footage of then Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt (Amir Boutrous) burns ominously in the background. It’s not exactly a subtle hint of the calamity to come.

    At the start of his very brief tenure as P.M., Eden was actually enormously popular. His Conservative Party won 49.7 percent of the vote the highest percentage total by any party in the post-war age. But 18 months later, Eden resigned in disgrace, and his failure in office was seen as the end of en era for British politics on the global stage. His 1977 obituary in The Times read that Eden was “the last prime minister to believe Britain was a great power and the first to confront a crisis which proved she was not.” And his disasters, of course, reflected poorly on the Queen.

    The prime minister’s rapid fall from grace has everything to do with Nasser and the “dam project” Eden tells Elizabeth he’s “bending over backwards” to help fund in Season 1. The completion of the Aswan Dam became a symbol of Nasser’s ascendency in Egypt (think a 1950s version of Donald Trump’s wall), and when both the U.S. and British withdrew funding due to Nasser’s relationship with both the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China, the newly made President Nasser seized control of the Suez Canal—a vital passage for British commerce.

    Eden, partially fearing Egypt would choke his country’s ability to trade globally, conspired with the French and Israelis to take the Suez Canal back. But the so-called Suez Crisis proved a massive embarrassment for Great Britain when, thanks to President Eisenhower’s unwillingness to back Eden, the whole effort collapsed in record time. Britain invaded on November 5, 1956 facing political and economic pressures, a humiliated Eden was forced to call for a cease-fire within 24 hours. The whole debacle was seen as a fatal blow to Britain’s reputation. The era of American supremacy had officially begun, as The Crown overtly hinted it would in Season 1.

    Seeing Eden’s destruction play out on-screen will, no doubt, be fascinating to fans of the actor Jeremy Northam, his handsome Eden mustache, and military history in general. But is it juicy enough to engage those Crown fans initially hooked by royal scandal? Well, there are a few other things to consider. First of all, we may not have seen the last of Lithgow’s Churchill. The former P.M. publicly turned on his old friend Eden, saying of the Suez incident: “I cannot understand why our troops were halted. To go so far and not go on was madness.” And just as they did in 2003, a significant portion of the British population publicly protested their country going to war in the Middle East.

    But juiciest of all are the implications that the once peaceful Eden went to war with Egypt in the first place because of an amphetamine-fueled, personal vendetta against Nasser. (Why else do you think the poor man is forever napping?) In his book Sir Anthony Eden and the Suez Crisis: Reluctant Gamble, Jonathan Pearson writes of the high doses of drugs Eden was prescribed in the 1950s: “The initial euphoria they produced gave Eden a false sense of his own condition, while their side-effects exaggerated his personality traits, increasing his insecurity and vanity.” The story of Eden, then, is a tragic one—a peaceful, popular politician wrecked by drugs and the bad judgment of doctors who, according to modern experts, bungled his health problems.

    But what does all of this have to do with Elizabeth? Well, in addition to the blow the Suez Crisis dealt to England’s reputation, the bloody coup in Egypt coupled with the rise of the United States signaled a specific threat to the monarchy itself. As Matt Smith’s Philip witnesses during one of his lunch clubs (it’s not just for bottles of champagne and pretty girls after all!) in Episode 6, Nasser’s revolution was specifically linked to anti-royal interests. One of Philip’s friends, “fresh from the streets of Cairo,” says of Nasser: “He has the charisma to unite not just his own country, but the entire Arab world. Stirring up anti-Western, anti-monarchical sentiment.”

    Eden’s disgrace won’t take up the entirety of The Crown Season 2. Speaking with Vanity Fair, series star Claire Foy said: “We literally pick up where we left off—in 1956. I think Peter’s taking [us up to] 63 or 64. We get into the 60s, and it is a whole other world happening.” But before we get there, Eden’s tumble coincides with some personal drama for Elizabeth. Less than a month after he resigned in January 1957, the whispers about troubles in Elizabeth’s royal marriage grew loud enough that the Palace was forced to offer an official denial. (“Quite untrue!”) The Chicago Tribune wrote at the time:

    Anna Leonowens

    In 1862, Anna Leonowens, a widowed governess from India of Welsh and Eurasian heritage, arrived in the Kingdom of Siam (now Thailand) to teach the wives, concubines, and children of King Mongkut. She would leave in 1867, and spin her years there into two books: The English Governess at the Siamese Court, published in 1870, and 1873’s The Romance of the Harem. These memoirs would be the basis of both Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical The King and I and the novel Anna and the King of Siam, by Margaret Landon.

    In her books, Leonowens, “mendacious to the bone,” according to her biographer Alfred Habegger, would paint herself as an imperialist English heroine, who helped modernize Siam and the king with tough Christian persuasion (though many in Thailand doubt she ever even met the king). She writes in The English Governess:

    If any germ of love and truth fell from my heart into the heart of even the meanest of those wives and concubines and children of a king, if by any word of mine the least of them was won to look up, out of the depths of their miserable life, to a higher, clearer, brighter light than their Buddha casts upon their path, then indeed I did not labor in vain among them.

