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

Dec1,2011 #Anne Boleyn

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 wh*re 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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214 thoughts on “Anne Boleyn Did Not Get ‘What was Coming to Her’ (or Claire’s Rant of the Week)”
    1. Thank you! I know that I’ve given the trolls exactly what they want and they’ll be rubbing their hands with glee but sometimes you just have to share how you feel.

      1. Hello Claire. You have written some of the best articles on Anne Boleyn. I am fascinated with the Tudors and I am currently writing a huge report on the life of Anne Boleyn. I may have to cite some of your amazing work!
        Thank you!
        -Ashley Malone
        New Haven

      2. Anne Boleyn (the aunt) is my great…grandmother way down the line. My maternal grandmother was a Shelton. Just recently found out about the Boleyn line. I used to believe that there was something different in my mother’s family. Now I understand. My grandmother was a wonderful woman as was my mother.

  1. Very well put! as I understood it henry had been growing discontent with his marriage before Anne came on the scene and if it wasnt Anne Im sure it would have been someone else, he was driven by a need for a male heir so Im a firm believer that it would have happened anyway. Each and everyone of his wives/queens had a part to play in tudor history, Anne just seems to have an extra special pull for some reason! Keep up the good work x

    1. I was going to put that as a point, that Henry’s marriage was over before Anne came on the scene, but then I’d have people saying “That’s no excuse” blah blah blah! You’re right, Tracey, and I truly believe that Henry thought that his marriage to Catherine was not valid and was contrary to God’s law and I think Anne believed so too. In their eyes there was not a marriage to destroy.

      1. I believe that Henry loved Katherine and despite his desire for an heir never would have divorced her had he believed their marriage to be holy. Both Henry and Anne were very pious and would not have compromised that piety. However, once he believed his marriage to be invalid he fell in love with Anne. I think he’d married Katherine in part because his father had forbidden it and in part because he’d grown to love her. With Anne however, he found the difference between loving someone and being in love with someone. He turned his entire country upside down to be able to do what he believed to be right before God. The fact that he’d fallen in love with Anne was just a matter of timing and honestly I believe that had those close to Henry not begun feeding him lies about Anne’s fidelity he would have remained married to her whether she produced an heir or not. He truly loved her and she was still young leaving ample time for future pregnancies. Katherine had passed the age where a pregnancy was possible and he believed it to be an unholy union, but Anne was young and had several years left to produce an heir not to mention he was head over heels in love. That hadn’t changed despite his wandering eye he still very much loved Anne. Otherwise he wouldn’t have gone to such lengths to forget her and erase her existence. That speaks of a deep feelings of hurt and betrayal, not something he’d have felt were he not still been in love with her, but with the stories of her infidelity and I’m sure pressure from Wolsey he had no choice. He had to allow her to be tried for treason and then see the sentence carried out. I’m just speculating and probably in many ways wrong, but I’d like to think that he truly believed that she’d committed treason and felt it his duty to see her punished. He seems to have been a very kind and generous man for the better part of his life.

  2. Well said Claire,

    Wow I can not believe that the Aragon versus Boleyn camp still lives (after 500 years), but I think that people think “The Tudors and The other Boleyn girl” is all true history , well maybe these persons can try to read a historybook first before going to the movies.
    The “normal” people here love every article you write , so keep on going.
    Love this website.

    Greetings from the Netherlands

    1. I love that people get passionate about these characters but I find it disturbing that people can pronounce judgement on these people and say “well, she deserved to be executed…”. I agree, Richard, that TV and fiction can lead to people having very warped ideas of historical characters and when you dig down to the truth you often find that things we take for granted for fact are actually myth.
      Thanks for your kind words!

  3. If there are some people that truly believe that Anne was a victim of her own karma, then she never would have had her posthumous victory with her daughter Elizabeth gaining the throne and becoming one of the best queens in English history. Every historian worth his/her salt knows the charges against her were trumped up so Henry could be rid of her.

  4. Well said! There is a difference between a rant and a well-stated refutation of other people’s ranting – you refuted! Plus you are entitled to respect, as we all are, but you in particular put so much work and research into the information presented on this site that people owe you the courtesy of doing a bit of reading first (of history, not fiction!) and then stating their views in a NON-ABUSIVE manner. Since when does purposely antagonistic posting with a rude undertone further an argument? Nobody minds a debate, events that we didn’t witness which occurred 500 years ago will always be up for interpretation and that’s the joy of history, but we can keep it civilised, respectful and friendly!

    1. Thanks, Isabelle! Yes, there is a big difference between someone putting their point of view across and a personal attack and I just don’t understand why people can’t behave in a civilised manner. Thanks for your support.

  5. Unfortunately there are people who think that Anne Boleyn was guilty and she was a ‘home-wrecker’. What makes me sad is the fact, that such people are no better than those who attacked Anne during her life and years after she died ; she was called a ‘wh….e’, she was accused of having low moral standards, even that she was Henry’s daughter, because her mother had seduced him. I don’t understand today’s hate for Anne, she lived almost 500 years ago and she lived in different times. She was actually very brave and her contemporaries couldn’t understand that, because women were about to be quiet about everything. Great article, Claire 🙂

  6. I agree with you Claire. You have done such an amazing contribuition to us Tudor Times History lovers. Keep up the good work because there are a lot of people who appreciate your work in this website. I love all the articles and history aspects of Henry’s Court that i didnt know before. History is there for a reason…if people prefer to consult fiction novels…then i am really worried about the future generations interest in history facts.

  7. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and when you put yourself in the public eye you will hear those opinions, bidden or unbidden. Pay them no mind. I look forward to reading this site everyday. Thank you.

    1. ^ Exactly what ‘wendy’ said. With the many people who love your site and appreciate all the work you put into giving us our daily does of Tudors history, you’re going to get a handful of people who think they know everything about the whole situation. There are always 2 sides to a story, and you deserve a big pat on the back for telling the other (sometimes less easily acknowledged) side of Anne Boleyn.
      Checking out your site is part of my morning routine! I cant get enough of it. Thank you for sharing your hard work with us all.

      1. Thank you, Krista, it means so much to me to know that The AB Files, my baby, is part of people’s everyday life. Thank you for your support and encouragement! 🙂

  8. Wow, the whole point of this website is to look at tudorbhistory objectively, not to choose sides and create some kind of war!! I can’t believe people would actually send u emails saying Anne was a b***h

    1. Thanks, Alexandria, I agree with you, there just aren’t any sides in this and I refuse to be forced into choosing a side, it’s all very weird!

  9. A lot of people don’t read/observe carefully, Claire: they get half an idea, and they run with it, missing that proverbial big picture. Unfortunately, you met up with a sizable part of their constituency. I have never understood the popularity of “The Other Boleyn Girl” in any of its incarnations (although the acting in the BBC version is better, I think); and while there’s some good acting in “The Tudors,” it still offers us a very lop-sided picture of the actual people and events.
    You’re doing good work. We always need people who are willing to take the time and effort and go through the evidence thoroughly.

    1. Thank you, T.J., I don’t have a problem with fiction or TV but some people obviously find it difficult to tell the difference between fact and fiction. We live in a celebrity culture, I think, where people think they know a celeb from reading a magazine or website and feel justified in expressing a judgement on someone they actually don’t know anything about.

  10. ….And who are these people who think being beheaded for breaking up a marriage would be “getting what was coming to her” anyway? That’s more than a little disturbing…

    1. Sadly I’m still coming across people who think a battered wife “must have provoked her husband somehow”…

  11. It’s all very strange, people don’t seem to contextualise the events, Anne was only a woman at the end of the day. Less than nothing in that age when a king wanted er as a mistress it’s not like she had any choice. And as you say, Henry was a big boy and able to make his own choices. It’s interesting that no blame seems to be laid at his door for the divorce from Katherine and her death. And the ill treatment of Mary. And signing Anne’s death warrant.

    In my opinion Katherine, Anne and Jane are all very interesting but in completely different ways. To squabble and bicker over which one is better is just infantile.

  12. Claire:

    When I was in college I heard that you could write a term paper putting forward ANY view, as long as you had the facts to back it up. When you write an article, you give us the facts, along with sources to explore for ourselves. How many of the people that write hateful rants take the attitude that these are the facts “because I said so?” Most of them, I’ll bet! Keep up the good work.

  13. I’m sorry you’re getting all that hate mail, but let’s be thankful there was no email in the times of Anne Boleyn. If you are getting so much hate mail, can you imagine how much hate mail she would be recieving?

    I don’t know if some of the haters are divorced women who had to go through another woman stealing their man love or what, I don’t know if some people identify themselves with KoA, which would maybe explain all the passion in the hate, lol, but I can’t fathom the idea of ANYONE thinking Anne deserved to get her head chopped off. In the case that she had been guilty and the wh*rest of the wh*res, isn’t decapitation a bit too much? I wonder what’s in the hearts of the haters.

