In Memory of Eric Ives, Tudor Historian and Anne Boleyn Expert

Posted By on September 26, 2012

Eric Ives and our 2011 Anne Boleyn Experience Group

I wanted to keep this news quiet for a few days out of respect for the Ives family, but as it was leaked last night on Facebook and I’m receiving emails asking me for confirmation, Eric’s daughter has given permission for me to write this short post.

Professor Eric Ives died yesterday morning, 25th September 2012, following a severe stroke he suffered a couple of weeks ago. He was aged eighty-one.

I am deeply saddened, as I know many of you will be. I call his book, The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn, my Anne Boleyn “Bible” and he was such an expert on her, the Reformation and Tudor history. I had the honour of meeting him twice and both times he allowed me to completely grill him and always had an answer to my questions. He was a lovely man, a true gentleman, an expert historian, a charismatic speaker (and preacher), and someone I admired so much. His passing is a huge loss to the history world, but he had a true faith in God.

I will be sending a card to the family on behalf of us all.

I will be writing a full obituary in a few days.

64 thoughts on “In Memory of Eric Ives, Tudor Historian and Anne Boleyn Expert”

  1. Clare says:

    R.I.P Eric Ives.
    My thoughts go out to his family at this sad time.

    1. nanci says:

      A great loss. Best wishes and prayers to his family.

  2. The death of Eric Ives will come as a great blow to everybody who has come into contact with him. His careful and measured research on Anne Boleyn stood out like a clear beacon in a crowded field of annecdote. Despite the great respect that was due to him, Eric Ives was enthusiastic and encouraging of others – he will be remembered and missed. Best wishes to his family.

  3. Mariette says:

    This is so sad. Professor Ives was one of a kind, a very special man. He will be greatly missed.

  4. Olga says:

    This is a terrible loss. Thank you for passing our condolences on to his family Claire.

  5. Charlie says:

    Very sad news. I haven’t yet read his book in full, but I used it in my research for essays, the tutor recommended Ives in particular. I’ve only heard good words about him.

  6. SarahD says:

    A sad loss to the history world. I completely agree with Claire about his book “the life and death of Anne Boleyn” – a definitive ‘bible’ for anyone wanting to learn more about her.
    Deepest sympathy to his family.


  7. Diane Wilshere says:

    This is a fgreat loss for Tusor history scholarship. Professor Ives earned my respect for his willingness to completely rewrite his Anne Boleyn biography 20 years after his first one because of his dedication to research. His recent examination of Jane Grey Dudley was another brilliant examination of original source material. My condolences to his family

  8. Tamar says:

    I am so very sad to hear of this. He was a truly great historian, and it sounds like he was a lovely man. Thank you for sending our condolences, Claire, to his family.

  9. Eliza says:

    I am so saddened by these news… RIP Professor Ives. My condolences to his family. He will always be the expert on Anne Boleyn. We thank him for his research and for the love he bore to our Anne!

  10. We are very touched by the sad news. I admire him very much and I am proud to have met him personally during our Anne Boleyn experience 2011. Out thoughts are with the family and to all who are dear to him. We are convinced that he will be personally welcomed with open arms by Queen Anne Boleyn herself in heaven.

  11. Natasha says:

    I am so sorry for his family. This is a major lost for the history world.

  12. nanboleyn says:

    I’m so sad at this news. I thought he would live forever. A face book post said ” he has already kissed the fair hand of Anne Boleyn herself” Icertainly hope so. I wonder what they will talk about between the two of them. I hope he tells her of us, keeping her memory alive and that not everyone believes the horrible lies about her and George, and all the other who were judicially murdered. RIP Sir Ives, may you enjoy your time with the Queen!

  13. Tamise says:

    Thank you for sending the card Claire. Such sad news and such a great loss to history. I too was lucky enough to meet him once and had the most enjoyable Lady Jane Grey masterclass with him and Leanda de Lisle over lunch.

    1. Claire says:

      He was a treasure, wasn’t he, and Leanda is lovely too. They didn’t agree on Jane, but they had fun debating!

