One of the things I am learning about is that BOTH Protestants and some Catholics were vehemently against the Spanish marriage - notably Stephen Gardiner, who was forwarding Courtenay as a candidate. However, it was in the interest of the state to promote the impression that it was a Protestant agenda. In addition, it's becoming apparent to me that both Catholics and Protestants were not keen on the return of the papal see, which had nothing to do with their religious affiliation. I am reading a fascinating book edited by Duffy and Loades regarding this, and one of the things they bring to attention, is the notion that various natural disasters such as the harvest failure of 1555 and 1556 and typhus and influenza epidemics may have also contributed to the overall mood of the nation and their perception of the reign of Mary.
Monday, 26 September 2011
My penultimate chapter on Mary and the English Counter-Reformation has brought some very interesting notions to light. The main theme that seems to run throughout the period 1553-1558 is that of insecurity and fear of disunity - disunity within the realm, whether political or religious, disunity within Mary's council and her foreign advisers, and Mary's own personal disunity between herself and Phillip of Spain. This theme will form the basis of my argument, which I am still putting together.