Season 2: Episode 5: Did English Queens Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn have agency?
with Chloe Gardner
In this episode, Kelsie and Brooke sit down with Chloe Gardner to discuss the lives and legacies of two women many have heard of, Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. These women were powerful, influential, and pitted against each other. Both were wives of King Henry VIII and transformed English politics. There are so many debates about these women, and we weigh in on them.
Kelsie Eckert 0:05
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Brooke Sullivan 0:54
Kelsie Eckert 0:55
Brooke Sullivan 0:55
Want to tell them on what's happening in today's episode?
Kelsie Eckert 0:58
In this episode, we are going to be introducing two queens that probably don't need any introduction, Queen Catherine of Aragon, and probably her Nemesis Anne Boleyn.
Hello and welcome to Remedial Herstory: the other 50%. The podcast that explores what happened to the women in history class. Now here's your host, Kelsie Brook Eckert and her partner in crime, Brooke Neva Sullivan.
Kelsie Eckert 1:29
In this episode, we are going to be asking the inquiry based question did English Queens Catherine and Anne have agency and this is a very important question to investigate with students. queens, oftentimes, especially queens that are not actually the ones in power, they're the wife-of, a lot of people assume that they don't have a lot of say, or sway in the way that politics are being managed. And yet, they're Queen, right? They are in positions of power. And so when we're investigating Emperoresses, Monarchs, and Politicians, we would be remiss not to talk about women who didn't actually officially hold that title. But yet we're so close to power and had an incredible amount of influence. And with these two women in particular, we really need to think about their agency in relation to things like the Protestant Reformation right, which is a major thing occurring in Europe and a great place where you can bring this in into your history curriculum. Today we have an incredible guest, soon to be Dr. Chloe Gardner. She is a board member for the Remedial History Project and we are so excited to have her here today. So without further ado, Chloe, could you introduce yourself?
Chloe Gardner 2:54
So I am Chloe Gardener. I am a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. You might have heard my last episode which was on Hindu goddesses, and gender and Hinduism, which is what I focus on in my PhD. But Kelsie was kind enough to ask me to come back and do an episode about some trigger history, which is my other great love after Hinduism. And it was Tudor history that first got me into history in the first place, specifically Henry the eighth's waves, and anberlin and Catherine a very good and here we're going to talk about today. And I do want to add a disclaimer that I have never studied the triggers academically. This isn't my area of expertise, but I have read and researched all about them privately, pretty much since I could read. And it's just my favorite time period in history. They're my favorite characters in history. I feel like I've learned so much from them. And yeah, I'm just always glad to have an opportunity to talk about them and share what I've learned and hear other people's opinions on them. So that's why I'm here today. I'm gonna start with Katherine because she was older. She was the first wife if we think of them in Henry's timeline. So Catherine of Aragon was born in 1485. And she was the youngest surviving child of convert and and the second of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile, who you may have heard of as the amazing Crusader, king, queen who reconquered Spain from the Muslim armies, and Catherine grew up in the Spanish court. She received a great education, especially for a girl at the time, and she spoken with five languages and she was deeply deeply religious, which would play a major role in her later life. At an early age, Catherine was considered a suitable braid for Arthur who was heir to the English throne. On her maternal side, Catherine had a stronger legitimate claim to the English throne than King Henry, the seventh of England. himself, and as a tutor Monica was not accepted by all European kingdoms or into Henry's illegitimate descent. An alliance between Katherine and Arthur was seen to strengthen their position and made the heirs their heirs claims indisputable. So the parent remarried by proxy and corresponded only by letters listed written in Latin until our third turn 15. The 15 year old Catherine didn't meet her new husband until she traveled to England in November of 1501. Even in Latin, the period could not Converse they spoke no common language, and nevertheless, they were married 10 days after their first meeting. However, just a few months later, they both call it the sweating sickness, and Arthur unfortunately died in April 1502. Thus, Katherine became a widow aged just 16. So the age old question is whether Arthur and Catherine consummated their marriage and thus legitimized their marriage. I am of the majority opinion that they did not consummate the marriage. Arthur was sickly from the start from the very first time that they met, and many from the Spanish court and the English court remarked on his ill health before and after the wedding, the evidence that they did can be taken nearly as political propaganda at the time to ensure the public legitimacy of the match because it had been admitted that the relationship was not consummated this sort of threaten the lines between England and Spain. Personally, my main reason for believing that Catherine was a virgin when she married Henry VIII is that she was so religious, that