DivorceThis post is part two of my series on the personality of Anne Boleyn and the many opinions that people hold of her. Do make sure that you read last week’s article on “Anne Boleyn: A Victim” and my previous series on “Anne Boleyn: The Witch”, “Anne Boleyn: The Great wh*re” and “Anne Boleyn: The Martyr”.

This article on “Anne Boleyn: The Homewrecker” was inspired by a comment on someone’s blog about how she was fed up of Anne Boleyn being romanticised when Anne was nothing but a homewrecker who destroyed a 20+ year marriage.

Now, as a happily married woman who has seen other marriages destroyed by infidelity, I cannot condone a woman setting out to trap a married man or even a woman starting an affair with a married man when it is initiated by the man, but I really don’t think the Anne and Henry situation was like that. Here are some of my reasons:-

  • Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon was over before Henry even met Anne – Retha Warnicke (“The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn”) writes of how Henry and Wolsey secretly met with French envoys to start negotiations over a French-English marriage alliance before Anne even became a maid of honour at court. Philippa Jones (“The Other Tudors”) writes of how Wolsey, when negotiating the Treaty with France in 1514, mentioned the possibility of Henry divorcing his Spanish bride. Kelly Hart (“The Mistresses of Henry VIII) also writes of how rumours of an annulment of the marriage between Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon were rife in 1514. We know that Henry had stopped sleeping with Catherine long before he met Anne and that he considered the marriage over and also not legal, due to the fact that Catherine was his brother’s widow.
  • Anne did not willingly enter into an affair with Henry – We know from Henry’s letters to Anne that she refused to be his mistress and that his love and passion for her was, at the start, unrequited. Anne seemed to be fighting Henry off rather than trying to trap or pursue him. Eric Ives points out that Anne refused to sleep with the King and kept away from court, and that usually this would have led to the relationship fizzling out. Ives says that it was the King’s “realization that he could not live without Anne” that led to Henry proposing marriage and Anne changing her mind and returning the King’s feelings. Contrary to some people’s opinion that Anne dangled her virtue as bait for the King and that her refusal of his advances was a big game to trap him, there is no way of Anne knowing that her refusal would lead to a proposal of marriage, afterall, the King could have any woman he wanted as mistress.
  • Henry was to blame for the deterioration of his marriage – I hate the way that the “other woman” is always villified in these circumstances! Shouldn’t the married man take some responsibility as he is the married one! Henry VIII had stopped sleeping with Catherine of Aragon by 1524 and had been considering annulling the marriage 10 years before that. He knew that Catherine would not be able to bear any more children and he was convinced (perhaps!) that their marriage was wrong in the eyes of God because he had married his brother’s widow (Leviticus 20 verse 21). His need for an heir, combined with the Old Testament commandment, was the perfect excuse for an annulment and a new marriage. Henry seemed convinced that the death of his sons with Catherine was a sign that the marriage was invalid. Whether or not we accept this argument, it was Henry who was looking for a new wife and his mission of an annulment had nothing to do with Anne Boleyn in the early days.
  • Anne couldn’t say no – How do you refuse the King? It is amazing that she managed to fend him off for so long because he was definitely used to getting his way with women (with everyone in fact!). Anne must have felt so much pressure – being pursued by the King, knowing that her family’s position at court depended on her keeping the King happy etc. I don’t believe that Anne really had a choice in the matter but that she was able to turn the situation round and say “yes” to the King on her terms. OK, perhaps you could say that she hastened the end of the royal marriage by refusing to be a mistress that Henry may well have cast off, but her desire to keep her virtue and only give in to Henry for marriage should be admired not condemned.

So, while I don’t believe that Anne Boleyn was a victim of sexual harassment, who had no choice in her relationship with Henry VIII, I also don’t believe that she was a “homewrecker” or a seductress who set out to lure the King away from Catherine of Aragon. What do you think?

Please share your thoughts and opinions by commenting below.

P.S. There are still spaces on “The Anne Boleyn Experience 2010”, our special Anne Boleyn tour set in Anne’s own home at Hever Castle – Find out more at http://tour.theanneboleynfiles.com/.

P.P.S. Remember, if you’re a Philippa Gregory fan, to follow Elizabeth Woodville’s tweets from today until the launch of “The White Queen” on the 18th August – follow them at http://twitter.com/ElizWoodville and also read my review at http://reviews.theanneboleynfiles.com/the-white-queen-by-philippa-gregory/161.

