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Victim or Homewrecker
July 31, 2009
8:24 am
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Claire
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Just thought I'd start a discussion on Anne. Karen Lindsey in her book talks of how Anne was actually sexually harassed by Henry:-

In spite of his promise to let her stay 'in the place by you chosen\” — the place of loyal subject only — Henry kept up the pressure. Today, Henry's approach to Anne would be instantly identifiable as sexual harassment. Anne however, had no social or legal recourse against a the man who ruled the country. She continued, as so many women before and since have done, to dodge her pursuer's advances while sparing his feelings. It didn't work.

Henry's next letter demanded that she explain her position once and for all. He had been \”above one whole year struck with the dart of love\” and still didn't know how she felt. It was the deliberate ignorance of the absolute narcissist, for surely she had given clear enough signals. He persisted. He wanted her to love him \” in a way that is beyond common affection\” Still she tried to hold him off.

After more than a year of this, Anne must have been growing pretty desperate. Henry was by now offering to make her his official mistress mimicking the practice of other European courts, one that had never before existed in England. She did not want this. She wanted, in all likelihood, the kind of marriage she had been raised to want — a good, respectable marriage with a suitable nobleman. Perhaps she still wanted Henry Percy. What is clear is that she did not want Henry Tudor.

But Henry Tudor wasn't letting go. She stayed away from court refusing to return even if chaperoned by her mother. He assured her that if he \”knew for certain that you wished it of your own will\” he would cease importuning her and \” put from me little by little my mad infatuation\”.

It was a hellish position. Could she really tell the king to his face that she had no interest in him? She could reiterate her desire to keep her chastity and her honor, but clearly he didn't respect that. She could ignore his letters and stay away from court, but he refused to take the hint. To offer him the outright insult he asked for would be to risk not only her own but her father's and brother's careers at court. She undoubtedly kept hoping he would tire of the chase and transfer his attentions to some newer lady-in-waiting.

But he didn't and she was trapped: there was no chance of her making a good marriage when every eligible nobleman knew the king wanted her. She began to realize she would have to give in. [as Wyatt wrote in his poem 'Whoso list to hunt'] 'Nole me tangere, for Caesar's I am\”. Karen Lindsey, \”Divorced, Beheaded, Survived; a Feminist Reinterpretation of the Wives of Henry VIII\”

What do you think? Was Anne a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace? Also, I've been debating with someone on their blog about whether Anne was a homewrecker. The other person points out that Anne came between Catherine and Henry, put Reformist literature into his hands (which allowed him to get out of the marriage and break with the Church) and that she encouraged his harsh treatment of Catherine. I don't try to make a martyr out of Anne but I think that Henry has got to take responsibility for this. Why do we always villify the woman?

Your thoughts please because I feel a blog post coming on!

Debunking the myths about Anne Boleyn

July 31, 2009
11:43 am
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retriever470
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I think that Anne recognised that Catherine was too old to have children.  Also, Catherine was a Catholic and Anne was sympathetic to the teachings of Luther, although I don't think she was ever as radical as Cranmer became.  When she caught Henry's eye, she had a chance to change the world; advance her family, bring England into the 16th century with the new religious teachings, give him a son. It must have been the Tudor equivalent of celebrity culture.  She was the newest craze.  People hung on her every word.  She was intelligent, witty and ambitious.  She could do whatever she wanted.

Henry's childhood had been precarious.  His father had to defend the throne he had taken in combat.  Henry was the official Duke of York, but Perkin Warbeck was believed by many to be the second son of Edward IV and therefore the true king.  Then Arthur, the apple of his father's eye, died and Henry, as the \”spare\” was suddenly in the driving seat.  Henry's need above all things was to secure the Tudor dynasty.  His father must have instilled that in him to an extreme degree.  Catherine failed him.  But here was Anne, with her new ideas, her bewitching presence, so very different to the corpulent Catherine, her wit, her dancing eyes, her youth.  It must have been like two tsunamis colliding.  Unstoppable.  He could secure the succession and have the woman he hungered for.  Here was Henry, tall, still handsome and sporty.  He could see the lithe form of Anne's body, but was supposed to be content with Catherine's body ruined by successive pregnancies and her relentless fasting and praying.  Surely as King, this wasn't right?  His frustration must have coloured everything in his life.  But the tension of keeping him at bay for 6 years, followed by his desperate need to father a son, must have made her absolutely paranoid.  Imagine it in today's world.  A highly-strung woman who has been chased and fascinated by this overwhelming force for 6 years and then expected each month to be pregnant and blamed when she isn't.  She would probably have been put on suicide watch in the nearest psychiatric hospital.  Homewrecker?  Not really.  The home had already been wrecked by lack of a male heir.  Anne did what anyone in her circumstance would have done.  She took her chance and made the most of it.