I don't think she would have lied in court under oath. And her public assertion of this vaccines too important for a woman of her dignity and standing to have subjected herself to if it were not true. And nobody ever questioned the fact that the marriage wasn't consummated, until the whole drama with Anne Boleyn came along 24 years later. Personally, I think that Catherine did indeed marry Henry VIII a virgin, but between the two marriages, Katherine's mother died, which meant that her value in the eyes of the European courts decreased and she was kept as a virtual prisoner in London with no money to support herself or her ladies, while the English King Henry the VII, decided what should be done with her know that she was a widow. He briefly considered marrying Catherine himself, wet horrified her because he was, you know, so much older than her. And eventually, it was decided that instead, Catherine should marry Arthur's younger brother Henry, who was five years younger than Katherine. However, the marriage was not confirmed for many years, and she remained in a relative position. She had no money, nothing to support herself. She was briefly appointed as the Spanish ambassador, making her the first Spanish ambassador in at least European history, and so they slightly raised their status. But basically, she was completely alone. Her father seemed completely oblivious to her plight, and only really cared about security his own kingdom following his wife's death. So she was in a pretty tough position for a number of years while men decided her fate for her. However, eventually, she was granted papal approval to marry Henry and 1509 when Katherine was 23. And Henry was only 17. They had to get the approval because there it's against the biblical law for a man to marry his brother's wife, but dispensation was granted because the marriage was not consummated. And Henry VIII and Catherine were anointed and crying together at Westminster Abbey in the same year of their marriage, 1509. Catherine was immensely popular with the English public and was greeted enthusiastically by the crowds and she remained a firm favorite with the public for the rest of her life. It seems to be a happy marriage. They were equally matched intellectually they both shared interests they were raised by this point, Katherine's English was a lot better, and Henry VIII clearly trusted her as a ruler and a woman. In June 1513, Henry appointed Catherine region for six months while he went abroad to fight in France. And during this time, the Scots invaded England thinking that they'd be a weak target with Henry abroad, but instead a heavily pregnant Catherine willdan feel armor to address her to her troops. Her leadership was crucial in securing English victory at the Battle flooding which is a huge deal between the English and the Scots and she sent her husband a bloody piece of clothing for King James the fourth of Scotland who died in the battle. And I just think this is one of the most powerful emojis of Catherine and portrays her is I believe she would want to be remembered as a fearless powerful, intelligent mother and Queen. Henry wrote many poems and songs about his love for her and she adored him. She turned a blind eye to his affairs, which he had several of while she was pregnant. This was common practice for kings at the time, and he was noted to have always treated her with kindness and respect even when relations became strained, owing to the consistent failure to produce I live in male air. Their marriage Katherine fell pregnant seven times, but unfortunately, only one child survived a daughter Mary, who was born in 1516. By 1525, it became common knowledge that Katherine was nine past her childbearing years, and Henry began to suggest that perhaps his marriage was cursed owing to the biblical prohibition on marrying your brother's life. They were officially married for 24 years before their marriage was a note. But Catherine never accepted the annulment and continue to refer to herself as Henry's wife until her death three years later. And I just want to stress how important the male heir issue was, in my opinion. I think if Henry had had male ears by Katherine, then I don't think he would have looked elsewhere or sought to a place or as Queen. He had mistresses. He had affairs, as I said, but he never saw to leave Catherine today, so he never flaunted his mistresses publicly as other European monarchs did. And while him we use the lack of melior to justify his divorces, not only this one, but the subsequent divorces, I think it was a genuine concern of his giving that his family was relatively new to the throne, and there is still a real threat of civil war should he die with a legitimate heir. He did have one son with his mistress basically blind, which he used as proof that his waves were at fault rather than himself. But interestingly, he at the time, he didn't blame Catherine for failing to produce Emilia. Peter saw it as proof that God was unhappy with the match. And the way he saw it at the end of the day, no matter whether he loved his wife or not, he sold me the legitimate air to secure his legacy. And this is why in the future, he was constantly legitimizing and legitimizing his daughters, because it was seen that a legitimate female air was better than no air. But Henry was resolutely against a queen ruling. He said it could never be done and where it had been done, had failed. So I think that's the background that people need to know before. The whole Anglin drama comes into it. I think people need to know that. Not only was the mailer thing really important, but that they were they were happy for 24 years before anything seems to go wrong despite the stream that the lack of airplay on the marriage.