    Leonowens later moved to Canada and was credited with influencing her former pupil, Mongkut’s son King Chulalongkorn, a reformer who abolished slavery in Siam. He begged to differ. When looking for an English teacher for his daughters, the king asked for one who would refrain from “spreading palace gossip as Mrs. Leonowens had done.”

    Who succeeded Elizabeth I?

    King James VI of Scotland.

    By the early 1600s, Elizabeth’s health had been failing for some time. Frail and melancholy over the deaths of many of her close friends and advisors, she would stand for hours, refusing to rest. She was balding, had bad breath due to her rotting teeth – eww! – and spent a lot of her time expressing regret over decisions she’d made during her reign – especially the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots.

    On 24th March 1603 Elizabeth I died, having reigned for 44 years as a very popular queen. As she had no children, and therefore no direct heir to the throne, she was the last Tudor monarch. Following her death, Mary, Queen of Scots’ son – James VI of Scotland – was named King James I of England.

    The cause of her death was never determined. But whilst no theory has been proven, many people think Elizabeth may have had blood poisoning from the make-up she wore. Make-up in the Tudor era was full of toxic ingredients such as lead – and Elizabeth famously wore a lot of it!

    Mary Anning

    When Mary Anning was just a year old, a traveling circus passed through Lyme Regis where she lived, and everyone flocked outdoors to see it. A severe thunderstorm began, so the story goes, and the woman holding Anning was struck by lightning and killed, but little Mary Anning survived. According to her family, the sickly baby girl became much smarter and livelier as a result. Her intelligence served her family well. She made the most of Sunday school lessons where she likely learned to read and write, and she began collecting and selling fossils (in those days variously nicknamed vertiberries, snake stones, ladies' fingers and devil's toenails) while still a child.

    Lyme Regis was an excellent spot to hunt fossils. Roughly 200 million years ago, the area lay near the equator, at the bottom of a tropical sea. Sea-floor mud often buried marine animals, preserving them for eons. In the 8th century, some scrappy humans saw fit to establish a village near the frequently fierce ocean waves. In Anning's day, the town was a popular seaside resort for people with money, which is probably why Jane Austen knew enough about Lyme Regis to declare it had a main street "almost hurrying into the water." The town wasn't so charming for its poorest residents bad storms could scrape away half the village. The Anning family lived so close to the ocean that seawater regularly pounded on their windows, and sometimes flooded the tiny house.

    But the same waves that frequently made life treacherous for locals exposed ancient animals. Today, Lyme Regis still fills a thin strip of land bordered by cliffs that regularly surrender fossils, and now amateurs are allowed to collect fossils from loose rocks along the beach. Amateurs are also allowed to dig along the cliffs, although only with a permit.

    Mary Anning likely acquired her love of fossil collecting primarily from her father, Richard. He took increasing time away from his carpentry business to hunt for fossils along the rockfall-prone slippery shore, and he often took Mary and her brother Joseph with him. Weakened by a fall from a cliff, Richard succumbed to tuberculosis and died when Mary was just 10 or 11. Without her father, Mary resumed combing the beach for fossils. In a story that sounds as apocryphal as the lightning strike, on her first fossil outing by herself, Anning encountered a tourist who paid half a crown for a pretty ammonite she had just found. Some accounts also contend that Mary's early success came when her own mother was so grief-stricken that she was almost negligent, but Mrs. Anning (also named Mary, and nicknamed Molly) actually hunted for and sold fossils in her own right, a fact that science historian Hugh Torrens has documented clearly. Molly helped keep the family afloat after her husband's death. Every penny counted because the family was deeply in debt, and Molly was pregnant. When she was 27, Anning opened her own fossil shop: Anning's Fossil Depot in Lyme Regis. As before, the shop catered to tourists and often sold ammonites.

    Like her mother, the younger Mary Anning was a commercial collector, but at that time, the commercial market for fossils was not what it is today. (No one would fork over several million dollars for a T. rex skeleton then.) She occasionally sold fossils for a tidy profit &mdash perhaps 100 or 200 pounds, which might translate into $200,000 to $400,000 today. Yet she often fell on hard times, sometimes because she couldn't find fossils, and sometimes because the public took no interest in what she did find. Gentlemen geologists occasionally came to her aid. Anning's most generous acquaintance may have been Lt. Col. Thomas James Birch (later Bosvile) who, when the Annings were desperately selling furniture to make rent, auctioned off the fossils he had previously bought from them and gave the Annings the auction proceeds. He wrote a friend about his regret at parting with his fossil collection but knew the money would be "well applied." Years later, geologist and amateur artist Henry De la Beche went so far as to paint "a more ancient Dorset," a cheerful depiction of marine life, representing many of the fossils Anning collected, to rouse public interest in her fossils. (Occasional rumors linked De la Beche and Anning romantically, but these might have stemmed from the simple fact that De la Beche, unlike some of his contemporaries and even close friends, was willing to acknowledge Anning's role in science.) After De la Beche's intervention, she fell on hard times again, losing her life savings after a bad investment. Members of the British Association for the Advancement of Science convinced the British government to award her a civil list pension of 25 pounds per year.

    Although wealthy fossil collectors often had fossils named after them, no British fossil was named for Anning during her lifetime by a fellow Brit. Louis Agassiz named two fossil fish species after her: Acrodus anningiae in 1841, and Belenostomus anningiae in 1844. In 1995, Torrens and Michael Taylor reported that Anning was yet to be commemorated in the name of a British fossil reptile.

