In the Footsteps of Anne Boleyn by Sarah Morris and Natalie Grueninger – A Review

Posted By on September 11, 2013

in the footsteps of Anne BoleynIn the Footsteps of Anne Boleyn is a new non-fiction book written by Natalie Grueninger, who many of you will know from her blog “On the Tudor Trail”, and Sarah Morris, author of the novel “Le Temps Viendra”. I have known Natalie and Sarah for a few years now and have been following their progress with this book project since the very beginning, so I was thrilled to be asked to review the finished book.

In the Footsteps of Anne Boleyn is described as “the visitor’s companion to the palaces, castles and houses associated with Henry VIII’s infamous wife” and it really is just that. Unlike a normal guide book, it does not sort the places into geographical areas, although there are useful maps at the beginning to show the areas covered, it examines the places in relation to the chronology of Anne Boleyn’s life. Sarah and Natalie give a detailed guide to each place, covering things like:

  • The building’s history
  • It’s link to Anne Boleyn – When did she visit? What’s the evidence?
  • What Tudor artefacts the place has
  • The must-see parts of it
  • Nearby attractions – eg. a church with the resting places of key Tudor people
  • Visitor information – Where to find it etc.

The book is divided into five main parts:

  1. Early Life – Blickling Hall, Hever Castle and St Peter’s Church, Pashley Manor, Rochford Hall, Mechelen, Paris, the Loire Valley and Pas-de-Calais.
  2. The Courting Years – Palace of Beaulieu, Richmond Palace, Windsor Castle, Beddington Place (Carew Manor), Bridewell Palace, Durham House, Waltham Abbey, Barnet Manor, Tittenhanger House, The Old Palace of Woodstock, Grafton Manor, Notley Abbey, Bisham Abbey, Woking Palace, College of Ashridge, Ampthill, Hertford Castle, Farnham Castle, Odiham, Havering-atte-Bower, Hanworth, Stone, Shurland Hall, Canterbury, Dover and Dover Castle, Calais, Sandwich, Sittingbourne and the More.
  3. Anne the Queen – Greenwich Palace, Tower of London, Anne Boleyn’s coronation procession, Whitehall Palace, Westminster Hall, Westminster Abbey, St James’s Palace, Hatfield, Eltham Palace, Hampton Court Palace, Guildford.
  4. The 1535 Progress – Reading Abbey, Ewelme Manor, Abingdon Abbey, The Old Palace of Langley, Sudeley Castle, Tewkesbury Abbey, Gloucester, Leonard Stanley, Berkeley Castle, Thornbury Castle, Acton Court, Little Sodbury Manor, Bromham House, Wolfhall, Thruxton, Hurstbourne Priors, Winchester, Bishop’s Waltham, Southampton, Portchester Castle, Church House (Salisbury), The Palace and Park of Clarendon (Wiltshire), The Vyne, Basing House, Bramshill House, Easthampstead.
  5. Boleyn Treasures – Artefacts with links to Anne Boleyn and where to see them.

Not every place has a photograph or painting/engraving, but there are many pages of full colour illustrations. The book also has a “further reading” list and a Boleyn family tree.

There is nothing left of some of the places Anne Boleyn knew and visited, but die-hard Tudor history fans will still enjoy walking in Anne Boleyn’s footsteps and using the information in this book, and sometimes old drawings/plans, to help build a picture in their minds of what used to be there in Anne’s lifetime.

What I loved about this book is that it didn’t just focus on the main Anne Boleyn attractions like Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London and Hever Castle, Sarah and Natalie have looked at all the places linked to Anne, many that readers will never have heard of. I know what many British readers will be doing at weekends now! It will also be an invaluable resource for those planning a history themed holiday in the UK. Of course, you don’t need to go anywhere, you can simply enjoy reading about the history of these places from the comfort of your favourite chair.

All-in-all, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in Anne Boleyn and/or historic places. Well done, Sarah and Natalie.

Amazon Blurb

On the morning of 19 May 1536, a French blade stilled the heart of an English queen. Her name was Anne Boleyn and her story has made an indelible mark on history. This book will take you through stately homes, castles, chapels and artefacts with a connection to Anne. Explore Hever Castle, Anne’s childhood home where two breathtaking Books of Hours both signed and inscribed by Anne Boleyn herself are housed; visit Thornbury Castle where Henry VIII and Anne stayed during their 1535 royal progress and see the octagonal bedchamber where they slept; stand in the very room in Windsor Castle where Anne was made Marquis of Pembroke. Each location is covered by an accessible and informative narrative, which unearths the untold stories and documents the artefacts. Accompanied by an extensive range of images, including photographs, floor plans and sketches, this book brings the sixteenth century vividly to life – and takes you on your own personal and compelling journey in the footsteps of Anne Boleyn.

Book Details

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Amberley Publishing (6 Sep 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1445607824
ISBN-13: 978-1445607825
Available now from Amazon UK – click here, or click here to pre-order from