Hi, love the site. Okay, Would anyone seem to know, why Anne is the most celebrated wife? Why not for a change they focus on one of the other wives. It seems to me that Anne Boleyn, Kathryn Howard and Katherine Parr are the most celebrated. So why aren’t Jane Seymour, Catherine of Aragon and Anna of Cleves celebrated enough. Sure Anne was known as the infamous second wife, but would it kill the Historians to change veiw every once in a while?
Anne Boleyn is definitely the most written about of Henry VIII's wife and I think this is because her story is so tragic and because she was a Queen and she was executed. Her story fascinates us and we feel the need to fight for justice for her, particularly when there are still so many myths surrounding her and she is still often depicted as a whore, murderess and adulteress.
I am pleased that Giles Tremlett has written a biography on Catherine of Aragon as she was an amazing woman. People often forget that she was married to Henry for over 20 years and that she was a successful regent when Henry was in France and that she was a Spanish princess. She also fought hard for her marriage and for her daughter's right to the throne and had many admirable qualities.
Catherine Howard - Joanna Denny and Lacey Baldwin Smith have both written biographies on her and she is fascinating in that I, for one, want to know why she risked everything for Thomas Culpeper. Was he a strong character who manipulated her or did she simply choose to have an affair with him. Whether she actually slept with him or not, she was obviously intending to have a sexual relationship with him. Also, how much was she manipulated by the Howard family? Did they tell her to cover up her past?
Catherine Parr - She is my second favourite of Henry's wives. In the past she has been seen as nothing but a nursemaid to an old Henry VIII so I'm pleased that Elizabeth Norton and Linda Porter have written such wonderful books on her and that she is finally being seen as the woman she was - a published author, a woman of real faith and conviction, the woman who really helped bring Henry's family together and a woman who was incredibly intelligent and influential. Her end is so sad.
Anne of Cleves - The one who was intelligent enough to accept Henry's offer and walk away from the marriage with her head intact! I don't think she is celebrated enough, although Elizabeth Norton has written about her. She was a true pragmatist and was also a good friend to Henry's daughters.
Jane Seymour - Elizabeth Norton has written a biography on her and views differ over whether she was the demure, meek and mild wife or whether she schemed her way to the top. She is the one that Henry considered to be his true wife and the one he chose to be buried next to and, of course, she was the one that gave Henry what he wanted, a son, although she paid dearly for it. She too is fascinating.
I find all six of them interesting for very different reasons and I love writing about all of them, although Anne Boleyn is obviously the one that grabs me the most.