    1. Poor Anne did have to cope with books of prophecy and she did have a mob rise up against her once so she had her fair share of it, but you’re right, her inbox would have been overflowing! As you say, it’s hard to understand people who think that decapitation is deserved. I’ve seen people say how wonderful it was that Cromwell suffered a botched execution too, nasty!

  14. I am continually amazed that the name Anne Boleyn can inspire such a tizzy after 500 years. I think if you want to blame someone you should blame her father, who by the way managed to escape almost unscathed. Henry would have found someone younger to have a son for him whether it was Anne or another woman, his time was limited if he hoped to survive until the child was of an age to rule without a regency. Henry was not responsible for Anne’s demise entirely, there were other factors at play there. Tudor politics was a cutthroat business. I agree you cannot view any history through a 21st century filter.Most of all Anne was the mother of Elizabeth I who started England into the “modern” age. She might have been fickle at the end of her reign but she did a very good job through most of the reign, proving women could be sovereigns in their own right. Anne did what she was told to do or figured out what was best for her. She played a dangerous game with her family’s support and lost. If she had a son none of this would be half as interesting as it is. Sorry for my rant

    1. Rant away, maggiemae! It is amazing that events that happened so long ago are still causing such controversy today and such strong feelings. I feel very passionate about Tudor history but I could never abuse someone for disagreeing with me. I’ve seen people get nasty over Elizabeth and Mary Queen of Scots too, it’s very strange.

      1. Oh God not that saga. There were never too different woman who were sovereigns
        Elizabeth was smarter and never would have let herself be a tool for another country and Mary was an easy mark who couldn’t rule her own country. She was a threat to Elizabeth.

        1. Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I had very, very different countries to govern, and very different problems. To sum up Mary by saying she “couldn’t rule her own country” is to over simplify very complex issues. Mary Stuart was very much ahead of her time when it came to, for instance, religious tolerance. She was very much ahead of Elizabeth in this respect, and Mary deserves a great deal of credit that she has never been given. History, indeed, is written by the ‘winners’. But on the other hand, the Tudor dynasty ended with Elizabeth, and the Stuart dynasty began with James I, son of Mary. She may have lost the battle, but she won the war.

  15. hi claire i have been browsing through the anne boleyn files for a long time and really enjoy your site. I have never felt the need to join or post untill now, when you wrote about all the negative emails you have been getting. Ireally feel for you . You are putting your self out there doing a thing that people only dream or talk about using your energy and time for our benefit .I for one appreciate it very much.what are these people doing on the site if they do not like anne boleyn. I think the reason is they are just sad nasty people who have to much time on there hands please keep your chin up and dont even dignify them with a answer. xx

    1. Thank you, I’m really heartwarmed by people’s comments. I think it is to be expected when you write about something that people feel very strongly about. I love debate but I hate that people have to get so personal and attacking for absolutely no reason. Thank you so much, Tracie!

  16. Excellent post Claire. Thank you for reminding all of us that civilization does not end just because we are on a social networking site. I think some people have no sense of that and they just vomit muck that they would never say to someone face to face. My rule of thumb is if I wouldn’t want any of my family to read what I’ve written, I don’t write it. I save those kinds of things for my personal journal.

    i find your comments informative, insightful and I really appreciate this space you have created to talk and learn more about this period of history. Can’t we build on that common theme rather than name call and judge?

    Thank you for setting some boundaries and letting us all know.

    May we all continue to learn and grow on this site.

    Have a wonderful day, Claire!

    1. Thank you, Kim. I think that people do feel anonymous when they’re writing something online, they don’t get to see the person their comment is aimed at and they don’t get to see the hurt they cause so they can kid themselves that there’s no harm in what they’re doing. As I’ve said, I adore debate and I love reading the articles of Eric Ives and G W Bernard where they’re arguing over Anne Boleyn, they do it so politely and that’s what debate should be like. Our love for this period of history should bring us all together, not cause divisions.
      Thanks so much, Kim.

  17. Well said!
    I wish I could go back in time (invisible of course so as not to be burned as a heretic, being Protestant…or as a witch, knowing what I know..), and see what REALLY happened.
    I am fascinated by the entire family and the history of it all.

  18. Well said, Claire. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been getting abuse from these people and I hope they’ll realise that that’s no way to treat anyone. And really, as someone said before, even if Anne had been the biggest wh*re ever, I don’t think she would have deserved beheading, that’s a bit extreme! Thank you for all the time you put into researching and writing so many articles, which are always interesting and a pleasure to read. Don’t let the haters get to you and keep your chin up!

  19. Very, very well said, Claire! I totally agree with everything you said, and I’m so sorry you have to put up with these nasty comments aimed at you. I’m really sick of all this childish Team Anne/Team Catherine nonsense too.

  20. You go Claire!!!! I agree with everything you said and hopefully people will stop sending you those emails. I understand that people have the right to their opinions but abusive emails is not the way to go and hopefully those people will realize that.

    1. Some of the emails are quite entertaining and I do let most of them just go over my head but I do find it strange that people can send such emails/comments to someone they don’t know.

  21. Hi Claire, I would just not worry about the trolls. Haters are going to hate! Haha. But you have a ton of people who support you here and I myself look forward to new posts every day! Thank you for creating such a wonderful site!

  22. Very well said Claire, and I completely agree! Whilst my heart and soul are totally fascinated with Anne, I never peg one wife against the other! I really respect all of them and study all of them. I also believe that Anne’s true karma came when her daughter was crowned Queen! My favorite part of your speech though?….The Last bit! Yes TOBG is fiction! Have a great day love!

  23. Claire, you go girl! 🙂 I am actually shocked that you are receiving nasty comments. I guess some people just don’t have lives so they have to live vicariously through others. Pretty pathetic.

    Thanks for all you do, and please don’t stop!

  24. Claire,

    I’m so sorry!! NOBODY deserves the abuse and hatred that you’ve encountered!! I personally LOVE the AB Files (and the Fellowship) and look forward to visiting the website every day – it’s a part of my morning routine. I think people nowadays, have a bad habit of putting comments out there, while hiding behind their computer. I seriously doubt these people would spew such hatred in a face to face encounter.

    Hang in there – your above blog was fabulous!! THANK YOU for all that you do!!


    1. Bless you, Laurie, that’s so sweet of you to say. I definitely never should let stupid emails get to me when I have so much support here 🙂

  25. I for one just want to say thank you for writing this rant! LOL It was genius 🙂 I am completely fascinated with Anne as well, but its rather difficult to get the “whole story” without including all the others. The time and devotion you put into this site is greatly appreciated by all us true fans! No one knows “for sure” how things were 500 years ago and alot of it is speculation… but its great to have so many different opinions. Really makes me think! Keep on doing what youre doing and just ignore all the hate mail! Can’t believe so many people would waste their time and email you hate mail LOL Maybe they should be spending more time doing research of their own! Hats off to you Claire! Love the site 🙂

  26. I also love this site, where points are backed up with research! It is a pity that so many share the “blame the woman” attitude prevalent in Henry’s era; it is a travesty, though, that you, Claire, get personally attacked. Consider yourself a recipient of a “public service medal”, and, keep up the good work!

  27. I couldnt of said it better myself…. perhaps they should look up the definition of
    an “opinion” bc we all have one! If anything, they should be thankful that someone like you would care enough to keep up with this beautiful, informative blog!! xx

  28. Hooooo-aaaaah!

    That’s telling them, Claire!! As if Henry didn’t run the whole damn show in his time.

    One thing: People should get a grip and appreciate the fact that you present your material factually and truthfully for our enjoyment, not to start a war . If folks want to air an opposing viewpoint, they should do so in a civilized manner or go elsewhere.

    Or as my 5 yr old grandson would say, “Sheesh! Take it outside!”.

    Kepp up the great work Claire!

  29. Hi Clare: I really enjoyed reading your rant! It is very surprising that people are getting so emotional about individuals who have been dead for several centuries. I had to laugh when you used the Team Boleyn; Team Aragon; Team Seymour references (ala Twilight).

    Frankly, I have to pity all six of the wives of Henry VIII. Although I enjoy and am fascinated with the Tudor era, I would not want to be the wife or mistress of Henry VIII for all of the tea in China! Who would have thought that Henry would turn on those he loved so completely and kill them? I can’t help but wonder what went through Catherine’s mind during her long exile in late 1535 seeing all that he had done (i.e. executing the monks, John Fisher; Thomas More, etc.). This woman had known him since he as a boy and was married to him for over two decades and I would imagine that she was astonished with his actions. One can only blame his councillors for so much. I also wonder if she had any thoughts of how she handled the annulment/divorce. If she had went along with Henry and Cardinal Campeggio in 1529/1530 and agreed to go to a nunnery and take the religious life, just think how different the 1530s would have been in England and how many lives would have been saved as a result.

