For me, as a teacher who adores history, this is another magnificent book from Alison Weir. It explores Anne Boleyn, as a young girl, as a woman and as a queen. I think if you ask anyone who Anne Boleyn was they are most likely to respond that she was King Henry VIII’s second wife who was beheaded. There is so much more to her than that.
Aged just 12, she travelled to France to attend royalty as a maid-of-honour. A few years later, she returned to England (the royal court) & captured the attention of the King.
He was captivated by her strong spirit and desired her greatly. As a man who was used to getting what he wanted, he wasted no time in achieving his goal. Besotted, he pursued her and as an ambitious woman she revelled in his attention. Her family also had a strong yearning to achieve higher social standing and encouraged Anne’s royal aspirations.
Henry battled with the church and his first wife, Katherine, who was deeply religious and for who divorce was simply not an option. Henry treated her terribly, resorting to having her under house arrest, in order to marry Anne.
Despite having a daughter, Elizabeth, Anne was unable to produce a male heir to continue the line and this was ultimately the cause of her downfall.
As I said after the first book, Weir is a skilled storyteller;her sublime description makes Tudor England come alive and appeals to all the senses. Her characterisation is also impeccable, drawing a variety of emotions from the reader and my original opinion of Anne really did change throughout the story.
And it is a story, however, it is based on historical fact which Alison Weir has collated from various diaries,documents and letters.
Alison Weir herself is an incredibly knowledgeable and talented author: the top selling female historian in the UK, selling 2.7 million books worldwide.
I adored this book, I finished it in two days and I look forward to reading the next book about Jane Seymour, the queen, it is said, who was Henry’s only true love. 5/5 📚
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