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Mary Boleyn and Henry VIII – A Guest Post by Amy Licence and a Book Giveaway

Posted By on October 21, 2014

The Six Wives and Many Mistresses of Henry VIII Thank you so much to author and historian Amy Licence for visiting The Anne Boleyn Files on her blog tour for her new book The Six Wives and Many Mistresses of Henry VIII and sharing this extract from her book. See the end of the article for giveaway details.

Over to Amy…

The watchwords for Mary’s relationship with the King were secrecy and discretion. Yet history has tarnished her with scandal and rumour, insults and aspersions, leaving her with a reputation worthiest of the greatest whore at Henry’s court. Just like so many of the facts of Mary’s life, her real personality and appearance elude us. Historians and novelists have deduced various things from the known dates of her service in France, particularly her comparative lack of education and the circumstances of her marriage, yet these have often raised more questions than they have answered. Mary is illuminated in history by the light that fell upon her sister and she has suffered from the comparison ever since. Sadly her light will always be dimmer, her biography more nebulous.

Without a surviving authenticated portrait of Mary, it is impossible to draw any satisfactory conclusion about her appearance, beyond the fact that she was sufficiently attractive to engage the attention of the King. She may well have had the same colouring and proportions as her sister, but the two main candidates for her portrait, by Lucas Horenbout and the anonymous image held at Hever Castle, both depict women with rounder, softer faces and perhaps, lighter colouring. In fiction and on the screen, Mary has been played as alternately dark and fair, silly and serious, usually as a foil to Anne, but the only contemporary indication of any personal characteristic attributed to her is her role as Kindness and, for all we know, that may have been allocated on a chance basis. Whilst the parts of Kindness and Perseverance seem apt to the modern reader, enjoying the dancing of 1522 with a dash of hindsight, we could equally picture Mary and Anne drawing pieces of paper out of a velvet cap and laughing at their unsuitability. Perhaps these roles were even ascribed as a joke, a further disguise, with Mary refusing to be “kind” to the King and Anne known for her impatience. We will never know.

Taken at face value, the internal evidence of the Chateau Vert pageant may suggest Mary’s affair with Henry began in the spring of 1522. Again, the exact start, as well as the duration of the liaison, is unknown. It may have been the four years some historians suggest, or it may have been a single night. All we know is that he did sleep with her on at least one occasion, by his own admission. As with his other mistresses, this is the result of Henry’s intense desire for privacy. The private and public aspects of his complex role determined the experiences of his mistresses, as well as the degree of ceremony and arrangements by which he shared their beds. For Catherine, as Queen, the preliminaries for sex were somewhat formalised due to the dynastic significance of the moment, marked by a degree of ceremony and the involvement of servants. It mattered to the court when Henry slept with Catherine and how often. Once the doors closed, that was another matter. For a mistress like Mary though, even sleeping with the King on just a single occasion, the emphasis was on pleasure. This was not something Henry wanted to be recorded or observed, so a veil of courtly secrecy was woven by the few people in the know.

Lucas Horenbout miniature

Lucas Horenbout miniature

Apart from the pageant, there is no evidence of Henry’s affair with Mary that dates from the early 1520s. No whisper, no rumour, no accusation or gossip survives to shine any light on their connection. It can scarcely be considered the open secret that some historians have suggested, with not a single shred of proof that it was known outside the most intimate court circles. Henry would have put his trust in a few men; as the facts show, his close relative Cardinal Pole was aware of the affair and Wolsey’s role in the birth of Henry Fitzroy suggests he would also have been Henry’s confidant. An interesting case it that of the Franciscan Friar William Peto, who mentioned Mary when he spoke out against Henry’s divorce in 1532. As both Henry and Catherine favoured the Franciscans, frequently using their church at Greenwich, there is a chance that Peto had been trusted as a confidant outside the confessional, or had known someone who was. It is interesting to ponder, though, whether he had learned this information from the King, or from Catherine herself. It is not even clear whether Catherine knew that Mary was sharing her husband’s favours.

And yet, by Henry’s own later admission, Mary was definitely his mistress. How exactly did he achieve this without too much comment? That is the intention that lies at the heart of this book: to challenge the assumption that Henry’s extreme desire for privacy and his active love life are incompatible.

Mary Boleyn

A portrait thought to be Mary Boleyn, hanging in Hever Castle.

Book Tour Schedule

Amy has seven stops on her blog tour, so do follow her around and enjoy the extracts and interviews, as well as taking part in the giveaways.

  • Monday 20 October – Olga of Nerdalicious interviews Amy.
  • Tuesday 21 October – Here!
  • Wednesday 22 October – Amy shares an excerpt on Anne Boleyn’s early life over at On the Tudor Trail
  • Thursday 23 October – Amy shares an excerpt on Jane Seymour at Lara’s TudorHistory.org blog
  • Friday 24 October – Amy shares an extract on Catherine Parr with Darren and Emma at The Tudor Roses
  • Saturday 25 October – Stephanie of The Tudor Enthusiast interviews Amy.
  • Sunday 26 October – Amy finishes the tour with an article over at her own blog His Story Her Story

Giveaway

Thank you to Amberley Publishing for offering a copy of Amy’s The Six Wives and Many Mistresses of Henry VIII to one lucky Anne Boleyn Files follower. The giveaway is international and all you have to do is leave a comment below before the end of Sunday 26th October saying why you want to read Amy’s book. A comment will be picked at random and the winner announced on Monday 27th. Good luck!

