The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

March 14, 2016

March 14, 1642

The following portrait of Anne of Denmark, the wife of King James I and VI, was painted in 1605 or 1606 by John de Critz (1551/2 to (burial) March 14 1642 ). De Critz was the son of an Antwerp goldsmith who brought his family to England to escape the Spanish Inquisition, a threat to Protestants in the Netherlands at that time.

She is modestly dressed for the era, in view of the fact her husband had recently cancelled the sumptuary laws in England. One history of the era says the, "sumptuary laws ... had determined what each rank could wear. This meant that there was no limit [now] on what the lower classes could wear so the top aristocracy had to go to show their rank and power. This fashion did cause derision at the time, remember this was the time of the Puritans." We rely on that linked source since we cannot find our book by Sir Roy Strong, the leading expert on the art of the Stuart period.

De Critz also painted the Earl of Southampton, in 1603. Southampton "was the right-hand man of the Earl of Essex who was executed for treason but the Earl of Southampton ended up in the Tower." Essex had planned a revolution on the assumption that his riding through the London streets yelling for the bystanders to join him would suffice. Elizabeth who had once been quite fond of him, had him beheaded. So the Earl of Southampton might have considered himself darn lucky to be only locked up. And soon enough James VI of Scotland became James I of England, and freed the man he knew had revolted against Elizabeth on his behalf. Here is the Earl of Southampton shortly before he was freed.

Grace Elliot in her lovely blog says the cat was named Trixie.

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