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37 thoughts on “Anne Boleyn: The Homewrecker”
  1. Sorry to be so blunt, but whoever said that Anne was just a “homewrecker” has absolutely zero concept of history or the life and times of women during that period.

    You’re a woman whose family is rising fast in the English court. Your monarch, like most of them past and present, is engaged in extramarital affairs with more than one lady–possibly more than one lady at a time. Your own sister was formerly one of those women.

    You are ordered by your family to capture the king’s attention and keep it so that they may gain from your influence over the King. What are you supposed to do?

    If you say “no”, there’s a darn good chance you’re going to find yourself cast out of house and home. So what then? Find a job? The best prospects of work for a woman of noble birth were to become a lady’s maid or companion–and what family on EARTH is going to accept you into their household, effectively giving you protection, while your family has the ear of the King and can make their lives completely miserable, maybe even send some of them to prison?

    So, basically the only other option open to you is prostitution–because it’s hardly likely you’re trained to do anything or would be accepted in any other way. Prostitutes don’t live long in Tudor England and usually make bad ends with disease or at the hands of their “lovers”.

    It’s very clear in the surviving letters of Henry VIII to Anne that she had absolutely no interest in him at first. Henry, and Henry alone, is responsible for breaking his marital vows. If you have a person who is intent on remaining monogamous nobody, no matter how seductive or skillful, is going to tempt them into an affair. I mean, this isn’t like the movie “Obsessed” where the assistant slips her boss a Rohypnol so that she can slide into bed with him.

    I find it so ironic that most people who are so critical of Anne, have little to nothing to say about Camilla Parker Bowles who, let’s face it, carried on an affair with the Prince of Wales knowing he was married. Given how times have changed since Anne’s day, unlike Anne, Camilla certainly had a choice. However, it is Prince Charles who is responsible for breaking his marriage vows.

    Also, it’s pretty easy to sit there and say “oh, I’d never do anything like that” when you aren’t being put into the position of being forced to choose and have a very limited idea of what life was like during those times–particularly for women.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Kate, it’s good to know I’m not alone in sticking up for Anne! Why oh why do people always blame the woman?! You make some great comments so thank you so much for taking the time to share them. I really agree with you about Anne having no choice in the matter, but I like to believe that she did fall in love with Henry.

  3. I’ve just received the following comment from Julia via email:-

    “I did try to comment on last weeks, but can I remind you that Anne had been very deeply in love with Harry Percy, the parents had agreed to the marriage and henry broke that betrothal she was angry and hurt, and the straw that broke the camels back was when Percy was hurried into marriage with mary talbot.

    Anne was always a victim, the fact that her sister mary was with child by the king should have meant that there was an affinity between them, but Henry got round that one by bundling mary into marriage with william carey.

    Once Anne was married and a mother, her concern was her daughter, and the throne she should inherit at her father’s death, any mother worth her salt would fignt for that, Anne was no differant.

    She wasnt really a homewrecker, if it hadnt been her it would have been someone else, but she had made up her mind she would not be the kings mistress, Henry had made up his mind that by hook or by crook Anne would be his, and it was he who didnt care who’s feet he trod on to achieve it, as human as the rest of us she saw an opportunity, which would put her in a powerful position to ensure the security and comfort of her family and friends, but also where she could get her revenge on those who had caused her pain.

    Anne was not a witch, the witchcraft charge would not stand up because, rumour had it Anne and Henry had been married by pagan rite and that only a blood letting would free him from her, witches were burned or hanged.

    Anne is not romanticised, anyone who really knows anything about her would realise that she was fighting for Elizabeths future as any mother would, she was frightened and she was alone.”

  4. I don’t really think of Anne as a home wrecker when really, Henry, and Catherine’s marriage was practically over anyway, she was getting to old to bear him any children, she had only given him one child who survived past childbirth. He basically had no more use for use her. So really Anne didn’t ruin their marriage she was just a catalyst for its demise. Henry might have endured the marriage a little longer if Anne hadn’t have come along, but in the end he would have ended it anyway.

