Researching Anne Boleyn for “Falcon’s Rise” by Natalia Richards

Posted By on May 24, 2017

Thank you to author Natalia Richards for sharing this guest article with us today. Natalia is author of Falcon’s Rise: The Early Years of Anne Boleyn, a novel focusing on Anne Boleyn’s very early life and her time at the court of Margaret of Austria. It is clear from this guest article just how much research Natalia put into her book.

Over to Natalia…

As a museum curator, research has always been a large part of my life, and over the years I have spent many hours poring over documents, (white protective gloves on of course!) sitting in archives and reading rooms researching everything from chamber pots to ceramics. However, I was once advised by a very sage curator at the V&A museum that I must be very, very cautious of what I might read. To remember that ‘it ain’t necessarily so’. And those words have always stuck with me. I must look at everything from all sides and then make a judgement, since the writer often had an agenda depending on who they were writing for!

When it came to writing my novel, I wanted to make my book to be as factual as possible as I love to learn, even from novels. The more accurate the research, I find, the more believable and enjoyable the book. However, actually sitting down to write does not come easily to me as I like to be active – anything but sit still! Weekdays were out as I was working, and Saturday was my chores day, but somehow, miraculously, I managed to sit down and write every Sunday. It was a slow process, laptop on knee, and I would much rather have been out in the sunshine particularly as I then lived very close to the sea and a beautiful beach in the south of England. However, I did find I could lose myself in writing, and it was very therapeutic to put day to day concerns on hold, even for a few hours.

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The Destruction of the Boleyn Family

Posted By on May 23, 2017

Thank you to Clare Cherry, co-author of George Boleyn: Tudor Poet, Courtier and Diplomat for writing this guest article for us today.

Over to Clare…

In 1536 five members of the Boleyn family had their lives destroyed, or at the very least fundamentally damaged. Anne and George were put to death on trumped up charges of incest, adultery and treason. Thomas and Elizabeth Boleyn lost a daughter and their son and heir. Thomas also lost his court position, career and reputation. Jane Boleyn lost her husband and social position. She later went on to lose her life.

Ever since Anne Boleyn first caught the eye of the king, and since he first started chasing her around the country, the Boleyn family has been vilified. They were alleged to be ambitious social climbers, Thomas pimped his daughters to the highest bidder and so on and so on. The vilification obviously increased when Anne was accused of adultery and incest, and of plotting to kill the king. All of the charges we now know were nonsense, as did many people at the time of her fall. But human beings just love kicking a person when they’re down. So anyone who was jealous of the Boleyns, or who hated religious reform of which they were spearheads, or who were loyal to Catherine of Aragon and Mary used every opportunity to defame them. When Henry decided to ditch Anne using every foul method available to him, their enemies, or should that be rivals, must have been rubbing their hands together in glee.

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