    1. The whole Team thing drives me mad, I just don’t get why we have to pick a wife and then hate all the others!
      Yes, I wonder what Catherine thought of it all.

  30. I can’t believe anyone would send you hate mail Claire! You are the most open minded and compassionate person ever. They are being ridiculous and childish. If they believe someone deserves to be beheaded for anything there is something wrong with them. Sure, murders should maybe get the death penalty, but not by beheading! People need to grow up!

  31. Dear Claire,

    I’m so sorry you’ve been getting all this nasty mail. You certainly don’t deserve it! You run a very interesting, well balanced website, and all your articles are so well researched. So please, let the nastiness slip away like water off a duck’s back. Those people aren’t worth an ounce of your energy.


  32. I honestely think that probally it’s only a small grup sending lots of e-mails for you.
    Anyway, we must laugh about. Anne has been loved for us and we are very thankfull to you Claire. Do not worry about! Your ‘job’ is amazing. Just think that you conneting people around the world. People whom loves history, who loves ( or like) Anne e who share informations, articles,poems etc.

    Thank you again! And let’s keep this amazing group united <3

  33. As a matter of interest I wonder if the people who hide behind their computers and send abusive emails know that they’re breaking the law.

    1. No, I don’t think they do. I do keep them so if it ever got to the point where one particular person was doing it on a regular basis then I would do something about it.

  34. Well done Claire,

    I get so annoyed when people (and some “historians” do this) view the past through a modern lens. Even Starkey did that with his veiled (or not so veiled) labelling of the situation between Elizabeth and Thomas Seymour being called “child abuse” even though Elizabeth was 14 and therefore 2 years OVER the age of “consent” in the 16th century (still don’t agree with what Seymour was up to though).

    Where Anne is concerned, people now cannot comprehend the sheer lack of freedom she had to go where she wanted to, so that she could escape Henry’s attentions.

    As I mentioned in a post on Facebook, she could never have thought in her wildest dreams that Henry would even contemplate the idea of “divorcing” his Queen and marrying Anne. She assumed that Henry wanted her as his mistress and she wasn’t interested – for whatever reason.

    I don’t think she was that nasty to Mary – it was only one or two comments and never in person. And at the end of her life, she tried to make amends. I think she would have been horrified by the very real threat that was hanging over Mary after Anne’s death.

    Keep up the good work on this website. Its good, solid research. Thankyou.

    1. Yes, there’s the whole child abuse thing with Elizabeth, Henry’s pursuit of Anne Boleyn being seen as sexual harassment and then I often get comments about him being a child molester and paedophile because Catherine Howard was younger than him. When I try to defend Henry I get it in the neck for defending an abuser, *sigh*, and am told that child abuse is never justified whatever the era. It’s mad.

      I agree with you about Mary. Ives points out that Anne made quite a few attempts to forge a relationship with Mary but Mary refused her advances and although she said nasty things it sounds like bluster and frustration to me, rather than any serious threat. Poor Mary suffered far worse later when Anne was dead and gone.

      Thank you! 🙂

  35. This is my first post here even if this blog is one of the best thing ever created online in my opinion.
    I feel obliged to post (in a way) because of (thanks to ?) Claire. Clearly, I don’t want anybdoy to think I post just because some people have different opinions. I actually believe it makes a good debate. It doesn’t bother me. I can accept people disagree or have a different opinion of Anne, but isn’t it important to be opened ? Most important, what appears as inacceptable to me is insulting Claire, who’s a human being like YOU. Of course, it’s always easy to hide behind a computer, on the Internet we’re totally drowned because it’s an infinite space and my question is, do you think the virtual is so unreal ? Because Claire is real, she’s a human being, she has feelings and emotions. No matter what we think, we don’t have to forget this.We’re so anonymous when we “talk” and it’s so easy to let ourselves being unpolite and disrespectful but would you do that if you were with her face to face ? I have doubts.
    I don’t know her personnally, and I think it’s important to be free to express ourselves (especially when people can’t do it in some countries) but expressing yourself is not the right to be mean and hurting people. In addition, why spending so much of your energy about something you dislike ? Life is short.
    Personally, I’m happy this blog exists and to see some people can discuss in a civilized way. I enjoy reading about Anne, but also about ALL Anne’s ennemies (I have lots of respect and admiration for Catherine of Aragon). Clearly, Anne wasn’t perfect and I’m sure Claire NEVER wrote she was. I understand why she may be such a controversed subject, but don’t you have any reasons to take any distance towards all of that ? Not that sometimes I’m not annoyed too (I’m not going to lie) but once on a forum some history goer told “nothing is fixed” in history so it’s important to be opened and extend our vision. I also think it’s true for life in general, we shouldn’t have any certitudes about anything. None of us can pretend to know for sure what happened, who was who, and Claire, to me, didn’t, doesn’t and will probably won’t do it more than anyone else did, do or will do. People share and discuss, that’s all.

    Thanks for reading my little novel !

    Long life to this blog !


    1. Hi Isabelle,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I’ve been so encouraged today by the fact that people who don’t normally comment have gone out of their way to be supportive and kind to me. Freedom of speech is important and we should all feel that we can share our opinions and disagree with each other but we have to be careful with how we air our views. Anne Boleyn is a controversial subject and she does seem to have the power hundreds of years later to make people feel very passionate about her. I try to be balanced in what I write and I’m glad that I come across in that way.
      Thank you so much for your supportive words. 🙂

  36. Claire I absolutely love your rants because I always agree with them. You don’t know how many times I have wanted to slam my head against a wall after listening and reading comments made by other people saying ‘She deserved it’ and ‘She was a wh*re’ etc and I just want to ask them how they invented a time machine because they have to have one if they know Anne Boelyn.
    Also there would be a lot of executions in modern times if execution is acceptable punishment for extra-marital affairs (I’m rolling my eyes). Sorry just had to rant it has been a long time coming. 😀

  37. Another execellently written piece Claire. It’s amazing how angry and abusive people can get about things that happened hundred of years ago. I often think ‘wow. if your’e this upset about history what do you get like when something bad happend to you ?!’ I personally think that Jane Seymour played a larger role in Anne’s downfall than is commonly supposed but I don’t get myself into a frenzied rage about it. I certainly don’t hate her for it. The problem with a lot of history is that people just want the simple, easy version. Heroes and villians with no grey areas or worrying ambiguity. Which is a shame because that is often what makes history so interesting.

    1. That’s true, Emma, I think we all want to ‘pigeon hole’ people and sort them into the good and bad yet we hate it when people judge us. I just had to rant today and I’m glad people didn’t think I was being silly.

  38. I wonder if the haters sending you the e-mails take the time to actually read your posts. I know of no one more generous in sharing their sources including links to other sites, some of which have views that are different from your own. The Anne Boleyn Files has allowed me to broaden my horizons as related to my historical interests more than any other resource, be it on the Internet or elsewhere. Thank you so much for continuing to share all that you know and learn with the rest of the world.

    1. Thank you, Maggie, that’s really kind of you to say. I love running this site and if it means having the odd weird email it’s worth it really.

  39. Claire,
    Well done on your rant/response to those have a very twisted recount of the times Anne lived in, those people should be ashamed of themselves in emailing you such vile words towards you, and Anne. I live in the USA, but my heritage is English, but I keep up with what goes on, I love this site when I found it, because you find out something new they you may had never known before, I’ve had people tell me I was just as bad as Anne, since I found her life fascinating and that she was one of my favorite historical women Anne B, Elizabeth I, & Queen Victoria. I sat & listened to their views, then my turn I started off with what has been proven, and why I liked her, I advised them they needed to go read look up facts before spouting out vulgarity & wrong information, & ignorance, let’s just say they shut their mouth’s. I have said many times the ladies who lived in the Tudor times, were not allowed to have thoughts or rights, and like what was said the men used their daughters to gain availability to the King, so they could prosper while their daughters could not speak out for themselves, I’m for one certain my head would be on spike, not for religious belief’s, but for being very outspoken and blunt, I would have got to the the Tower of London from the inside at least. Sorry to hear you had to go through the rantings and the vulgarity in their words, people now are allowed their views, but you have some that don’t use logic when doing so.

    1. Wow, that’s awful that you’ve had to cope with people being like that to you, Darla, just because you’re interested in Anne, it’s so weird isn’t it? I’m outspoken too as you can tell by my ranting!