  5. I think that Anne was stalked and harassed by Henry. Maybe not in the terms of today but he wrote her, sent presents to her, came to see her. What could she do ? This was the King of England. How do you say “No”. Henry VIII probably didn’t even know the word. Considering she managed all those years to keep Henry in love with her says that she was an usual woman, one worth having. One other thought, once Henry had declared for her there would be no other matches with any other nobles. Anne was cornered if she wanted marriage and children it would have to be with the king. Anne never pursued Henry. Henry always pursued Anne.

    Anne must have been heartbroken when Henry Percy and she were torn apart. From everything that I have read they were very much in love.

    Anne was orginally brought back from France to marry the Earl of Ormonde to cement the title going to her heirs and stop the feud.

    Anne tried to run away by staying away from the court but the pressure on her to honor and obey her family was intense. I don’t think that Anne was necessarily a victim – more of a useful tool for her family. I wonder if that’s why she was educated in France -because nobles of england liked everything french ?

    Henry was never going to have a male heir with Catharine and maybe he thought she could be convinced to step down for the good of the country. There were several queens in france who went into nunneries and were divorced or put aside for a younger woman who could produce the male heir. This was happening long before Henry VIII cast his eyes on her.

    As Julia said above “Once Anne was married and a mother, her concern was her daughter, and the throne she should inherit at her father’s death, any mother worth her salt would fignt for that, Anne was no different.”

    Every mother feels the same – I would also fight to the death for my daughter’s rights.

    Anne was not a homewrecker – if anyone was a homewrecker it was that pasty faced Jane Seymour.

    After all is said and done though Anne was a courageous and loyal woman – imagine her thoughts just before she was executed. She would never see her daughter grow up and be the brillant monarch that she was.

    Did Anne ever have a choice in anything she did ? I think not, she could only make the best of a bad situation as all women of that time.

  6. How could this woman wreck a home that never was? Henry was so much infatuated by his brother’s beautiful? widow, he had her. But, she being so much older than him, and in those days the gap would have widened so quickly, no Oil of Olay goin’ on here!! Her child bearing days done, again perhaps early by our standards, but, no Invitro either! He needed other women. He needed sex, he needed a male heir. He was going thru the whole male second childhood thing, but put a 1500’s twist on it and add to that unlimited power and the cocktail turns lethal, that is where Anne was. She had to have been either evil beyond our ken, or she was caught up in something we really cannot even imagine, because, it would have been a fairy tale, except for the very bad ending. OOOh wait a minute maybe thats were fairy tales come from.

  7. You know what, I have to add, I do not see much beauty in Anne’ portraits, and I have to put it down to the time, but, look at the portraits of Henry. He had piggy little eyes and a terribly mean little pursed up mouth.He got portlier and portlier, and at his death was apparently grotesque as well as odiferous and with a personality to rival them both. No, Anne never wanted this man, and she didn’t deserve him either.

  8. Julia, Yes, I agree with you about Anne putting her daughter first, like any mother. I’m not sure whether Anne was looking for revenge though. Although she would have been upset over the whole Percy issue, I don’t think that it was her revenge that led to Wolsey’s downfall, I think it was more a matter of Wolsey dragging his feet over the annulment and not being honest with Anne and Henry. Where did you read about the marriage by pagan rite?

    Bassania, that’s a great way of putting it – that Anne was not a homewrecker but was a “catalyst” for the demise of the marriage. We know that Henry had been looking for another wife previously so if it hadn’t been Anne it would have been someone else. There was no way that Henry would have stayed with Catherine, he would have found a way to remarry and get a son.

    Sherri, yes, Henry was the one pursuing Anne and not the other way round. I agree that Anne saw that there was no real way out of the situation and so made the best of it. I do believe though that she and Henry loved each other and, as I’ve said before, there was a real meeting of minds because they were similar in so many ways.

  9. Hi June!
    I think that Henry did love Catherine first of all. She was attractive and intelligent and so he was happy to take on his brother’s widow. He trusted her enough to leave her in charge of fending off the Scots while he sorted out the French and I think he was happy until her many miscarriages and still births took their toll on her looks and Henry realised that she would not be able to give him a son.

    Henry was quite a catch and was one of the best looking princes and Kings in Europe but his leg injury affected his ability to joust, hunt and exercise, so he began to put on weight. He went from being a handsome, virtuous prince to being a tyrannical monster. Anne, like many others, was a victim of his paranoia and tyranny. No, I don’t believe she was evil, I think she was in over her head and was just trying to survive. Poor Anne.

