As well as occasionally blogging about my own historical research, I’m writing a book. Another book about Anne Boleyn? Yes. Why?
Because there are centuries of misinformation to attempt to undo, and it’s going to take more than a few passionate historians to try.
People watch The Other Boleyn Girl and learn that Anne played the king until he forcefully had his way with her. That she actually tried to conceive with her own brother.
They watch The Tudors and learn about an ambitious family who used Anne as if she accomplished nothing on her own.
In Wolf Hall, we see Anne as being cruel and demanding…an unbearable nag.
These portrayals of Anne exist because we have historians not looking at evidence objectively. We have people taking the correspondence of Chapuys (who never disguised his hatred for Anne) and using it as pure truth. We have historians misinterpreting events, as well. We do not have Anne’s responses to Henry’s love letters. How does one then arrive at the conclusion that she was keeping him “at arm’s length” until he promised to place a crown on her head?
In all of these portrayals of Anne, she falls out of favor with Henry when Jane Seymour comes along. Henry wants to get rid of her, and so she loses her head when accused of adultery.
It baffles me that some historians think that she was guilty.
And so my work truly begins. People will challenge me and criticize my ideas, my writing style, and my knowledge…but I have to put it out there.
It’s the least I can do for someone who has inspired me from such an early age.