The literature by English and Scots writers of the sixteenth century that had as its purpose the disparagement or the defense of gynecocracy was to a large extent fortuitous. It addressed a situation that, although feared by Henry VIII, was not actually realized until after the death of Edward VI: England's monarch was a woman. The prospect of her government could hardly have been regarded with anything but concern; the anomalous character of a female prince clearly posed a threat to the stability of her rule and hence to the peace of the country as a whole. For, as the subjects of Mary I knew, the nature of woman was complicated by a kind of doubleness; essentially, woman was a persona mixta. As one of God's creatures, she was conceived as equal to man according to her creation in Genesis I, because there both are formed in the image of the deity.