  10. Henry, i think loved catherine to start with, but he also might have felt a bit… well sorry for her, (forgive my phrasing) after the way she had been treated thoughout his father’s reign, she treated horribly by Henry VII after Arthur died, and i think her stubborness also might have captured Henry’s attention, her unwillingness might have led in her favour, he would have thought during the battle of Scotland, and it wasn’t in her nature to give up. qualities she probably got from her mother. this was also proven again in the divorce proceedings. But as she failed to produce a male heir, henry’s interest was bound to wane. forgive me but, i also think that if it wasn’t for his preoccupation with providing England with an Male heir, he might have been happier in any one of his first two marriages. i mean both his daughters are remembered as monarchs, either for killing hundreds of people of for defeating the spanish armada. His son, yea not so much. I mean i’m sure he did something but you don’t read about it very often, you hear o0f how he changed the succesion order, but thats about it

  11. A serial adulterer, a bully and a narcissist versus a confused and vulnerable young woman obeying the wishes of her parents and the king. So who, exactly, is guilty of the home wrecking?
    No contest.

    1. When Henry met Anne Boleyn he was not a bully, he was never a narcissist, plus there was nothing vulnerable or confused about Anne, who wasn’t that young either. As for a serial adulterer, that is questionable. He had a few mistresses, brief affairs with mostly single women while his wife was pregnant, which was unfortunately expected at the time. Anne might have said no at first but she wanted to be Queen, not his mistress. She would only have agreed to marriage and Henry needed a son, he was not obsessed with the idea for fun, he believed as did most men that a woman could not rule. He was a product of the mindset of his day. Anne was not forced to do anything by the King or her parents.

      Yes, his marriage to Katherine was effectively over, but he was only looking into a possible case for an annulment, after Katherine’s childbearing days were well behind her. He fancied Anne and she had indicated that she would give him sons if she was his Queen. She probably didn’t think he would take her seriously but he did and why not marry someone he was falling in love with? Within a year Henry and Anne had a mutual, loving relationship and wanted the same things. Henry is mostly to blame, but Anne was not innocent or vulnerable in her role on the path to being Queen. Anne only became vulnerable once she was Queen.

  12. I don’t think Anne was a “homewrecker”. Henry wanted a male heir and didn’t care who he had to bowl over to get one.

  13. Hi Bassania,
    Yes, it’s such a shame that Henry gave no real thought to his daughters being monarchs and yet look at what monarchs they were! I’m sure he would have been completely astounded seeing Elizabeth on the throne but also incredibly proud. Yes, I can’t really think what Edward VI did apart from make Mary’s life a misery!

  14. Rochie,
    Let me think…serial adulterer, a bully and a narcissist versus a confused and vulnerable young woman obeying the wishes of her parents and the king…tough one! Yes, definitely “Henry the Homewrecker”! He loved wrecking homes and families, and taking loved ones away and executing them!

  15. One could say that most of Henry’s queens were seductive pawns of their families to some extent. Katherine was pimped out for a Spanish war on France and surely used her feminine wiles to stay in England after her marriage to Arthur ended. Jane Seymour picked up tips from her former queen, dangling herself in front of Henry at the careful instruction of her family. Katherine Howard’s sole purpose was to seduce the king, making him feel young again.

    The fact that Anne wasn’t a completely innocent pawn at the hands of her family makes her stand out from the pack. I’m sure it will be addressed in the next post on the “career woman,” but Anne was certainly a well-educated individual. Having been raised in two prominent courts with the best tutors, she held her own against Henry and her family. She wheeled and dealed with the best of them as a major political player from the earliest stages of the “Great Matter,” well before the suggested route of Henry-as-Supreme-Head was a twinkle in her eye. I believe it was their matched intellect and fervor that drew Henry to her so passionately in the first place. Anne and Henry were cast from the same mold.

    If her story hadn’t ended with (false) accusations of adultery, perhaps she wouldn’t so often be cast in the role of homewrecker.

  16. Hi Shannon,
    I agree with you about Henry’s wives being used as pawns by their families, I think Anne of Cleves was used by her brother and so was just as much a pawn as the others. There’s really only Catherine Parr who wasn’t a pawn because she had been married before and was more experienced than the others. I also agree with you about Anne and Henry being well matched intellectually, perhaps too matched. I think Henry really did expect Anne to settle into a new role when they were married and to become more submissive and demure, rather than still debating and arguing with him.

