The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn : The Most Happy, Paperback

The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn : The Most Happy Paperback

4.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


This definitive biography of Anne Boleyn establishes her as a figure of considerable importance and influence in her own right.

It is a full biography of Anne Boleyn, based on the latest scholarly research.

It focusses on Anne's life and legacy and establishes Anne as a figure of considerable importance and influence in her own right.

Adulteress or innocent victim? This title looks afresh at the issues at the heart of Anne's downfall.

It pays attention to her importance as a patron of the arts, particularly in relation to Hans Holbein.

It presents evidence about Anne's spirituality and her interest in the intellectual debates of the period.

It takes account of significant advances in knowledge in recent years.




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An exhaustively researched but generally very readable biography. In a few places (esp. the chapters on image, art and costume) the level of detail does get a little too much, but this is a testament to the author's endeavours. It is difficult to see how this can be bettered as a biography of this subject, absent the discovery of some significant new primary source.

Review by

This is an excellently written and very thorough account of Anne Boleyn's life. The focus is only on her, not like in other biographies which also tell the story of the decline and fall of Catherine of Aragon. The author reaches some surprising conclusions, but backs them up with sensible and persuasive arguments. I would give it five stars but for the fact that it's a little TOO detailed. The middle section, which goes on and on and on and on about the details of Anne's coronation, and her artsy possessions, was very boring.

Review by

An exhaustive (and sometimes exhausting) look at the Queen who changed the course of English and world history. What this book does very well is examine all the minutiae we have of the Anne Boleyn period, from inventories of plate and bed hangings, to portraits and jewelry. And it dissects and analyzes all the accounts we have of this happening and that, judging why this account based on rumor is likely to be true, and why the other may not.<br/><br/>Where it failed for me is conveying an emotional connection to Anne Boleyn herself. It feels a bit cold, and detached, and parts are tedious - pages upon pages about each cup and prayer book, though if you're fascinated by such things, you'll be in antique heaven.<br/><br/>Still, there are many, many details here I've not found in other books about Anne or this period, so it's invaluable as a reference. It takes the point of view that Anne's downfall was due more to Cromwell seeing her as a threat and taking her and her "party" out of the way, than by the King seeking to dispose of her in order to marry Jane Seymour (not that he wasted any time doing so). Definitely belongs on the shelf of all Tudor-philes.<br/><br/>

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