More Book Details

Blurb:

For a King renowned for his love life, Henry VIII has traditionally been depicted as something of a prude, but the story may have been different for the women who shared his bed. How did they take the leap from courtier to lover, to wife? What was Henry really like as a lover? Henry’s women were uniquely placed to experience the tension between his chivalric ideals and the lusts of the handsome, tall, athletic king; his first marriage, to Catherine of Aragon, was on one level a fairy-tale romance, but his affairs with Anne Stafford, Elizabeth Carew and Jane Popincourt undermined it early on. Later, his more established mistresses, Bessie Blount and Mary Boleyn, risked their good names by bearing him illegitimate children. Typical of his time, Henry did not see that casual liaisons might threaten his marriage, until he met the one woman who held him at arm’s length. The arrival of Anne Boleyn changed everything. Her seductive eyes helped rewrite history. After their passionate marriage turned sour, the king rapidly remarried to Jane Seymour. Henry was a man of great appetites, ready to move heaven and earth for a woman he desired; Licence readdresses the experiences of his wives and mistresses in this frank, modern take on the affairs of his heart. What was it really like to be Mrs Henry VIII?

Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Amberley Publishing (8 Oct 2014), due for release on 19 November in the US (the Kindle is already available)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1445633671
ISBN-13: 978-1445633671

It is available on Kindle and as a hardback on Amazon UK and to pre-order on Amazon.com. It will also be available form your usual bookstore.

Amy Licence Amy Licence is an historian of women’s lives in the medieval and early modern period, from Queens to commoners. Her particular interest lies in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century, in gender relations, Queenship and identity, rites of passage, pilgrimage, female orthodoxy and rebellion, superstition, magic, fertility and childbirth.

Amy has written for The Guardian, the BBC Website, The English Review, The London Magazine, The Times Literary Supplement and is a regular contributor to the New Statesman and The Huffington Post. She has been interviewed for BBC 5 Live and Irish Newstalk radio and made her TV debut in 2013, in a BBC documentary on The White Queen. You can follow Amy on twitter @PrufrocksPeach or like her facebook page In Bed With the Tudors. She also has a personal blog – His Story Her Story

Amy lives in the medieval city of Canterbury, England with her husband and two sons.

179 thoughts on “Mary Boleyn and Henry VIII – A Guest Post by Amy Licence and a Book Giveaway”

  1. Debbie Warila says:

    This sounds like a great book. I can’t wait to read it!

  2. Julia Stent says:

    Mary has always intrigued me, she obviously has always been overshadowed by her sister, so I would love to read more about her.

  3. Joy says:

    I rarely get good books in Singapore abut Tudor history and there is just so much I want to know and read more about. This would be such a pleasure to receive and read and explore.

  4. sandra caswell says:

    I would love this as I am intrigued by their lives. I once thought I would love to have lived in their time but now I think I couldn’t do it but admire what they put up with.. Anne seemed to put up with a lot but didn’t deserve her ending..

  5. Michelle says:

    Sounds a brilliant read- Mary & Bessie have always fascinated me.

  6. Michael says:

    I look forward to ready this book and after reading some of her other I’m so happy Amy decided to dedicate a book for Henry’s women.

  7. Nelina says:

    I’d love to read the author’s view on Henry’s ‘many mistresses’ and the evidence she unearthed on the subject!

  8. Tammy says:

    This book sounds like a refreshing take on a fascinating subject – would love to read it!

  9. Molly Broughton says:

    I would love to read this book, taking a years break before doing my masters in history – I’m missing everything Tudor. While Anne Boleyn is my favourite of Henry’s women, I love reading about how Henry behaved with other women within his court. I love this blod and would jump at the chance to read one of the books featured on it!

  10. Pamela Hardy says:

    I enjoyed the last book of Amy’s which I read and am sure this one will be just as interesting

  11. Michelle says:

    This book would go nicely in my bookshelf of Tudors! After thoroughly reading first of course.

  12. Mrsfiennes says:

    I think the aspect of the mistresses being a secret while an affair was in progress is really fascinating and I would love the opportunity to know more.I have recently read that soon after Father Peto spoke out against the marriage with Anne he was banished from the country.

  13. Deborah Braden says:

    I am looking forward to the US release of this book. I’ve pre-ordered it. I appreciate your research based approach to writing which provides a factual view of the Tudor era.

  14. Cindi says:

    I find the Tudor period fascinating and unequalled. Canada is such a young country by comparison and my ancestral roots reach to the UK and Scandinavia. Mary Boleyn is an enigma and represnets the every (arisocratic) woman of the time. Can’t wait to read this book.

  15. Heather Martel says:

    I cannot get enough of Tudor history and historical fiction so cannot wait to get my hands on this book! It’s not even yet available in the U.S.A.!!

  16. Val Simpkin says:

    Looking forward to reading a book about these shadowy ladies, based on evidence rather than imagination!