    Anning is often credited with finding the world's first ichthyosaur, but other specimens had already been found. Moreover, it was actually her brother who found it. Because Joseph Anning was committed to an upholstery apprenticeship, he apparently suggested his sister find the rest of the fossil. She reputedly carried out the excavation herself at the tender age of 12, or else hired workmen to excavate it. Science writer Brenda Maddox recounts that "the whole town" knew about the big fossil, so Anning probably didn't lack for help.

    Anning's ichthyosaur was the first to attract the attention of London's gentlemen geologists. Henry Hoste Henley learned about her find from local reports, bought it for a handsome sum, and gave it to another gentleman geologist for his own natural history museum. Within a few years, the British Museum bought it.

    And Anning may have found the world's first recognized ichthyosaur coprolites. What she initially thought were bezoars (stomach stones) proved even more revealing when she broke them open and found fossil fish scales and teeth inside. She was lucky to find coprolites still lodged inside their makers.

    Anning's ichthyosaur fossil find became the basis for six papers &mdash all of them stuffy and erroneous &mdash by Everard Home. More skilled anatomists started calling the fossil Ichthyosaurus around 1820. About that time, Anning found the world's first nearly complete plesiosaur, described by William Conybeare and De la Beche. With its little skull on the end of a long neck, the plesiosaur was considerably weirder than the ichthyosaur, which at least looked crocodilian. Geology professor William Buckland described the plesiosaur as "a serpent threaded through the shell of a turtle." In 1829, Anning found a second complete plesiosaur, which is on display in the Natural History Museum, London. The same year, she also found a fossil fish, Squaloraja , later interpreted as a transitional species between sharks and rays. She dissected a modern ray to give herself a basis for comparison.

    In 1834, the deeply eccentric fossil collector Thomas Hawkins sold the British Museum a collection of fossil marine reptiles. The biggest and best beast of his collection was his "great sea dragon" (Temnodontosaurus platyodon). But Hawkins didn't collect the fossil himself it was collected by Anning. When the Natural History Museum of London broke off from the British Museum, the Hawkins fossil collection moved to its new home in Kensington. The year after Hawkins sold his collection to the British Museum, Anning sold another ichthyosaur fossil to Adam Sedgwick, then a professor at Cambridge with ambitions of establishing a big museum at the university. Anning's ichthyosaur in Cambridge shares a display case with another ichthyosaur found by Thomas Hawkins. And like the Natural History Museum in London, the Sedgwick Museum displays Anning's portrait next to plesiosaur fossils. (Contrary to what some books for young readers imply, Anning didn't actually find any dinosaur skeletons.)

    Beyond ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs, Anning also found the first recognized pterosaur fossil in England (Mantell found pterosaur remains before Anning, but attributed them to a bird). Anning also found fossil cuttlefish that, amazingly, retained their original sepia (ink ejected to thwart predators). Elizabeth Philpot, a wealthy collector and friend of Anning's, used the sepia in illustrations, and Buckland recounted how a "celebrated painter" described the fossil ink as "of excellent quality."

    Later accounts of Anning's ichthyosaur excavation focused on her young age and depictions of her and a winsome child in a pinafore. Perhaps her contemporaries found the thought of a grown woman "in trade" unappealing. Late in her life, some who met her described her as strong and energetic, but other accounts included terms such as thin, shrewd, and prone to "violent likes and dislikes." Mixing admiration with condescension, Lady Harriet Silvester wrote in 1824:

    As Anning matured and began to appreciate her own contributions to science, she grew resentful of the scientists who failed to acknowledge her work. She was rumored to detest Buckland's interpretations of fossils, but no evidence can be found in her correspondence to him, which was usually congenial. Like De la Beche, Gideon Mantell was inclined to recognize her contributions, even calling her a "Geological Lioness" (though he also described her as a "prim, pedantic vinegar looking female") William Conybeare was less so. Roderick Impey Murchison must have been kinder to Anning than most as she acclaimed him in a whimsical poem that poked a little fun at Adam Sedgwick and William Buckland. In fact, Anning was close friends with Murchison's wife Charlotte, and stayed with the couple on what might have been her only visit to London. Anning got off to a bad start with Georges Cuvier, who initially thought the plesiosaur she found was a composite of different animals. He was finally reassured of its authenticity by Buckland and Conybeare, and eventually acquired one of her plesiosaurs. According to historian Hugh Torrens, the successful address of Cuvier's concerns assured the Anning family's reputation as reliable collectors. Fossils collected by Mary Anning are still on display in the natural history museum in Paris.

