Author Topic: Edward IV and Elizabeth as a Couple  (Read 27691 times)

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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Edward IV and Elizabeth as a Couple
« on: February 05, 2006, 10:41:23 AM »
Hi guys.  ;) It's generally accepted that Edward IV married Elizabeth Woodville because he was madly in love with her and she refused to be his mistress. However, after their marriage there is little reference to them as being a particularly loved up couple. Edward had plenty of affairs, though he was kind to Elizabeth, and to her huge family. That said, is it possible that after the wedding his ardour faded? But if he regretted marrying her, surely arranging an annulment would have been easy? There we no reliable witnesses to his marriage with Elizabeth. So many people were upset by it I doubt there would have been much objection to getting the marriage dissolved.

So did Edward love Elizabeth throughout their marriage in spite of his affairs? Indeed, did Elizabeth love Edward or was she just looking to 'bag herself a rich one'?

If he didn't love her, why did Edward marry her?

If he loved he at first, then it faded later, why didn't he divorce her? Of course, he would never have endangered the legitimacy of his son and heir, but this son wasn't born until 1470.

Thoughts?
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bell_the_cat

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Re: Edward IV and Elizabeth as a Couple
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2006, 10:49:01 AM »
Quote
Hi guys.  ;) It's generally accepted that Edward IV married Elizabeth Woodville because he was madly in love with her and she refused to be his mistress. However, after their marriage there is little reference to them as being a particularly loved up couple. Edward had plenty of affairs, though he was kind to Elizabeth, and to her huge family. That said, is it possible that after the wedding his ardour faded? But if he regretted marrying her, surely arranging an annulment would have been easy? There we no reliable witnesses to his marriage with Elizabeth. So many people were upset by it I doubt there would have been much objection to getting the marriage dissolved.

So did Edward love Elizabeth throughout their marriage in spite of his affairs? Indeed, did Elizabeth love Edward or was she just looking to 'bag herself a rich one'?

If he didn't love her, why did Edward marry her?

If he loved he at first, then it faded later, why didn't he divorce her? Of course, he would never have endangered the legitimacy of his son and heir, but this son wasn't born until 1470.

Thoughts?


I think he did love her and continued to show favour to her family. Maybe the reason he had affairs was because Elizabeth was pregnant all the time - also she was getting on a bit!

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Edward IV and Elizabeth as a Couple
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2006, 10:56:53 AM »
And did she love him? ;)
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
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Elisabeth

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Re: Edward IV and Elizabeth as a Couple
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2006, 11:58:57 AM »
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And did she love him? ;)



I think Edward IV was the type of man it was probably very easy to love. He was tall and handsome, intelligent and able. He was king of England. (Needless to say, a lot of women find powerful men very attractive, especially ambitious women like Elizabeth Woodville). For her, Edward must have seemed like a dream come true. I tend to believe that she did love him. There's no evidence that she was ever unfaithful to him, is there? And after his death she seems to have been loyal to his memory as well.

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Edward IV and Elizabeth as a Couple
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2006, 12:08:20 PM »
Very true Elisabeth. I don't consider the fact that she wasn't unfaithful indicative of love - even if she didn't love him, she wouldn't have risked losing everything over an affair. But I agree that the fact that she was loyal to his memory speaks volumes.
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"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Elisabeth

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Re: Edward IV and Elizabeth as a Couple
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2006, 12:33:02 PM »
They must have made a stunningly handsome couple. I bet all their children were beautiful, too.

bell_the_cat

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Re: Edward IV and Elizabeth as a Couple
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2006, 01:10:30 PM »
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And did she love him? ;)


Maybe not as much as he loved her......but as Elisabeth says he was the answer to a widowed mother of two's prayer. I'm sure she was much to busy having  his children to have an affair. The fact that she was never accused of being unfaithful  (also!) speaks volumes.

Yes, they were a very good looking couple. Here they are visiting Caxton's press (19th C but I've always liked this picture):


« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bell_the_cat »

Alianore

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Re: Edward IV and Elizabeth as a Couple
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2006, 01:44:13 PM »
Somehow, I've always found it difficult to believe that Elizabeth loved Edward, at least at first.  I don't think the fact that she was never unfaithful (that anyone knows of!   ;)) says anything about how she felt about Edward and everything about her position, at a time when adultery committed by a queen was treason.  

But then again, maybe I'm just getting very cynical in my old age!   ;)  He was very tall and good-looking, so it's hardly beyond the realms of possibility that she fell in love with him.

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Edward IV and Elizabeth as a Couple
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2006, 03:26:06 PM »
I think that Edward was a very loveable kind of man, very much the cheeky chappie type oozing sex appeal and with a massive overdose of charm so that he could turn the head of any woman be she 16 or 60. Elizabeth must have had deep seated feelings for him...look at all those pregnancies and she always welcomed him back to her bed. Better still, he is the King so not only has she bagged herself this hunk, she also has the highest in the realm, cannot do better than that ;)
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Offline Romanov_fan

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Re: Edward IV and Elizabeth as a Couple
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2006, 11:03:59 AM »
I think she loved him, to my knowledge. Of course Queens back then in England didn't have affairs, because otherwise, they would loose everything, so this doesn't say anything. She was busy with her children, and it was customary to have many children. It seems he loved her at least at first, but he might have prefered her as a mistress. Most Kings back the, if not all, had many mistresses, and this really says little about their love for each other..it was just the thing to do. Also, Edward was a very handsome, and attractive man, and this was hard to resist for anybody. Most likely, Elizabeth Woodville thought she had everything, as someone else stated, she was Queen Consort, and her husband was a very attractive man, and she had healthy sons.

bell_the_cat

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Re: Edward IV and Elizabeth as a Couple
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2006, 02:24:27 PM »
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I think she loved him, to my knowledge. Of course Queens back then in England didn't have affairs, because otherwise, they would loose everything, so this doesn't say anything. She was busy with her children, and it was customary to have many children. It seems he loved her at least at first, but he might have prefered her as a mistress. Most Kings back the, if not all, had many mistresses, and this really says little about their love for each other..it was just the thing to do. Also, Edward was a very handsome, and attractive man, and this was hard to resist for anybody. Most likely, Elizabeth Woodville thought she had everything, as someone else stated, she was Queen Consort, and her husband was a very attractive man, and she had healthy sons.


Unfortunately Edward in the last years of his reign let himself go. He became very fat and ate just about anything that moved! This soon caused his fatal stroke (March 1483) - he was only 40 years old. Poor Elizabeth lost not only a husband that year, but also three sons and a brother.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bell_the_cat »

Offline Romanov_fan

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Re: Edward IV and Elizabeth as a Couple
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2006, 10:31:29 AM »
Indeed, Elizabeth Woodville had it good at first and then later not so much. Certainly, it was not deserved.

palatine

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Re: Edward IV and Elizabeth as a Couple
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2006, 11:03:04 AM »
Edward and Elizabeth's marriage went well for the first few years, despite the fact that he was often unfaithful to her.  He eventually took a mistress, Jane Shore, who became a prominent personage at court.  

After Edward's death, Jane became the mistress of one of Elizabeth's sons from her first marriage.   :o  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by palatine »

Offline Romanov_fan

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Re: Edward IV and Elizabeth as a Couple
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2006, 11:05:47 AM »
I had never heard that about Jane Shore! That is rather interesting to say the least! ;)

palatine

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Re: Edward IV and Elizabeth as a Couple
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2006, 11:08:24 AM »
Edward's infidelities might explain why he was so tolerant of Elizabeth's greediness as well as her determination to marry off her siblings to wealthy members of the aristocracy.