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How to Murder the Boleyns
August 5, 2014
11:42 am
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Louise
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Olga has written a brilliant article on her ‘Nerdalicious’ site which is definitely a must read for all history lovers. It’s called ‘How to Murder the Boleyns’. I don’t mind admitting that the last two paragraphs are so beautifully written that they brought a tear to my eye.
It’s at:-
http://nerdalicious.com.au/boo…..e-boleyns/

August 5, 2014
3:48 pm
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Boleyn
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I agree Louise, it is beautifully writen. Well done Olga and many many thanks for sharing it all with us and for all the work you have done on this article.
I hope that when more people have read it in the world outside from our happy home, they too will recognise just what a remarkable woman Anne truly was.
Although Olga could I tempt you into writing an article called “How to murder Henry 8th” (slowly and as painfully as possible) I had thought about roasting him over a open fire but it would take about a dozen men to turn the spit, not to mention all the fat dripping on the fire would likely cause a serious fire hazzard around the whole palace.. I supoose I could wallpaper the room with him, just depends if I can slice him thinly enough. On I wouldn’t Henry (paper) the front room with him I would Henry the toilet with him, seems an appropiate use for him, and I need something to write on when I am working out the answers of the latest Suduko puzzle in the Telegraph. It may even stop Dinosaur from writing graffiti on the walls when he goes in there, seriously some of it in there is postively Pompeiian.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

August 6, 2014
9:11 am
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Louise
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There are a number of issues raised in Olga’s article:-
1. Our inability to see historic personalities as people, hence our cavalier attitude to how they are treated in fiction.
2. The current trend in whitewashing Henry VIII and excusing his dreadful actions during his reign.
3. The hypocrisy in criticising Gregory but lauding Mantel, when Mantel produces equally inaccurate fiction but boasts about her dedication to research and making up as little as possible.
4. Mantel’s denigration of women and her sexist overtures.

August 6, 2014
12:05 pm
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Olga
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Boleyn said
Although Olga could I tempt you into writing an article called “How to murder Henry 8th” (slowly and as painfully as possible)

I fear my imagination might run away with me Bo WinkPerhaps the same treatment he gave to the Carthusian monks.

Thank you for sharing this Louise and for all your support, I really appreciate it Kiss

I don’t understand why Mantel treats her female characters that way. In regards to Jane Boleyn Hirst and Gregory were researching before 2006 – and like everyone else they were going with the traditional view of Jane. I mean even Ives accuses Jane of testifying, no one questioned it before Julia Fox did (that I am aware of). So I don’t accept Mantel’s excuse that introducing Lady Wingfield would have taken too much time, I finally read Wolf Hall while I was researching this and she was stitching Jane up from the very beginning. What is sad that she had the opportunity to do something new and she decided to go the usual ‘woman scorned’ rubbish. It is the most vile portrayal of Jane and George I have read so far.
And men may have viewed women as ‘frail’ but it doesn’t mean they viewed all women with absolute contempt.

August 6, 2014
3:50 pm
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Sharon
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Louise beat me to it. One of the best articles I’ve read in a long time. That last paragraph was fabulous! Congrats, to you, Olga!

August 6, 2014
4:54 pm
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Olga
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Thank you Sharon.

August 6, 2014
11:13 pm
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Mariette
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Louise said

Olga has written a brilliant article on her ‘Nerdalicious’ site which is definitely a must read for all history lovers. It’s called ‘How to Murder the Boleyns’. I don’t mind admitting that the last two paragraphs are so beautifully written that they brought a tear to my eye.
It’s at:-
http://nerdalicious.com.au/boo…..e-boleyns/

Thanks for posting Olga’s article, Louise. The last two paragraphs are very moving.

August 6, 2014
11:43 pm
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Anyanka
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there’s always one who spoils the fun with logic and reason and facts…

Good article Olga. I enjoyed reading it.

It's always bunnies.

August 7, 2014
1:16 am
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Mariette
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Insightful, incisive and well-written, Olga! It’s so true that many writers dehumanise historical figures and distort the truth about them to promote their own particular bias or points of view…evidence not required. Anne, Jane and George have all been dealt with very unfairly.

I’m glad that you found Schofield’s biography of Cromwell ‘outstanding’. Have you read David Loades’ recent (appalling) bio? I’m almost dreading Diarmaid MacCulloch’s upcoming bio…

Louise, The current whitewashing of Henry VIII mystifies me. I don’t buy the weak, gullible Henry VIII, led by the nose by his ministers. Henry was in control and the blame for the atrocities committed during his reign ultimately rests with him. Imo Henry’s ‘scapegoats’ showed great courage each in their own way, and I admire them all.

I enjoyed your recent bio of George, but was a bit surprised at the implication that Cromwell showed himself a coward while in the Tower over his plea to the king for mercy. Imo Cromwell knew he was ‘done for’: at this stage he didn’t know whether he would be hanged, drawn and quartered or burned alive. He was asking the king for a quick death, to provide for the welfare of his son, daughter-in-law, their children and his servants.