    I’m not sure why people are so quick to label Anne as a homewrecker and yet they don’t mention Henry’s role in the matter, he was the one who was married!

  17. I’ve been watching the Tudors series. I’m currently at the part where Anne’s star starts to fall at court. While the show takes great license with history, I think they nail the human element: the seduction of power, manipulations and jockeying for position with no real concern for life. It almost seems that the roles and the situation is even larger than the people involved; everyone gets swept along in the tumult at some point.

    The show plays out very subtly the issue of how little control Anne really did have. Her father and uncle were essentially pimping out the Boleyn girls as most fathers would do if it were advantageous to them and often did. I think most of us agree that Anne was without much choice in the matter.

    (I’ve always been fascinated by the Tudors and read many books on the subject so I am not basing my knowledge on the cable series by any means.)

    Mostly, throughout his reign, I feel in many ways, though a brilliant man, Henry behaved much as a willful child. He would stop at nothing to get his way and everyone was expendable. The women even more so. His violence is not surprising. Henry the VII taught his son to rule with force and authority. I remember reading a story about how Henry VII had some of his dogs hung as traitors for killing a lion in the ring during a staged fight between the animals as a lesson to anyone that would even consider crossing a king — even the “king of beasts.” The lesson for the young Henry — to rule with absolute authority and Henry VIII did.

    From my experience in working in a male dominated field of work (commercial/industrial construction), men often expect women to be many things. They admire you for being strong and independent, but they expect you to be demure and passive. They demand that you do your job, but are frustrated and threatened when you succeed. Most women probably wouldn’t recognize the men I work with even though they might be married to them or mothered them. I was thinking about this in regards to Anne and her situation. Henry fell in love with a strong, independent, and intelligent woman with spirit. Part of the allure for him was owning that spirit — much like capturing a beautiful wild horse or a hawk and breaking it to serve your will.

    Is that the way it happened? I don’t know. It is my own theory. It is all too easy to look at the world and history through our lens of perception and experience and project what we want to see on others — but human relations are much more complex than that. As I stated above, sometimes, the situation is much bigger than the people involved and all are swept along by a destiny of their own making that has a far different outcome than the one they intended or desired.

  18. Thanks, Kelley, for your great comment! I agree with you about “The Tudors”. Although it has used artistic licence and made some huge changes, and inaccuracies, other parts of it are incredibly accurate – some of the speeches – and I think that it does a brilliant job at bringing the period to life and encouraging people to find out more about Henry, his wives and his reign.

    Yes, I so agree with you about Henry’s need for absolute authority. He was a control freak who was paranoid about threats to his throne and would do anything to secure his position and the Tudor line. Anne’s spirt, her passion and intelligence attracted him but she just wouldn’t “calm down” and change into Henry’s perception of a wife and Queen – Henry was trying to tame her and it just didn’t work. I don’t think he would have been happy with a “tame” Anne either! His relationship with Anne fascinates me.

    Thanks again for commenting.

  19. The tudors eries started showing again last nigh, except they are repeating season two (Damn Telivision network) anyway, they are obviously playing on the fact that Anne did commit adultery and withb two affairs in one show. it really does irritate me that that is how thay think of Anne, although i suppose to thatse who are ignorant of tudor history they do have explain and give reason for her execution later on. It was just so frustrating, i was answering question and defending her, she would never have been so stupid as to have an affair, especially when, she wasn’t married and her position was under intense scrutiny.

  20. I think that often Anne is looked at as the homewrecker simply because Catherine had been Queen for so long and the people loved her so much. Even though the marriage may have been over many years before Anne…Henry’s actions were just simply unbelievable to the people. I think that Anne was just as much a victim of the times as well as of Henry. She had to deal with her family’s ambition, a religious revolution and the pressures of a very public, critized relationship….the more I have learned about Anne, the more I respect her and just love her. She had courage and determination. It’s fascinating to learn all the opposing opnions about her…

  21. Henry’s actions would have been seen as shocking to the general public who loved their Queen. A King was expected to have mistresses but not to actually let one of them usurp his Queen. It’s no wonder that Anne was called so many horrible names when the public heard what was going on.

  22. Hi, everyone.

    I not only find the condemnation of Anne Boleyn as a “homewrecker” ludicrous, I find present-day branding of women as “homewreckers” ludicrous.