July 31, 2009
2:36 pm
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gwenne
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The women are always villified and this piece of history is no different.  Of course Henry is to blame for all of this.  Every woman he was married to eventually gave their lives in pursuit of his sole mission (to place a male heir on the Tudor thone).  Every woman he claimed to love he destroyed.  And yet they are the ones who were fat, unattractive, a witch, an adulteress, a traitor, and all were ultimately held by history as the complete guilty parties.  I think that all of Henry's wives (and probably the majority of female population he did show sexual interest in) were sexually harrassed and harangued.  And why wouldn't he?  He' s the king, and in the end a woman's love or sacrifice never amounted to much in his opinion or in the analogues of 'sacred' history.  It's tempting to make a complete and total villian out of Henry, but today's views on sexual harrassment are in sharp contrast to those of the past.  Women have always borne the brunt of men's folly, (started with Eve) so as we begin to examine recorded past events, we begin to be able to develop a different view of them, namely the female's point of view.  Henry is a gross example of absolute power corrupts absolutely.  Women have always been chess pieces on a board in a man's world (think about the word HIS/tory) and it is really only until recent times, that their points of view, their actions, and their significance in the annals of said 'his'tory are being rethought, and discussed.  I think that one of the reasons that we all admire Queen Anne so much is because she has always been a shining star underneath the grime that history paints over her.  We can see her intelligence and wit and complete determination and courage through that dirty curtain.  And it gives us pause to reconsider not only her plight but all those who went before and have come after. 

Diem et animus scire cupio: I desire knowledge of the soul.

July 31, 2009
6:57 pm
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Sabrina
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No matter what has been proved, it will always been seen as her fault. Henry wanted out of the marriage before Anne. She just gave him the push to actually do it. If he really did not want his marriage to end, he wouldn't have ended it. I get so annoyed with this whole idea that it's the woman's fault. Just like Adam and Eve, if he didn't want the apple, he didn't have to take it.. And like they've blamed Pandora for bringing all the evil things into the world…. If the gods did not want that box found, they could've put it somewhere else.

Anne was only a victim of earning Henry's love. She wasn't a homewrecker. If the relationship hadn't gotten so far, I think she would've walked away from it, to marry someone else.

Let not my enemies sit as my jury

July 31, 2009
9:58 pm
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Rochie
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I love that sentence: “If the gods did not want that box found, they could've put it somewhere else.”

Anyway, I'm not so sure I can totally buy into this sexual harassment idea. After all, Anne wasn't a hardened feminist but a 16th century woman in a world where women were expected to think and behave very differently to us today. Courtship and pursuit, the persistent attentions of an amorous and powerful man was part of the way things worked at court if you were a single lady. Anne was also very much a flesh and blood woman, too, and she might well have felt a genuine romantic attachment to Henry who, after all, was still quite presentable at the time. He was also the king of England, don’t forget. I think there are probably quite a few women even today who would not object too vociferously to that kind of ‘harassment.’
Picture the scene in our own times. Mother picks up the phone and calls to her daughter.
‘Anne – it’s that Prince William again on the phone dear, what shall I tell him?
‘Oh no mother not the prince again … do tell him to go away! Tell him I’m not interested in living in a palace and being waited on perpetually by an army of dedicated servants with my every desire and wish catered for. What sort of girl does he think I am!’

Come on! Let’s just acknowledge that the early years of Anne and Henry’s attachment for what it was … a growing friendship and ultimately romance leading to marriage. They got on well together and probably fell in love. The path was not always smooth … but 'Twas ever thus!' 

July 31, 2009
10:46 pm
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Melissa
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This is a great topic.  I'm going to think about it over the weekend and come back to post and see what other insight you guys have had.

Ainsi sera, groigne qui groigne.

August 1, 2009
7:43 pm
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Sabrina
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LOL… I have spent the last month immersed in mythology… 

I totally agree sarah.. 