Kelsie Eckert 13:11
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Brooke Sullivan 13:27
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Kelsie Eckert 15:00
I've always found it so crazy that Catherine of Aragon is actually married to Henry VIII for 24 years that is a variant long marriage before amberlynn even comes on to the scene. So can you tell me a little bit about how Anne becomes a part of this story?
Chloe Gardner 15:19
So Anne Boleyn came to court as Lady in waiting Catherine around 1525. She was the daughter of one of Henry's advisors, one of the Gentry, her sister, Mary had also been one of the kings previous mistresses. So you know, he clearly has a habit of keeping it in the family. But as I said, before, Catherine was used to Henry sleeping with her ladies and waiting, most of his mistresses in the past had started out as ladies and waiting, so when Anne called the King's attention, Catherine probably didn't initially view this as a serious threat. However, as the kingdom became more and more serious about leaving Catherine, her relationship with Anne soon turned much more hostile, and it was noted that and was becoming increasingly arrogant, and this will be drawn towards her mistress. And once the king had made his intentions official, Catherine and Anne became better enemies with Anne vocally hoping for Catherine's there. She even supposedly plotted to kill her and her young daughter, Mary, which I don't necessarily believe, I don't think she would have gone so far. There was a definite and understandable rivalry and hatred between the pair that lasted until Catherine's death. However, I do find it quite interesting that Catherine blamed Anne for everything. She continued to love and defend Henry despite his cruelty towards her. And this is somewhat understandable given the fact that they had a happy marriage seemingly until an came along. But I also think it's a classic sign of the patriarchy that, you know, women are turning on women instead of the man taking the responsibility for their affairs. But there's some evidence that, um, Catherine was quite sympathetic to Anne and Mary, when we first came to court, because they she could tell that, you know, they were under the thumb of their father and that, you know, Mary was cast aside by the king with little prospect, but that soon turned very ugly, as we shall see.
Kelsie Eckert 17:27
Tell me a little bit about Anne's marriage to Henry VIII.
Chloe Gardner 17:32
So, I think they were definitely in love for their early years of their courtship there are still love letters between the two of them. Well, Anne's are mainly lost but Henry's laughter still exists. And they betray really love up very real love and a very physical love for each other as well. And the fact that, you know, he was prepared to change the whole face of his country and change his faith and, you know, humiliate himself almost in the eyes of Europe really proves to me how much he loved her and how powerful his feelings for her were. And in the early years of their relationship, she definitely did enjoy considerable political influence for many years. They work together all together for 11 years, which Lawson's Henry and Catherine but when you look at his following romances, you know, it's still a considerable amount of time. However, I think it all kind of went downhill almost as soon as they were married, so they had to wait seven years to be officially married. Because when we had to solve the issue of how to divorce Catherine in this time, and had increasingly proved herself volatile and undiplomatic at court, she was jealous and opinionated with the king. She was paranoid, though arguably with good reason that courtiers are plotting to you start her and that Henry was becoming increasingly disillusioned with her failure to produce a male heir, which I think again is the crucial question that keeps coming back is the male heir. However, she also couldn't hate her jealousy when he flirted with other women. In a time when wives and especially queens were expected to turn a blind eye to their husbands dalliances. Penny once told her that she should turn a blind eye as her betters had done before her, which I think must have been a real slap in the face. And a reminder that you know, she wasn't born to be queen. And also that, you know, he was unfavorably comparing her to Katherine to come back to the issue of the male heir. I think, again, this is what ultimately all came down to despite Ann's behavior, and was already pregnant at her coronation. And when this pregnancy producer daughter Elizabeth, this was an almost immediate Omen that this was not the God's blessed marriage that she had promised them and you know, she her her whole plea on him. To take her as his wife was that she would give him the son that Catherine never did. And when Elizabeth was born, this was seen as proof that she could not fulfill this promise and Henry had made yet another part, yet another mistake, which humiliated him across Christendom, so altogether and had at least three pregnancies, the first resulting in the birth of her daughter, Elizabeth, who would go on to be Elizabeth the first and two miscarriages. It is rumored that she had a third miscarriage at some point, but sources are contradictory on that. It's often claimed and I think the Other Boleyn Girl the film is based on the book by Philippa Gregory has a lot to do with perpetuating this rumor that she had a third miscarriage and that the last fetus was deformed as a formed boy, and that this was taken as proof of Anne's witchcraft. But there seems to have been spread by later historians, and there's actually scant evidence on the time to support her. And in fact, witchcraft was barely mentioned during Ann's trial. But definitely two miscarriages and one pregnancy. And I think by the time of the second or potentially third miscarriage, I think Henry had already started to regret his decision, partly based on her behavior, but more importantly, because she had failed in her 150 to produce a male heir.
