Professor’s Views on ‘Virgin Queen’ to Air this Month

January 12, 2011

Mary Baldwin’s own Mary Hill Cole will be among the historians examining and discussing the personal life of Queen Elizabeth I at 9 p.m. on January 25 when the National Geographic Channel broadcasts “Secrets of the Virgin Queen.”

The hour-long program is part of the series “Undercover History,” for which Cole was interviewed in November at Blackfriars Playhouse. According to the description of the episode on Nat Geo’s website , scholars will address rumors about why Elizabeth never married, including the theory that that the Princess Elizabeth died as a child and was replaced by a boy.

Mary Hill Cole

Cole, who is chair of Mary Baldwin’s history department, said that researchers who interviewed her wanted to examine Elizabeth’s relationship with her stepfather, Thomas Seymour. Seymour married Henry VIII’s last wife, Katherine Parr, after the king died. During the interview, Cole said they asked her about “Elizabeth’s views of marriage, her virginity or sexual activity, and her relations with men in general.”

Author of the book, The Portable Queen: Elizabeth I and the Politics of Ceremony, Cole teaches undergraduate courses in English history, modern European history, and women’s history. In the graduate Shakespeare and Performance program, she teaches courses in Tudor-Stuart political, religious, and social history.