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How to Murder the Boleyns
August 7, 2014
8:53 am
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Olga
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Oh well I don’t think anyone can profess to be perfect on that score Louise, I can think of quite a few historical figures I am too hard on – Norfolk for example – I joke he managed to to outlive Henry VIII and forget he spent many years imprisoned as an old, old man. It’s impossible to be perfectly balanced all the time and I think your book does a fantastic job of delivering fair opinions on many historical figures as well as George.
And with that said I know authors have to expect a certain amount of criticism, but I just took apart someone’s book piece by piece and psychoanalysed it, so you know.

There’s an interesting section in Bordo’s book where Natalie Dormer said Michael Hirst thought he had not written a sexist version of Anne Boleyn and had no idea what she was talking about it when Natalie pulled him up on it (or the like). I haven’t read the whole book yet but I found the sections on The Tudors very interesting. I mean Hirst appears to have a great respect for Anne Boleyn and look at what he did to her…

August 7, 2014
10:13 am
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Claire
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Just to second what Clare says. It’s hard to be objective about our own book but our intention was never to whitewash George and the Boleyns at anyone’s expense. The George we present is “warts and all”, a man with a dazzling career but with flaws, and I’d say the same of Cromwell. I believe Cromwell to have had a brilliant mind, and we certainly don’t vilify him for what happened in 1536, but he also had his flaws. That letter can, as with all sources, be read in different ways and I think we both saw it as being very different to how Anne and George faced their imminent deaths.
I am definitely a Cromwell “fan”, and consider his death to be the waste of a brilliant mind, and I too thought Schofield’s bio was brilliant. I hear Tracy Borman has one due out too so it will be interesting to see if she has anything different to say.
Anyway, I don’t believe that we are guilty of “Glorifying one side while vilifying the other” because I don’t think we glorified the Boleyns or vilified Cromwell, and if it has come across like that then I’m concerned and sorry, it was not our intention.

Debunking the myths about Anne Boleyn

August 8, 2014
11:35 am
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Mariette
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Louise said

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.

The book was wonderful, Louise and my comments reflect my own impression of Cromwell’s plea for mercy and weren’t intended as a criticism of the authors. The book was meticulously researched and well-written, your passion for your subject was evident and a credible George Boleyn emerges from the pages.

August 8, 2014
1:40 pm
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Claire
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Mariette,

Don’t worry, I wasn’t offended at all, I just wanted to answer Anyanka’s comment about us falling into the trap of glorifying one person while vilifying another. I would take the book off the market straight away and burn it if I felt we’d done that! We wanted to present these Tudor characters as well-rounded people, warts and all, and us mentioning one perceived flaw in Cromwell’s character doesn’t mean that we have vilified him while whitewashing George. Our George certainly isn’t perfect and I would hope that the Anne Boleyn I present on The AB Files is not a whitewashed version of Anne either.

We’re so grateful for all the support we’ve had in getting this book out there, particularly from people on this forum.

Debunking the myths about Anne Boleyn

August 9, 2014
3:41 am
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Anyanka
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Clare and Claire i must apologise for my comments since I haven’t read your book yet..

(I’m in the middle of a WWI buying binge which is taking up my book buying cash along the the memory card space in my kindle. i had hoped to get your book for my birthday/mother’s day pressie but hints and commmands fell on oblivious ears..)

I was basing my remark simply on the quote provided earlier in this thread. and for that I should be ashamed at making a huge leap in my own baises..

For myself..I don’t see Cromwell as being anything less than pragamatic with regards to his letter requesting mercy.
He wasn’t a noble..his death could have been far worse than a “simple” beheading that George and company had. There was the potential of the fate suffered by Francis Dereham as well as the monks earlier in Henry’s reign. It takes a brave person to face being hung, drawn and quartered.

Again..i’m sorry if either of you think I’m judging your book on a single quote..and the book now awating for the next pay day to be bought…whch sadly is the end of august…

It's always bunnies.