    Anning's reputation has gotten similarly mixed treatment from modern science historians. In his 708-page Bursting the Limits of Time , Martin Rudwick devotes a sentence to her:

    Rudwick reiterates his claim in Earth's Deep History where he states the ability to find fossils and the capacity to interpret them scientifically rarely occur together, and blames an alleged over-assessment of Anning's abilities on "modern heroic myth-making." Torrens vigorously disputes this interpretation, remarking at the 2016 Geological Society of America annual meeting that Anning understood science "much better than people like Rudwick claim." In The Dragon Seekers , Christopher McGowan likewise has high praise for Anning's interpretive abilities:

    Anning had a short and often difficult life. The family had always been poor. Out of at least nine children, Anning and her brother were the only ones to survive to adulthood she was actually named after a sister who died months before the younger Mary was born. Her father was a Dissenter (of another faith than Anglican), which, in early 19th-century England, could be a major impediment to worldly success. Anning eventually converted to the Church of England &mdash a practical decision since many of her customers were Anglican, but the move was probably motivated by genuine faith, too. (Her brother also converted.) After her death, a stained-glass window was unveiled in the Lyme Regis church of Saint Michael's commemorating her devotion to the local poor.

    Some of the same factors that made Anning's life difficult have also made documenting her life difficult for later historians. In his presidential address to the British Society for the History of Science, Hugh Torrens described some of those factors, noting that she was working class, female, unmarried, solitary and, "a doer, not a writer. Anning published nothing under her own name." Larry Davis of St. John's University points out that she actually could count one published item to her name The Magazine of Natural History published a portion of her letter to the editor about her discovery of the jaw of the extinct shark Hybodus delabecheii .

    Anning had the good fortune to live where fossils eroded out of the shoreline, and she had the intelligence to recognize their significance. Still, the work was dangerous rock falls could happen at any time. She narrowly escaped a landslide that killed her dog, and barely missed being crushed by a runaway cart. An acquaintance remarked that Anning read the Bible more often after one such brush with death. In the end, she died in her 40s of breast cancer, and likely spent much of the last months of her life bedridden. Her death, some locals noted, actually precipitated a drop in visitors to Lyme Regis.

    Despite the hardships she endured, Anning became a bit of a celebrity. By the time she died, she had become so well known that she even received a visit from the king of Saxony. After her death, Charles Dickens's journal All the Year Round reported "the carpenter's daughter has won a name for herself, and deserved to win it." In fact, an 1865 All the Year Round piece on Anning may was heavily plagiarized from an 1859 article about her by Henry Rowland Brown in The Beauties of Lyme Regis . About the plesiosaurus, the 1859 piece marveled:

    Further recognition for Anning came more than a century after her death. The Royal Society of London didn't admit women until 1945, but in 2010, when the Society marked its 350th anniversary, it asked a panel of female society fellows and historians to name the 10 most influential British women in the history of science, and they included Anning. Four years after that, on May 21, 2014, Google commemorated Anning's 215th birthday with a special doodle.

    Narrative text and graphic design © by Michon Scott - Updated July 11, 2020


    Laura Elizabeth Ingalls was born to Charles Phillip and Caroline Lake (née Quiner) Ingalls on February 7, 1867. At the time of Ingalls' birth, the family lived seven miles north of the village of Pepin, Wisconsin in the Big Woods region of Wisconsin. Ingalls' home in Pepin became the setting for her first book, Little House in the Big Woods (1932). [3] She was the second of five children, following older sister, Mary Amelia. [4] [5] [6] [7] Three more children would follow, Caroline Celestia (Carrie), Charles Frederick, who died in infancy, and Grace Pearl. Ingalls Wilder's birth site is commemorated by a replica log cabin at the Little House Wayside in Pepin. [8]

    Ingalls was a descendant of the Delano family, the ancestral family of U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. [9] [10] One paternal ancestor, Edmund Ingalls, from Skirbeck, Lincolnshire, England, emigrated to America, settling in Lynn, Massachusetts. [9]

    Laura is the 7th great granddaughter of the Mayflower passenger Richard Warren. [11] She was a third cousin, once removed, of President Ulysses S. Grant. [12]

    Early life Edit

    When she was two years old, Ingalls Wilder moved with her family from Wisconsin in 1869. After stopping in Rothville, Missouri, they settled in the Indian country of Kansas, near modern-day Independence, Kansas. Her younger sister, Carrie, was born in Independence in August 1870, not long before they moved again. According to Ingalls Wilder, her father Charles Ingalls had been told that the location would be open to white settlers, but when they arrived this was not the case. The Ingalls family had no legal right to occupy their homestead because it was on the Osage Indian reservation. They had just begun to farm when they heard rumors that settlers would be evicted, so they left in the spring of 1871. Although in her novel, Little House on the Prairie, and Pioneer Girl memoir, Ingalls Wilder portrayed their departure as being prompted by rumors of eviction, she also noted that her parents needed to recover their Wisconsin land because the buyer had not paid the mortgage. [13]

    The Ingalls family went back to Wisconsin where they lived for the next three years. Those experiences formed the basis for Wilder's novels Little House in the Big Woods (1932) and Little House on the Prairie (1935).

    On the Banks of Plum Creek (1939), the third volume of her fictionalized history which takes place around 1874, the Ingalls family moves from Kansas to an area near Walnut Grove, Minnesota, settling in a dugout on the banks of Plum Creek. [14]

    They moved there from Wisconsin when Ingalls was about seven years old, after briefly living with the family of her uncle, Peter Ingalls, first in Wisconsin and then on rented land near Lake City, Minnesota. In Walnut Grove, the family first lived in a dugout sod house on a preemption claim after wintering in it, they moved into a new house built on the same land. Two summers of ruined crops led them to move to Iowa. On the way, they stayed again with Charles Ingalls' brother, Peter Ingalls, this time on his farm near South Troy, Minnesota. Her brother, Charles Frederick Ingalls ("Freddie"), was born there on November 1, 1875, dying nine months later in August 1876. In Burr Oak, Iowa, the family helped run a hotel. The youngest of the Ingalls children, Grace, was born there on May 23, 1877.

