George Boleyn Video 9 – Inaccuracies and Surprises

In the final part of our video series on George Boleyn, Clare Cherry and I answer the questions “Which inaccuracies annoy you the most regarding George Boleyn” and “What surprised you when you were researching George?”.

Thank you once again for all the questions you asked us, we thoroughly enjoyed answering them and making these videos. You can see all 9 videos in the George Boleyn Interviews playlist on our YouTube channel – click here.

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3 thoughts on “George Boleyn Video 9 – Inaccuracies and Surprises”
  1. What do people think that George Boleyn did all day at court: gambled, womanized, danced and drank and hunted?

    There was much more to life at court than that although all of the above was part of life as well, for those with money, position and power that is. Sir Thomas Boleyn was a powerful man in his own right and had many positions at court, had served abroad and was a man of ideas and his own influence. Even without the Kings total infatuation with Anne the family would have risen at court as the Tudors promoted people as much on their ability as their noble family name. That was to stop too many princely families, not that there were too many left after the wars of the roses, getting into power in the council and government and having too much control or being a threat to the King.

    It stands to reason that if Thomas Boleyn had his children well educated that he meant for them to be more than pretty flowers decorating the court. He gave them the means to use their brains as well as their charm and assets. If he as the patriarch had a career then his son was going to have one as well; diplomatic, law, scholar or high flyer at court. He had mixed talents and from what you have said and some other things I have read he was an elequent speaker and writer. He understood the importance of reading and being a man of letters and Henry used such men in embassies abroad. If he knew the diplomatic language of French then it stands to reason that he had a career in the service; may-be he was not an official ambasssador, stationed at a foreign court, but he still went on missions to France et al; and he rose to hold positions at court.

    Even the Tudors shows him as a man of influence for all of its faults. In at least two scences he and his father appear to be fascilitating audiances for others and present at those audiances. As the brother of the Queen, a role that I think many forget about; he would have automatic influence. He would be in the Kings inner presence and circle and able to make and break fortunes for other people. I do not see him as either a bully or a passive person. George Boleyn wrote and read poetry and French manuscripts. He was obviously trusted and well liked by the King and others at court. Fiction either depicts him as being the son under the thumb or the fancy go getter; I think he was neither of these.

    Yes, he most certainly hunted and sported, with women and with hounds, but this was part of being in a position of power; you have the leisure and the means to do these things. He gambled and he played fast and loose: he was at court. I am sure that he also had the same dislikes as his father; the family had its detractors and some had to be removed: Cardinal Wolsey, but was George active in this or was this more to do with Anne and her father, together with his allies the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk? Henry could have stood by the Cardinal had it not been for being given evidence that Wolsey had diddled the books or stolen from his office; but Wolsey had failed in the divorce and all the Boleyns did was to move Henry into believing what they said was true. A more secure King may have stood by his minister; Henry could not, and he needed the divorce. Was George involved or was he just enjoying life as young people do?

    George Boleyn was obviously more complex than many people think and that fiction has shown him to be. I think that when there are not many books written about someone it is hard to guess that there is a lot of material out there, but no-one lives life in a vacume; especially in earlier ages, even more consummed by paperwork than ours is. When you look at some of the official papers and rolls that were around and that we still have; the admin records alone are immense. And with George Boleyn we are also lucky that he also wrote letters and was written about in the reports of the ambassadors and so on. The state papers are full of references to all of these key players. I am amazed that people do not realize that things were recorded in such detail that putting together a biography of a man like George Boleyn who was pro active is possible. I know it is not always the case: but from time to time records are kept in good order.

  2. Thank you both very much for such an enjoyable series of videos about an enigmatic and clearly charismatic figure. I wonder if he fathered any children who were passed off as those of the ladies’ husbands?! We shall never know.

  3. This series of short videos have been a smashing ‘taster’ for the coming book, I am sure it will be a great success for you both. Good luck.

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