August 9, 2014
2:41 pm
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Claire
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Don’t worry, honestly, Anyanka, I’ve got a tough skin and I wasn’t upset or offended. I just wanted to step in and clarify things. I would hate to think that one comment about Cromwell could be read to back up the idea that we vilify him or perceive him as a coward, that is very far from the picture we paint of Cromwell in the book. Whether or not we think of him as being cowardly in that letter, we certainly do not see him as a coward in general. That letter to me is very human and I don’t blame him at all for it.

Debunking the myths about Anne Boleyn

August 10, 2014
12:42 am
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Mariette
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Anyanka, I’m so sorry if gave the impression that Clare and Claire’s book was biased.Embarassed It’s a very balanced account and you’ll find that it’s well worth waiting for. I share your opinion regarding Cromwell’s plea for mercy and don’t see it as lacking in dignity. A lot depended on his remaining alive and he had nothing left to lose: The continuation of the reform of the church was at stake, he feared for the safety of his followers, and he was concerned for the welfare of his family and hundreds of servants. He couldn’t protect anyone if he was dead, and his fears re reform and the reformers proved to be well-founded… Stephen Gardiner loomed large until 1547.

August 10, 2014
9:31 pm
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Boleyn
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I maybe wrong Mariette but I believe Stephen Gardiner was dismissed from his post, aroud the time when he tried to find or fabricate charges against K.P. When S.G’s gnomes went to arrest her Henry beat them all soundly and sent them off with a flea in their ear, shortly after that Henry told S.G his services were no longer required. He was imprisoned in the tower for Edward’s reign, and only eleased whn Mary Tulip (sorry folks can’t resist it) came to throne and Cramner exchanged places with him. He only had a few years of the power he once held in Henry’s court, in Mary’s disasterous reign when he died and Bishop Bonner (known as the Devil’s dancing bear) took his (S.G’s) place..
Actually as things go S.G’s religious zeal towards the Catholic faith was mild in consideration to Bishop Bonner’s he was far more fanatical towards the Catholic faith then S.G was. I would go as far as saying he was a sadist. There were many who died at the stake in Mary’s reign, but just as many died in the Tower at the hands of Bonner, before they even got to the stake.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

August 10, 2014
10:59 pm
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Mariette
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Boleyn, Stephen Gardiner was someone for whom I have a very hard time finding anything to admire. Henry VIII kept him around because he was useful (no-one at court had a better knowledge of the law). The king certainly didn’t trust him (only he could rule him, *cough*) and did’nt include him in his son’s council. Imo he was a ruthless zealot, with an oversized ego and little trace of compassion for others. The treatment Anne Askew was inexcusable.

August 11, 2014
12:44 am
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Olga
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That’s the problem. We think they were zealots, they thought the reformers were zealots and vice-versa. I think their religious ideals are always the hardest thing for me to get my head around, I can read about and discuss their faith, I can accept that their daily life was governed by their faith but I can’t actually relate to it, I find it impossible. I was discussing that with a friend the other day, were there sceptics back then as there are now?

I also wonder how the courtiers felt about the torture of the Carthusian monks, as Henry (AFAIK) forced most of the court to attend. I’ve seen some fairly disparaging comments towards Thomas and George Boleyn for being in attendance but there were many courtiers there.

August 11, 2014
2:26 am
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Anyanka
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Mariette said

Boleyn, Stephen Gardiner was someone for whom I have a very hard time finding anything to admire. Henry VIII kept him around because he was useful (no-one at court had a better knowledge of the law). The king certainly didn’t trust him (only he could rule him, *cough*) and did’nt include him in his son’s council. Imo he was a ruthless zealot, with an oversized ego and little trace of compassion for others. The treatment Anne Askew was inexcusable.

IIRC, Gardiner was also playing a cat and mouse game with Cranmer with henry’s semi-tacit support but was out-foxed at the last minute again by Henry switching his favour back to Cranmer.

It's always bunnies.

August 11, 2014
3:27 am
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Mariette
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Olga said

That’s the problem. We think they were zealots, they thought the reformers were zealots and vice-versa. I think their religious ideals are always the hardest thing for me to get my head around, I can read about and discuss their faith, I can accept that their daily life was governed by their faith but I can’t actually relate to it, I find it impossible. I was discussing that with a friend the other day, were there sceptics back then as there are now?