  17. Linda says:

    i love anything that shines new light on the Tudor period. Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂

  18. Maureen Donahue says:

    Mary is such an interesting character because she is so elusive. At the end, she survives and is left without family support in a very turbulent time, with very little known about her, most likely due to the need to keep a low profile. Looking forward to reading this book!!

    1. Gail Marion says:

      Mary had the the support of her niece, Queen Elizabeth I, and one couldn’t do any better than that.

      1. Gail Marion says:

        Oops. I’m thinking of Mary’s children.

  19. Jodi says:

    I can’t wait to read this one !

  20. Eliza says:

    I would like to read this book, because I have loved all Amy’s books so far and also to learn even more on Tudor women, who shared their bed with Henry VIII.

  21. Very interesting! I would love to read more!

  22. Nancy says:

    I’d love to read this book because I’m interested in anything having to do with the Tudors, and in finding out more about Mary Boleyn, who is always overshadowed by her sister Anne.

  23. Emily says:

    Amy’s previous work. She takes great care in researching and making the past come alive. Would love to own a copy, and even if I should not win, I will be purchasing a copy.

  24. emmalou says:

    Would love to read this 🙂

  25. nicky says:

    Just started reading this book fascinating stuff im loving it.

  26. Isabelle F says:

    I am intrigued by the women who stayed in the background of Henry’s life and would love to know more. Mary Boleyn fascinates me – did she feel rejected by Henry or was she secretly glad that the pressure of pleasing her royal lover was over? Her quiet life at the end with a man below her station but whom she clearly loved shows she was a very different personality to her sister – although if anne had been allowed to follow her heart with Henry Percy, who’s to say she wouldn’t have enjoyed a country life as a countess? A really interesting subject, Henry’s women!

  27. Caitlin S says:

    I would love to read this book! I am obsessed with women’s history! For my sixteenth birthday I asked for history text books! This is such as interesting time and I am looking forward to reading this book!

  28. Anne Neale says:

    I love all that is Tudor and would cherish this book thank you, the more I find out the more I am intrigued, I revel in all the research, information uncovered and slants different people put into their books, keep up the good work

  29. Karin van de Konijnenburg says:

    I’d love to read this book because I am interested in the Tudor’s and I like the fact that it is written from the women’s perspective.

  30. Heather says:

    Great article! I’m looking forward to reading this book!

  31. Lizzie says:

    I know about Elizabeth Blount and Mary Boleyn but I had never heard of the others and would love to find out more…

  32. Beverly Shull says:

    I love reading everything regarding Tudor stories. Can’t wait to get this one!!

  33. kim keeley says:

    Love to read this book

  34. Misti says:

    For some reason I have always been obsessed with the Tudors and that whole time period, when I did my ancestry I was exited to find out that my 19th great-grandfather was Sir Thomas Leigh who was Mayor of London in 1558. So I like to think my love of the Tudors is in my DNA!!! Especially of Queen Elizabeth 1st! I love Amy License and can’t wait to get her new book!!!!

  35. Shelley says:

    I am currently rereading “The Other Boleyn Girl” and would love to read more about mistress Mary! 🙂

  36. anne hoisington says:

    I’ve always been enamoured with the British monarchy, especially Henry and his wives. This would be a wonderful book to add to my collection. Your article was wonderful, and I can’t wait to read more!

  37. Angie W says:

    The mystery that surrounds Mary Boleyn is full of opportunities for fiction writers!
    I have read a few books, but not one that really made sense as to time, and place and how things happened between her and the King. I would love to read this book!
    Thanks so much for offering a giveaway!!

  38. Ellie says:

    I live in South Africa, but grew up in England. I have always loved English history, and was an avid Jean Plaidy reader as a young girl. There are hardly any good English history books available here, and I would love one. I also have a circle of friends who would love to borrow it!

  39. Angela says:

    I have been researching the Tudors for two years and would love to add this book to my small collection. I love Anne above all other of Henry’s woman but I love to read about his other conquests. Seems to be a great book to have and I can’t wait to read it.

  40. jayne smith says:

    Great post Amy. Would love to win this boo to go with the rest of my collection of yours !

  41. Patti says:

    I love everything about the “Tudor” era. The dresses, the castles and palaces, the history of it all. I am a huge fan of Amy Licence and would love to receive this book to add to my collection. I can’t wait to read it!! Huge hugs from Canada.

  42. Carole says:

    I love reading about Mary Boleyn.She is one of my favorites but such a shame not more is known about her.

  43. Jared says:

    I am always amazed at how many levels there are to the narrative of Henry VIII and the English Reformation. It never gets old. Would love to read this book!

  44. Heather Chapman says:

    I am a Tudor history buff. I love learning more about this time in history and the people involved. I look forward to reading this book. 🙂

  45. Deborah Hutcheon says:

    This period in history fascinates me and this book would be a perfect addition to my collection.

  46. Mia Griggs says:

    I’m obsessed with England’s history of royalty, especially the Tudors. I’ve read so many books already and would love to add this one to the list!

  47. Jessica says:

    Henry VIII has such a complex love life, so interesting with so many twists and turns!

  48. Jessica Trotta says:

    I am interested to read a new tale on Henry and his numerous lovers. I think many people think of Henry as womanizer when I do not think he was. I think history cast his mistresses as whore when many were not. As one virtually obsessed with Tudor Era England I am very excited to read this new book.