Kelsie Eckert 21:27
So you keep talking about something that I've heard a lot in King Henry, the eighth story, which is that he is after this male heir, but I've also heard that like, he's King, and he could at any point, acknowledge one of the bastard sons that he had from these other women. So I guess I'm curious why this whole not producing a male error thing escalated to be heading right. Like, like, Did it have to go there? How did we get from like, I don't know, my opinion, zero to 60.
Chloe Gardner 22:01
So basically, her behavior her as I said, you know, her flirtation, her jealousy, her seemingly, you know, disreputable behavior at court led to rumors that she was being unfaithful to the king. This led to people being asked to come forward with evidence whether they were asked or whether they were tortured into giving evidence is still a hotly debated topic. But the thing to remember is, and was very unpopular at court, the nobility didn't like her, the public didn't like her. And those who had sort of helped her get to where she was, the key began to turn against her as her power over the king sort of waned. So there are many important people at court who wanted bread oven, least of all, Henry. So this is when accusations of treason accusations of adultery, began to spring up based on things and had said or supposedly said or had been seen to do, by some quite questionable witnesses. But in the end, she was accused of adultery with four men, and three courtiers and her musician, marks within, she was sent to trial, and she was condemned, and she was sentenced to death. And that's where she becomes, you know, the famous second wave executed for treason and adultery. Whereas I think the truth behind that is a lot more complicated than, you know, the trial would have made it seem,
Kelsie Eckert 23:39
Chloe, how does this whole story of these two queens which can kind of get biographical and personal and a little bit away from the broader themes that history class might have? Can you tell us how this whole story fits into the broader story of the Protestant Reformation in Europe?
Chloe Gardner 24:00
So that's always an interesting question. I think I always grew up thinking that the whole Protestant Reformation was attributed to anberlin. Because it's just great to think that one woman and her refusal to be used by the cane changed European and even World History forever. And I think there is some truth to that. The important thing to remember is that you can't really judge people's beliefs by their kings, or even by the laws. So when Henry broke with Rome, he made it treason to deny that he was head of the church. And that meant that even those who disagreed with his religious reforms, were faced with the choice of legally delights in Rome and accepting this new Protestant faith or facing death as martyrs like Sir Thomas Moore chose, so we can't really be sure to what extent people embrace the Reformation in their hearts or whether they just subscribe to our fear of persecution, but I think this definitely does need to be seen. As part of the larger reformation, the Reformation was already underway with thicker in Germany and across Eastern Europe. Henry or his ministers executed many Lutherans for treason before he renounced Rome. He was even lauded defender of the faith by the pope for his persecution and writings against heretical Lutherans as he saw them at that time. His marriages were also carefully manipulated by reformist, most notably Thomas Cromwell, but also the villains themselves who took advantage of the kings personal dilemma to push him away from Rome. And although many suspect that at heart, Henry remained devoutly Catholic for the rest of his life, it's quite likely that eventually England would have come to Protestantism even without Henry's excommunication from the church. Scotland had its own press the Protestant Reformation despite having a Catholic Queen on the throne, and Elizabeth the first converted the country back to Protestantism after her older sister Mary's strict Catholicism, which was larger and forced through violent persecution, hence her nickname, Bloody Mary. So I think it was probably an inevitable process of reformation in Britain or in England, certainly, but I think that Henry and Anne were definitely a catalyst for it.
Kelsie Eckert 26:24
So to me as an American, Henry's constant back and forth, right. He has different wives. Some of them are Protestant, some of them are maybe more conservative or Catholic. And that sort of leads to him switching around his his politics a little bit in his, his religious positions and beliefs. And as an American, all of this back and forth seems a bit tumultuous. And yet Henry the Eighth was incredibly popular as a king. So can you tell me a little bit about why he was so popular among his followers?