I also wonder how the courtiers felt about the torture of the Carthusian monks, as Henry (AFAIK) forced most of the court to attend. I’ve seen some fairly disparaging comments towards Thomas and George Boleyn for being in attendance but there were many courtiers there.

Olga, There probably were sceptics back then, but few would have dared to hint at any doubts they might have had about established orthodoxy and risk being accused of heresy. I can’t begin to imagine how those courtiers felt witnessing the horrific torture of the Carthusion monks.

I just don’t like Stephen Gardiner, to me he comes across as cold, egotistical and frequently motivated by self-interest. Thomas More on ther other hand, was also passionately committed to orthodox roman catholicism and during his time as Chancellor was ruthless in the pursuit of heretics (but acted within the law). More, unlike Gardiner, had a sense of humour, was also capable of warmth, generosity, and was devoted to his family and friends.

August 11, 2014
7:47 pm
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Boleyn
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To be honest S.G gives me the creeps. There was definetely something sly and vindictive about him, erhaps that’s why Henry kept him around because Henry could be just as vindictive when he wanted to be. S.G’s treatment of Anne Askew just goes to prove how vindictive he truly could be. He knew the law about the limits he could go to when a woman was involved and yet he cruelly for want of a better word butchered Anne Askew all because he was so hell bent on discrediting the Queen, and therefore trying to worm his way back into Henry’s favour. I also agree that Henry played a game of Cat and mouse with both S.G and T.C, I kind of think Henry got a perverted sence of pleasure watching his 2 little mice dangling on a rope, never knowing which ones noose would tighten. Basically because Henry was a sick sadistic bastard. I also think that he had had enough of S.G’s interference and perhaps the petty squabbles that T.C and S.G had over the matters of religion, and even of K.P arguements over religion and decided to teach them all a lesson.. Basically it was a case of my way or the highway, or should that be the axe way.
What happened to Anne Askew was just barbaric, but I feel that Henry had told him to rack her but not to the extent that S.G did. By racking Anne Askew, Henry meant it to serve as a warning to K.P to keep her gob shut on matters of religion, and also to tell T.C “don’t push it boy or’ll have you for breakfast” The reason I say this is because T.C interpetation of the church was very diffirent to Henry’s interpetation. Henry saw himself at the centre of it all and everything and everybody revolved around him and his mood swings. His morning moods were very different to those in the evening and it took a careful man to recognise the danger point with Henry. Henry still saw the Church as Catholic, only he was the Pope not the man wearing a dress with a pointy hat in Rome.
T.C accepted that but felt that Henry could do so much more with the reforms of the church. S.G on the other hand wanted to fully return to Rome and perhaps even suggested as much, that man wearing a dress with a pointy hat in Rome would happily forgive Henry Blah Blah. As for Henry he was happy enough wallowing in his own crapulance, and raking in the pennies. I pretty sure that T.C got Henry’s point and backed off admitting that he was wrong to push forward his opinions which were all wrong, and that Henry was the big Cheese (Stilton I should think by the smell of him) However S.G didn’t see Henry’s point and simply pulled the noose tighter and then got rid of him.
Sending men to arrest K.P was again a point hitting home exercise, she narrowly avoided taking her head home in a Harrods carrier bag and she knew it too. Like T.C she backed off and shut her gob a bit rapid.
If you look at how T.C influenced Edward’s religious reforms, you can see just how different they were to what Henry believed, religion wise.
For the most part Henry left the Catholics alone providing they accepted him as head of the church, and they had their smells and bells and religious images to a certain degree, and largely followed the Catholic form of worship. Henry saw himself as Catholic. Edward on the other hand did away with all the Catholic Claptrap and seriously and radically reformed what Henry’s church was. Cramner I would say really came into his whole element body and soul when Edward came to the throne. If Edward had lived long enough to procreate, I stongly believe that England would be very different to what we have today.. I sort of think it might have been something along the the lines of Cromwell’s England, very puritan. A little like the Amish comunities in America.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

August 11, 2014
8:14 pm
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Boleyn
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Translation of the word Crapulance..
1. Despair, heaped upon one’s self due to being found-out to be a total, lying, jackass without a clue.

2. The utterance of total, unabashed bullshit, while maintaining the appearance of unwavering belief in what you are saying.
Kind of sums old lard arse right up I think….