Let not my enemies sit as my jury

August 2, 2009
3:57 am
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Emma_pug
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Is this from \”Divorced, Beheaded, Survived\”, the \”Feminist Reinterpretation\” of Henry's wives?  My copy isn't nearby but I believe that was the author!  I read that book a few months ago.  I enjoyed it, and it's a conveniently condensed version of happenings from Henry VII taking the throne through Elizabeth taking it.   I couldn't get on board with the author's position that Anne did not love (and possibly \”hated\”, as was stated once) Henry.   A victim of sexual harrassment?  A bit extreme, because Henry's pursuit of Anne was done with respect and honor (albeit perhaps annoying or smothering).  Nor did Anne ever tell him to stop. When I think of sexual harrassment, I think of crude advances despite requests to stop.  

I agree with Rochie here – The relationship didn't take such an uncommon course:  boy sees girl, falls in love, woos reistant girl, after a time she falls too.

Gwenne, I must say to your comment:  \”I think that one of the reasons that we all admire Queen Anne so much is because she has always been a shining star underneath the grime that history paints over her.  We can see her intelligence and wit and complete determination and courage through that dirty curtain. \”   Amen!! What a wonderful description, and it hits the nail on the head for me.

I love these thought-provoking threads!  I'll be pondering this all weekend…

Noli me tangere

August 5, 2009
4:33 am
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cynthia
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I've always thought that Anne was sexually harrassed, by today's definition.  Back then it was merely a daily routine that the king could pick any mistress he wanted.  Anne could not have said no to him without putting her family in debt at the least and jail at the most. 

August 5, 2009
10:24 am
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Claire
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Thanks for all your wonderful posts about this. I guess it is another mystery because we'll never know exactly what happened between Henry and Anne and what was going through Anne's head. I always wondered if Henry was one of those men who treats \”No\” as just a woman playing hard to get.

Yes, Emma, you've got the right book. I've only read parts of it and haven't actually read the whole book, it does sound an interesting book though.

I too love Gwenne's comment:

“I think that one of the reasons that we all admire Queen Anne so much is because she has always been a shining star underneath the grime that history paints over her.  We can see her intelligence and wit and complete determination and courage through that dirty curtain. “

Brilliant!

I'm so impressed with everyone's posts, you guys always really inspire me with your views and thoughts and it's so great to hear differences of opinion and you're all very good at backing up your theories with evidence!

Yes, Cynthia, I think that by today's definition Anne was harassed but times were different then and, as I say in my post, I think that Anne fell in love with Henry and that theirs was an incredibly passionate relationship.

Debunking the myths about Anne Boleyn

May 28, 2010
10:29 am
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The Other Boleyn Boy
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I'd hardly say Henry VIII hasn't been vilified – he isn't mentioned without being called 'fat' 'lecherous' 'murderous', true or not. Anne seems to be vilified a whole lot less, and you can't ignore some of the things she probably did. Catherine of Aragon was sent away TO ROT; she died without ever seeing her daughter while Anne was probably having her nails filed. Anne was spiteful – and this is well documented – to Mary. It's not exactly a glowing endorsement of the fraternity of sisterhood, is it?

May 29, 2010
3:44 am
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Melissa
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Boleyn Boy, Anne was vindictive toward Mary, but unfortunately she had Henry backing her and doing the same.  Anne repented of her behavior while in the tower and told Lady Kingston to tell Mary she was sorry on her behalf.  Who knows if she ever told her.  Mary didn't forgive her, in any case.  It's really sad that Mary thought after the death of Anne her ill treatment was over but instead her father continued to abuse her.

Ainsi sera, groigne qui groigne.

March 9, 2011
2:34 am
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La Belle Creole
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I consider both appellations accurate.  Anne was a victim, although it can be argued she had the brains and the initiative to make the best of things.  But I think she was a homewrecker, too.

I think it boils down to a simple question:  did Anne Boleyn have the power/position to freely consent or withhold consent from persuing a relationship with Henry?

Technically, yes, she could refuse him — and did — for quite a while.  I do believe Anne's absences from court and nonresponses to Henry were tactful hints of her refusal.  Anne was a subltle, smart lady, she'd grown up in the French court, and telling one's sovereign, “No!  I don't want to sleep with you!  I don't want anything to do with you!  Please leave me in peace and let me get on with my life!” probably wasn't the thing to do.  It does not mean Anne did not find Henry likeable and attractive, just that she didn't want to be his mistress.

However, Henry didn't take the hints.  Instead he continued to demand more direct replies he knew (or should have known) Anne could not make without actively offending him.  I think Anne was a very astute woman, she no doubt identified Henry's sense of entitlement and his pettiness and cruelty toward courtiers who fell out of favor.  NO smart woman could have wanted a man like Henry as a lover OR a husaband.  At the same time, if she accepted him, SHE bore the burnt of the disgrace and eventual abandonment.  It was a catch-22.