  49. Melanie Dodd says:

    I am thrilled that there is another way to learn more about Mary Boleyn!! I can’t wait to devour this book!!!!

  50. Breonna Filler says:

    I am always looking to learn more about the Tudors!! This book seems like a great resource to do so!!!! I CANNOT wait to read It!!!!!! Thank you!!!

  51. karen says:

    I would really like to know more about Mary!

  52. Kim Barca says:

    thatvwas very good excerpt. I hope this will be on Amazon for us Americans to purchase! As An American historian of Tudors History, I believe your book is spot on to the truth of Henry VIII’s shall we say Women. History in the past by many authors as Weir and Margaret George( Who wrote a good historical fiction book The autobiograph Of King Henry VIII), many historical books I read have not covered this subject as well as you have. I would like to own this for my library collection because its written well and factual.

    Yours,
    Kimberley Barca.

  53. Krystal says:

    Sounds great!! I can’t wait to read it.

  54. Danyce says:

    I love this stuff! I can’t WAIT TO READ IT!

  55. Audrey Forrest says:

    I would love to read this book because the excerpts are interesting and I love reading as much as I can about the time of the Tudors. I Iove to read non-fiction as well as ficyion to get the facts as clear as possible in my head.

  56. Sofía says:

    I love any book that has to do with Tudor history and the reign of Henry VIII especially, so it would me one more on my list!!

  57. Sue says:

    I am working on my geneology and would like to read more about my ancestors..they were and are an interesting group…

  58. Brooke Somerville says:

    I will read this book while wearing my Anne Boleyn “B” necklace and enjoy every minute of it!

  59. Norita Bergmann says:

    Looking forward to another fascinating Tudor read!

  60. Sherri Oberholtzer says:

    I have a passion for 15th and 16th English history! I am fascinated by the dynamics of Henry VIII’s court, mistresses and wives. So excited to read this book!
    Thanks! 🙂

  61. mary has always fascinated me. I’ve wondered why Henry didn’t stay with Mary. I’ve always thought it was strange how Henry would go from one sister to the other sister and end up marrying one of the sisters. I look forward to learning more about Mary.

  62. Anissa Roberts says:

    Very excited for a new book in the genre. :).

  63. AnnD says:

    I love Tudor history….and have been an avid follower of it for years….always thrilled to see a well written well researched book come out..can’t wait to read it!

  64. Pat Tacker says:

    Have always loved to read about Henry’s wives since as a youngster I read “Brief Gaudy Hour” telling about Anne and Henry’s relationship. Would love this new book I’m sure.

  65. Elaine Guymer says:

    I have a huge affinity for medieval fiction and enjoy the many tales of Tudor court life.

  66. Kathleen Seaman says:

    When will the book be available in the US?

  67. shelley callahan says:

    Sounds awesome!! Would love to have a copy please!!

  68. Jodi says:

    This sounds interesting can’t wait to get my hands on this book!!

  69. Libby says:

    You never knew quite what was what in Henry’s court and what was true or noe would be interesting to read another viewpoint

  70. Esther Sorkin says:

    Sounds like an interesting book … I look forward to reading it. I am curious about the proof for Henry’s affairs over the three “known” ones.

  71. Jessica says:

    I’m a big fan of the tudor period and I would love to read this book and add to my knowledge.

  72. Laura says:

    The more I learn about this Court and the ladies who lived it the more interesting it becomes. Would love to read this new book.

  73. Alisa Murphy says:

    Very interesting. Would love to read more. I have my 15 year old hooked on the book, Anne of a 1000 Days

  74. Sheila says:

    There has always been such a fascination with Henry and Mary and yet every time I look there is just so little information. This looks like this book will be great and another great read to add to my collection. I cant wait!

  75. Jennifer says:

    Love Amy License and her ability to breath new life into an already popular area of study. Can’t wait to read this!

  76. Nicki Zarate says:

    I would love to read this book!

  77. Nicole Black says:

    I absolutely LOVE this period in history, all the way from the War of the Roses to Elizabeth I! I first fell in love with the British monarchy with Henry VIII and his 6 wives so I can’t wait to read Amy’s book and add it to my growing collection 🙂

  78. Jan Shipley says:

    I first discovered Anne Boleyn in 1969 when Anne of A Thousand days was made. I have loved her ever since. Because of her I now have a ferocious interest in the history of royal woman and their fellow aristocrats from the Normans to our present Windsor queen. Thank you Anne for my life long interest.

  79. I am in love with the tudor era and have tried to get as much info as I can and books about henry and his wives and mistresses at this time have the life and death of anne and also retracing her footsteps and would love to have this one about mary since not much is known about her

  80. Ellen James says:

    This period of history has always fascinated me. The women of that day had few to no rights but we’re instrumental in the lives of Kings.

  81. Jessica shoop says:

    i have been studying the Tudor royals since I was a child and am completely fascinated by the dynamics of the Tudor family. I would dearly love to read more about Mary boleyn and her life.

  82. Jessica Gonzalez says:

    Absolutely love this era of history. Henry VIII and everything he did, from the beginning of his reign to the end, is amazing. Reading this book will be very intriguing, and even if I don’t win, I plan to pick it up anyway!