      1. Tamise says:

        Yes, I spent a happy hour just listening to them discuss what Jane was really like.

        1. Claire says:

          Wonderful, a memory to hold on to!

  14. Mallory says:

    My condolences to his family and friends at Eric Ives’ passing. I ad hoped to meet Mr. Ives one day and tell him how much I appreciated his dedicated scholarship on the Tudor era, especially in regards to Anne Boleyn. I found his book on her to be the most thorough work I have ever read on the late queen. Incredible scholarship in that text.

    1. Carolyn says:

      Mallory, you wrote everything I was thinking. Such a loss to history and history lovers. RIP, Professor Ives. Your contributions will always be remembered.

  15. Emily says:

    What sad news…I am sorry that I never had the chance to meet this remarkable man, but his biography of Anne will forever be the standard by which all others should be measured. Thank you, Claire, for conveying our condolences to his family; I hope they will take comfort in the fact that he was not only a brilliant historian who contributed so much to this world, but also a man of great faith that will sustain him in the next.

  16. Marina Camp says:

    Eric Ives and “The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn” were pivotal in the development of my passion for Tudor history. His passing fills my heart with sorrow, but I find comfort in the knowledge that the world, and scholarship of the period, will forever be better for him having been a part. -M-

  17. Melissa says:

    How sad! I saw this on facebook this morning. What a loss for all of us! Sending healing thoughts to his family and friends.

    By the way, when I googled him to see if an obituary had been published yet this morning I noticed that the picture on this post was the third image that came up for him!

  18. Linda M. Hart says:

    My sympathy to his family and to all of us in the Tudor “family”. His loss will be profoundly felt. He wrote the Bible on Anne Bolyn in my opinion.

  19. Clare says:

    I really hope that Professor Ives’ work on Anne Boleyn continues to be upheld as the landmark biography. He worked tirelessly towards finding the truth, and his work and research were of the highest quality and integrity. He never rested in his defence of Anne Boleyn, and I know that same determination will be carried on through Claire.

  20. Esther says:

    A great loss. My condolences to his family … and thank you Claire for sending the card.

  21. Sad news. Dr Ives was my thesis supervisor many years ago and a lovely man.

    Thoughts go out to his family

  22. lana norris says:

    The most faithful man in Anne’s life has gone home to be with her. If only Henry had been half the knight that Mr. Ives was…..Eric Ives, in his scholarly search for the truth and his desire for justice was the soul of chivalry. Lana

  23. Karen Jagielski says:

    I was deeply saddened to hear about this great loss to the Tudor community. I feel honored that I had the opportunity to meet — and dine! — with this great man at the Anne Boleyn Experience 2011. Condolences to his family and love to you all.

  24. DuchessofBrittany says:

    I am very saddened to learn of Dr. Ives’s passing. He was a true academic and an expert historian. He has left an amazing legacy. His book on Anne Boleyn changed my life, and it remains my favourite book. Dr. Ives was a clas act.

  25. Dawn 1st says:

    It is so sad when a well loved and respected interlect such as Professor Ives passes away. My condolences to his family especially, friends and collegues.
    He would have been someone I would have loved to have met and listened to, and I envy those who have.
    To me he will always be the one who wrote the truest account of Anne, put history ‘straight’, and bannished the myths that followed her.
    He will live on forever through his work and writings.

  26. Sherri Sheffield says:

    I am saddened by the loss of Eric Ives. The history world will definitely miss him. He was one of the few great authorities on Anne Boleyn because his research was so impeccable and complete. The Anne Boleyn acolytes will miss him. To me Eric was a great admirer of Anne’s but never made her a heroine or hide her faults. He made her a living, breathing person who was just that – a human being. Not a whore nor a saint. Just Anne.

    I hope that Eric now has the pleasure of meeting his Queen in heaven.

  27. carol stevenson says:

    I will say a prayer for Eric Ives and his family. His death is a great loss. He was one of the greatest historians in the world. I am thankful he was able to share his wonderful knowledge with us all and I will miss his written words. I never met him, but he seemed to be a very sweet man. Rest IN Peace, Mr. Ives. God bless you.