    The family moved from Burr Oak back to Walnut Grove where Charles Ingalls served as the town butcher and justice of the peace. He accepted a railroad job in the spring of 1879, which took him to eastern Dakota Territory, where they joined him that fall. Ingalls Wilder omitted the period in 1876–1877 when they lived near Burr Oak, skipping to Dakota Territory, portrayed in By the Shores of Silver Lake (1939).

    De Smet Edit

    Wilder's father filed for a formal homestead over the winter of 1879–1880. [15] De Smet, South Dakota, became her parents' and sister Mary's home for the remainder of their lives. After spending the mild winter of 1879–1880 in the surveyor's house, they watched the town of De Smet rise up from the prairie in 1880. The following winter, 1880–1881, one of the most severe on record in the Dakotas, was later described by Ingalls Wilder in her novel, The Long Winter (1940). Once the family was settled in De Smet, Ingalls attended school, worked several part-time jobs, and made friends. Among them was bachelor homesteader Almanzo Wilder. This time in her life is documented in the books Little Town on the Prairie (1941) and These Happy Golden Years (1943).

    Young teacher Edit

    On December 10, 1882, two months before her 16th birthday, Ingalls accepted her first teaching position. [16] She taught three terms in one-room schools when she was not attending school in De Smet. (In Little Town on the Prairie she receives her first teaching certificate on December 24, 1882, but that was an enhancement for dramatic effect. [ citation needed ] ) Her original "Third Grade" teaching certificate can be seen on page 25 of William Anderson's book Laura's Album (1998). [17] She later admitted she did not particularly enjoy it, but felt a responsibility from a young age to help her family financially, and wage-earning opportunities for women were limited. Between 1883 and 1885, she taught three terms of school, worked for the local dressmaker, and attended high school, although she did not graduate.

    Early marriage years Edit

    Ingalls' teaching career and studies ended when the 18-year-old Laura married 28-year-old Almanzo Wilder on August 25, 1885 in De Smet, South Dakota. [18] [19] From the beginning of their relationship, the pair had nicknames for each other: she called him "Manly" and he, because he had a sister named Laura, called her "Bess", from her middle name, Elizabeth. [19] Almanzo had achieved a degree of prosperity on his homestead claim [20] the newly married couple started their life together in a new home, north of De Smet. [21]

    On December 5, 1886, Wilder gave birth to her daughter, Rose. In 1889, she gave birth to a son who died at 12 days of age before being named. He was buried at De Smet, Kingsbury County, South Dakota. [22] [23] On the grave marker, he is remembered as "Baby Son of A. J. Wilder". [24]

    Their first few years of marriage were difficult. Complications from a life-threatening bout of diphtheria left Almanzo partially paralyzed. Although he eventually regained nearly full use of his legs, he needed a cane to walk for the remainder of his life. This setback, among many others, began a series of unfortunate events that included the death of their newborn son, the destruction of their barn along with its hay and grain by a mysterious fire, [25] the total loss of their home from a fire accidentally set by Rose, [26] and several years of severe drought that left them in debt, physically ill, and unable to earn a living from their 320 acres (129.5 hectares) of prairie land. These trials were documented in Wilder's book The First Four Years (published in 1971). Around 1890, they left De Smet and spent about a year resting at the home of Almanzo's parents on their Spring Valley, Minnesota, farm before moving briefly to Westville, Florida, in search of a climate to improve Almanzo's health. They found, however, that the dry plains they were used to were very different from the humidity they encountered in Westville. The weather, along with feeling out of place among the locals, encouraged their return to De Smet in 1892, where they purchased a small home. [27] [28]

    In 1894, the Wilders moved to Mansfield, Missouri, and used their savings to make the down payment on an undeveloped property just outside town. They named the place Rocky Ridge Farm [29] and moved into a ramshackle log cabin. At first, they earned income only from wagon loads of fire wood they would sell in town for 50 cents. Financial security came slowly. Apple trees they planted did not bear fruit for seven years. Almanzo's parents visited around that time and gave them the deed to the house they had been renting in Mansfield, which was the economic boost Wilder's family needed. They then added to the property outside town, and eventually accrued nearly 200 acres (80.9 hectares). Around 1910, they sold the house in town, moved back to the farm, and completed the farmhouse with the proceeds. What began as about 40 acres (16.2 hectares) of thickly wooded, stone-covered hillside with a windowless log cabin became in 20 years a relatively prosperous poultry, dairy, and fruit farm, and a 10-room farmhouse. [30]

    The Wilders had learned from cultivating wheat as their sole crop in De Smet. They diversified Rocky Ridge Farm with poultry, a dairy farm, and a large apple orchard. Wilder became active in various clubs and was an advocate for several regional farm associations. She was recognized as an authority in poultry farming and rural living, which led to invitations to speak to groups around the region. [31]

    An invitation to submit an article to the Missouri Ruralist in 1911 led to Wilder's permanent position as a columnist and editor with that publication, which she held until the mid-1920s. She also took a paid position with the local Farm Loan Association, dispensing small loans to local farmers.