So, yes, Anne could have refused him.  Refusal would not have been fun, and may have entailed unpleasant consequences, but she could have refused him. 

At the same time, once Anne decided to throw in her lot with Henry, it can't be denied she did everything she could to separate the Royal Family and to abuse or encourage abuse of Katherine and Mary.  I do think there was honest spite in Anne's behavior toward them and it made her look bad. 

I really see Anne as the “good girl” who “tried to do the right thing” and fend off a married man.  When it became clear “doing the right thing” would not benefit her, she just made the best of the opportunities she found.  And she wasn't always happy about it.  Perhaps she ws downright angry, and scared.  

March 15, 2011
5:33 pm
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Anne
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I think neither name applies to Anne…Anne made her choices first of all based on her own self-respect,intelligence and her own moral code…To call Anne a victim,as I have said before makes me feel like insulting her…Anne had a strong mind and character,sense to stand by her morals  and the mind to grab her own destiny and mold it into something great!But to call her a homewrecker is far too stretched!Afterall,I don't recall Anne holding a gun against Henry in order for him to leave Katherine and make her queen instead!Henry was the one that destroyed his marriage and make all the desicions…Anne was there at the right/wrong moment and fill in a needed place…Henry,was enchanted first by her looks and attitude but that was not only..He fell for her charm,her mind and her morals (for he valued the fact that she didn't fall in bed with him in order to benefit)…His marriage with Katherine was already falling apart and his lack of male heir already made him believe that his union with Katherine was not stable and holly…Anne was not the motivation,the cause but rather,she was the catalyst and the replacement….Wolsey was seeking a french marriage if he dissolved the marriage with Katherine but it seemed Henry found Anne more fitting to be his next(or as he believed,his only) wife…Henry wanted a male heir and before Anne became his obsession,he wanted either a way out of his marriage or to have H.Fitzroy as his heir…When Anne became something more than a fling and proved herself to be virtuous,she became the best candidate for his wife….As for Anne's motivations after things seemed to lead them at the altar,I 'm torn between 1)Anne's love for Henry and ambition to assert the crown (I believe I read somewhere that Anne considered that being Queen was her destiny,her cause) make her see it fit to take Katherine's place (afterall,sometimes in love and war everything is permitted) 2)If Anne also considered Katherine's and Henry's marriage to be invalid too and she thought that she was taking no one's place but rather fill in an empty place…I can't decide which one makes more sense

March 15, 2011
7:00 pm
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La Belle Creole
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Anne said:

I think neither name applies to Anne…Anne made her choices first of all based on her own self-respect,intelligence and her own moral code…To call Anne a victim,as I have said before makes me feel like insulting her…Anne had a strong mind and character,sense to stand by her morals  and the mind to grab her own destiny and mold it into something great!But to call her a homewrecker is far too stretched!Afterall,I don't recall Anne holding a gun against Henry in order for him to leave Katherine and make her queen instead!Henry was the one that destroyed his marriage and make all the desicions…Anne was there at the right/wrong moment and fill in a needed place…Henry,was enchanted first by her looks and attitude but that was not only..He fell for her charm,her mind and her morals (for he valued the fact that she didn't fall in bed with him in order to benefit)…His marriage with Katherine was already falling apart and his lack of male heir already made him believe that his union with Katherine was not stable and holly…Anne was not the motivation,the cause but rather,she was the catalyst and the replacement….Wolsey was seeking a french marriage if he dissolved the marriage with Katherine but it seemed Henry found Anne more fitting to be his next(or as he believed,his only) wife…Henry wanted a male heir and before Anne became his obsession,he wanted either a way out of his marriage or to have H.Fitzroy as his heir…When Anne became something more than a fling and proved herself to be virtuous,she became the best candidate for his wife….As for Anne's motivations after things seemed to lead them at the altar,I 'm torn between 1)Anne's love for Henry and ambition to assert the crown (I believe I read somewhere that Anne considered that being Queen was her destiny,her cause) make her see it fit to take Katherine's place (afterall,sometimes in love and war everything is permitted) 2)If Anne also considered Katherine's and Henry's marriage to be invalid too and she thought that she was taking no one's place but rather fill in an empty place…I can't decide which one makes more sense


I personally find it very hard to evaluate Anne's morality.  One can argue that her refusal to be Henry's mistress proved her to be a moral and virtuous person.  On the other hand, her morality did not prevent her from engaging in what present day society would call an emotional love affair with Henry while he remained married to Katherine of Aragon.  While they may have limited or eliminated their sexual involvement, Anne essentially replaced Katherine as Henry's helpmeet and companion.  Henry neglected his lawful wife and their only child in favoring of building a new life with Anne Boleyn.  That doesn't sound like a morally conscious choice on Anne's part. 