  28. Shelly says:

    Oh no! I’m deeply saddened to hear of such a tragic loss. My one consolation is that I hope he has now met Anne Boleyn herself, in the afterlife. God bless Dr. Ives and his family.

  29. Courtney says:

    I was so saddened when I woke up to the news of Eric Ives death. It is weird because I was looking for a book yesterday that I have misplaced & found my copy of The Life & Death of Anne Boleyn, and just sat down and started reading through it again.
    I read it on Facebook & my first instinct was to ask Claire to confirm it. I was hoping it weren’t true. R.I.P. Prof. Ives….

  30. Nicole says:

    I’m so sad to hear about his passing…He was a brilliant author!

  31. Sharon says:

    A great loss. A brilliant author who will truly be missed. His book on Anne is always at my fingertips. Rest in peace Dr. Ives. Thank you Claire for preparing and sending a card from all of us. My deepest condolences to his family.

  32. Shoshana says:

    His greatest legacy is the desire he has instilled in people to learn through history. Once a person read his books, it was impossible to ignore the pull of history; his knowledge, excitment, and dedication to fact and truth inspired many to start life long love affairs with history. Eric Ives was a leader in historical accuracy and unafraid to say, “I was wrong because……” when new discoveries brought to light a fact unknown to him. That he could revise his opinons and theories as new knowledge proved his love of history and dedication to learning. We have lost a great man and are blessed by having known him through his books.

    As someone previously wrote, I too like to think he is now speaking with Queen Anne. I can imagine his bowing before her, telling her how honored he is to finally speak to her, and that she has not been forgotten and that her daughter is considered one of the greatest monarch of England. And I can see her, smiling at him, rejoicing in knowing the lies have been exposed and slowly her reputation and honor restored. What a conversation is taking place! Finally, he is learning all the secrets and getting all the answers to his questions; finally he knows the entire truth. If only he could write to us from beyond and share this with us – what a book he could write now!

    1. Adrienne says:

      Beautifully stated!

  33. Katherine Stinson says:

    RIP to the great Eric Ives! Such an amazing historian and human being. I can only imagine what he’s telling Anne right now! You inspired me Sir Ives, and I want to thank you for “The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn,” and basically sharing your genius with us. You will be truly missed by many. Sending thoughts and prayers to his family.

  34. Ashley says:

    R.I.P Eric Ives
    A sad loss to the entire history world. I havent read The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn yet but from what i have of him from Claire he sounded like a great historian. My deepest condolences to his family. I hope that Dr. Ives has the pleasure of meeting Anne Boleyn in person. God bless you Eric Ives.

  35. Baroness Von Reis says:

    Claire,How deeply sadden to here of Eric Ives passing,I hope he meets up with Anne and all he so love to write about. Rest In Peace Eric Ives

  36. Anne Barnhill says:

    I am very sad to hear this as I have utmost regard for him and his work. I only wish I had had the chance to meet him in person. Please send his family my condolences. If there is an address you could share or a place we could send cards, that would be great–maybe the family would like to know what he meant to so many who had never even met him. Peace.

  37. Valerie says:

    This is such sad news, my thoughts and prayers are with his family.

  38. Bella says:

    I am so very sad to hear this news. Professor Ives’ book on Anne is the one that really brings her to life for me. A great loss to the history world.

  39. Carol says:

    I am so very sad to hear of the death of Eric Ives. In 2009 he came to Hampton Court Palace and was an exceptional speaker. He also struck me as a lovely man with patience and time for everybody. Rest in Peace Eric.

  40. Sara Merlo says:

    My prayers and thoughts are with his family and friends. He was a wonderful historian and will be missed dearly. I wish that I had the chance to meet him. My condolences.

  41. Catherine says:

    My deepest condoleances to his family..

  42. Kristie says:

    This is so sad. What a wonderful historian. What a loss for the history world, but more importantly, what a sad loss for his family. Thinking of them during this time.