    Wilder's column in the Ruralist, "As a Farm Woman Thinks", introduced her to a loyal audience of rural Ozarkians, who enjoyed her regular columns. Her topics ranged from home and family, including her 1915 trip to San Francisco, California, to visit Rose Lane and the Pan-Pacific exhibition, to World War I and other world events, and to the fascinating world travels of Lane as well as her own thoughts on the increasing options offered to women during this era. While the couple were never wealthy until the "Little House" books began to achieve popularity, the farming operation and Wilder's income from writing and the Farm Loan Association provided them with a stable living.

    "[By] 1924", according to the Professor John E. Miller, "[a]fter more than a decade of writing for farm papers, Wilder had become a disciplined writer, able to produce thoughtful, readable prose for a general audience." At this time, her now-married daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, helped her publish two articles describing the interior of the farmhouse, in Country Gentleman magazine. [32]

    It was also around this time that Lane began intensively encouraging Wilder to improve her writing skills with a view toward greater success as a writer than Lane had already achieved. [33] The Wilders, according to Miller, had come to "[depend] on annual income subsidies from their increasingly famous and successful daughter." They both had concluded that the solution for improving their retirement income was for Wilder to become a successful writer herself. However, the "project never proceeded very far." [34]

    In 1928, Lane hired out the construction of an English-style stone cottage for her parents on property adjacent to the farmhouse they had personally built and still inhabited. She remodeled and took it over. [35]

    Little House books Edit

    The Stock Market Crash of 1929 wiped the Wilders out Lane's investments were devastated as well. They still owned the 200-acre (81-hectare) farm, but they had invested most of their savings with Lane's broker. In 1930, Wilder requested Lane's opinion about an autobiographical manuscript she had written about her pioneering childhood. The Great Depression, coupled with the deaths of Wilder's mother in 1924 and her older sister in 1928, seem to have prompted her to preserve her memories in a life story called Pioneer Girl. She also hoped that her writing would generate some additional income. The original title of the first of the books was When Grandma Was a Little Girl. [36] On the advice of Lane's publisher, she greatly expanded the story. As a result of Lane's publishing connections as a successful writer and after editing by her, Harper & Brothers published Wilder's book in 1932 as Little House in the Big Woods. After its success, she continued writing. The close and often rocky collaboration between her and Lane continued, in person until 1935, when Lane permanently left Rocky Ridge Farm, and afterward by correspondence.

    The collaboration worked both ways: two of Lane's most successful novels, Let the Hurricane Roar (1932) and Free Land (1938), were written at the same time as the "Little House" series and basically retold Ingalls and Wilder family tales in an adult format. [37]

    Authorship controversy Edit

    Some, including Lane's biographer, William Holtz, have alleged that Wilder's daughter was her ghostwriter. [38] Existing evidence includes ongoing correspondence between the women about the books' development, Lane's extensive diaries, and Wilder's handwritten manuscripts with edit notations shows an ongoing collaboration between the two women. [21]

    Miller, using this record, describes varying levels of involvement by Lane. Little House in the Big Woods (1932) and These Happy Golden Years (1943), he notes, received the least editing. "The first pages . and other large sections of [Big Woods]", he observes, "stand largely intact, indicating . from the start . [Laura's] talent for narrative description." [39] Some volumes saw heavier participation by Lane, [40] while The First Four Years (1971) appears to be exclusively a Wilder work. [41] Concludes Miller, "In the end, the lasting literary legacy remains that of the mother more than that of the daughter . Lane possessed style Wilder had substance." [37]

    The controversy over authorship is often tied to the movement to read the Little House series through an ideological lens. Lane emerged in the 1930s as an avowed conservative polemicist and critic of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration and his New Deal programs. According to a 2012 article in the New Yorker, "When Roosevelt was elected, she noted in her diary, 'America has a dictator.' She prayed for his assassination, and considered doing the job herself." [42] Whatever Lane's politics, "attacks on [Wilder's] authorship seem aimed at infusing her books with ideological passions they just don't have." [43]

    Enduring appeal Edit

    The original Little House books, written for elementary school–age children, became an enduring, eight-volume record of pioneering life late in the 19th century based on the Ingalls family's experiences on the American frontier. The First Four Years, about the early days of the Wilder marriage, was discovered by her literary executor Roger MacBride after Lane's 1968 death and published in 1971, unedited by Lane or MacBride. It is now marketed as the ninth volume. [41]

    Since the publication of Little House in the Big Woods (1932), the books have been continuously in print and have been translated into 40 other languages. Wilder's first—and smallest—royalty check from Harper, in 1932, was for $500, equivalent to $9,480 in 2020. By the mid-1930s the royalties from the Little House books brought a steady and increasingly substantial income to the Wilders for the first time in their 50 years of marriage. The collaboration also brought the two writers at Rocky Ridge Farm the money they needed to recoup the loss of their investments in the stock market. Various honors, huge amounts of fan mail, and other accolades were bestowed on Wilder. [ citation needed ]