Chloe Gardner 27:00
First of all, I think one that's kind of overlooked almost as his charisma, we live tend to think of Henry the Eighth as a fat old tyrant. But for a bunch of his reign, he was the complete opposite he when he came to the throne, he was young, handsome, athletic, he was said to have the common touch with the people. He was as generous as his father was miserly, he was friendly, his court was full of entertainment and opulence. And he was really happy to leave his ministers to the stuffy affairs of state. He was also exceptionally cold for his day and such a contrast to his sickly and feeble older brother. He was chivalrous and unable soldier and basically, he ticked every box for a tutor cane, at least initially. So I think people definitely saw him as kind of an almost King Arthur figure, who you know, was gonna bring in this golden age of kingship, and leading into that comes with the divine right of kings. And if you don't, England, kings were seen to be God's representatives on Earth, especially post reformation, you know, when he was legally made head of the church. And therefore there is this idea that no one could question him or his decisions, because he could not be viewed to make a mistake, because the question him was the question God, hence the idea, I've sort of appeared that he must have been bewitched into marrying. And because that was a preferable idea to the fact that the king could have mistakenly broken his church from Rome or unjustly beheaded a wife, sort of tying into that as well is just the good old patriarchy. And Henry blamed all his wives for all the faults in every marriage. And the public was all too eager to believe that so Catherine's too old anberlin was a witch and of Cleves was too ugly, Katherine Howard was a flop, etc, etc. So the king's virility could not be questioned, which was one of Anne's fatal mistakes was that she dared to suggest that the king might be at fault. So there's this idea in Tudor England that you know, this perfect man cannot be at fault, therefore, he's just doing what God wants. And you know, he's changing his wives and changing religions as the time affects. I also think it was just the time of religious tumultuous less, if that's the word in England Generally, the kingdom oscillated between Protestantism and Catholicism through Henry's reign, and even afterwards, during the reigns of his children. Many saw the wife was emblematic of the religion of the nation and therefore supported who was seemed to support the more popular religion. So anberlin and Anne of Cleves are supported by the Protestant Catherine of Aragon and Jane Seymour were favored by the Catholics and people cared more about the legitimacy of his children based on their religion and they were doing the favor rather than who their mother There was so they wanted Mary legitimize because she was a Catholic air and they wanted Elizabeth legitimize because she was across the air, I think a lot of it came down to that. And finally, I briefly mentioned it before, but there is still a real public remembrance of the War of the Roses. But for those who aren't familiar was a civil war in England that the tutors ultimately won, but their civil war was still fresh in people's memories. And the public wanted to avoid another succession crisis, which could lead to another civil war or civil war. So if Henry failed to produce a meal, or even though legitimate air, then the country with months more be thrown into turmoil and the tutors brief dynasty would be over already, and everything would be back up in the air again. So I think the people wanted an air as much as Henry did just to secure the future of the country. And I think that's why, you know, when they saw that marriages weren't producing the errors, they were also happy for Henry to cast as wide as the same because they shared his imperativeness that, you know, we need the melior above all else,
Kelsie Eckert 31:10
despite both being women in power. And despite both of these women wanting and caring for women and children and women's education, Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn are very different women in a lot of ways. So how is it that you have come to admire both of them What is so special about these two women to
Chloe Gardner 31:33
Katherine, I just think, is a real powerhouse for the dignity that she showed throughout the whole affair for her strength and, you know, never diluting herself not letting herself be cast aside. And as I say, before, you know, that amberlynn Drama, she was really, you know, the sort of fairytale Queen, she was crying, she was generous, she was charitable, she, you know, heroically rolled out to defend her kingdom. And in her husband's absence, which was, you know, quite remarkable in her day, but only person who had done that before it was her mother. I just think the fact that she remained so principled to the point that, you know, she was not allowed to see her daughter for most of her daughter's life, because Henley withheld her until Catherine would agree to the annulment of the marriage. And Catherine chose her principles. And, you know, she said, this is the truth, and I'm not going to lie to me or to you or to God, just for the sake of, you know, diving into your wealth. And I think that's just so remarkable, especially in an age where, you know, women, especially queens were just expected to, you know, to bend to the will of their husband and, and Catherine would not do that, whatever cost. And I think I somewhat relate to her and her her ability to think before she spoke maybe a little bit too much. But you know, she had a lot of a lot of charm, she was intelligent, she was witty, she was worldly and charming. And she wasn't afraid to stand up to Henry or Sure, you know, the powerful men in His Kingdom, especially the ones who wanted rid of her. None of Henry's wives are particularly noted as being great beauties, apart from perhaps Katherine Howard. But he valued women more for their minds, at least when they were so attached to their heads. And so I just think I always loved the image of and as you know, this vivacious, she didn't let herself be put into the boxes that she had her womanhood defined for her. And I think that's a model that women can still relate to today, you know, they're still expected to be quiet and do as they're told, and that they can do this, and they can't do that, and, and never accepted that, you know, she saw it, she wanted and she went for it. And obviously, it cost her dearly, but I just think her spirit is really inspiring, and even her enemies, acknowledge tripe, we've had the fight, she was, you know, up to her death. And in her last speech, and I just think that they're both examples of incredibly strong, powerful women who, you know, follow their heart and also stay true to themselves. And I think that's a really hard balance to strike even today.
