William Cecil

Not-so-Gloriana: Queen Elizabeth I in her early sixties. (Studio of Marcus Gheerarts the Younger, c. 1596)

Power slips from Gloriana’s jewelled fingers

21 May 2016 9:00 am

If you’ve been watching Game of Thrones recently, you’ll have seen an old folkloric fantasy in which a bewitching young…

The divine mask slips: Queen Elizabeth I in old age, weary after a lifetime of inaction (English school)

Elizabeth I, queen of the waiting game

22 November 2014 9:00 am

Women are ‘foolish, wanton flibbergibs, in every way doltified with the dregs of the devil’s dunghill’. So a cleric reminded…

Portrait of Thomas Cromwell wearing ‘the George’, by Hans Holbein

Thomas Cromwell: more Tony Soprano than Richard Dawkins

23 August 2014 9:00 am

The travel writer Colin Thubron once told me that to understand a country and its people he first asks, ‘What…