Relationship experts agree that emotional love affairs are just as damaging or even more damaging to a marriage than, say, a quick fling based on sex. It rang true in Henry's marital history.  He dumped Katherine for Anne when Anne wasn't sleeping with him.  He dumped Anne for Jane when Jane wasn't sleeping with him.

Anne's mistreatment and brutish attitude toward Katherine and Mary Tudor is another indicator of poor moral consciousness.  I have witnessed real life circumstances where a stepparent actively rejects and abuses a child or children from a former marriage.  I don't consider such people moral, charming, self-respecting, or virtuous; I consider them damaged. 

March 21, 2011
6:00 pm
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Anne
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Well,we can't be sure on some things about Anne and her moral standings since she was deliberately painted as the villain and immoral temptress..If things worked better for her (on the basis that she did have a son and no plan was formed against her) propably her “scandal” would have died sooner or later,as it did with Jane (the first months of Jane's involvement with Henry,the English people sang vulgar songs for her and it wasn't after Edward's birth and her death that she “proved herself” and became the saintly queen)…Yes,perhaps it was a degree of immoral for Anne to engage herself in an affair,sexual or not with Henry and thus taking him from Katherine…But I can't actually accuse her because sometimes feelings take over us (and if love and passion are involved then logic and morallity leave of the window) and it is obvious that Anne was passionate about Henry…Also sometimes you choose to fight for what you want  whether that is the man you love or the chance to fullfill your desires..I think everything that happened then had a humanity and I think that we can't judge them clearly because we people can't never say much unless we reach our limits…Anne,Henry,Katherine,Jane were not just figures..They were human and they had their flaws and of course life guiding them where they went…Anne denied to become Henry's mistress and when she did she neither wanted him or to get involved with such a man…But he did offered her marriage (and not only she did reach her higher ambitions and dreams,but she also had in front of her a man,who for her love forsake all others,something I think that most women would find overwhelming) and he did respect her decision…She was offered a dream,an overwhelming love,a fairytale so I can't judge her if she chose to pursuit it..We know from history that Anne was not the kindest step mother but neither Mary respected her and I can't reallu blame either of them…Anne had a status to uphold and wanted the best for her heirs and Mary did not want to bow to the woman who she believed to be behind hers and her mother's sufferings and humiliation..We can't say much on Anne's (and Jane's,if we want to be righteous) choices for what they were offered was far too tempting and desired..

March 22, 2011
6:49 am
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MegC
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I think to title Anne either victim or homewrecker is inaccurate.

Let's start with a couple of premises:  A) Henry was over Katherine when Anne came along.  He'd been taking mistresses for a long time by this point.  I think it was clear, even to Henry, that Katherine was not going to produce a male heir.  So the question is:  How much of a role do you think the quest for a legitimate male heir played in the whole divorce?  We know that Henry was all ready grooming Henry Fitzroy to possibly take the throne upon his death.  He had received titles, had his own household, had been formally recognized by H8…I think that Henry was prepared to accept that H. Fitzroy was his only male heir if it had come down to that.  Having said that, I think the only thing we can possibly surmise is that, really, the legitimate male heir issue was sort of a smoke screen and excuse.  Henry wanted Anne.  Simple as that.  He isn't the first man in history to leave his first wife for a younger woman, and he's certainly not the last.  The linchpin is that, without Anne, I don't know that divorce would ever have occurred to Henry.  

B)  Anne was not an idiot.  I think, for the most part, she was aware of what was going on.  I don't say this to malign her.  She HAD to realize that when she told Henry that she would not be his mistress that there could be only two possible outcomes:  Henry would lose interest and go away or Henry would choose to leave Katherine.  Perhaps she never in her wildest dreams actually considered that Henry would try to leave KoA.  After that, though, I think she realized that she was in it for the long haul.

Now, emotional affair or not, I think, long term, Katherine was much more hurt by Henry's dismissal of her and Mary.