  83. Kathy LaPlante says:

    One more layer to complicated lives. I’ll buy this book even if I’m not chosen here.

  84. Krystyna Phillips says:

    This book sounds fascinating. I can’t wait to read it!

  85. Bonnie Malmat says:

    This sounds like a good book. I love to read about the Tudors and who can’t be fascinated about the women of Henry VIII.

  86. Maxine Davis says:

    Henry VIII wasn’t a particularly admirable monarch; but he certainly did his part to make Tudor History interesting! I find the story of Henry and Anne Boleyn utterly fascinating. Of all Henry’s many wives and lovers, she’s the most intriguing. If Henry VIII’s reign was fiction, no editor would buy it–it would be deemed too implausible!

    I really want to read this book!

  87. Sandi manning says:

    My ancestry reseRch has led me to connection of 15th cousin 1x removed from mary and Anne Boleyn. I love reading anything to do with the boleyns..this book sounds like a good read…sandi manning

  88. I am truly looking forward to this upcoming release! I can’t ever get enough of the Tudors and what is more provocative than Henry’s wives and mistresses!?

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  89. LadyPrincess says:

    Though, I am Pre-Med student from the U.S.– I’ve always been fascinated with British History and England. Most of what I know about the Tudors,\ I have taught myself. I have watched countless Tudor documentaries, shows, and movies, and have read many fiction and non fiction Tudor books, all in an effort to learn more about my favorite era in History.

    So, I want to thank Claire and Amy License for offering this giveaway exclusively for Tudor fans (like me)! I love Amy Licenses’ book: “In Bed With The Tudors: The Sex Lives of a Dynasty from Elizabeth of York to Elizabeth I”. I would now love to read “The Six Wives and Many Mistress of Henry VIII”! I think that Henry’s mistresses have a right to have their stories told as well. Indeed, many of them are just as fascinating as Henry’s wives!

  90. Debbie says:

    I adore anything having to do with Henry VIII, his wives, mistresses. I don’t much about Mary, but am looking forward to learning!

  91. Molly Zeigler says:

    fascinating topic – thank you for sharing. I can’t wait to read more – looking forward to the whole book 🙂

  92. Jessica K says:

    We have only really hear about Mary Boleyn and Bessie Blount. It would be interesting to read about them more in depth as well as the other women in his life.

  93. I really want to read Amy’s book because I have thoroughly enjoyed her book on the sex lives of the Tudors, and I’ve read Kelly Hart’s and Philippa Jones’s books on the subject of Henry VIII’s mistresses, and neither have lived up to my expectations, but I really think Amy’s will!

  94. Rachel says:

    I would LOVE to read your book!!!

  95. Jen says:

    I would like to read this book because I am very intrigued by the Tudors and all of the different intertwining stories of the time. I’m sure this will be a fascinating read! Thanks for the giveaway!

  96. BanditQueen says:

    First, excellent and insightful article. I believe that Mary has been treated unfairly by history, she may have slept with the King of France, but do we have any evidence apart from the boasting of an over sexed French King? She was, I believe the mistress of Henry, although I think that it could not have caused the scandel it is often believed as few people, outside of the ‘family’ seem to have been aware of it. Henry did ask for a dispensation to marry Anne as he had been familiar and had a relationship with her sister Mary, saying only to be fair that he had slept with another who was related to Anne, not naming Mary. It has been assumed that it was Mary that he meant, and earlier he had ridden into the tournament with a legend on his shield that indicated he had fallen in love with another other than the Queen. Historians believe this to have been Mary Boleyn, but could it be another?

    The awards to William Carew and his new wife Mary on the births of their children, also have raised speculation about the parentage of the children. Was Henry the father or was her husband the father? The dates of the relationship seem to tie in, but some authorities believe the affair was actually earlier, about the same time as his affair with Elizabeth Blounte. Could the affair have overlapped?

    I am looking forward to this book because the number of mistresses that Henry had is debated by historians, there are few books that look beyond the few women that we know about or the common, but misguided belief is that Henry slept with any woman that looked at him. The reality is probably somewhere in the middle. Henry and Francis where young sexy monarchs and both were attracted to and by women. By comparrison with his contemporary brother of France, however, Henry was probably more virtuous. There was a convention amongst many noble men and Kings to find satisfaction elsewhere while their wives were with child, as it was considered unsafe to have sex during this time. Breast feeding was also such a time, but few royal women breast fed, so sexual relations probably began again a few months after each birth.

    Henry most likely had a some one night stands and a few longer term relationships, but no where near as many as fiction and drama like to portray. In fact when it came to sex; Henry was actually something of a prude and it was a private affair. There are also many reasons for keeping his mistresses private; to prevent scandle and offense to the Queen; the good name of the woman; and the fact that some were actually married. There is also a good reason not to have too many illegitiamte heirs flying around and so acknowledging children was something of a problem for Henry. His affair with Anne also began in 1526 and was long term with a view to marriage so having other affairs would have risked all this. Once she was married too him, however, he did have again an occassionaly mistress.