    Autobiography: Pioneer Girl Edit

    In 1929–1930, already in her early 60s, Wilder began writing her autobiography, titled Pioneer Girl. It was rejected by publishers. At Lane's urging, she rewrote most of her stories for children. The result was the Little House series of books. In 2014, the South Dakota State Historical Society published an annotated version of Wilder's autobiography, titled Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography. [44] [45]

    Pioneer Girl includes stories that Wilder felt were inappropriate for children: e.g., a man accidentally immolating himself while drunk, and an incident of extreme violence of a local shopkeeper against his wife, which ended with his setting their house on fire. She also describes previously unknown facets of her father's character. According to its publisher, "Wilder's fiction, her autobiography, and her real childhood are all distinct things, but they are closely intertwined." The book's aim was to explore the differences, including incidents with conflicting or non-existing accounts in one or another of the sources. [46]

    Wilder has been referred by some to as one of America's first libertarians. [47] She was originally a life-long Democrat, but became dismayed with Roosevelt's New Deal and what she and her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, saw as Americans' increasing dependence on the federal government. Wilder grew disenchanted with her party and resented government agents who came to farms like hers and grilled farmers about the number of acres they were planting. [48] Her daughter was a similarly strongly libertarian. [49] [48] [50]

    Wilder supported women's rights (though she worried that women would vote according to what their husbands wanted, and not as they wanted) [51] and education reform. [52] She also became infamous for a short period for shaking the hand of an African American man, which was controversial for segregated Missouri. [53] Indeed, part of the plot of Little House on the Prairie involves an African American doctor saving the Ingalls family's lives. [54]

    Upon Lane's departure from Rocky Ridge Farm, Laura and Almanzo moved back into the farmhouse they had built, which had most recently been occupied by friends. [35] From 1935 on, they were alone at Rocky Ridge Farm. Most of the surrounding area (including the property with the stone cottage Lane had built for them) was sold, but they still kept some farm animals, and tended their flower beds and vegetable gardens. Almost daily, carloads of fans stopped by, eager to meet the "Laura" of the Little House books.

    The Wilders lived independently and without financial worries until Almanzo's death at the farm in 1949 at age 92. Wilder remained on the farm. For the next eight years, she lived alone, looked after by a circle of neighbors and friends. She continued an active correspondence with her editors, fans, and friends during these years.

    In autumn 1956, 89-year-old Wilder became severely ill from undiagnosed diabetes and cardiac issues. She was hospitalized by Lane, who had arrived for Thanksgiving. She was able to return home on the day after Christmas. However, her health declined after her release from the hospital, and she died at home in her sleep on February 10, 1957, three days after her 90th birthday. [55] She was buried beside Almanzo at Mansfield Cemetery in Mansfield. Lane was buried next to them upon her death in 1968. [56]

    Estate Edit

    [57] Following Wilder's death, possession of Rocky Ridge Farm passed to the farmer who had earlier bought the property under a life lease arrangement. [58] The local population put together a non-profit corporation to purchase the house and its grounds for use as a museum. [59] After some wariness at the notion of seeing the house rather than the books be a shrine to Wilder, Lane came to believe that making a museum of it would draw long-lasting attention to the books. She donated the money needed to purchase the house and make it a museum, agreed to make significant contributions each year for its upkeep, and donated many of her parents' belongings. [60]

    In compliance with Wilder's will, Lane inherited ownership of the Little House literary estate, with the stipulation that it be for only her lifetime, with all rights reverting to the Mansfield library after her death. Following her demise in 1968, however, her chosen heir, Roger MacBride, gained control of the books' copyrights. [61] as well as her business agent and lawyer. The copyrights to each of Wilder's "Little House" books, as well as those of Lane's own literary works, were renewed in his name after the original copyright had expired. [62] [63]

    Controversy arose following MacBride's death in 1995, when the Laura Ingalls Wilder Branch of the Wright County Library in Mansfield—the library founded in part by Wilder—tried to recover the rights to the series. The ensuing court case was settled in an undisclosed manner, with MacBride's heirs retaining the rights to Wilder's books. From the settlement, the library received enough to start work on a new building. [64] [65]

    The popularity of the Little House books has grown over the years following Wilder's death, spawning a multimillion-dollar franchise of mass merchandising under MacBride's impetus. [66] Results of the franchise have included additional spinoff book series [ citation needed ] —some written by MacBride and his daughter, Abigail—and the long-running television series, starring Melissa Gilbert as Wilder and Michael Landon as her father.

    Because she died in 1957, Wilder's works are now public domain in countries where the term of copyright lasts 50 years after the author's death, or less generally this does not include works first published posthumously. Works first published before 1924 or where copyright was not renewed, primarily her newspaper columns, are also public domain in the United States. [ citation needed ]

    Little House books Edit

    The eight "original" Little House books were published by Harper & Brothers with illustrations by Helen Sewell (the first three) or by Sewell and Mildred Boyle.