      1. I’m known for being blunt and outspoken, my mother told me my eye color changes when I get mad. Those people I was referring were from the UK, and just because my ancestors where from the UK & Grand Cayman Islands, I sound very Southern just like Reese Witherspoon in Sweet Home Alabama, or so I been told, so those people thought now why does this woman thinks she knows more about the UK then we do, so I proceeded again those 3 men and 2 women just had this stunned look on their face, as I laughed and walked back to my table. I also admire Princess Diana always have. I plan to return to London for a vacation but it will be after the Olympic’s. My friend who’s from London, Kensington area, the 1st time we met is when I started in the same department as she did, she went for a break saying “I’m going outside to smoke a fag” I was like what did she just say because here in the US that word has a whole other meaning, so we became friends. Sorry off course for a bit, for those who sent that hate mail to you, tell them get the dictionary out look for the word ignorance and they shall see their picture.

  40. Wow. I cannot believe you are getting “hate” mail over something like this. It is history, you didn’t write it or do it, so why are you blamed? No you don’t have to answer that as you know. 🙂
    I know many people see Catherine of Aragon as a person who was soft and loving but we need to remember who her mother was and how she was raised. I have read in a couple of books that Catherine was trying to raise an army to dethrone Henry and place their daughter on the throne. That does not sound like a meek mild person to me. Also with her holding out for so long between her marriage to Arthur and Henry took a lot of fortitude then to keep defying Henry even with the threat of death was something most of us today could not think of doing if put in the same situation. Of course the love of a Mother can make do anything for their child.
    Here is something to think about. I feel that Anne said no to Henry for a couple of reasons in the early “courtship”. One her heart was truly broken because of having Henry Percy torn from her. Two she thought that if she said no that Henry would tire and move on and she would still be able to marry “intact”
    I wonder how many people would put themselves in Anne’s shoes knowing they were going to have their baby taken from them and then to end up being killed because they could not have a boy and their husband had already picked out his next wife? Knowing they were hated by most of England and having propaganda spread about them many years after their death. (isn’t it a wonder how even after 500 some years we still talk more about her than any of the wives?)
    I think More had it right in Anne of a Thousand Days, “Never tell the King what he can do, but what he should do.” At least for Henry this rings so true.
    Also if Anne had not held out I wonder how long it would have been before the “Reformed” religion came into effect in England? Much change came about during this time and has made even the world what it is today I feel.

    Thank you Claire for a rant spoken like a lady!

    1. What’s the saying about not judging someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes, or something like that? It’s so true. None of us can understand what it was like to be a woman in that period of history or know what Anne thought and did, we just don’t have all of the information.
      Thanks for the encouragement, Cindy 🙂

  41. Claire,
    Sorry you got bombarded with such hate mail, you certainly don’t deserve it. You handled it well though, with grace and restraint. I love the Anne Boleyn Files and enjoy all your articles.

  42. I just wanted to say a big big thank you to everyone. It has meant so much to me to hear words of support and encouragement and I feel silly for letting nasty emails get to me when there are so many of you who are supportive. I love this community and thank you for making it what it is, you’re all great! xx

  43. Claire,

    So sorry to read today that you have been cyberbullied. It is what it is…times were very different and women were very restrained in Tudor times; it is impossible to fathom, with 21st century eyes and ideas, what it truly must have been like for women (and children for that matter) living during Tudor times. These types of bullies obviously have not done the research, the historical reading, nor done the intensive investigative work that is necessary; it is why I enjoy your work so much as it is well documented and referenced well. Please know you have many followers who respect your tireless research and work regarding Anne Boleyn and the Tudor Times. P.S. amazing that many think that a piece of fictional work, such as “The Other Boleyn Girl” or the cable hit “The Tudors” is not historically accurate. In fact, if you visit “The Tudors” websites and wikifan site, the fact that these shows were VERY inaccurate is acknowledged often. Please readers and cyberbullies….check your facts first.

  44. Rant away Claire! Another wonderful post, I just love reading these! 😀

    I am ashamed to admit that before I really started reading into the Tudor period, I was one of those people that judged some of the people from that era. I don’t think I was as virulent as some of these people sending you hate mail(I’m so sorry about that, you don’t deserve it AT ALL!!!! D: *Puts up fists*) Anyways, the point is, reading the many wonderful unbiased posts on your website is what inspired me to start looking at everyone objectively, and not with a 21st century lens, like you said in your post above.
    I’m so glad TheAnneBoleynFiles exists! It really has done wonders not only for debunking myths about Anne, but for studying history in general(for me anyway lol) So, sorry for the really long post Claire, just wanted to let you know that you really are an inspiration, and keep doing what you’re doing! 😀

  45. Claire, you wrote down very crucial points that “some people” forgot to see!!! I think one cannot undersyand anne or henry if they insist on looking at them from today’s point of view…Lots of my friends cannot understand why I like Anne so much:)

  46. Chin-Up Claire.
    I am still proud of Anne Boleyn. She played her cards well, unfortunately she missed the “boy” card. She can still excite such passion nearly 500 years after her death! Hopefully, we will still be alive to celebrate her big moment, she died as she lived, with her eyes open-as bravely as a lion!

  47. As Anne once said, “Ainsi sera groigne qui groigne.”

    I say, let them grumble, for in the end it is better for one to be thought a fool, then to send a nasty e-mail to you, and remove all doubt. Keep doing what you are doing. =)

  48. Sorry to hear that you have been the victim of hate email, Claire. I don’t know what right people think they have to be so offensive. Reasoned discussion is one thing but what’s the point of mud-slinging?
    I can understand people being passionate about their heroines but that sort of polarisation is ridiculous!

  49. Great points, Claire! I support you — and Anne. Look, bottom line is: she was accused of vile sins and disrespected the whole time she was Queen when she was alive. She doesn’t need the same judgment passed on her when she’s been dead for 500+ years. Let the woman rest in peace for goodness’s sakes. Lord knows she had enough to deal with while she was alive. Let’s not be juvenile. The past is the past. You cannot change is so learn to accept it, deal with it, and move on.

  50. The old double standard !! What about Henry?? He was a married man and head of the church. But Anne is the one to put all the blame on ! Wow we haven’t come very far in the last couple of hundred years!!! Keep up the good work!!!

  51. That is why I don’t like Phillipa Gregory (other than her historical inaccuracy). For some reason she does NOT like Anne Boleyn. She never says why, as far as I know. I don’t think she likes Elizabeth, either.

    1. Perhaps Gregory was once dumped for a witty, dark eyed sophisticate and it’s affected her subconscious. Or perhaps she read too many Barbra Cartland novels at an impressionable age. 😉

  52. Claire, i have learnt so much from you.Thanks for all of your insight and hard work.
    Some poor souls in this world are misguided and can only express their opinions through hate. I feel sorry for them. Dont let them ever silence you or dilute your writings or opinions.
    And since some are going down the Brangelina route, a new moniker is a must for Henry and Anne ~ HANNE lol loll. Sending you lots of festive cheer from downunder

  53. Amen Sister……You have my full support. Your bulleted points are concise and well thought out. Both Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn were very, very strong women who stood up to the King. So too are the subsequent wives who DARED to marry this egotistical King. I myself would have come down with some mysterious ailment to get out of marrying this guy………………But then again, this is the 21st century!!
    On a more personal note I hope that you don’t take these criticisms to heart. Your work is great and your fact finding is important. You are our window into the past to look again as to what has been written and portrayed as fact.
    Respectfully, Karen Nanvar

  54. Claire, I am so grateful for your site & look forward to your posts every day! I have learned so much from your tireless research…I never fully understood how pervasive “revisionist history” really is until reading your work. I look forward to continuing to learn from you! God bless you!

  55. Onya babes! I totally agree with you! I believe we live a democracy and as u are web mistress it’s your (and our) right to express an opinion without hate mail. If you don’t like the opinions, change sites! Simple!

  56. Claire, I’m as heartened by the support for you and this blog as you are. I post on some other, nonhistorical sites where there are lots of crazies and bullies, so it’s nice to see all the thoughtful posts here in only one day. The loonies haven’t taken over the web! Huzzah!

  57. Wow! Sorry to hear about the hate mail. People always amaze me at what they will write or say at times. I think you have given a very balanced view of the people and circumstances of that time period. I guess that is what the delete button is for. My Princess and I wish your family a very happy holiday and Princess says to throw out the bad mail as soon as you get it. Not worth taking up good space in your house or on your computer.

  58. Don’t listen to them! Trolls! Trolls everywhere! T_T

    I believe, as you have said, that we can’t see them through a 21st century ideology.

    Anne was ambicious, yes, but I think mostly she was pushed by the kings authority and her family’s goals.

    Catherine was a devoted woman, grown up as princess of Spain, and therefore proud and who knew she deserved her place as queen.

