The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn
by Alison Weir
My Rating: 4 Stars
The imprisonment and execution of Queen Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife, in May 1536 was unprecedented in English history. It was sensational in its day, and has exerted endless fascination over the minds of historians, novelists, dramatists, poets, artists and film-makers ever since.
Anne was imprisoned in the Tower of London on 2 May 1536, and tried and found guilty of high treason on 15 May. Her supposed crimes included adultery with five men, one her own brother, and plotting the King’s death.
Mystery surrounds the circumstances leading up to her arrest. Was it Henry VIII who, estranged from Anne, instructed Master Secretary Thomas Cromwell to fabricate evidence to get rid of her so that he could marry Jane Seymour? Or did Cromwell, for reasons of his own, construct a case against Anne and her faction, and then present compelling evidence before the King? Or was Anne, in fact, guilty as charged?
Never before has there been a book devoted entirely to Anne Boleyn’s fall. Alison Weir has reassessed the evidence, demolished many romantic myths and popular misconceptions, and rewritten the story of Anne’s fall, creating a richly researched and impressively detailed portrait of the dramatic last days of one of the most influential and important figures in English history.
What I thought
For those who are not familiar Anne Boleyn was the second wife of Henry VIII of England. She is blamed for England’s breaking away from the Catholic faith which led to the creation of the Church of England. Anne’s daughter Elizabeth I later ruled England and brought England into a golden age.
I have had a love for Tudor history since I was a teenager and I went through a phase of buying all the Tudor history books I could find. So this book has been on my shelves since at least 2010 knowing that I would get to it someday. Anne’s story has so many theories you really do not know which direction the author is going to go. A few years back I had a bad experience of this from another adaptation involving Anne, I was enraged and as a result, got rid of anything historical that they had written. (I gave them away to people that I knew that wanted them) So authors taking liberties with history is something I have had to accept but it doesn’t mean I like it…anyway back to my thought on this book.
I decided to borrow the audiobook from my library. Best decision ever! I really loved this book! Alison Weir did not just pick one theory and run with it she went through so much research and told the whole story no matter what side the information came from. You got points of view from so many sources that you can see how different things were perceived in court. The information came from those in the English court and from accounts from ambassadors and so on. It was amazing.
This story focuses on the months leading up to and during Anne’s downfall. There is so much that we do not really know and on those points, all fact was laid out but no speculation was made. This book fed my historical craving in a way other books have not. I can not wait to pick another of her books off of my shelf.
If anyone else has read this please tell me what you think about it.
Follow me on other platforms: