Spotlight: Anne Boleyn


Name: Anne Boleyn / Anne Bullen.

Title/s: Lady Anne Rochford, Lady Marquess of Pembroke, Queen of England.

Birth / Death: 1501? – 19 May 1536.

Spouse: Henry VIII of England 1592 – 1547.

Children: Elizabeth I of England 1533 – 1603.

Parents: Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire and Ormonde 1477 – 1539 & Elizabeth Howard 1480 – 1538.

Siblings: Mary Stafford c.1499-1543 / Thomas Boleyn c.1500 / Henry Boleyn c.1502 / George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford c.1504-1536

Noble Connections: Her uncle, Thomas Howard, was the Duke of Norfolk; her cousin, Henry Howard, was the Earl of Surrey; her father was the Earl of Wiltshire and Ormonde; her brother was Viscount Rochford; her sister-in-law, Jane Parker, was the daughter of Baron Morley.

Events of their Lifetime: The English Reformation, the King’s Great Matter i.e. the divorce, the birth of the future Elizabeth I, the deaths of Katherine of Aragon, Bishop Fisher, Thomas More and many others, the rise of Thomas Cromwell.

Controversy: Anne Boleyn’s role in the Reformation has caused huge controversy. Was she the reason for it or just the catalyst behind it? Her fall from power has also caused arguments as to the reason behind it – Cromwell? Henry? The lack of a male heir? Jane Seymour? Or something else entirely?

Works of Fiction:
Laura Anderson ‘The Boleyn King’ (2013)
Lyn Andrews ‘The Queen’s Promise’ (2012)
Sandra Byrd ‘To Die For: a Novel of Anne Boleyn’ (2011)
Suzannah Dunn ‘The Queen of Subtleties’ (2004)
Laurien Gardner ‘A Lady Raised High’ (2006)
Philippa Gregory ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ (2001)
Natalie Kelly ‘The Queen’s Betrayal’ (2013)
Norah Lofts ‘The Concubine’ (1963)
Hilary Mantel ‘Wolf Hall’ (2009)
Hilary Mantel ‘Bring Up the Bodies’ (2012)
Sarah Morris ‘Le Temps Viendra, Volumes 1 & 2’ (2012)
Jean Plaidy ‘The Lady in the Tower’ (1986)
Jean Plaidy, ‘Murder Most Royal’ (1949)

Portrayals on Screen:
Helena Bonham Carter, Henry VIII, 2003, 1 episode
Genevieve Bujold, Anne of the Thousand Days, 1969, directed by Charles Jarrott
Natalie Dormer, The Tudors, 2007-2010, 21 episodes
Claire Foy, Wolf Hall, 2015, 6 episodes
Julia Marsen, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, 2001, 1 episode
Jodhi May, The Other Boleyn Girl, 2003, directed by Philippa Lowthorpe
Merle Oberon, The Private Life of Henry VIII, 1933, directed by Alexander Korda
Natalie Portman, The Other Boleyn Girl, 2008, directed by Justin Chadwick
Charlotte Rampling, Henry VIII and his Six Wives, 1972, directed by Waris Hussein
Dorothy Tutin, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, 1970, 1 episode

Further Reading:
George W. Bernard ‘Anne Boleyn: Fatal Attractions’ (2010)
Marie Louise Bruce ‘Anne Boleyn’ (1972)
Joanna Denny ‘Anne Boleyn’ (2004)
Antonia Fraser ‘The Six Wives of Henry VIII’ (1992)
Paul Friedmann ‘Anne Boleyn’ (1884)
Eric Ives ‘The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn’ (2004)
Amy Licence ‘In Bed with the Tudors: the Sex Lives of a Dynasty from Elizabeth of York to Elizabeth I’ (2012)
Karen Lindsey ‘Divorced Beheaded Survived: a Feminist Reinterpretation of the Wives of Henry VIII’ (1995)
David Loades ‘The Six Wives of Henry VIII’ (1996)
Norah Lofts ‘Anne Boleyn’ (1979)
Elizabeth Norton ‘Anne Boleyn: Henry VIII’s Obsession’ (2009)
Elizabeth Norton ‘Anne Boleyn: in Her Own Words and the Words of Those Who Knew Her’ (2011)
Elizabeth Norton ‘The Boleyn Women: the Tudor Femmes Fatales Who Changed English History’ (2013)
Lacey Baldwin Smith ‘Anne Boleyn: the Queen of Controversy’ (2013)
David Starkey ‘Six Wives: the Queens of Henry VIII’ (2003)
Alison Weir ‘The Lady in the Tower: the Fall of Anne Boleyn’ (2009)
Alison Weir ‘The Six Wives of Henry VIII’ (1991)

Arms:

Coat of arms of Anne Boleyn as Queen.
Coat of arms of Anne Boleyn as Queen.

Portraits:

Anne Boleyn National Portrait Gallery.
Anne Boleyn National Portrait Gallery.
Anne Boleyn Hever Castle Portrait
Anne Boleyn Hever Castle Portrait
Anne Boleyn portrait medal c.1534.
Anne Boleyn portrait medal c.1534.
Portrait miniature by Lucas Horenbout supposedly of Anne Boleyn, but looks more like Jane Seymour.
Portrait miniature by Lucas Horenbout supposedly of Anne Boleyn, but looks more like Jane Seymour.
Elizabeth I's Portrait Ring with picture of herself and Anne Boleyn.
Elizabeth I’s Portrait Ring with picture of herself and Anne Boleyn.
Sketch by Hans Holbein of Anne Boleyn.
Sketch by Hans Holbein of Anne Boleyn.
Hans Holbein sketch supposedly of Anne Boleyn.
Hans Holbein sketch supposedly of Anne Boleyn.
Unknown lady, supposedly Anne Boleyn, but looks more like Jane Seymour, at Nidd Hall.
Unknown lady, supposedly Anne Boleyn, but looks more like Jane Seymour, at Nidd Hall.

 

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