I recently read an interesting post on ‘The Anne Boleyn Files’ (http://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/20907/anne-boleyn-again/) about the interest in Anne Boleyn, and how she seems to be everywhere. As Claire Ridgway quotes from Eric Ives, “Anne Boleyn was so much more important than the circumstances of her execution”. She changed foreign and domestic policy, and made English kings almost unbeatable because they had so much power after the Break with Rome that no one dared to gainsay them.
I think that it is a good thing that there is so much interest in her and the era in which she lives. I do not think that the biography by Lacey Baldwin Smith is “yet another book on Anne Boleyn” which is how some described it when it was released, because each new study that comes out adds something to the historiography. Similarly, with new works on Henry VIII or Thomas Cromwell or Elizabeth I. For example, Henry VIII can be seen as a mindless autocratic tyrant, or an easily manipulated man. Cromwell can be seen as the victim of a ruthless king, or as the architect of his own downfall. Elizabeth I can be seen as the Virgin Queen and engineer of a Golden Age, or a woman easily led by her carnal desires who lost her virginity to her stepfather. Continue reading “Enduring Fascination with Anne Boleyn – Why?”