hardboundbookhound:

A picture of the embroidered cover of Le Miroire de l’âme pécheresse by Marguerite de Navarre.  Translation and embroidery by Elizabeth as a gift for her stepmother, Katherine Parr (author in her own right).  And a portrait of her about two years after that gift, when she was 14.  

From Pens and Needles

The twelve-year-old Elizabeth reasons that “the invention of letters seems to me the most clever, excellent, and ingenious” of all inventions, the means to know “perfectly” “the image of the mind, wiles, and understanding… of the man—”

For Elizabeth, “letters” reveal the “image” of man, a logic that connects the verbal and the visual but still privileges the word.  When she is in control of her portraiture, Elizabeth attempts to use her commissioned image to “reveal” her “mind or wit,” as she wrote of a portrait sent to her brother, but her early enthusiasm for the truth gained through language is a theme to which she returns in letters and speeches throughout her life.  Her preference for writing over visual expression helps to explain not only the limits of her needlework designs and penned flourishes but also her focus on the verbal once she became queen. (Frye, 40)

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    Just imagine reconstructing and wearing such an outfit…. sigh. Although I have to say personally I don´t really like the...
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