Elizabeth's Women

Emma Fielding reads from Tracy Borman's biography of Elizabeth I, which explores the relationships she had with the women in her life.

These women brought out the best and the worst of Elizabeth, who could be loyal and kind but also cruel and vindictive.

They all influenced Elizabeth's carefully-cultivated image as Gloriana, The Virgin Queen.

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01*20090921

Emma Fielding reads from Tracy Borman's biography of Elizabeth I, which explores the relationships she had with the women in her life.

These women brought out the best and the worst of Elizabeth, who could be loyal and kind but also cruel and vindictive.

They all influenced Elizabeth's carefully-cultivated image as Gloriana, The Virgin Queen.

Anne Boleyn takes centre stage, and the influence of her life and death on Elizabeth's future.

02Katherine Parr *20090922

Elizabeth's stepmother Katherine Parr sets an inspiring example.

Elizabeth's stepmother Katherine Parr sets an inspiring example, but an ill-judged flirtation threatens all.

03The Ladies In Waiting *20090923

The public world of Elizabeth's court as she begins her reign, and the more intimate realm of her private apartments, where she is attended by her Ladies in Waiting.

04Mary, Queen Of Scots *20090924

Elizabeth is compelled to confront that 'bosom serpent', Mary Queen of Scots, and much anguish follows.

05 LAST*20090925

In the final years of her reign, Elizabeth begins to lose her grip on matters at court.

This state of affairs is reflected in the loosening morals of her newer and younger Ladies-in-Waiting, who she fittingly terms her 'flouting wenches'.