Author Topic: Education of Elizabeth I  (Read 8868 times)

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Offline LenelorMiksi

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Education of Elizabeth I
« on: November 04, 2007, 02:31:28 PM »
Since "Good Queen Bess" was so intelligent, I've grown curious about her humanist education.  Something surprising I read in Carolly Erickson's The First Elizabeth is that "All the children of Henry VIII were strikingly intellectual, Mary in particular, and though Elizabeth followed in her sister's footsteps she did not overtake her."  Imagine that, Mary being smarter than Elizabeth!  However, a few pages later, Carolly goes on to say that "Unlike Mary, who had channeled her outstanding mental gifts... along personal and confessional lines, Elizabeth had never ceased to cultivate her mind..."  Maybe Elizabeth lagged behind her sister at first, but by continuing to learn established herself as being more intellectual.  One amazing attribute was her knowledge of many languages.  Apparently, by her mid-twenties, "she knew six languages better than her own" by Elizabeth's own account.  That would be seven languages! 

1. English
2. Latin
3. Greek
4. French
5. Italian
6. German

The seventh one I can't figure out.
Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse:  "Each year brings us nearer to the Wiedersehen [reunion with the dead], though it is sad to think how one's glass is running out, & how little good goes with it, compared to the numberless blessings we receive.  Time goes incredibly fast."

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Education of Elizabeth I
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2007, 03:53:51 PM »
Spanish?
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Offline LenelorMiksi

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Re: Education of Elizabeth I
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2007, 06:15:49 AM »
Yes, that would be it, I thought of it while I was going to sleep last night.  She probably spoke with Philip II in Spanish as he was remarkably poor with languages.
Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse:  "Each year brings us nearer to the Wiedersehen [reunion with the dead], though it is sad to think how one's glass is running out, & how little good goes with it, compared to the numberless blessings we receive.  Time goes incredibly fast."

Offline umigon

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Re: Education of Elizabeth I
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2007, 07:36:23 AM »

She did speak Spanish, and even had some notions of Welsh!! And, yes, Philip only knew how to speak well in Spanish and Portuguese. He also had some notions of French, but he went more far than that.
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Offline LenelorMiksi

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Re: Education of Elizabeth I
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2007, 06:20:30 PM »
Elizabeth also knew a bit of Portuguese, because she read documents in the language with the help of Count Feria. 
Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse:  "Each year brings us nearer to the Wiedersehen [reunion with the dead], though it is sad to think how one's glass is running out, & how little good goes with it, compared to the numberless blessings we receive.  Time goes incredibly fast."

Offline umigon

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Re: Education of Elizabeth I
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2007, 08:11:03 AM »

but he went more far than that.

That was meant to be but he never went more far than that
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Offline Silja

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Re: Education of Elizabeth I
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2007, 02:00:36 PM »
But Elizabeth wasn't fluent in all these languages. She could read Greek well but she spoke it only tolerably well. In the same way I don't remember having read she actually spoke Spanish and German (actually Flemish I think).

Offline LenelorMiksi

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Re: Education of Elizabeth I
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2007, 06:27:44 PM »
Well, she would have spoken Spanish to her brother-in-law.  Mary probably spoke Spanish to Philip as well, come to think of it.  I wonder if her mother, Catherine of Aragon, taught her Spanish.  I'm thinking the Greek was more for reading old texts in the original language than for conversing. 
Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse:  "Each year brings us nearer to the Wiedersehen [reunion with the dead], though it is sad to think how one's glass is running out, & how little good goes with it, compared to the numberless blessings we receive.  Time goes incredibly fast."

Offline Adagietto

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Re: Education of Elizabeth I
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2007, 11:06:53 AM »
Indeed, Classical Greek would be exceedingly difficult to speak; Latin is bad enough.

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Education of Elizabeth I
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2007, 07:38:24 AM »
Well, she would have spoken Spanish to her brother-in-law.  Mary probably spoke Spanish to Philip as well, come to think of it.  I wonder if her mother, Catherine of Aragon, taught her Spanish.  I'm thinking the Greek was more for reading old texts in the original language than for conversing. 
Catherine did teach Mary Spanish, but I've also read that by the time Mary was an adult, she could understand Castellano (the Spanish Philip spoke) but couldn't speak it herself. It'd be quite strange if Elizabeth could speak Spanish but Mary couldn't! I think Philip and Mary mostly spoke to each other in French. Do you know anything about Mary's level of Spanish, umigon? I know it's off topic, but humour me for a moment. ;)
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Offline LenelorMiksi

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Re: Education of Elizabeth I
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2007, 08:08:26 PM »
According to Philip of Spain, by Henry Kamen, Mary understood Spanish but did not speak it well.  And, as you said, he spoke in Spanish to her, and she spoke French to him.  I didn't realize that Philip could understand French!  Perhaps Elizabeth did speak French to him, and not Spanish.  Elizabeth first learned Latin when she was 5 or 6- I think she was the most fluent in Latin, French, and Italian.  Elizabeth was the one who boasted about her linguistic abilities, but she was entirely capable of embellishing the truth.  She probably at least understood Spanish & German when it was spoken, but if she could speak those languages as well is another question.
Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse:  "Each year brings us nearer to the Wiedersehen [reunion with the dead], though it is sad to think how one's glass is running out, & how little good goes with it, compared to the numberless blessings we receive.  Time goes incredibly fast."

Offline umigon

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Re: Education of Elizabeth I
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2007, 07:05:32 AM »


That's exactly what I was going to say, Lenelor, and I was going to take my quotes from the same book, as well as from "La Casa Real de Espa˝a", by Juan Balansˇ. I haven't got any actual proof of this, but I think Mary must have been able not only to understand Spanish, but also to talk a bit of it. Would anyone have forgotten absolutely the language of a mother and a country so dear to them?, I don't think so. I'll try to make some research on this. But it's true that Mary talked to Philip in French and he answered in Spanish.

About Elizabeth speaking Spanish and German, I know I've read it somewhere, although I can't remember where it was... I don't remember if that book specifically said that Elizabeth knew a lot or could just understand maintain an average conversation in those languages... Let's see what others say.

 
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Offline mek

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Re: Education of Elizabeth I
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2008, 08:06:15 PM »
Elizabeth spoke Welsh and I don't see that on your list.