    I would love to read the book to find out more about what women he did love and their stories as well as what we really do know about his sex life in and out of marriage. I would also love this book as I admire the other works by Amy Linacre and because the women’s story is so rarely told. The wives story has been told before, but through other eyse; their voice is often denied. Women have been hidden from history for a long time. Time to bring all of the women, mistress and wives into the light and to let them speak with their own voice and through their own stories.

  97. Dawn says:

    Sounds like an interesting book! I’d love to read it!

  98. I really enjoy the Tudor history. New books about the Tudor wifes’ are always interesting to find out what each author adds to the history.

  99. Jo Anne Narramore says:

    Amy is a wonder writer and thorough researcher. I can hardly wait to read her new book.

  100. Jenny says:

    I’m a history fanatic, have been ever since I first watched Anne of a Thousand Days with my mother as a child. This obsession grew into reading, watching or writing any thing I could about The Tudors, even dedicating my university degree to the subject. This book simply looks amazing and I know I would enjoy demolishing it greedily as I soak up all the knowledge and research put into it. I would be more than honoured if I was chosen to be the lucky receiver of the book but I think every one would feel the same. Thank you for giving us all this wonderful opportunity.

    Thank you guys 🙂
    xxx

  101. donna silver says:

    think amys book will be great reading, would love to win this book, absolutely love the tudor era xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  102. Lynn says:

    I would love to the win the copy of this newest book about Henry VIII wives and mistresses. It sounds like a very fascinating book and it be great to win a copy. 🙂

  103. Betsy says:

    Can’t get enough of the Tudors and their history. Recent TV series like “The White Queen” and “The Tudors” have really sparked my interest.

  104. LT says:

    Never can get enough of this history! Can’t wait to read

  105. Lauren says:

    I can’t wait to read this!! Always interested in anything Tudor related.

  106. Erin Sturdevant says:

    I have been wanting to read this book since I found out about its release. I have always been fascinated by Tudor history, even when I was a child. The Other Boleyn Girl (even though I know it’s not the best example) is what got me interested in Henry’s mistresses, especially Mary and since then I am always on the look out for books about her both fiction and nonfiction (The Last Boleyn being one of my favorites!)

  107. Ellen Werkau says:

    I have always been fascinated with the entire Tudor time period. I always love to lean more!

  108. Dawn 1st says:

    I have just started to read ‘In Bed with the Tudors’, and I am really enjoying it. It would be nice to have your new book sitting waiting to be read Amy, it sounds intriguing.

  109. Mrs Clarene Clark says:

    I have read “In bed with the Tudors” an would love,love,love to read this one ,I can’t wait tell it comes out!

  110. Donna Pingry says:

    This book is at the top of my wishlist. Would love to win a copy.

  111. Michelle says:

    I would love to read this book. I have read one of a similar topic, but this sounds like a different take on the subject. I love all the juicy details of court gossip.
    Thanks Amy for the great post on Mary, I guess something we shall never know.

  112. Laurel Campbell says:

    The book sounds fantastic. Cant wait to get it.

  113. Lisa says:

    I just finished reading The Other Boleyn Girl and I find myself wondering what the Boleyns especially Mary were really like. I am also intrigued by Henry VIII, his mistresses and his wives. This book would make a great addition to my ever growing Tudor collection.

  114. Lynn Donovan says:

    Can’t wait to read it!

  115. Lynn Donovan says:

    Can’t wait to read it!

  116. Eddielyn Estrada says:

    All of Henry’s women have intrigued me, from his mother & MIL to his wives to his mistresses. Love reading about who they are. Would love to read this.

  117. Denise Duvall says:

    I have always thought of Mary as the more interesting Boleyn sister and perhaps smarter, as she stayed away from court and seemed to have a contented life. This book mentions other mistresses, that I have nor read about, and promises to be a great read. Thank you for the giveaway.

  118. Kim Toll says:

    I’d love to read this! History is particularly interesting when viewed from the perspective of the women involved. I’ve enjoyed reading Amy License’s work in the past. Glad to see there’s a new one!

  119. Paula Rabinowitz says:

    I have always enjoyed reading about the history of these times
    Looking forward to this book.

  120. Laura McHann says:

    I would love to read this book! I love reading about henry VIII’s 6 wives. I love the tudor era!

  121. Maetel says:

    hello Amy

    my mother’s family as tries to Boleyn & howard and the mary Boleyn affair with king is know to my family and Henry married Ann I have study our family history on my mother side from 1290 to 1620.

  122. Gail Marie says:

    Sounds like an interesting and informative book. Really want to read this one!

  123. Cathy Chinery says:

    This book sounds so interesting. I have loved reading about the life of Henry VIII. From many historical and fictional sources. Mainly from the male or political perspective. In his obsession to produce a son life for him must have been a “fish bowl” experience, being watched, manipulated and judged by many. I would love to read about a different side to him. This book looks like it could clarify a few more misty points about him.

  124. Monique says:

    This is a fascinating time in history. I always want to read more of it!!!

  125. Emma-Louise says:

    I love anything to do with the Tudors but the Boleyn Girls are so fascinating. I would love to read this book and it would be a honor to read the words of a fantastic author. I cant wait to read this and find out lots more about the ill fated wives & mistresses of Henry 8th.

