Do You Actually Belong in the Elizabethan Era?

Zoe Samuel

Image: Yuri_Arcurs / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

The Elizabethan era took place during the reign of Elizabeth I, the daughter of Henry VIII (who killed her mother over the fact that Elizabeth was not a boy and had no siblings). It was a time of contrasts. On the one hand, it was a great time, when optimism was high, Shakespeare was writing, and if they had understood the concept of GDP at the time, it was essentially 45 straight years of growth. Slavery was illegal, and contrary to modern opinion, people were pretty relaxed about sexual mores (especially as compared to their Puritan descendants).

Tudor times resulted in a great increase in the power of England: it saw the earliest expansion into what became an empire, set up the union with Scotland a hundred years later, and even planted the seeds of what became the English Civil War, which transformed the nation into a democracy a mere 60 years later.

However, the idea of democracy would have been seen as very radical in this late Tudor period. Elizabethan England was a police state, where Good Queen Bess' spymaster, Francis Walsingham, watched for sedition and Catholics were burned at the stake. Censorship was rife, and torture was not just legal but likely. Waves of plague and war swept over Europe, and average life expectancy was absolutely dire.

How would you have fit into this time? Would it have been a disaster, or would you have found royal favor and success? Tell us a little bit about yourself, and we'll find out! We may not compare thee to a summer's day (even if thou art, in fact, more lovely and more temperate), but we shall compare thee to a typical citizen of the Elizabeth era. Scroll with thy mouse, and thou shalt find out!

What's your idea of a great night out?

Do you wear glasses?

How many books do you read per month, roughly?

Do you know any foreign languages?

Do you mind biting your lip about political or religious things?

Are you fond of horses?

Do you get cold easily?

How do you feel about the dominance of Spain?

Can you cook from scratch?

Could you live without potatoes (at first)?

How do you feel about Francis Walsingham, spymaster and disappearer of the Queen's enemies?

What gift might you give the Queen to get on her good side?

Have you read the Bible?

What modern gizmo could you absolutely not live without?

Does the idea of traveling by ship excite you?

How important is it to you to be able to date whoever you like?

Do you know first aid?

Can you identify which plants are safe to eat?

How is your immune system, generally speaking?

Does the prospect of a chamberpot or privy scare you?

Are you good at changing your political allegiance based on who is likely to win?

How do you feel about the forthcoming union of England and Scotland?

What Elizabethan job would suit you?

How surprised would you be to hear that a third of Elizabethan brides were pregnant at their wedding?

Did you know that most brewers and most brothel-keepers in Elizabethan times were women?

What's a great quality in a potential spouse?

Do you like to read books aloud?

What instrument do you play?

Average age at first marriage was about 25 for women and 27 for men. Is this a good age?

Do you know how to dance the Galliard?

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