Henry and Anne: The Lovers Who Changed History – Rundown

| February 21, 2014

Henry and Anne: The Lovers Who Changed History – Rundown

I know that many of you were unable to watch last night’s programme, Henry and Anne: The Lovers Who Changed History, so I took notes for you. My TV did go wrong a couple of times, so I missed a few minutes – sorry! The programme opened with Anne Boleyn preparing herself for her execution […]

The Spitefully Ambitious Anne Boleyn

| January 14, 2014

The Spitefully Ambitious Anne Boleyn

Earlier today, Susan Bordo, author of The Creation of Anne Boleyn, drew attention on her Facebook wall to a review of the RSC stage adaptations of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies.1 The review by Morning Star includes the comment “Lydia Leonard’s spitefully ambitious Anne Boleyn – a wife who one feels […]

Was Anne Boleyn Nice?

| October 21, 2013

Was Anne Boleyn Nice?

My old English literature teacher would be appalled by that question, not because she had any strong opinion about Anne but because she hated the word “nice” with a vengeance. She viewed it as weak and inadequate, a word that just didn’t describe anything properly. However, this question is one I get asked on a […]

Can We Really Know Anyone – Guest Article by Clare Cherry

| November 23, 2012

Can We Really Know Anyone – Guest Article by Clare Cherry

There is an enormous diversity of opinion when it comes to the characters of historical people. We take extant records, written nearly five-hundred years ago, often by those with a grudge, and try to establish what someone was like from sources which are often highly biased and prejudiced. Our opinions are sometimes formed by a […]

Anne of the Thousand Extremes

| July 30, 2012

Anne of the Thousand Extremes

As I was tossing and turning last night, unable to sleep, it struck me that Anne Boleyn is a rather polarising figure. People seem to either love her or hate her (like marmite*), and she’s surrounded by contradictory labels and opinions. Anne Boleyn the Saint versus Anne Boleyn the Whore Home-wrecker versus victim of sexual […]

Happy Mother’s Day!

| May 13, 2012

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to those of you in countries celebrating it today. I hope that you get thoroughly pampered! Here is a photo of one of my Anne Boleyn roses for you to enjoy. These roses always seem to flower as I’m counting down to Anne Boleyn’s execution! See Anne Boleyn the Mother for a […]

Martin Luther and Anne Boleyn

| January 3, 2012

Martin Luther and Anne Boleyn

On this day in history, 3rd January 1521, Pope Leo X issued the papal bull Decet Romanum Pontificem excommunicating Reformer, German priest and professor of theology Martin Luther from the Catholic Church. The Pope had asked Luther to retract his Ninety-Five Theses (full name: The Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences or […]

Anne Boleyn Did Not Get ‘What was Coming to Her’ (or Claire’s Rant of the Week)

| December 1, 2011

Anne Boleyn Did Not Get ‘What was Coming to Her’ (or Claire’s Rant of the Week)

What’s going on?! Recently my inbox has been full of emails, comments, contact forms etc. telling me, in no uncertain terms and sometimes not very politely, that Anne Boleyn was nothing but a home-wrecking, usurping, b***ch and whore who deserved everything she got for single-handedly wrecking Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon and making […]