Sunday, August 11, 2013

The White (er, Red) Queen - Maybe

I've been watching the excellent BBC drama 'The White Queen' of late. It's brilliant TV, but I'm mildly annoyed that Elizabeth Woodville is portrayed as a blonde lol. It's inspired me to check out the hair colour of some of the other War of the Roses skanks.

It turns out that Elizabeth Woodville's daughter, Elizabeth of York, was also a redhead - or at least that's what her surviving portrait would suggest.

I decided to double-check Elizabeth Woodville's red-hairedness as well (not with any real research of course, just with a Google search). I came across this on a BBC history thread;
"She didn't have blonde hair at all. Do you remember Minette queried this on the old Elizabeth of York thread? That famous portrait of Elizabeth quite clearly shows her hair is red - gilt or gild (the word everyone quotes as "evidence" that she was a blonde) has an archaic meaning of blood-red."
Gilt/gild has an "archaic meaning of blood red"?? This is fascinating. If this is true it opens up so many doors.

I checked an on-line dictionary. Gild - Archaic To smear with blood. This kind of links red hair with blood and with gold. Add to this the fact that it was once thought that redheads were conceived during menstruation and it all becomes quite interesting.

Etymologically it's interesting too. Gild = gold. Gilt = guilt maybe?? (sin and it's association with red hair and sex).

Gild the lily???

Gild - to adorn. To make beautiful. Again the association with sin - covering the body, self-awareness.

It's all adding up to something. I'll have to keep a lookout for this gilt/gild link in the future.

Also, I've just wondered gilt=guilt=debt???

Anyway, going back to The White Queen. It portrays Elizabeth Woodville as a witch (from a family line of watery-witchy-Melusine descendants). Maybe it was her red hair that brought that suspicion?

No comments:

Post a Comment