    Anne Boleyn truly found herself in a no-win situation. As long as the King persued her, no other prospective husbands were a possibility for her. If she succumbed to his advances, she was still a “wh*re” and “tainted goods” and endured blighted prospects. Yes, there were “perks” attached to being a royal mistress, but it was still not a “respectable” position. Even with whatever rewards she received from the liasion (and Henry’s record with treating his mistresses well wasn’t better than how he treated his wives) there would have been consequences for Anne.

    The King held unlimited power, Anne held none.

    Most importantly, Anne was NOT married to Katherine of Aragon. So how on earth could she have “wrecked” the marriage?

    Why revile Anne? One cannot revile her for not refusing his advances, because she did. One cannot revile her for not avoiding Henry (at least for a time) as much as it was within her power to do, because she did. One cannot revile her for not seeking more respectable marriage prospects, because she did. She did everything a “good girl” would do when presented with a married suitor.

    If she didn’t do the “right” thing, what should she have done? Retired to a convent? Louis XIV is infamous for removing Louise de la Valliere from a convent when she attempted to retire from their liasion. As smitten and obsessed as Henry VIII happened to be, what makes people think he would have been any different?

    Anne Boleyn was no different than any other Tudor courtier. Her life revolved around the King’s pleasure. No one had any power except Henry.

    Please, if your husband, your sister’s husband, your best friend’s husband, your co-worker’s husband, your neighbor’s husband, etc. ends up busting up his marriage due to an extramarital affair, lay the blame where it belongs.

  23. Hi Aimee,
    It seems that we always have to find a scapegoat in these situations and we always have to blame the other woman that surely must have lured the man away. How silly? Even if the woman did seduce the man, he didn’t need to follow did he. Life is full of temptations isn’t it? And we don’t need to give into them, We have choices and we are each responsible for our own actions.

  24. I think of Anne Boleyn as a little girl who was thrust into a relationship with a King who was never told no. But then again, i think some part of her wanted to be a queen, have nice clothes….riches….but most of all the power, that she never had. Some part of Anne knew she was seducing Henry, i suppose once she seduced him, she HAD to give him what he wanted because he was king; and ultimately what he says, goes. I dont believe anne, was a homewrecker. Henry had no trouble wrecking his own home.
    I do belive, as i said above Anne had to know what she was getting into. Anne wrote the letters and teased him, what did she think was going to happen? The character of Anne Boleyn has always intrigued me, because there are so many interpretations of her personality…was she a homewrecker? an innocent girl thrust into a relationship she did not want to be a part of? a temptress? or maybe she was just like the rest of us, confused about life…trying to do what she thought would be the best for herself. who knows. But she will go down in history (to me) as someone who risked thier life for the name of her daughter.


  25. To Bassania : I don’t think modern people are fully understanding the gravity of this situation . Nobody , (excuse my language) , gave a rat’s a** whether a royal marriage was “happy” or not . That wasn’t what marriage was for at the time and ESPECIALLY not among the royal family or aristocrats . Marriage was for the purpose of social standing+position and most importantly , a legitimate child for the succession of the royal line . And if the marriage wasn’t all rainbows & daisies , well , that wasn’t really on the table for discussion .

    I’ve never been a big fan of the term “homewrecker” because I think in about 50% of cases , there’s no home to wreck . Now yes , as a woman my sympathy goes out to Catherine of Aragon and her daughter Mary . But we must keep in mind , this is not a re-enactment of the Aniston,Pitt,Jolie love triangle okay ?

  26. I’m so sick of Anne being portrayed in the media as this big wh*re! She was innocent, and not only that, her family was partly responsible for her.

    THEY PIMPED HER OUT! Not like that but you know, the great honor that they could’ve gotten, even if she just beared his bastard.

    I enjoy ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ but the only things I didn’t like was, was how big of a jerk Anne was portrayed. It irritated me, and I did research while I was reading it the first time, and discovered that she had really been innocent.

    So, point? Anne Boleyn was not a homewrecker.

    1. Me too, Anna, it is ridiculous that she is still seen in that light BUT I think history has been unfair to the Boleyns in general. What evidence do we have for Thomas Boleyn “pimping” her out? None. Yes, he gained from Mary and Anne’s relationships with Henry but that doesn’t mean that he threw his daughters into the King’s path. So, Anne was not a homewrecker or wh*re, and Thomas wasn’t a pimp.