  126. Amy says:

    I never cease to enjoy reading about the Tudors. While I know quite a bit about Henry VIII’s wives, I know little about the mistresses. Looking forward to another good read!

  127. Laura Pallett says:

    Hi! I would love to get my hands on a copy of Amy’s ‘The Six Wives and Many Mistresses of Henry VIII’. I have just started my History degree at the University of Cambridge and absolutely adore the Tudor period, I am also a massive bibliophile, and am already – very quickly – filling up my book shelves here with books!! Loved the article! Thanks, Laura

  128. Beth says:

    I would love to read this book. I’ve read some of Amy Licence’s other books, focused on an individual, but I’m intrigued what this book will have to say, taking a wider view of all Henry VIII’s liaisons, what patterns emerge. Great article too – I think Amy is totally right when she says it’s incredibly difficult (and frustrating!) to infer anything about Mary Boleyn – and I know I am definitely sick and tired of her being played as a foil to Anne. There’s no basis for such a portrayal, it’s just conjured up to provide a contrast to Anne.

  129. Rebecca Ward says:

    I need this book in my life! I’ve read other books of Amy’s and enjoyed them all. I can not wait to get my hands on this one!

  130. Kristen says:

    I want to win/read this book because I am a history nerd and a Tudor nerd and this book would further my nerdiness. 🙂

  131. Lori Pittman says:

    I have read many books & websites about the Tudors & the Boleyns & watched many shows, etc, but still discover new things every time. I always find Mary to be intriguing because she was that sister who faded into the background when Anne came to favor & yet Mary survived and endured. And I have found myself wondering what sort of lover Henry was given that he was famously with so many woman. Can’t wait to read Amy’s book and learn more about the man and many woman who changed England forever.

  132. Thank you for the opportunity to win this book, I would very much love to read it and add it to my family collection of books for this time period!

  133. maxine m partridge says:

    it sounds interesting. thanks

  134. Michele L says:

    I love to read about the Tudors – especially non- fiction. This looks like an excellent book who shaped one man’s life and in turn also shaped history.

  135. Lila Brunacini says:

    I would love to read this book. Mary is an interesting character and would love more information about her.

  136. Sheila says:

    I am sure there are so many interesting and refreshing insights to come out of this exciting sounding book!

  137. Teresa Neil says:

    I have become so addicted (a good thing) to reading these books that it has become my new hobby. I research all libraries now for this author and have taken on studying the history of King Henry VIII and all his wife’s, and I’ve never been interested in history at all! Keep writing these books and Thank You!

  138. laura hill says:

    i love love love the tudors ! i am totally obsessed! i hope i win.

  139. Jalyn says:

    I’m always excited when new publications in the vein of the Tudors come about! Yay yay yay! Thank you! 😀

  140. Bridgett says:

    Amy has great talent for writing. This is very intriguing. I would love a copy!

  141. Jennifer C. says:

    I would LOVE to read this book because I would love to know everything about the Tudors!

  142. Sarah Longfield says:

    Really looking forward to reading the rest of this book. This period in history is endlessly fascinating and i never tire of hearing about it. It’s such a shame that so little information remains about Mary, i’d like to learn much more about her.

  143. Sammy S says:

    I’m a huge Tudor nerd and would love to get stuck into this juicy new book whilst I am at home recuperating from an operation!

  144. Janet Collins says:

    I can’t wait to read and own this book. I love all Tudor history. I’m in the process of building a Tudor style library now that my husbnd and I are empty nesters.

  145. Elisa Ikard says:

    I am incredibly fascinated with the Boleyn family and all that surrounds this Tudor age – I need this book! I cannot get enough of good, solid books that give an inside view of these historical men and women, especially the women! I greatly admire authors who have researched and written on this period of English history. I, too, am bedridden from a dreadful foot surgery, so I could escape from my boring life and venture into the intrigue of Mary Boleyn and her world.

  146. Kathy says:

    Sounds like an interesting read. I would love to go further in depth into this subject by reading what appears to be an excellent book.
    Thank you for the article.

  147. Angela S. says:

    Just like everyoneelse I like reading aboutthe Tudors. Your points of few are interestingto read about, and find out new thingsthat you didnt know before.

  148. Kathryn says:

    I have always been fascinated by the Tudors, all of them, but when I was growing up the focus always seemed to be on the men of the time with the women being little more than sidelines so I love this growing interest in them and can lose myself reading about them. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of what looks like will be a wonderful read.

  149. Elizabeth says:

    Looks intriguing. I can get lost in Tudor history (and often do) and look forward to reading this one.

  150. Hannele says:

    I understand that Henry used to conduct his affairs in private, apart from Bessie Blount and Mary Boleyn of course.

    So I am curious to know what and how one can know about them.

  151. Jennifer U. says:

    I have always been fascinated by Mary and her relationships. She was the lover of 2 kings and the sister to Anne Boleyn – the stories she could tell! I would like to know more about the paternity issue involving her 2 children that are said to be fathered by William Carey but we all know she was involved with King Henry at around the same time. Such a fascinating life led by a fascinating woman!

  152. Coreen Baumann says:

    I love the different perspectives of different Authors, looking forward to reading this one.

