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

Posted By on December 1, 2011

Me

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 the lives of Catherine and Mary hell. Wow!

Now, I would just like to point out the following to these people who feel inclined to write such things to me:-

  • You can’t judge people who lived 500 years ago through a 21st century filter, life was very different then.
  • Henry VIII may have had something to do with his marriage breaking up.
  • Anne Boleyn was a Tudor woman and lived before the suffragette movement – In Tudor times women did not have choices, they belonged to their fathers and husbands.
  • When a King says “jump” you’d better do it, when he says “I want you as my mistress” it’s a brave woman who says “no”.
  • Anne did not have a crystal ball – Although some of you seem to like painting her as the sexual predator who said “Henry, I will not be your mistress” (she speaks in a Scarlett O’Hara accent when she says that, by the way) because she knew that if she withheld sex then he’d be driven to casting out Catherine and marrying her, it really was not the likely scenario. Of course, I forget, Henry was known for his patience, loyalty and chastity and Anne knew that he’d be willing to wait six years to bed her, silly me! Perhaps I’m going out on a limb here but wouldn’t the “no” have been more likely to have sent Henry into the arms of a more amenable woman?
  • Anne is not Angelina and Henry is not Brad, just thought I’d point that out as there’s obviously a bit of confusion here.
  • Anne may have been able to influence Henry but she didn’t control him.
  • I’m a nice person – I don’t deserve hate mail and abuse.

  • Who are you to judge these people? – Do you really know the ins and outs of their lives? You may want to paint Catherine as the vestal virgin and martyr and Anne as the she-devil but do you really know what they were like and what they were going through? I don’t think so. Plus, I don’t think it’s our place to judge them.
  • Mary’s ill treatment actually got worse after Anne’s death.
  • I have no time for the whole Team Boleyn versus Team Aragon or Team Seymour way of thinking. I am fascinated by Henry VIII and all his wives. I run an Anne Boleyn website but it doesn’t follow that I therefore hate Catherine of Aragon and Jane Seymour. Sorry to disappoint, but I like them all.
  • I’m allowed to write about Catherine of Aragon – Some people take great offence when I, the owner of an Anne Boleyn website, dare to write about the proud Spanish princess, but I’m going to carry on…
  • This is not the playground – Again, just thought I’d better point out the obvious as there’s some confusion.
  • Nobody, in my humble opinion, deserves to get her head chopped off and if you feel that Anne’s execution was karma then please keep that opinion to yourself.
  • The Other Boleyn Girl is fiction

Phew, I’m rather relieved to get that off my chest!

Apologies to the multitude of people who visit this website and are normal people who have a passion for Tudor history and who send me supportive emails, who comment intelligently and politely on my articles… this rant is not aimed at you. By the way, I love that we all have different opinions about these people and the events that surrounded them and I don’t have a problem with debate, it’s the irrational hatred I don’t understand.

Right, let’s get back to history now…

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