    Henry…. was a cancer! cancerians change their moods like the sea, they change with the moon. I should know, my mom is one

  59. Sorry Claire if u took offence to my An
    gelina reference. It was meant very tongue and cheek. No I do not believe Anne was totally nor do I believe she was an angel either.She was wronged but also she could dish it too. Yes she was a product of Tudor times but also was a shrewd politician and like all politicians she knew the risks and rewards. People will always be divided on their opinions about Anne but that is what makes her one of the most interesting figure. How boring the world would be if we all agreed.
    Lynn Salem,MA USA

    1. Lynn,
      No, please don’t think that I took offence or that my Angelina reference was anything to do with what you said, it wasn’t, I just wanted to make the point that we can’t look on this 16th century as a 21st century love triangle where people have choices.
      Yes, I love debate and love the fact that we all have different views, I just ask that people discuss things in the right way as is usual here.

  60. Thank you Claire!!! I get the same remarks from my friends who know how I feel about Anne. I believe she was a truly remarkable woman, and I believe you do her justice.

  61. I hate this whole Team Boleyn versus Team Aragon or Team Seymour idea. Such poor way to look at history. I’m Catherine of Aragon fan, doesn”t mean hate Anne or think she deserved her fate. Love your website Claire. Don’t let them get you down.

  62. Claire………….The new facebook pages about the Tudor Era that I have found on facebook……….are the highlight of my morning. I wake up….turn on the computer and there is always something that brightens up my day. The Anne Boleyn Files, The Elizabeth files and The Anne Boleyn Fellowship always have something that are of interest me. You have awakened the History buff in me….that I haven’t really delved into lately. I have learned so much..from you…..and others that make posts. Keep up the great work…….and as always.I know that in the morning…..I will learn something new.

  63. Aloha, Claire.

    Wow! Time to take some deep breaths! Your passionate dedication to the cause of historical understanding and accuracy, Claire, shows you are fighting the good fight.

    Anne Boleyn was a symbol of many things, and symbols tend to polarize. One religious extreme may think of the Lady Anne as a martyr, another as a heretic. Whether what someone stands for attracts or repels is determined by the eye (and mental conditioning) of the beholder . . . .

    The same people who so ignorantly choose to dump on you, perhaps are trying to re-vilify Anne, a symbol of their worst fears and a semi-fictional character in their heads at that! Some people also believe the headline makers’ lies about why “we” go to war . . . . what can be done? Free will exists, and we can choose to learn more if we so desire, or go on closed to the truth.

    Anyway, Claire, you are a champion educator, and show others how to take the high road! Warm thanks to your hubby, too, what a great sport he must be!


  64. Well done Claire! That was an amazing post. Don’t let the nasty emails get you down.Isn’t it wonderful to see that you have so much support today?

  65. Anne (and I don’t see this mentioned often enough) was a great leader of the reformation movement. She greatly advanced the protestant movement. I believe this one of the issues that brought her down.

  66. I felt very bad for Catherine,but this was not Annes fault,she was orderd by the King to be Lady in waiting to the Queen and ened up being Lady in waiting to the King.Anne loved Percy of Northumberland and wanted to marry him when ask for the Kings blessing he said NO! The King wanted Anne for himself she refused him ,Percy was forced to marry elsewhere Anne orderd to court for the rest of her life.Anne was no home wrecker and did not deserve to die. Also THX Claire and Tiff my Queen Anne ring came today it’s STUNNING !

  67. Claire donot let these History haters get you down!!!IF they don’t like this site GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!!! Your The Best Claire.

  68. The people that send you that kind of ‘junk mail’ and spew out that kind of hatred, have obviously got disturbed minds. They are cowards that hide behind their screens who would probably not have the intellect to have a face to face debate, or the guts to have a confrontation in person. As I said in a previous post they must feel threatened by your knowledge and intelligence and the respect you gain through it. These sort of people can not bear to see you or us getting pleasure from a mutual interest, so they try to destroy that happiness to make us as sad and pathectic as they are, well it won’t work!

    If they have got an axe to grind I suggest they get on their ouija boards (because that’s about the sensibility of them, they must have been witch finder generals in another life!) and get in touch with the man himself, and ask Henry why HE loved Anne so madly, why HE wanted Anne so much, that HE turned the country upside down to get what HE wanted, also why HE waited so long for her when HE could have had another woman at any time plus why HE treated Katherine and Mary so cruelly, Elizabeth too, after HE got rid of Anne…and so on..
    Then when they get the full story, then maybe they can come back with an interlectual insite instead of the incoherent rantings that they are spouting at you, but some how I don’t think that’s going to happen, do you?
    Soldier on Claire we are right behind you girl. 🙂

  69. Hi Claire,
    I’m so sorry you have received hateful emails–that is ridiculous behavior on the part of folks who just don’t get what this site is all about. I’m sorry for them but even more sorry that you, who put so much of your heart and soul into this project, would have to suffer those indignities. You and this site are absolutely awesome! And you have thousands who agree with me. Try not to let a few nay-sayers bother you. I, too, love Anne Boleyn but I am also very sympathetic to Catherine and Mary. I am fascinated by them all. Keep going, Claire. I, for one, couldn’t do without you!

  70. Keep up what you’re doing Claire! Don’t get discouraged by people who feel the need to be disrespectful and rude. I for one am “Team six wives” and feel Henry should get his fair share of the “blame game” and “name calling!”

  71. I just want to say all of you people on this site are the best and brightest smartest and I think we all are blessed to have CLAIRE and ANNE BOYLEN files in our lives. I so enjoy all that we share,a love for History open minds most of all sharring with with others what we no and what we may learn from Claire and all the good people on this site.

  72. Clarie,
    It is too bad that people have to send you hate mail. Everyone has an opinion, but to express it in a hateful manner is shameful. As for me personally, I am so happy that I found your site. I learn from this site and have been brought to understand Anne a bit better. I personally, feel for all of Henry’s wives. They were used in the game of politics of the day and in the some manner, paid a high price for that. It was totally a man’s world and women were used in anyway and in any manner that the men wanted to. I feel that this web site is the dedication to learning about Anne and her world. That includes ALL wives, children of Henry’s plus his mistresses and “all the kings men”. I say do not let the haters win. You have a large fan base, Claire. We are with you.

  73. Claire ‘ Put those MORONS and move on to better things, thay are nothing to your family your friend,just keep smilling . I can’t waite to read somemore History on ANNE and the TUDORS

    1. Hi baronessvonreis,
      I’m afraid I can’t post your pic on your profile as it’s actually not done by our site it’s an internet wide thing and is done by and used by lots of different websites. Here are the instructions:-
      “To get your photo/image on forum posts and on blog comments (and some other enabled websites), you need a “gravatar” – go to and sign up for a free account. You can either use an uploaded picture or your webcam to capture a photo. Once you’ve done this, all of your posts and comments on The AB Files will automatically have your chosen image.”
      I hope that helps and thank you so much for your kind words about the ‘haters’ xx

  74. I’m sorry you receive such hateful e-mails. Excellent points. If these haters don’t know anything about Anne, then this is the place to learn. Otherwise, I can’t figure out what they are doing here.
    If this site has taught me anything, it is that Henry’s wives were only trying to survive in Henry’s world. They were all amazing women.
    My problem is with the man himself!

  75. Hi,
    I am a huge fan of Anne Boleyn and I like to believe that her and Henry’s love was very real. Ignore the hate mail Claire, I think this website is fantastic xx

  76. Claire, even your rants are intelligent and informative lol. Thank you so much for putting up with the nonsense and hate mail to keep this fantastic site up and running for us! As you can see, you are very much supported and appreciated.

  77. Just wanted to say I am not on anyones team, all the histoy of the Kings and Oueens is great to know,this history shaped world as we know it today I love all that is on this site.Can’t wait to read more,were did teams play into to this?

  78. Wow, just Wow!!! i can’t believe that people after all these centuries can be that passionate about Anne Boleyn!I don’t have any hard feelings towards her.She was a product of her time.She was very clever and certainly had the brains and courage to play with Henry the way she did, to get him to marry her.Could she be bitchy at times,yes,all women can be.But there are a lot of women walking the streets today with the same sort of personality that she had. Some people have no life and just carry things too far.

  79. Claire, YOU ARE a NICE Person. Hang in there! Can Verity still wear her outfit? Maybe this time I should make you a Tudor dress! Adele

  80. Good for you Claire! These people are merely symptomatic of the ignorance in Society in general. Particularly here in the US where our education has been defunded to the extent of illiteracy.People are actually proud of being stupid and likely some evaluate Henry and Anne by comparisons with the Jerry Springer Show.

    Henry , Anne , and Katherine , as well as the rest of the Tudor family and those who associated with them were all complex beings made even more so by affairs of state. It is impossible to judge them not only by the standards of today but but we must also take their positions into consideration. These were not ordinary people and their actions were often not dictated by simple emotion.

    Some people place too much emphasis on the idea of “marriage” being a love match. Considering most royal marriages were arranged for state purposes, it makes it very likely the majority of most royal marriages were not based on love.

    As to whether Henry “loved” Anne or Katherine, or any of his wives, or how that “term” was applied in his generation, the jury will likely always be out. We do know Henry at least like to appear to be a lusty womanizer but the truth of even that is questionable.