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

August 11, 2014
11:01 pm
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Mariette
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Boleyn said

The utterance of total, unabashed bullshit, while maintaining the appearance of unwavering belief in what you are saying.
Kind of sums old lard arse right up I think….

Laugh

August 11, 2014
11:21 pm
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Mariette
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Boleyn said
S.G’s treatment of Anne Askew just goes to prove how vindictive he truly could be. He knew the law about the limits he could go to when a woman was involved and yet he cruelly for want of a better word butchered Anne Askew all because he was so hell bent on discrediting the Queen, and therefore trying to worm his way back into Henry’s favour.

The racking of Anne Askew by Wriothesley and Rich, almost certainly at Gardiner’s instigation, was illegal, the Constable of the Tower, Sir William Kingston (imo a very decent man) wanted no part in it and tried to put a stop to it, taking the matter to the king. The vicious sods were never punished so it would appear Henry approved of their actions in his cat and mouse game.

August 12, 2014
1:02 am
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Mariette
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Boleyn said
S.G’s treatment of Anne Askew just goes to prove how vindictive he truly could be. He knew the law about the limits he could go to when a woman was involved and yet he cruelly for want of a better word butchered Anne Askew all because he was so hell bent on discrediting the Queen, and therefore trying to worm his way back into Henry’s favour.

The racking of Anne Askew by Wriothesley and Rich, almost certainly at Gardiner’s instigation, was illegal, the Constable of the Tower, Sir William Kingston (imo a very decent man) wanted no part in it and tried to put a stop to it, taking the matter to the king. The vicious sods were never punished so it would appear Henry approved of their actions in his cat and mouse game.

Olga said

I can think of quite a few historical figures I am too hard on – Norfolk for example – I joke he managed to to outlive Henry VIII and forget he spent many years imprisoned as an old, old man. It’s impossible to be perfectly balanced all the time …

Norfolk didn’t deserve what happened in 1546, he was loyal to the king, though he was an obstacle to Edward Seymour’s ambitions. The poor man had to plead for a pair of sheets and a few books to be allowed him (I hope he had at least a blanket – it was winter!). You’re so right, it’s hard to be balanced at times.

August 12, 2014
7:43 pm
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Anyanka
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This story about a Brazilian couple who have just discovered they are (half?)siblings is intreasting while discussion attraction between sibling who are raised apart. I’ve read similar stories in the past so that part of this wierd theory does have a basis in real life.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..OTHER.html

It's always bunnies.

August 13, 2014
6:58 am
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Olga
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I have a friend who keeps bringing up the genetic mutual attraction theory when we discuss this in relation to Richard III and EoY – which causes much argument Laugh.
The problem with Mantel and Gregory’s take on it is that they are firstly trying to present it as a normal cultural thing – which it was not. And secondly it’s not really correct all siblings from noble families didn’t grow up together, they may have become separated at a younger age being warded out to different households but they would generally share the same nursery. The exceptions usually being royal families, when the heir was sent off to his own household. Henry VIII’s children were a bit unusual there but that was due to them all having different mothers. Looking at the 15th and 16th century, the two largest royal families were EW’s and EoY’s children, and all of the youngest were brought up together.

In more modern cases like the one you’ve pointed out Anyanka, these are people who had never met and found out after they had formed relationships. I know it happens quite a bit, but knowing someone is your sibling would generally give one more pause beforehand. Especially in a time where people genuinely feared for their souls.

August 13, 2014
3:26 pm
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Anyanka
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I thinking in this context “Cultural” equals reading too many V C Andrews books.Laugh

The only culture I can think of off-hand where sibling or parent-child marriage was acceptable was the Pharohs of Egypt and that had less to do with attraction than the transfer of power through the generations.

I think if EoY was attracted to RIII, it was a common or garden “crush” . Painful enough for some-one on the verge of adulthood but nothing really long lasting or even that deep.
EoY had after all been brought up to expect her marriage would be purely political in nature with love and compatibility low down on the list.RIII, I imagine, would have tried to find approiate suitors for his neices had he remained king. and possibly his newphews too, includng Arthur.

It's always bunnies.

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