    • Little House in the Big Woods (1932) – named to the inaugural Lewis Carroll Shelf Award list in 1958
    • Farmer Boy (1933) – about Almanzo Wilder growing up in New York
    • Little House on the Prairie (1935)
    • On the Banks of Plum Creek (1937) [a]
    • By the Shores of Silver Lake (1939) [a]
    • The Long Winter (1940) [a]
    • Little Town on the Prairie (1941) [a]
    • These Happy Golden Years (1943) [a]

    Other works Edit

    • On the Way Home (1962, published posthumously) – diary of the Wilders' move from De Smet, South Dakota, to Mansfield, Missouri, edited and supplemented by Rose Wilder Lane[67]
    • The First Four Years (1971, published posthumously by Harper & Row), illustrated by Garth Williams – commonly considered the ninth Little House book
    • West from Home (1974, published posthumously), ed. Roger Lea MacBride – Wilder's letters to Almanzo while visiting her daughter Rose Wilder-Lane in 1915 in San Francisco[68]
    • Little House in the Ozarks: The Rediscovered Writings (1991) [69]LCCN91-10820 – collection of pre-1932 articles [70]
    • The Road Back Home, part three (the only part previously unpublished) of A Little House Traveler: Writings from Laura Ingalls Wilder's Journeys Across America (2006, Harper) LCCN2005-14975) – Wilder's record of a 1931 trip with Almanzo to De Smet, South Dakota, and the Black Hills
    • A Little House Sampler (1988 or 1989, U. of Nebraska), with Rose Wilder Lane, ed. William Anderson, OCLC16578355[71]
    • Writings to Young Women – Volume One: On Wisdom and Virtues, Volume Two: On Life as a Pioneer Woman, Volume Three: As Told by Her Family, Friends, and Neighbors[72]
    • A Little House Reader: A Collection of Writings (1998, Harper), ed. William Anderson [71]
    • Laura Ingalls Wilder & Rose Wilder Lane, 1937–1939 (1992, Herbert Hoover Presidential Library), ed. Timothy Walch – selections from letters exchanged by Wilder and Lane, with family photographs, 31440538
    • Laura's Album: A Remembrance Scrapbook of Laura Ingalls Wilder (1998, Harper), ed. William Anderson, 865396917
    • Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography (South Dakota Historical Society Press, 2014) [44]
    • Before the Prairie Books: The Writings of Laura Ingalls Wilder 1911–1916: The Small Farm [citation needed]
    • Before the Prairie Books: The Writings of Laura Ingalls Wilder 1917–1918: The War Years [citation needed]
    • Before the Prairie Books: The Writings of Laura Ingalls Wilder 1919–1920: The Farm Home [citation needed]
    • Before the Prairie Books: The Writings of Laura Ingalls Wilder 1921–1924: A Farm Woman [citation needed]
    • Laura Ingalls Wilder's Most Inspiring Writings [citation needed]
    • Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Pioneer Girl's World View: Selected Newspaper Columns (Little House Prairie Series) [citation needed]
    • The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder, edited by William Anderson [73]
    • Laura Ingalls Wilder Farm Journalist: Writings from the Ozarks, edited by Stephen W. Hines [74]
    • Laura Ingalls Wilder's Fairy Poems, Introduced and compiled by Stephen W. Hines [75]

    Documentary Edit

    Little House on the Prairie: The Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder (February 2015) is a one-hour documentary film that looks at the life of Wilder. Wilder's story as a writer, wife, and mother is explored through interviews with scholars and historians, archival photography, paintings by frontier artists, and dramatic reenactments.

    Historic sites and museums Edit

    • Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum, Mansfield, Missouri
    • Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum, Pepin, Wisconsin[76]
    • Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum, Walnut Grove, Minnesota[77]
    • Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society museum and historic homes, De Smet, South Dakota annual pageant performed here [78][79][80]
    • Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum, Burr Oak, Iowa[81]
    • Little House on the Prairie Museum, Independence, Kansas[82]
    • Wilder Homestead, Malone, NY[83] in Kingsbury County, South Dakota, where many Little House Ingalls family members are buried

    Portrayals on screen and stage Edit

    Multiple adaptations of Wilder's Little House on the Prairie book series have been produced for screen and stage. In them, the following actresses have portrayed Wilder:

      in the television series Little House on the Prairie and its movie sequels (1974–1984) (voice) in the Japanese anime series Laura, The Prairie Girl (1975–1976) , Tess Harper (elder version), Alandra Bingham (younger version, part 1), Michelle Bevan (younger version, part 2) in part 1 and part 2 of the Beyond the Prairie: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder television films (2000 and 2002) in the TV miniseries Little House on the Prairie (2005) in the Little House on the Prairiebook musical (2008–2010)

    Wilder Medal Edit

    Wilder was five times a runner-up for the annual Newbery Medal, the premier American Library Association (ALA) book award for children's literature. [a] In 1954, the ALA inaugurated a lifetime achievement award for children's writers and illustrators, named for Wilder, of which she was the first recipient. The Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal recognizes a living author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made "a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children". As of 2013, it has been conferred nineteen times, biennially starting in 2001. [85] In 2018, the award was renamed the Children's Literature Legacy Award in light of language in Wilder's works which the Association perceived as biased against Native Americans and African Americans. [86]

    Watch the video: The Olivia and Helena Interview. The Crown S3 (December 2021).