Here Anne Boleyn is, in all her magnificence and tragedy. I had read a lot about the Tudors before starting this, so I had clear in my mind who was who, and what part did they took in the course of History, so I was able to enjoy all the speculations and all the links Ives made. A lot has been told and written concerning Anne Boleyn, and she doesn't always come out well portrayed, partly because of her complexity, partly because of the discordant sources concerning her life, her character and her actions. Some authors, being their writings fiction or non-fiction, seems to see her only as an instrument of her ambitious family, a fragile woman who has been manipulated in taking the heart of a king but wasn't able to hold it; her death being caused by her inability to give a son to her husband, who tired of her, decided to condemn her. I sincerly hope, and believe, that there must have been something more. Of course we know that passional love, the one that awakens all your instincts, that is like a storm, strong and powerful from the beginning, in most cases isn't made to last, because it overwhelms you, it makes you do things you would never have tought to do, and it's an all taking. When it ends, it leaves you empty, angry, broken. But from acknowledging the distruction that this kind of love leave, to believe that Henry was able to kill the very person for whom he had changed all the rule of his kingdom, for whom he had destroyed his marriage and started the Reformation is, neverthless, believing that he was guided only by his impulses and emotions. I believe, like Ives does, that there was more behind Anne's downfall. Of course, had she given him the so-waited child, and had their love lasted, maybe she could have saved herself, but other things were involved in her ruin. Anne was well learned, ambitious, intelligent, bold, she wasn't just henry's mistress or wife, she was his counsellor, and this frightened the ones belonging to the anti-boleyn faction, afraid of losing their power or being moved away from their position. Cromwell in primis had nothing to lose, and everything to earn from Anne's disappearing from the scene. He started as her ally, but as their ideas and ideals started parting, he became her first detractor, and later enemy. The idea that her enemies were ready to strike but lacked of proofs and that her very words caused her downfall is interesting and most sad. As Ives describes her trial and the evidences that leads the charge against Anne, it appears clear that she was framed, guilty only of having a certain amount of power and influence towards Henry. Sure there is more that we don't know, and probably we never will, concerning Anne's life. Ives, as an authoritative historian, puts concrete facts in his theories, basing on recognized truths and possible motives, drawing the aspects of a woman that was remarkable and marked the turning point in English history....Continua
Every Anne Boleyn admirer should read this book. It's accurate, full of historical references, very well structured. If you're interested in knowing the real Anne Boleyn, you have to read it. MASTERPIECE!
This is a superb biography of Anne Boleyn. Painstakingly researched, the evidence for Anne's life - and fall - is meticulously considered and presented. Whilst this is an academic study, it is also a very readable account of this turbulent period. Dispelled are many of the myths, rumours and lies surrounding this charismatic character, whose fate was completely unavoidable given the political mess in which Cromwell found himself in 1536.
As many have stated, this must be considered the definitive account of Anne's life, and I cannot recommend it highly enough....Continua