  27. Nice work sticking up for Anne! She made the best of a challenging situation. It is also my opinion that Anne and Henry were soulmates, and perhaps had the most passion of any of his marriages. I think he loved Anne the most, and that’s why his reaction -albeit classic of any man with Moon in Aries (they fall in and out of love faster than a ten dollar hooker), was so over-the-top and (off with her head). (Aries rules the head, so that’s why Henry suffered from migraines and preferred beheadings as punishment.) She was most likely a Gemini, able to talk her way out of almost anything, which allowed her to converse with the King and keep him interested without bedding him.

  28. IN response to comments about Henry being a homewrecker…he was a Cancer sun (water, sensitive, family/clan-obsessed, breast-obsessed (and suffered from stomach ulcers, which caused a big belly later in life, and great discomfort eating certain foods). IN that time, astrology was well-respected. The Tudors called on their astrologers to help make major decisions of policy and personal – especially marriages. (This is left out of the show, The Tudors). Henry was dominated by the planet Venus – passion, sex, love, desire for women – was a constant motivation. Even though he was a Cancer Sun, Moon in warrior/hunter Aries, giving him the emotional outbursts, athletic ability and spontaneous love affairs, he was predominantly a combo of changeable Gemini (most likely, like Anne B.), Leo (the Lion King!) and Virgo (earthy, athletic, critical of loved ones.) He wasn’t a jerk. He was just walking his planets.

  29. I guess I’m gonna be on the minority here and say I still think Anne Boleyn was a homewrecker and certainly not any kind of innocent or woman to be idolized.
    She was 32 years old at the time of her marriage to King Henry; certainly old enough to know what she was doing. Although it is true that prior to having feelings for Anne Boleyn Henry VIII did question the legality of his marriage to Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn was certainly a deciding factor in his putting Katherine away and exiling her from court, and of course from the break from Rome.
    Anne first courted Percy, the heir to Northumberland, remember? She was always ambitious right from the start. Anne manipulated Henry’s feelings for her and used his passion for her and upped the ante… I won’t be your mistress, I will only be your wife. Remember the jewel she gave him, of a maiden in a storm-tossed boat? I think her message was clear.
    Anne played a game of cat and mouse with Henry. Although it’s true that Henry was king, he was a gentleman and all she had to do was say “no” to him and he would have looked elsewhere. He pursued her, there is no doubt of that, but she encouraged him at every step. She knew Henry was a hunter and knew when to run away and when to encourage him.

    Besides, let’s not forget that Anne was very cruel towards Katherine and her daughter Mary. It is said she wanted to poison them both to get rid of them. That didn’t happen, of course, but just the fact that she was contemplating it makes her pretty cruel. There were those poisoned in the household of Fisher at dinner; he was saved by not eating the poisoned dish. We don’t know who did it, but logic tells us that it was an enemy of Katherine of Aragon’s.

    Was it Henry’s fault as much as Anne’s? Yes, of course. 100%, yes. They were both wrong. Katherine was his true wife and she was put away and that was wrong. No woman deserves to be treated in this way just because her husband gets tired of her and she hasn’t given him a son.
    But was Anne Boleyn a young, innocent girl who was forced into marrying the king to please her family? Not in any way, shape, or form.

    I also like to remember that if any of us really lived in the time of Anne, none of us would have liked her. By the time of her fall, she’d turned even her staunchest supporters into enemies. Anne Boleyn was not a friendly woman; she was an ambitious, intelligent, shrewd, calculating woman willing to bet her very life for her ambitions. She loved ambition more than anything and ultimately paid the price.

    1. I agree with your post but we dont know Anne’s age as her birthdate is not recorded.

  30. Hi Leah, yes astrology was respected but it was mixed with astronomy, which is scientific, mathematics and medicine.

    It wasn’t the nonsense we have today, although to be frank astrology is nonsense and should not be taken seriously.

    What is wrong with the reply button? It still jumps and doesn’t work properly.

  31. I wonder whether somebody ever showed him Deuteronomy 25:5? Suppose they were just afraid to do so if the king has already decided.

    “If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the widow of the dead man shall not be married to a stranger outside the family; her husband́s brother shall go in to her, take her as his wife, and perform the duty of a husband́s brother to her.” (NKJV)

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