    All we know for sure is that these people were products of their own time and situation and dealt with their circumstances in those ways that best suited their personalities.

  81. I was very sorry to read about your email troubles and hope it won’t dissuade you from continuing your excellent work. I had been a more casual follower until your recent video on young Thomas Boleyn. Now I’ve got you on RSS feed.

    Whenever I’m confronted by ugly human behavior, I try to use it as an opportunity to project said ugliness into the past to imagine what it might have looked like. Your screamers and haters could well be the nasty people in the crowd, looking indiscriminately for entertainment in bloodsport. Likewise, it’s an opportunity to think about how people have dealt with hate and vitriol in the past.

    And, at the end of the day, you are in control of the most powerful button:
    Delete! And POOF! They’re gone.

  82. Don’t take it personally, Claire, people just like to hate.
    Thank you for this website, which is probably the one I visit most frequently on the web!:)

  83. i`m convinced that people, who know at least something about the Tudor era would not ever complain about you nor your fantastic website. No need to be troubled by some jerks, who are convinced, based on romantic novels and fictions, that Anne was Henry`s kid, Mary`s children were all Henry`s etc….I doubt such people have ever read or heard some real, serious, (scientific) facts. Thanks to you, my library grows each year, books about Anne, Elizabeth, Henry and one of my favourites – the MIstress of the Realm (not exactly sure about the title) about Katherine Swynford.
    Great job 🙂

  84. As I said on Facebook, don’t let those people get you down. Your site is wonderful and I think it’s very nice of you to make this.

    I’m interested in learning more about Anne, there’s something about her that I find her the most interesting of Henry’s wives and also feel a genuine warmth toward her. She’s special.

    It’s funny because I’m Catholic and my parish’s name is St. Thomas More, I wonder if that’s unusual for me to an Anne Boleyn fan as well.XD My mother was brought up a Protestant though, so all the story is very interesting to me being as I have roots in both.

    Thanks again for the site and keep showing the love for Anne, that’s what she deserves! 🙂

    1. Hi Mandy ( & Claire ) I agree wholeheartedly, Mandy. Don’t let it get you down, Claire. You do a wonderful job here. I too, have had a special interest in the Tudors, especially Henry, Anne and Elizabeth. It started when I first learned of that part of history at school (in my junior school) and my fascination with them just increased as I got older. I agree, in that Anne really would not have had much choice. The King wanted her and that was about it. I feel VERY connected to them and a Medium friend of mine says I had relatives living at that time and there’s a strong connection to hunting. One of my all time favourite places is Hampton Court and Richmond. When I go to Walton-on-Thames, I always feel like I’ve ‘come home’. I don’t think I was directly related but I think my descendant may have been connected to the Palace somehow … and Queen Anne. Wouldn’t it be marvellous to find out!

  85. You make a very good point when you say “you can’t judge people who lived 500 years ago through a 21st century filter, life was very different then”. Sadly, it’s something that many historians today tend to forget, trying to put Anne (or any other historical figure for that matter) into today’s world and judging her by those standards.

    Personally, I’m not one for any extremes in history. I don’t believe Anne was a homewrecking b**ch, or a totally innocent victim of one of Henry’s tantrums. She knew what she was letting herself in for when she took the crown, but it doesn’t follow that she wanted it to happen or that she deserved what was coming to her.

    I love the site, Clare – mind if I use some of your material for a paper I’m working on about Anne Boleyn? You will be properly credited, of course, and I’ll try and send you a copy once I’m finished.

  86. I love the Anne Boleyn files, it is always interesting to sit and regress back in time, my opionion of Anne Boleyn is as I think we would judge today, that Anne fell in love, and like today when you fall in love you expect it to last for the rest of your life, as she did, her only fault in my opion was to love Henry, she did not deserve what happened to her as do not the men that died with her, Henry was a married man, but had played around from about not sure of the date but around 10 or so years after marrying Caterine of Aragon, I think that he did love Anne, but just wanted what he wanted and to hell with anyone else, even to the point of murder, you only have to looke at Margaret Pole…….

  87. I cannot understand those people with such childish attitudes. I meet them often on YouTube and the like. As Claire pointed out, times have certainly changed. We live in a world that would have been totally unthinkable and unintelligible to people of Tudor times (or any historical period, for that matter).

    Perhaps there is a bright spot in this. It seems that, even after all this time, these people and the events that made up their lives can still cause strong feelings and often heated debates. In the US, it seems that the study of history has taken a down turn in interest, especially by the young. It’s a good sign that some can still visualize Anne, Henry, and his women as having been living people who possessed strong emotions such as love, hate and a sense of betrayal. At least, they still have the power to interest the young (and grown ups) in the past. And that is a good thing.

    I think that Claire is very patient and probably more understanding than I am of misinformed and often ignorant writers. Kudos to her for bringing us an accurate picture of these people who were very human, with all that word implies.

  88. How are u doing? Please don’t let anyone get you down… no one can possibly understand life during the tudor era.

    Side note… Ever since I was a child, I would have dreams of a castle that I lived in surrounded by ponds, roses, and a strong man who loved me. As the years went on the dreams grew stronger.

    I met with 3 different psychic mediums and was told that I was Queen Anne Boelyn in my only past life.

    This is what got me interested in Queen Anne. As I researched I started having more dreams, I would dream of these different symbols and when I looked for them online I found them and they indeed were all connected to anne boleyn. I can even remeber being in the tower and the sadness she felt.

    I am told that this is why I am depressed now, and I must say I do so Admire Queen Anne and I hope in this life I can be half the woman that she was. I’m honored to share her memories.

    Long Live the Queen!

    1. Cool!! I always wished I was Anne Boleyn in a former life, but you are the lucky one. I found your comment more than a little interesting to say the least. I would love to hear more of your dreams and stuff.

    2. Oh dear, nobody is Anne and you shouldn’t want to be! Such a frightful end. Be yourself, that’s what Anne would say. She was that, and imperfect with the attendent nasty temper and vindictiveness. Not a bed of roses. 🙂

  89. Claire

    You do a marvelous job with presenting Tudor history and being objective about it. This particular site is dedicated to Anne Boleyn but you also present information about Henry, KOA, the Boleyn’s, the other wives etc., History is history and we can’t change it. It is the past. We also can’t judge it or the people that lived doing that time period. I think that both AB and KOA were women before their time or out of their time. I think both would have fought for women’s rights in another day or age.

    There should not be a Team Katharine or Team Anne. This is not a soccer match or rugby match. They both had their faults, weaknesses and strengths. If you look back at all Henry’s wives none of them really “won” as we would describe it today. Each of them paid dearly for their love of Henry or his love of them and their roles as Queen. The only one that left the Queen ship without death or severe damage was Anne of Cleves and who is to say that she did not regret the turn her life took ?

    All we can do is try to understand by way of gathering and analyzing information from that time period as to the how’s and why’s.

    But in the end it was Henry who was the main thread through all of their lives and he directed the show. It was his game and he was supreme ruler. We should never forget that one fact that influenced the whole Tudor period.

    Claire, I have been reading about the Beauforts (Lancasters) and about the Nevilles (Yorks) There seems to be some madness on both sides of Henrys line. There also seems to be some behavior that runs strongly through both sides. Can you possibly at some point in time do some research and an article on Henrys line from both sides and how his past ancestors could have contributed to his behavior ?

    Keep reading, researching and writing bringing us facts and fiction as well as a place where we can debate and state our opinions.

    1. It’s been mentioned/documented on tv and I would assume in writing from some varifiable source (which I don’t have access to) that porphoria (spelling?) runs in the royal family, and identifiable symptoms have been noted by royal physicians as far back as Mary Queen of Scots.
      In one of Phillipa Gregory’s novels (The Queen’s Fool) she describes Elizabeth I having a “dropsy” that would swell her joints, that presents itself in “episodes” during times of extreme distress, such as when she was under house arrest during her sister’s reign. I know it’s a work of fiction but is it possible that Elizabeth may have inherited porphoria from her father’s side of the family? The condition is known to cause unbalanced behavior.

  90. LOL! I love this post! My favorite people are those who take historical fiction to be cut wholly from factual cloth. It’s called “fiction” for one primary reason and I think we all know what that is.

    I think very few Tudor women “deserved” their lot in life. Katerina certainly didn’t, but nor did Anne. They were totally under the control of the males in their lives.

    You keep on doing what you do and let the silly people roll off your back!

  91. Wow,what a compliment to the ongoing mystique of Anne Boleyn. She can still stir up serious emotion from those who think they understand her, and are able to judge her actions, after near five hundred years.

    1. Yes, it’s odd that people feel that they can judge people after all this time when they don’t know what was going on in their heads and also cannot truly understand the context of their lives.

