“And though companionship of the flesh pales in comparison to the strength of our love – I am but a man after all.” – Robert Dudley
One of my favourite romantic tales is of Robert Dudley & Queen Elizabeth I. Dudley was captivated by her and repeatedly asked her to marry him, each time resulting in a refusal. He repeatedly professed his love to her, and she did nothing but toy with his emotions and turn down his gestures. Though she was bonded to him in inexplicable ways, it’s believed that he was her one and only true love, despite his marriage to other women, including her cousin – which sent her into a rage. Elizabeth didn’t marry or have children, though it’s fair to say that she lived a very strong, inspiring and fulfilling life – at a great expense.
The love story and era of Elizabeth I is inspiring to me on many different levels, and was a very abstract muse for my short story, The Crutches of Desire. British actor Tom Hardy plays Robert Dudley in the movie, The Virgin Queen, and does a phenomenal job portraying Dudley, gallant in nature and eternally chivalrous. Hardy also plays the cunning and coldhearted bachelor Dorimant in a British stage play called Man of Mode. It’s these characters, Dudley and Dorimant, and Hardy himself who ultimately constitute the character ‘Dorimant’ in The Crutches.
An exploration into their worlds – the love story in The Crutches is both dynamic and excessive and exploits both Dudley and Dorimant’s polar opposite personalities and emotional tendencies, within the character Dorimant, with the unnamed protagonist.
The programmers at TVO have decided to pay homage to the day of love, with one of the sweetest of love stories — airing the first part of The Virgin Queen series on Valentines Day at 9 p.m.