  153. Sarah says:

    I fell in love with the tudors when I visited the Tower of London aged 8 and was told the story of Anne’s execution by a Beefeater. I have had an obsession with finding out more and understanding the context of events ever since then. The more I read.. the more it all makes sense. Reading books about Henry, Anne and all the other Queens and mistresses it feels like a familiar world now. I will be doing a research project on something to do with the Tudors next year as part of my year 12 study. I don’t just want to read this book because of that though I want to read it because un like other books it doesn’t leave the mistresses out! They were as much a part of the story as the wives and it’s very important that their story is told! I absolutely can’t wait for the holidays so that I can get this book and read it !!!!

  154. Reda McIntosh says:

    Have always thought if I could come back as someone in history, if not Elizabeth l herself, then Catherine Carey, who close cousin of hers. Then within the past year found through Ancestry.com that my bloodline goes back through Catherine and her mother, Mary Boleyn…so the explanation for my, over 50 year, compulsion to read everything about these two women, at last made sense! Would treasure a volume of this new insight and thankful for the opportunity to recieve one!
    Keeping my fingers crossed!!!

  155. Anything written about the Tudor world – especially well-researched items – are always wonderful to read. The line that caught my eye was “What was Henry really like as a lover?” – I have always wondered if he was really all that! Thanks.

  156. Lois Cavanagh-Daley says:

    Henry the 8th is endlessly fascinating! I would love to read the book!

  157. Melissa B says:

    As part of an anthropology class I did some research and wrote a paper on women who had liaaons with famous or powerful men. The subject of this book seems intriguing. When I read books about women in the Tudor period, I feel close to them as if they are my friends. Their tales teach me something about life. Also, when my daughter had medical complications with a pregnancy, I gave her many books from my own collection. Now she is “attached” to the books and I can’t ask for them back. Looks like I should just rebuild my private collection… I am excited to read this book.
    Incidentally, I have a favorite coffee mug with Henry’s wives on it. 🙂

  158. Dawn Pinnataro says:

    I can never get enough about the Tudor period, and in particular the lives of the women (and what was life like for the period in the home, etc). Would love to read this book!
    GADawn57
    dawn.pinnataro@aronov.com

  159. Cathy S. says:

    Sounds great, please put my name in the draw. Thank you.

  160. Boleyn says:

    Mary B is such an enigma, and yet she was perhaps the luckiest of all the Boleyn’s too. She at least died in her bed knowing that she would be missed by those who loved her. William and her children.

  161. Camille says:

    I would love to read this one! Please include me in the drawing.

  162. Kelly Scivally says:

    All the women in Henry’s life led fascinating if not tragic lives. The fact that Mary was able to overcome the reputation her affair with the king left her with and go on to have a happy, quiet life with a man she loved insinuates she may have been the luckiest of them all.

  163. Rachel Addicoat says:

    I would love to read this book as I just cannot read enough about Henry VIII’s wives and information on his mistresses would make for interesting reading too!

  164. Donna says:

    Would love to add this book to my collection.

  165. Stephanie says:

    I would enjoy reading this book so much!

  166. Amy says:

    I’ve always wondered how Henry could go from Mary to Anne. How did his thought process work? Or was he just focused on getting a son, and therefore not thinking with his “normal” Brain??

  167. alexis says:

    Can’t wait to purchase this book I am a history nut and this period is on of my favorites I devour all things tudor

  168. Debbie Kern says:

    I’m definitely going to love this book!!!!!!!

  169. hema says:

    I’d like to read this; I can’t get enough of this era and these individuals.

  170. Lauren Harris says:

    I am really looking forward to the release of this book! Reading about the birth of the Tudor dynasty, the period in which they reigned and the legacy they have left us with never fails to impress and captivate me. I have read a lot of material on Henry’s wives and am keen to gain a better insight into his mistresses- particularly Mary. The Boleyn women are fascinating. I don’t think reading about their lives will ever bore me!

  171. Ludmila Gonzalez says:

    Hi!, I´m from Argentina and I would love to win a copy of this book. Nowadays it is really difficult to find this kind of good books to read here. I´m a Pharmacist. but since I was a child my Mother encourage me to read, She is a History teacher, and we both love the Tudor period. Thanks for giving us the chance!

  172. Claire says:

    Congratulations to Julia Stent who has won a copy of Amy’s book “The Six Wives & Many Mistresses of Henry VIII: The Women’s Stories”.

  173. Dawn 1st says:

    Lucky you Julia, bet you can’t wait to start reading it. 🙂

  174. Bella ardila says:

    Is this book available in Indonesia?

    1. Claire says:

      The Book Depository do free worldwide shipping and Amazon do worldwide shipping too if you can’t get hold of it over there.

  175. I am so excited to learn about this book and it’s release! I only wish that Utah would have been on the stop ..it would have been a fantastic opportunity to meet the Author in person .( And be able to maybe get her signature in the process..lol
    Anyway,
    I honestly wasn’t able to pick one specific part of the book,that makes me want to purchase this book…IT’S EVERYTHING!! This sounds like from the minute I begin to read it…I won’t be able to place it back down, until I have read the entire book.
    I really am looking forward to reading this.
    Thank you

  176. BARBARA BOWER says:

    I have read many books about the Tudors and would love to read more about Mary and Henry

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