Historic Anti-Heroines: Bad Seeds
Posted on June 24, 2021
I’ve spent a decent amount of time on all the marvelous women in history. Now it is time for the bad seeds to be seen. Queens, noblewomen, rich ladies, and scoundrels, all these women have one thing in common: history paints an ugly picture of their lives. I should also note that many of these women were not inherently evil or bad, they were just on the wrong side of history. For my entertainment, I will be rating them out of 10 possible bad seed points.
Juana la Loca (1479-1555)
Joanna of Castile, better remembered as Juana la Loca (Joanna the Crazy), was unexpectedly thrust into the position of heir apparent when her sister, brother-in-law, and nephew suddenly died. Her mother was continually appalled by Joanna’s lack of dedication to Catholicism and was routinely physically punished for her rebellious nature. She was married to Philip of Flanders, successfully uniting the Holy Roman Empire with Spain. She had two boys and four girls, all of whom became emperors or queens. When her mother, Isabella of Castile, died, Joanna was declared queen. Her father did not want to give up his power in Castile, Joanna bit back and a civil war almost erupted. Her father ended up ruling as regent, having her declared insane and imprisoned in a convent until his death, upon which, she was Queen of Castile and Aragon. She continued to be imprisoned for her instability and her son ruled as co-monarch. Joanna never had the chance to make many bad decisions since her family locked her up, but if she had been free with her rebellious nature, temperament, and personality, she might have been a very terrible queen. She also may have been the result of her situation with a domineering mother and father, but we will never truly know. 4/10 bad seed.
Bloody Mary (1516-1558)
As a child, were you ever dared to go into a dark room and recite into the mirror “bloody Mary” three times, turn on the lights and be spooked by the ghost of Mary Tudor? Just me? Mary Tudor, or Mary I of England, was the daughter of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Mary’s childhood was tumultuous. Her mother, a devote Catholic, was cast aside for a protestant bride, resulting in the entire country being split from the Catholic Church. By this time, Mary was a young woman and devoutly Catholic like her mother whom she was not permitted to see. Her father mistreated Mary, making her serve as a lady in waiting to his new bride. Fast forward to when Mary inherited the protestant throne upon her brother’s death. She took it as a calling from God to return England to the true faith. In doing so, she brutally ordered the deaths of heretics and protestant worshippers. She is said to have had over 300 religious dissenters burned at the stake (her violent father only executed 81 people for heresy). Was she a really a bad seed, or was she just doing what she thought was right for the world? Either way, her sister, Elizabeth I, converted the country back to Protestantism upon her ascension. 6/10 bad seed.
Grace O’Malley (1530-1603)
Gráinne Ní Mháille, in Irish, assumed the responsibility and lordship of her father’s ancestral land in Southwestern Ireland upon his death. Her brothers should have inherited the land, but she did instead and was considered the legal retainer of the family’s land and seafaring activities. As a child she was a stubborn Irish lass. Her father told her she could not go on a sea adventure with him to Spain because her long hair would get tangled in the s
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