Originally built as a private retreat for the library’s founders, Henry and Emily Folger, the room resembled an Elizabethan withdrawing room or parlor, with rectangular paneling in dark oak, a beamed ceiling, polished hardwood floors, and blind leaded windows filled with opaque glass. In the middle stretched a long carved table surrounded by chairs a little too delicate for the rest of the room. Presiding over the whole was a magnificent portrait of Queen Elizabeth I….
I gazed up at the queen. Her gown of red velvet and padded ivory satin worked in gold and pearls set off a fair complexion, deep red curls, and black eyes. In one hand, she held a sieve, symbol of her persona as the Virgin Queen. The painter had given her a face capable of both greatness and cruelty.
—Interred With Their Bones