Boleyn said

Although Olga could I tempt you into writing an article called “How to murder Henry 8th” (slowly and as painfully as possible) I had thought about roasting him over a open fire but it would take about a dozen men to turn the spit, not to mention all the fat dripping on the fire would likely cause a serious fire hazzard around the whole palace…

Laugh

Henry should have been kept in solitary confinement and fed nothing but brussels sprouts…

August 7, 2014
2:27 am
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Anyanka
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Olga said

I don’t understand why Mantel treats her female characters that way. In regards to Jane Boleyn Hirst and Gregory were researching before 2006 – and like everyone else they were going with the traditional view of Jane. I mean even Ives accuses Jane of testifying, no one questioned it before Julia Fox did (that I am aware of). So I don’t accept Mantel’s excuse that introducing Lady Wingfield would have taken too much time, I finally read Wolf Hall while I was researching this and she was stitching Jane up from the very beginning. What is sad that she had the opportunity to do something new and she decided to go the usual ‘woman scorned’ rubbish. It is the most vile portrayal of Jane and George I have read so far.
And men may have viewed women as ‘frail’ but it doesn’t mean they viewed all women with absolute contempt.

I really had a 180 degree turn wth regards to Jane Boleyn following Ms Fox’s book. I throughly believed the whole Jane as a wronged woman, a vengeful harpy who threw her husband and sister in law to the wolves in order to ….well whatever the novelist required for the plot to develope.

It's always bunnies.

August 7, 2014
2:39 am
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Anyanka
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Mariette said

Henry should have been kept in solitary confinement and fed nothing but brussels sprouts…

Oh…I say…a Sprout Diet is totally inhumane…Kiss

It's always bunnies.

August 7, 2014
3:00 am
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Anyanka
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Mariette said

I enjoyed your recent bio of George, but was a bit surprised at the implication that Cromwell showed himself a coward while in the Tower over his plea to the king for mercy. Imo Cromwell knew he was ‘done for’: at this stage he didn’t know whether he would be hanged, drawn and quartered or burned alive. He was asking the king for a quick death, to provide for the welfare of his son, daughter-in-law, their children and his servants.

while I haven’t read the 2 Clare/Claire’s George book, I’ve always thought of the Cromwell letter as a typical Reformation plea for clemency with a side order of “look after the younglings”.

Cromwell had far too much nouse to plead his own cause..he knew that he was doomed but still threw his last dice to gain a more merciful death for himself.

It's always bunnies.

August 7, 2014
3:14 am
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Mariette
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Anyanka said

Olga said

I don’t understand why Mantel treats her female characters that way. In regards to Jane Boleyn Hirst and Gregory were researching before 2006 – and like everyone else they were going with the traditional view of Jane. I mean even Ives accuses Jane of testifying, no one questioned it before Julia Fox did (that I am aware of). So I don’t accept Mantel’s excuse that introducing Lady Wingfield would have taken too much time, I finally read Wolf Hall while I was researching this and she was stitching Jane up from the very beginning. What is sad that she had the opportunity to do something new and she decided to go the usual ‘woman scorned’ rubbish. It is the most vile portrayal of Jane and George I have read so far.
And men may have viewed women as ‘frail’ but it doesn’t mean they viewed all women with absolute contempt.

I really had a 180 degree turn wth regards to Jane Boleyn following Ms Fox’s book. I throughly believed the whole Jane as a wronged woman, a vengeful harpy who threw her husband and sister in law to the wolves in order to ….well whatever the novelist required for the plot to develope.

Anyanka, Julia Fox’s book made me question my ideas about Jane too. The woman in question was never named…it could have been Lady Worcester, Lady Wingfield or someone else entirely. In any case, the ‘evidence’ was more than likely a distortion of an innocent conversation or letter or a total fabrication by the royal lawyers…

August 7, 2014
4:01 am
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Mariette
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Anyanka said

Mariette said

I enjoyed your recent bio of George, but was a bit surprised at the implication that Cromwell showed himself a coward while in the Tower over his plea to the king for mercy. Imo Cromwell knew he was ‘done for’: at this stage he didn’t know whether he would be hanged, drawn and quartered or burned alive. He was asking the king for a quick death, to provide for the welfare of his son, daughter-in-law, their children and his servants.

while I haven’t read the 2 Clare/Claire’s George book, I’ve always thought of the Cromwell letter as a typical Reformation plea for clemency with a side order of “look after the younglings”.

Cromwell had far too much nouse to plead his own cause..he knew that he was doomed but still threw his last dice to gain a more merciful death for himself.

Anyanka, That’s exactly how I see it.Smile

Clare and Claire wrote on pp 278-279 of George’s bio: ‘Following the Boleyn’s deaths Cromwell had praised their sense wit and courage. Unfortunately, he was not able to emulate their courage or their dignity when faced with his own misfortunes.’

August 7, 2014
4:05 am
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Mariette
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Anyanka said

Mariette said

Henry should have been kept in solitary confinement and fed nothing but brussels sprouts…

Oh…I say…a Sprout Diet is totally inhumane…Kiss

…and a side order of chestnuts slowly roasted over an open fireWink

August 7, 2014
4:45 am
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Anyanka
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Mariette said

Anyanka said

Mariette said

Henry should have been kept in solitary confinement and fed nothing but brussels sprouts…

Oh…I say…a Sprout Diet is totally inhumane…Kiss

…and a side order of chestnuts slowly roasted over an open fireWink

My kind and generous off-spring would vary the all BS diet wth aubergne/eggplant and artichokes…but then they are budding Venegnce demons..