Kelsie Eckert 34:39
So I have always found it pretty hilarious that King Henry VIII spends pretty much his entire life trying to get a male heir and he kind of does but he dies in his teenage years. To achieve that end. He has six different wives to of them he divorces two of them. He beheads one of them dies in childbirth. That's the one who birthed the boy. And the last one, you know, survives Henry VIII. I have always found it so hilarious that his son has a very short reign and dies. Then there's some tumult, Queen rises and falls. And then his firstborn daughter is Queen for a little bit, there's a brief stability and then she dies, suddenly. It is his daughter by Anne Boleyn, the one the one he beheaded, Queen Elizabeth I becomes the longest reigning monarch in English history up to that point, only to be superseded by queens that would come after her Queen Victoria, and Queen Elizabeth II. So to me, this is such like, you know, history is funnier sometimes than any comedy that we can write. And despite the tragedy of Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn story, how big of a deal do you feel it is that Elizabeth I becomes the longest reigning monarch in English history and actually creates the stability that he was looking for?
Chloe Gardner 36:16
I just think it's such a slap in the face for the patriarchy, to be honest, I love it. I love the fact that Henry's entire life and most of his decisions, and most of the bloodshed that followed in his wake, are based on the fact that a woman cannot and should not rule. And yet it was his own daughters who proved that wrong. I think that Elizabeth reluctance to marry and her whole persona, as the virgin Queen has a lot to do with what she witnessed as a child. Her father was hardly a great role model for marriage. So you know, her whole reign was kind of defined by that. But I think Mary, and even more so Elizabeth proved that I ruler does not need to be male or married to be successful. And without their legacy, we probably wouldn't have had the later monumental rains of Queen Victoria or our current Queen, Queen Elizabeth the Second, without whom the world would be unrecognizably different today. And I just, it makes me really happy for Anne and Catherine as well, because I just think they would be so proud of their daughters. They both fought constantly against Henry's refusal that they could inherit the throne. They were both adamant that women could rule just as well, if not better than a male heir. I really wonder if Henry could have gone forward in time and seeing what a great reign Elizabeth would have. If he still would have acted the way he did if he still would have killed Anne or even divorced her. I think those sympathetic the Henry would probably say, no, he didn't care about gender. He just cared about the success of his dynasty. I don't believe that I don't have any sympathy for Henry, to be honest. And I think that things sort of ended badly anyway, because of his belief that his inability to sire a male child threatened his masculinity and virility. But we'll never know I guess. But yeah, I just think that they both, Mary and Elizabeth, both did and and Catherine prior to and I think that they really proved to women everywhere in any generation that you know, anything a man can do, a woman can do better. Thank you for having me and listen to me fangirl about my two favorite women.
Thanks so much for listening to Remedial Herstory, the other 50%. Please subscribe, rate and review wherever you listen to your podcasts to bring more voices to the conversation. We'd really appreciate that effort. Until next time.
Chloë Gardner is a PhD student in Religious Studies at the University of Edinburgh. She also holds an MA and a MsC in Religious Studies. Her research focuses on gender, nationalism and interreligious relation in South Asia, especially India.
In 2020, she started her own blog “Herstory Revisited” to share the stories of women who have been left out of traditional tellings of history. From learning about Cleopatra as a young girl, to doing her high school presentation on Anne Boleyn, to somehow crowbarring gender into every university essay, Chloë credits history’s sheroes with guiding and inspiring her throughout her life.
Chloë was born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland and has also worked in tourism there for over 6 years sharing the history of her beloved city with visitors from around the world.