Biographies

Here is a list of non-fiction books or biographies which focus on Anne Boleyn:-

Eric IvesEric Ives’ biography, “The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn”, is in my opinion the definitive guide to the life and times of this iconic Queen. It gives an account of Anne Boleyn from her background, through her courtship with Henry and her life as Queen, to her trial, judgement and execution.My copy is always at hand and I like it because it gives so much detail and Ives cites all of his sources. It has well over 400 pages of information.
My own book on Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII, Henry’s Six Wives and George Boleyn. Amazon Blurb:
“The Anne Boleyn Collection” brings together the most popular articles from top Tudor website The Anne Boleyn Files. Articles which have provoked discussion and debate. Articles that people have found fascinating. Written in Claire’s easy-going style, but with an emphasis on good history and sound research, these articles are perfect reading for Tudor history lovers everywhere.
Retha WarnickeIn “The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn”, American historian and Professor of History at Arizona University, Retha Warnicke, gives what she calls “an analysis of the crucial phases of her [Anne Boleyn] life and more specifically of her role in the politics of her day, with particular emphasis on the rules and conventions of the society in which she played her part”.This is a great book written by someone with a real knowledge and understanding of the Tudor period.
Joanna Denny “Anne Boleyn: A New Life of England’s Tragic Queen” by Joanna Denny is an excellent biography of Anne Boleyn which attempts to paint a true picture of this much maligned woman. According to Denny “No English Queen has made more impact on the history of the nation than Anne Boleyn, and few have been so persistently maligned”.
Read my review of this controversial Anne Boleyn Book at Anne Boleyn: Fatal Attractions
Amazon blurb: “Doomed queen of Henry VIII, mother to Elizabeth I, the epic story of Anne Boleyn.Anne Boleyn was the most controversial and scandalous woman ever to sit on the throne of England. From her early days at the imposing Hever Castle in Kent, to the glittering courts of Paris and London, Anne caused a stir wherever she went. Alluring but not beautiful, Anne’s wit and poise won her numerous admirers at the English court, and caught the roving eye of King Henry. Anne was determined to shape her own destiny, first through a secret engagement to Henry Percy, the heir of the Earl of Northumberland, and later through her insistence on marriage with the king, after a long and tempestuous relationship as his mistress. Their love affair was as extreme as it was deadly, from Henry’s ‘mine own sweetheart’ to ‘cursed and poisoning whore’ her fall from grace was total.”
Amazon blurb: “The perfect introduction to the tragic story of Anne Boleyn. The only short illustrated guide available to – by far – the most popular of Henry VIII’s six wives. Highly illustrated, full-color book, competitively priced. Includes major sections on the following heritage sites associated with Anne Boleyn’s life.
Anne Boleyn was the most controversial and scandalous woman ever to sit on the throne of England. From her early days at the imposing Hever Castle in Kent, to the glittering courts of Paris and London, Anne caused a stir wherever she went. Alluring but not beautiful, Anne’s wit and poise won her numerous admirers at the English court, and caught the roving eye of King Henry VIII.”
Love LettersI love this book, the “Love Letters of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn”, because it contains seventeen love letters that Henry VIII wrote to Anne Boleyn plus a letter that Anne wrote to Wolsey with a postscript by Henry.The letters really do give you an insight into Henry’s feelings for Anne Boleyn and the passion that drove him to break with Rome so that he could marry Anne.
Review: “Friedmann’s ANNE BOLEYN is a meticulously researched and supremely readable classic of Tudor biography, still required reading more than a century after it was written. Friedmann has an unparalleled mastery of the detail of his subject, which he weaves into a compelling and lively narrative.” DR RICHARD REX, UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE and author of HENRY VIII: THE TUDOR TYRANT and THE TUDORS
Amazon blurb: “Anne Boleyn is perhaps the most engaging of Henry VIII’s Queens. For her he would divorce his wife of some twenty years standing, he would take on the might of the Roman Church and the Holy Roman Empire; he would even alienate his own people in order to win her favor and, eventually, her hand.But before Henry came into her life Anne Boleyn had already wandered down love’s winding path. She had learned its twists and turns during her youth spent at the courts of the Low Countries and France, where she had been sent as a result of her scandalous behavior with her father’s butler and chaplain. Here her education had been directed by two of the strongest women of the age – and one of the weakest.

Returning to England she was courted by three different suitors in three very different circumstances. The first was James Butler, with whom an arranged marriage was designed to settle a family dispute over the earldom of Ormond. Anne then captured the heart of Henry Percy, whose genuine love for her was reciprocated and would have lead to Anne becoming countess of Northumberland had the couple not been cruelly torn apart in the interests of politics and worldly ambition. Lastly, Thomas Wyatt, the dreamy young poet and ambassador who was captivated by Anne but who stepped aside when he saw that he had a rival: none other than the great King Henry VIII himself.”

A children’s book on Anne Boleyn. Amazon blurb: “When the King came riding in on his big, black horse, a murmur went up, because his tunic was stitched with the words, Declare I Dare Not. All the ladies were giggling behind their hands, and I asked Mama what it meant. Her face had turned quite pink and she said, ‘Never mind’, so I asked Rosanna later. She told me the words meant the King has a new love, but he dares not say her name. But everyone knows her name, of course. It is Anne Boleyn.”
An Anne Boleyn biography from 1972.
Amazon blurb: “Drawing on myriad sources from the Tudor era, bestselling author Alison Weir provides the first book ever to examine, in unprecedented depth, the gripping story of Anne Boleyn’s final days. The Lady in the Tower explores the motives and intrigues of those who helped to seal the queen’s fate, unraveling the tragic tale of Anne’s fall, from her miscarriage of the son who would have saved her to the final, dramatic scene on the scaffold. What emerges is an extraordinary portrayal of a woman of great courage, tested to the extreme by the terrible plight in which she found herself, a powerful queen whose enemies were bent on utterly destroying her. Horrifying but captivating, The Lady in the Tower presents the full array of evidence of Anne Boleyn’s guilt—and innocence. Only in Alison Weir’s capable hands can readers learn the truth about the fate of one of the most influential and fascinating figures in English history.”
Hester Chapman’s 1974 biography of Anne Boleyn.

The above links are all Amazon US links, but all the books are also available at Amazon UK – click here to go to our special Amazon Anne Boleyn UK page.

One Response to “Biographies”

  1. Mimico says:

    I’ve read Anne Boleyn and Me when i was 10 but i found it really bland. There was no mention of Mary Boleyn, Elizabeth Boleyn nee Howard or even Thomas Boleyn. The only mention of George is when he tries to assault someone. And absolute nadda about Jane Parker. Not very informative and it really isnt a biography or non-fiction either. The book also doesn’t refer to Anne’s faith either or the English reformation really. And in the book Anne Pioson’s Fisher. Not what i’ll recommend and its fiction.

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