It's always bunnies.

August 7, 2014
4:55 am
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Anyanka
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Mariette said

Anyanka said

Mariette said

I enjoyed your recent bio of George, but was a bit surprised at the implication that Cromwell showed himself a coward while in the Tower over his plea to the king for mercy. Imo Cromwell knew he was ‘done for’: at this stage he didn’t know whether he would be hanged, drawn and quartered or burned alive. He was asking the king for a quick death, to provide for the welfare of his son, daughter-in-law, their children and his servants.

while I haven’t read the 2 Clare/Claire’s George book, I’ve always thought of the Cromwell letter as a typical Reformation plea for clemency with a side order of “look after the younglings”.

Cromwell had far too much nouse to plead his own cause..he knew that he was doomed but still threw his last dice to gain a more merciful death for himself.

Anyanka, That’s exactly how I see it.Smile

Clare and Claire wrote on pp 278-279 of George’s bio: ‘Following the Boleyn’s deaths Cromwell had praised their sense wit and courage. Unfortunately, he was not able to emulate their courage or their dignity when faced with his own misfortunes.’

[facepalm] head meet desk.[/facepalm]…..so they fell into the same trap Olga was writing about.

Glorifying one side while vilifying the other, simply on a few words without the whole socio-politcal context of the condemned person’s need to defend the righteousness of thier sentance while trying to ensure that The Powers That Be doesn’t try to affect the rights of thier heirs.

It's always bunnies.

August 7, 2014
5:17 am
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Olga
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Mariette said
I’m glad that you found Schofield’s biography of Cromwell ‘outstanding’. Have you read David Loades’ recent (appalling) bio? I’m almost dreading Diarmaid MacCulloch’s upcoming bio…

Mariette! I haven’t seen you in ages. Yes I finally read Scofield’s bio, it was awesome. Actually I have to admit I really found him entertaining as well, I love a bit of sarcasm in my history books. I have Hutchinson and Loades here to read, but I have not heard good things yet.

Anyanka said
I really had a 180 degree turn wth regards to Jane Boleyn following Ms Fox’s book. I throughly believed the whole Jane as a wronged woman, a vengeful harpy who threw her husband and sister in law to the wolves in order to ….well whatever the novelist required for the plot to develope.

I would have thought the same of Jane if I hadn’t started reading history only in the last few years Anyanka, it was a few people here (probably you) that recommended I read Julia Fox’s book. Earlier books I read by Starkey, Ives or Fraser portrayed Jane in the traditional sense.

I know historians are trying to revise opinions of various historical figures these days – Anne Boleyn and Richard III are probably two of the only people that have been argued about for a long time (centuries really). But trying to give a more balanced view of Elizabeth Woodville or Margaret of Anjou is necessary. I don’t agree with Henry VIII needing revision.

August 7, 2014
6:23 am
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Mariette
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Olga said

Mariette said
I’m glad that you found Schofield’s biography of Cromwell ‘outstanding’. Have you read David Loades’ recent (appalling) bio? I’m almost dreading Diarmaid MacCulloch’s upcoming bio…

Mariette! I haven’t seen you in ages. Yes I finally read Scofield’s bio, it was awesome. Actually I have to admit I really found him entertaining as well, I love a bit of sarcasm in my history books. I have Hutchinson and Loades here to read, but I have not heard good things yet.

Olga, it’s good to see you here again. Imo Schofield’s bio is brilliant and definitely the best so far. Hutchinson’s bio was so biased I found myself snickering all the way through it, especially at the frequent reminders that Cromwell was ‘corpulent’, lol. It’s still worth reading with lots of little known tidbits here and there. I’m curious to know what you’ll make of Loades’ bio. I found it a total snooze-fest, a rehash of Merriman, with embellishments (his unsubstantaited comments about Cromwell’s son were way over the top and it’s a miracle that I didn’t set the book on fire!). His catty comments about other biographers, including Schofield were a bit much.Surprised

August 7, 2014
8:21 am
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Louise
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Mariette and Anyanka, I hope that our book doesn’t unfairly vilify anyone, just as I hope is doesn’t unduly glorify anyone, including George Boleyn. We have tried to paint as fair a picture as possible of him and haven’t shied away from his flaws and less admirable qualities.
As for Cromwell, I don’t believe we vilify him. We certainly allow him to be a far better man than he is portrayed by Mantel. With regards to the sentence referred to, we felt that Cromwell begging Henry for ‘mercy, mercy, mercy’ showed a lack of the dignity exhibited by the Boleyns, Norris, Brereton and Weston when they faced their own ordeal. Having said that I agree, when taking into account Cromwell’s performance on the scaffold, that we probably went too far by suggesting he wasn’t courageous or dignified. I will mention it to Claire for future editions. Thanks for raising it as a concern Mariette and I hope it didn’t detract from your enjoyment of the book.

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