      1. Iam very sorry that you get hate mail just because your writing about someone they think is a wh*re.Poeple she is dead its not our place to judge someone that cant defend herself .She is in Gods hands he judges not us. we dont know what she had to go through. Anyways he was a king and also a man ,he has his own mind . I learned that men do what they want to do regardless what any one says. Its just some women are mean and love to blame other women . Iam shocked you actually get hate mail from poeple you dont even know. I love all that history so keep writing!!!

  92. Thank You for your Website – I thoroughly enjoy visiting it and reading all this history and am obviously enamored with Tudor England history. I am sorry that people have sent you email hurtful emails. You do not deserve that. You are absolutely correct that we cannot know what anyone was truly going through, nor what motivated the occurrences back then. I appreciate what you are doing and hope you continue.

  93. WOW people are so mean! I can’t believe they did that to you. I’m so sorry if they put you down and you are right to stand your ground. I certainly defend Anne with all my heart because she changed the world and she did it all in heels too! I agree with your statement after all what woman at that time would say NO to Henry? After all as far as I see it he was just a stalker with a crown. I can’t imagine any woman at time thinking “Oh you know what I think I’ll just say no to the King of England and while I’m at it you know what? I’ll seduce him and make him drop his wife and make me his Queen. Wow I have a lot to do. I wonder what Endora is doing?” (Yes that was a Bewitched reference)

    So don’t take their comments seriously. I think had Anne lived she would have been an excellent monarch as well as a good example for Elizabeth. Anne did not deserve what she got. Henry was simply a fickle man and a murderer of women. He did it what he did because he could and no one could tell him NO.

  94. I am thrilled to read anything about the Tudors. I find them all amazing to read about. My family was around the Tudors (one beheaded by Elizabeth 1). Henry VIII ‘s son by Bessie Blount is a ancestor. She was sister to my ancestor. I don’t seem to make any judgement of right or wrong. It is all so interesting.

    1. Hi Janice,
      You’re right, the Tudors are fascinating and I really can’t get enough of Tudor history! How are you descended from the Henry Fitzroy? He died before he had chance to have any children, I’m afraid.

      1. First, I love this website and have been fascinated by the Tudor dynasty since I was a child. My daughter is brought up with me telling stories from the lives of Henry and his wives instead of fairytales. 🙂

        But I just wanted to say that I interpret Janice’s post as her ancestor was from the sister of Bessie Blount and not from Henry Fitzroy. ( I could be wrong and I don’t even know if Bessie Blount had any siblings, but that’s how I read it 🙂 )
        Keep up the great work you do here 🙂

        1. Ah, that might be it, Angelwings, I’m not sure.
          I’m so glad you like the site, that’s good to hear, and thanks so much for your comment 🙂

  95. Just found this website, definitely will not be sending you hate mail. Did a “Tudor” tour in England last year, had a great time, can’t get enough Anne Boileyn, my favorite of the Big H’s six wives. Did she get what was coming to her? Yes. Fame and lasting significance. She was a fascinating woman. Just wish I knew what she really looked like. Do you think the model in Madam Toussand’s is accurate to some degree?

  96. Love your column. I have been fascinated by the Tudor dynasty ever sinceI was a kid. Was in the streets of London last year for Will and Kates wedding. It was beautiful. Like you, I love all of the wives for different reasons. I am intrigued by their lives at court and how living with Henry must have been both exciting and terrifying. I cried as I stood over Henry and Jane’s graves and again in the chapel with Anne at the Tower. Can’t wait to go back and visit Hever. No hate mail needed people. Columns like this allow for great discussion on all these amazing ladies.

  97. Claire, I’ve got to hand it to you, as you certainly know how to defend this site. I usually laught when things are put in such sardonic and wryly orrect way as to almost slap one in the face. It started with the second bullet about how Henry VIII must have had something to do…then the part comparing them to Angelina and Brad, I just was laughing more, the seventh bullet is absoluely true. Also, the fact that Mary was treated worse after Anne’s execution is right on the mark. I also loved the freedom to speech part about how you are allowed to write about Catherine of Aragon, and so on. I also adored the undestated cut about “The Other Bolen Girl’ being fiction is fabulous.

    You basically told these people that they are welcome to change the channel on television if you don’t like it.

    Man, I love when you write, it like taking a medicine that makes on better in a few minutes. You are talentd, intelligent, a true scholar, archeologist, researcher, writer, and more, with the same passion for Anne that I do.

    Thank you! WilesWales

    1. Hi WilesWales,Once a again I agree and can’t belive what I read on Claire site I was LIVID! If they hate Anne thats there problem,clearly they no nothing and should find a different site,or maybe read your HISTORY. Regards Baroness Von Reis

      1. Thank you, Baroness, once again! I think perhaps the reason one person wrote this to the AnneBoleynfiles may be a Phillpa Gregory fan; this is only one of the many thoughts I’ve had about the motivation behind this, but many others as well. . This site is made for discussion with regard to Anne, her life, her reign, her fall, the Tudor dynsasty, etc. This person most likely doesn’t not like civll conversations about Anne and wanted it to drive Claire crazy (as she said she gets a lot of them, but this one plucked at her very last nerve. I was on the TudorWiki site for a while and all the forum queens just wanted to argue with me with no sources, etc. This site is for those who are truly devoted to Anne. This is about ideas, discussions, and other thoughts that one might sit back and think, “Hey, they may have a point here.” It’s not like getting a red mark for making a mistake. We are educated mature adults on this site. So you are right once again as well. Thank you! WilesWales

        1. Hello Wiles Wales,I have not seen you on the AB files for a long time??I hope that one day we will here from you again, miss you much and all your knowledge!Hope you will return. Kind Regards Baroness

  98. You have a wonderful website that is very informative about all the Tudors and associated persons. Anne Boleyn appears to have been an intelligent and brave woman. All of Henry’s wives seem to have been unique in their own way. I thank you heartily for your defense of Anne against her detractors. Please keep up providing all of us with these great articles!

  99. Claire,I have read these comments clearly by people who aparently no nothing about this doomed Queen! Maybe before they make a comment, they should get there info right also if they find this site un peasant go SOMEWHERE ELSE! Anne and I qoute said to the King; I will olny give you the Love of a loyal subject,when she was FORCED to live her life out ,at the court with the King. This was a order by Henry and Anne was very much against this. If Anne wanted to wreack the Kings marriage to Catherine, it would not have taken her six years to do so,she hated him.So the next time these Anne Haters need to voice such stupid mean,take some time out and READ YOUR HISTROY.Hope all is well looking forward to more to of the AB files also very great to see the book launch. THX Baroness Von Reis


  101. Don’t let these people get you down Claire. It was King Henry who wanted Queen Anne Boleyn. It was he who did everything as King to marry her. And everything you mentioned about the lives in Tudor times is so true a women dare say no to her husband lest a King. Queen Anne Boleyn was an intelligent women I commend her and think she was magnificent!! Again it was he not she who wanted the marriage to end. Keep up the excellent work Claire! Love your site!! 🙂

  102. PS. I read King Henry’s love letters to Queen Anne Boleyn seems to me he let her down. Seems from what I read that he was the more ardent one after her love. And true times were different in the lives of these people. ♥

  103. Poor Anne had to live with the reality of her situation, and to make the best of what she got. She couldn’t marry anybody else as Henry wouldn’t countenance it. Say no to a king? Off with your head! Unless you wore Anne’s petticoats, of course.

  104. it’s easy to say what we, as modern people would do, diffrent thing living at that time.

    I’ve read all the Phillipa Gregory books and have read them for what they are, fiction, pure and simple, as for Ms g regory’s claims at the end of her novels……….I don’t think so dear somehow………she may have degrees in history and she may have taught it at some point but I think she’s been living in the land of novel writing for a tad to long now.

    Most historacial novel writers never claim thier work as fact only thier interpertaion of the facts and leave their readers to make up thier own minds!

  105. I want to thank you for your website. It is delightful. I think it is in poor taste to to rude to you. I had a negative oppinion of Anne Boleyn until reading “the Diary of Anne Boleyn”. I love your websites! You are wonderful!!!

  106. Hi Claire – I am fascinated about the Tudor era, as my aunt had researched our family history and we are related to Jane Seymour, the 3rd wife of Henry VIII (of course, it would be through her siblings, as she only had one son and he died at an early age)! Since none of us lived during this time, we can only go by what we read and watch on T.V. However, there is a polite way to have a debate where someone does not feel like they are being personally attacked. Good job and well done for all the information you are revealing to all of us Tudor buffs! Please keep up the good work and continue revealing all that Tudor history that we have come to love! Sincerely Diane

    1. How interesting! Jane Seymour was one of ten children, which included Henry Seymour (d.1578), Thomas Seymour, Baron Seymour of Sudeley, and Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector. Thomas’s daughter died in infancy but Edward Seymour had ten children (I think) so you probably descend from one of those.