  43. Virginia2012 says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of this great man. My sincere condolences to his family and many friends.

  44. Tim says:

    It was lovely to know Professor Ives, even if only for a short time. His tales of his quest for Anne’s story, and his phrase of “Popycock” about things he disagreed with were very inspiring. We’ve lost a true gentleman and an amazing historian.

  45. Kylie says:

    I really am stunned… he’s always been the face of Anne Boleyn research, and that was justified due to just how great an expert he was about her! I would have loved to have met him, it seemed he was someone who could for hours about her…
    I guess he’s with Anne now…

  46. I too am saddened that Professor Ives has died. Like Tamise above, I was privileged to attend a luncheon with Professor Ives, hosted by Leanda de Lisle, at which we had a three-way debate on Jane Grey. Professor Ives was very generous in regard to my own research and writing on Jane. I am distressed that he will not see my forthcoming article on the Wrest Park portrait, nor my forthcoming biographical study of Jane, which is very different from his own. I would very much like to have had his feedback on both. He was a great scholar and a perfect gentleman.

  47. Denise Hansen says:

    I adored Eric Ives biography of Anne Boleyn and I always hoped to meet him someday.
    From all reports, he was a great historian and a wonderful British gentleman. His book is and will remain the definitive, go-to biography of Anne Boleyn – balanced, accurate and exceededly readable – he did his subject proud. Thank-you Clare for passing on condelences to his family on behalf of those of us who so appreciated his scholarship. He brought us the real Anne – and for that we will always be grateful,

  48. cherie says:

    R.I.p professor Ives. I pray that now you are with Anne and Henry and all the Tudors and getting all the information you wanted firsthand.

  49. Adrienne says:

    How heartbreaking to lost such a wonderful soul. It’s incredible how you can mourn for someone you’ve never met. The world has lost an amazing historian.

  50. miladyblue says:

    Very sad to hear of Professor Ives’s passing – a brilliant researcher, and staunch historic champion.

    However, I have a mental image of him up in heaven, sitting by a fire in a huge library, a glass in hand, talking to Anne herself, asking how close he came to her actual life. And Anne, with an enigmatic little smile, telling him to sit back because there’s some doozies that the State Papers actually understated.

  51. Chloe says:

    Such a sad loss. He was a brilliant historian, and I wish I had the chance to meet him. Rest in Peace, Eric Ives. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

  52. Kim says:

    It’s always such a shame when the world loses a great mind like Eric’s. His loss will be felt for years to come. RIP Eric Ives.

  53. Ceri C says:

    I had the pleasure of hearing him speak at the Boleyn Festival at Blickling Hall earlier this year and he struck me as a lovely man, full of passion and enthusiasm for his subject but with a humorous twinkle in his eye. I’ve long been an admirer of his work. Such a sad loss. Condolences to his family.

  54. Anerje says:

    Such sad news. He was THE expert on Anne Boleyn.

  55. Baroness Von Reis says:

    Claire,Very kind of you to honor Eric Ives,a wonderfull athuor and man,such a geat lose,and will be missed.Another very sad lose on September 25th music composer and singer ,Andy Willams,both will be greatly misses. RIP Eric Ives and Andy Willams

  56. emma says:

    I was very saddened to read of this. One of my favourite history books is his wonderful book on Jane Grey which I would recomend to anyone. May he rest in peace. Also the hisorian Eric Hobsbawm who died today.

  57. Ingrid says:

    I can’t remember the last time I’ve written here, but it chocked me. And I believe that Mr Ives do deserve few words.
    His work in name of history, Tudor history was incredible. The way he had worked to clarify Anne Boleyn history never will be forgoten.
    Thanks Ives !

  58. Silvia says:

    What a great loss. Not only a brillant, passionated historian and author in Tudor history, but an honorable, spirited human being, too. Unfortunetly I never had the chance to meet him in person, but this news strucked me down indeed. Although we will all miss him sadly, I myself believe that HE and ANNE will meet in heaven now to talk to one another directly.
    Thanks for all you have given to us and RIP Eric Ives !!!

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