Best Known For
Elizabeth I was the long-ruling queen of England, governing with relative stability and prosperity for 44 years. The Elizabethan era is named for her.
Discover the origins of the English Reformation.
Though little is known about William Shakespeare's personal life, his works such as "Hamlet," "Romeo and Juliet," and "King Lear," have influenced literature and theater for over 400 years.
During Christopher Marlowe's short career, he produced one of the most controversial and well-known plays of all time, "Doctor Faustus." The truth behind his sudden death still remains suspicious and unresolved.
William Shakespeare is one of the most well known and influential playwrights of our time, yet little is known about his childhood. Discover how Shakespeare became the bard the world knows today.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Queen Elizabeth I was born on the September 7, 1533 in Greenwich England. She was a princess but declared illegitimate through political machinations. She eventually claimed the throne at the age of 25 and held it for 44 years, keeping England in the ascendant through wars, and political and religious turmoil. She died in 1603.
Elizabeth I, perhaps England's most famous monarch, grew up in complex and sometimes difficult circumstances. The daughter of King Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn, she was only two years old when she lost her mother. Anne Boleyn was beheaded on the orders of her husband, based on probably false charges of adultery and conspiracy. Before long, Elizabeth and her older half-sister Mary were declared to be illegitimate as her father sought to pave the way for a male heir. The two were later reinstated as potential heirs. Her half-brother Edward was born in 1537 by Henry VIII's third wife, Jane Seymour.
Elizabeth was raised much like any other royal child. She received tutoring and excelled at languages and music. After her father's death in 1547, Elizabeth spent some time under the care of her stepmother Catherine Parr. Parr hired tutors on Elizabeth's behalf, including William Grindal and Roger Ascham. Tensions with Parr over Parr's new husband, Thomas Seymour, led Elizabeth to return at the royal estate at Hatfield, away from the court. Her relationship with Seymour later came under scrutiny, and Seymour was later tried for conspiring to wed Elizabeth in a bid to gain power. Found guilty, Seymour was executed.
Elizabeth once again found herself embroiled in political intrigue after Edward's death in 1553. Her older half-sister Mary and their cousin, Lady Jane Grey, both sought the crown. Edward had appointed Grey to be his successor, but her reign proved to be short-lived. Mary gained the support of the English people and unseated Grey after only nine days on the throne.
Even though Elizabeth supported Mary in her coup, but she was not free from suspicion. A staunch Roman Catholic, Mary sought to restore her country back to her faith, undoing her father's break from the Pope. While Elizabeth went along with the religious change, she remained a candidate for the throne for those who wanted a return to Protestantism. Thomas Wyatt organized a rebellion against Mary in 1554 with the hopes of making Protestant-raised Elizabeth queen. But his plot was uncovered, and Elizabeth was quickly imprisoned by Mary. Elizabeth disputed any involvement in the conspiracy, but her sister was not wholly convinced.
While she was soon released, Elizabeth's life was firmly in her sister's hands. Wyatt was executed, but he maintained that Elizabeth was not aware of the rebellion. Elizabeth eventually returned to Hatfield and continued with her studies.
In 1558, Elizabeth took the reins of her country after the death of her sister. She inherited a number of problems stirred up by Mary. The country was at war with France, which proved to be a tremendous drain on the royal coffers.
profile name: Queen Elizabeth I profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Aside from their gender, female leaders don't have much else in common. Some have brought peace to troubled lands, while others have strewn discontent. Some have been competent or brilliant, others inept or corrupt. They come from political positions ranging from arch-conservative to ultra-leftist and represent all the world's religions.
Visit BIO's Women's History group for more lists of the world's most fascinating women!
Notable Female Leaders 28 people in this group
Truth is often more fascinating than fiction. Since the beginning of movies, actors have been portraying figures from history and bringing them to life on screen. Mastering the well-known mannerisms and characteristics of real world figures can be more challenging than portraying a fictional character. Enormous amounts of research and drastic physical transformations are not uncommon for actors wanting to properly inhabit their role on film. Whether playing a scheming Queen, a country singer, a temperamental boxer, or a pioneering writer, those performers who can accurately play the part often find Oscar gold as their reward. Here are the Academy Award-winning actors, and the larger-than-life people they portrayed.
Oscar-Winning Portrayals 70 people in this group
presented by Oscar-Winning Portrayals
Real Life Leading Ladies 25 people in this group
presented by Real Life Leading Ladies