Mary, meanwhile, by the time Anne actually married Henry, was something like seventeen.  By 16th century standards, Mary was a woman in her own right who, really, probably should have been married herself (but that's a completely different topic).  While Mary and Anne certainly didn't get along, I don't think that Mary cared two wits about what Anne thought of her or said about her.  Mary never recognized Anne as queen or as Henry's wife.  While Mary may have blamed Anne for most of the situation, I think that more damage was done to Mary by Henry himself.  He's the one who said that Katherine and Mary were not allowed to see each other, he's the one who declared Mary illegitimate, he's the one who essentially wanted nothing to do with her.  Anne or no Anne, Henry could have still included Mary in his life if he had so chosen.  Not only that, but if it were merely Anne that was preventing Henry from seeing or interacting with Mary, then it wouldn't have taken him so long to reconcile with her after Anne's death.   I just don't see Mary walking around, wringing her hands, thinking, “Why doesn't she like me?”

To term someone “damaged” because you question their moral fiber is sort of the pot calling the kettle black.  Everyone makes poor moral decisions at some point in their life–that does not necessarily make everyone damaged.

"We mustn't let our passions destroy our dreams…"

March 23, 2011
12:07 pm
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Sharon
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Why is it that the woman is always the homewrecker? 

You didn't say no to Henry VIII.  He was no ordinary man.  I don't believe for a second that Anne had the choice of yes or no.  Her choices were when and how.  The homewrecker?  How was she the homewrecker?  Henry went after Anne.  He had ruined his marriage to Katherine before Anne entered the picture.  Henry was the homewrecker.  It was his actions that sent Katherine and Mary away from court.  Anne didn't feel she had to hold her tongue when it came to her opinion of Katherine and Mary. She was following Henry's lead.  He showed no mercy to them, and Anne felt safe enough to do the same. 

As to Anne being a victim…A victim of Henry's ultimate cruelty? I would say yes. BUT…. 

  She was a strong, intelligent force.  A force to be reckoned with.  She loved the politics and she played the game.  Once Henry told her he wanted her for his Queen, and set about to make it happen, Anne was a most willing partner.  No doubt about it, she wanted to be Queen.

I don't see her as victim or homewrecker.  I try not to be a judge of morality. It 's easy to sit here and say we'd never do what Anne or Jane did. We really have no idea what they were going through.  We can guess all we want.  We can say what we think we would do in their situation, but when it comes right down to it, we really don't have a clue what choice we would make.  Anne did what she thought was best for her, for her daughter, and for her family.  BTW, Jane did what she thought was best for her family, too.

March 23, 2011
5:42 pm
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Anyanka
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Sharon said:

Why is it that the woman is always the homewrecker? 

You didn't say no to Henry VIII.  He was no ordinary man.  I don't believe for a second that Anne had the choice of yes or no.  Her choices were when and how.  The homewrecker?  How was she the homewrecker?  Henry went after Anne.  He had ruined his marriage to Katherine before Anne entered the picture.  Henry was the homewrecker.  It was his actions that sent Katherine and Mary away from court.  Anne didn't feel she had to hold her tongue when it came to her opinion of Katherine and Mary. She was following Henry's lead.  He showed no mercy to them, and Anne felt safe enough to do the same. 


Exactlly, Anne never forced Henry, he chose. In the same way he had chosen to be unfaithful at least twice before.

 

Henry held all the power. When he threatened to lower Anne more than he had raised her, it was not an idle boast but the possible command of an absolute monarch. Not some-one to easily say “No”  to.

It's always bunnies.

March 23, 2011
9:58 pm
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La Belle Creole
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Sharon said:

Why is it that the woman is always the homewrecker? 

You didn't say no to Henry VIII.  He was no ordinary man.  I don't believe for a second that Anne had the choice of yes or no.  Her choices were when and how.  The homewrecker?  How was she the homewrecker?  Henry went after Anne.  He had ruined his marriage to Katherine before Anne entered the picture.  Henry was the homewrecker.  It was his actions that sent Katherine and Mary away from court.  Anne didn't feel she had to hold her tongue when it came to her opinion of Katherine and Mary. She was following Henry's lead.  He showed no mercy to them, and Anne felt safe enough to do the same. 


Exactly, and what is there to be said GOOD about a woman who feels “safe” expressing spite, hatred, and even threats towards individuals she would not have dared address with less than the most formal respect had she not been flirting with and sleeping with a particularly powerful, important man? 

That isn't something to admire or to commend.  If we choose to perceive Anne Boleyn as an empowered, gutsy woman ahead of her time, we can't just write off her more perverse behaviors as “Well, Henry let her get away with it.” Either Anne is responsible for her own choices and actions or she's not. 

Anne had the choice to be civil and respectful or to be abusive.  She chose to be abusive. 

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