Welcome to walsibeth, a small community for those who support the pairing of Queen Elizabeth I and Sir Francis Walsingham, portrayed by Australian actors Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush in the Elizabeth films directed by Shekhar Kapur. All members are encouraged to share fan works - be they art, fiction, poetry or videos - and to discuss the subtleties of the relationship between these two characters.
Bear in mind this is not a history group, but a historical fiction/faction/fantasy community, which supports a fictional pairing, based on an interpretation of history, which is itself only partially accurate. Before joining or posting, please read the rules below.
We don't expect to be enormously active, but we hope that we will be a community of quality rather than quantity. :) Most of all, have fun!
Elizabeth: The Golden Age DVD Release & Cover Art
Elizabeth: The Golden Age is now making its debut on DVD -- though, as with the cinema release, the worldwide DVD release dates are staggered. Various forms of provisional cover art for the DVD are shown above (from L-to-R: British DVD with slip case; British Rental version; USA DVD) and I'm afraid only the rental one at present has our spymaster featured on the front cover as well as the Queen. (And Raleigh of course, but who cares about him...? LOL.) Pity. There are plenty of extras for us to watch, though, and the film has a director's commentary (like the "Golden Edition" of Elizabeth), so it is well worth the money!
Release dates as far as I know are as follows:
The roots of "Walsibeth", of course, lie within the (partly) fictionalised Elizabeth film (1998) by Shekhar Kapur, in which a young and vulnerable Queen Elizabeth develops and matures into an all-powerful and divine figure under the guidance and tutelage of her trusty spy master, Walsingham. The pair form a partnership through the course of the drama, and a strong bond between them grows as they face the rocky beginnings of Elizabeth's reign together. Going through such a journey leaves much scope for their relationship to further develop, and throughout the first film, there simmers beneath the surface, in a land of subtext, the foundations for a long and lasting relationship. (And, in retrospect, since they will rule the country until their respective deaths, this relationship turns out to be long indeed!)
This relationship is further built upon in the 2007 sequel to Elizabeth, The Golden Age, which provides more material for study by discriminating Walsibeth 'shippers - albeit perhaps not enough for our tastes!
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Whether one perceives Elizabeth and Francis' relationship as being something very platonic or as filled with sexual tension is down to personal interpretation, but there must surely be some little romantic nuances there since so many people have come together in this community to celebrate their partnership!
Yes, in "reality" (or what we believe we know from various historical sources) Queen Elizabeth and Francis Walsingham were not the best of friends. In fact, it seems likely they rarely saw eye-to-eye and were often at loggerheads (it is said that the Queen once threw her shoe or slipper at him in rage!). The Queen's parsimony and procrastination irritated Sir Francis, and Walsingham's single-mindedness in turn irked Elizabeth. However, I personally believe that they had a large amount of respect for one another and recognised their need to co-operate for England's sake. Walsingham was a loyal, hard-working and invaluable tool for Elizabeth, and she -- perhaps sometimes reluctantly -- well knew it.
--Some Historical Facts & Recommended Reading Coming Soon!--
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If you have any further questions, please contact the moderator, jurious.