      Thank you, I’m glad you like the site.

  107. What makes the whole Tudor dynasty fascinating to me is how it ended with Elizabeth. How she emerged the way she did is simply amazing to me. Therefore, all the characters involved along the way, the good, the bad, the ugly… It doesn’t really matter how I feel about them because they went into the making of Elizabeth. It seems history played out exacty as it should have. The world would could have turned out very differently if any of them deviated from their scripts.

    1. I think Elizabeth was an incredibly strong character. I can’t imagine how she felt being imprisoned in the same apartments as her mother had been, not knowing whether her half-sister would sign her death warrant, and to rise above her past and become she queen she did – wow!

      1. Love your web site, and was fascinated by Tudor history long before I found the ‘site’
        I found Elizabeth as fascinating as her mother, and she had the same intelligence.
        Your site is fantastic, and aquired your book and also the Eric Ives.
        Forget the hate mail, what nitwits, they probably think “Coronation Street’ is real.,
        Is there any chance I could get the Anne Bolyn rose in Canada.? Looks almost like a David Austin rose.

        1. Hi Enid,
          My Anne Boleyn rose is a David Austin one so you can probably get it in Canada. I’ve got four of them now and they’re beautiful.
          The Ives book is wonderful, I call it my Anne Boleyn “Bible”, and I hope you enjoy my book too.

  108. “You can’t judge people who lived 500 years ago through a 21st century filter, life was very different then”.

    According to my history tutor this is the first rule when studying history. Good rant Claire, well done 🙂

  109. I think both Ann and Catherine were both very much victims of Henry……..though Ann probably didn’t realize that until she was almost in the same shoes that her predecessor wore………I think they were both strong women and deserve respect just as you do…….I love your site……..

  110. It’s so easy to be nasty and pick on people over the ‘net, isn’t it? I bet half the people saying mean things to you wouldn’t do it if you were face to face…

    I just discovered you. And I am SO glad. I have been fascinated with the Plantagenets and Tudors for years, and I feel like a kid at Christmas with your website.

    One thing I have read about this era is that family and promoting the interests of family were of the utmost importance. I think one must remember that in considering the choices the Six Wives made. Not only did you not refuse a king, but you didn’t lose an opportunity to improve the fortunes of your family.

    Wasn’t it Sir Thomas More who said something to the effect of not letting the King know what he could do or he would do it? I think he had a handle on Henry’s ego. Love turns to hate when the spoiled party doesn’t get their own way, eh?

    1. Yes, people say things in emails and comments that they would never have the nerve to say face to face. I am always shocked by the hatred I encounter from some people, it’s bizarre.

      I’m so glad that you found The AB Files and I really hope that you enjoy having a browse. Let me know if you need to find anything in particular, although the Google search box is very good at finding the appropriate article!

      Yes, Thomas More said (in The Tudors and A Man for All Seasons I think) that Wolsey had advised him “That I should only ever tell the king what he ought to do, not what he could do; for if the lion knows his own strength, no man could control him”. This was based on More’s words to Cromwell, “If you follow my poor advice, you shall, in your counsel giving unto his grace, ever tell him what he ought to do, but never what he is able to do. So shall you show yourself a true, faithful servant and right worthy counsellor. For if a lion knew his own strength, hard were it for any man to rule him” (R.W. Chambers, ‘Fame among his countrymen’ in The Fame of Blessed Thomas More p291). He also commented to his son-in-law that “if my head would win him a castle in France, it should not fail to go”.

      1. Claire,
        Ah, thank you for the exact words- I read it so long ago, I could only remember the gist of it.

        So far, I am enjoying the site tremendously, but will most certainly ask if I think of anything in particular.

        Thanks for doing all this- it’s fantastic!

  111. Claire, don’t worry about it. These people are childish and immature, and I totally agree with what you said, “You can’t judge people who lived 500 years through a 21st century filter, life was very different then”. And it was. It’s true, people try to judge Anne by today’s standards when she lived over 500 years ago. Contradicting what the other person said, no, I don’t believe Anne knew what she was letting herself in for when she took the crown, otherwise she wouldn’t have taken her father’s and uncle’s advise, poor thing. She fell in love with Henry, and life became more difficult for her after that. And yes, like you said Claire, Henry might have had something to do with breaking up his marriage too. I love Tudor history and I love the first two seasons of The Tudors, after that the show went downhill. Anne Boleyn is, in my opinion, the most fascinating of Henry’s wives and seeing her go on The Tudors was upsetting.

  112. I, too, love all of the wives of Henry VIII. From all of the works of fiction & non-fiction that I have read on his wives, I always thought of Anne Boleyn as somewhat of a victim. I do. Times were different then, & arranged marriages are still practiced, to this day, in many countries. The girl gets no say in many of those. Sad, but that’s how it is. Almost everyone of his wives (except Catherine Parr) were an arranged marriage between the Crown & the woman’s families. Yes, Anne may have been “bewitching” to Henry, but I always regarded that as “flirty.” Did she sleep with him before their marriage? I say probably yes, but that is based on Henry’s personality, not because she was a “bewitcher.’
    Even if the people called her The King’s wh*re, or other hateful things, look at the legacy she left. Her daughter, Elizabeth, was one of the greatest monarchs of her time. I think it’s time that Anne should be able to hold her head high (no pun intended in any way) & be recognized for her acomplishments, & not gossip.

  113. “In Tudor times women did not have choices, they belonged to their fathers and husbands.”

    I keep having to explain this to people, and I don’t get why they don’t understand it.

    Think of the other backwards things they believed, like women were responsible for the gender of a child…and if she miscarried, she must’ve done something.

    If you’re a true feminist, you won’t blame Anne.

  114. I am astonished to think that people would attack you for your articles! It is evident that you put much research into what you write and I love reading it! Many years ago I watched a movie called Mary Queen of Scots with Glenda Jackson and Vanessa Redgrave and it caused me to want to read more about these fascinating women, then I wanted to know about their families and so on. Thus began a “love affair” for history that has lasted for over 40 years! I found that I am a descendant of Gundred de Warenne who at one time was thought to be a daughter of the Conqueror now most agree she was not, however through her I am related to many royal houses which really gave me something to be proud of and maybe justify why I am so drawn to royal histories! Keep doing what you are doing and ignore the ignorance of those who judge I for one love your writing. Now sit back have a cup and say phew I got that off my chest! Best of luck in the future 🙂 Gail

  115. I have only just discovered this site and I’m totally loving it. Ignore the haters they have nothing better to do. I read these pages like an eagar school child willing to learn. Love everything about the Tudors. Keep up the good work

  116. Right on Claire! If people wanna email you they should be polite. Treat everyone like you wanna be treated.
    Just because you run a site on AB doesn’t mean you couldn’t write about CoA, JS, AoC, CH or CP. You can write whatever you like about. Those who don’t like it better not view your site then and if they haven’t got comments they better “hold their peace” (or in nowadays language – shut their mouths) completely. 😀

    I think you write very well and you are always viewing things very objectively, not patronising or villain-ising anyone. You just wanna get to the “bottom of the pot” (ha ha) and find out about back then. I find it very interesting to read it and wonder whether someone (maybe even you) will one day find out more or whether one day there will be another jigsaw piece be found that can bring us nearer to some facts. very exciting thought.

    Keep up the good work!

    Saludos desde Irlanda. 🙂

  117. Hello Claire. You have written some of the best articles on Anne Boleyn. I am fascinated with the Tudors and I am currently writing a huge report on the life of Anne Boleyn. I may have to cite some of your amazing work!
    Thank you!
    -Ashley Malone
    New Haven

  118. Well, well. What can I say Claire that hasn’t been already said. I can NEVER understand people who think they can cast themselves back into a century or even an era. We have too much of it – unless one was actually there of course you cannot make these ridiculous value judgements. It has happened recently with things that happened in WWII – we were fighting for survival and unless you actually took part, then shut up ! Life in Tudor times for women was harsh whoever you were and SURVIVAL was the all important factor.
    I love your website and enjoy the analysis of history which in itself is a fascinating journey of ” well I never knew that “.
    I’m with you Claire – continue along the same path……

    Sandy Acathan. (Expat in Brittany)

  119. my take on AB and Henry8
    Anne surely was driven to be a queen. Her upbringing compelled her to be so. I fault her not and salute her for rising above all expectations. I sincerely believe her to be an honest and devoted daughter and eventually wife. For her to commit adultery and therefore treason would be like saying the pope is a jew.
    Henry, on the other hand was more like a spoiled insecure child which lasted all the way thru adulthood and is evidenced by the way he ran his kingdom. Anne, being who she was was more than a match for him. Had a son been conceived before 1536 the ending to this affair would have lasted longer but given her strength and his weaknesses it would have cost her her head eventually. The marriage was doomed from the very start. How sad!

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