Was Anne nice?

That is such a hard question to answer and it all depends on your perception of "niceness". In my opinion, based on my research, Anne was all of the following:-

* A virtuous woman who wanted to keep her virtue even if this meant saying "no" to a king.
* A good friend to those she loved
* An obedient and loving daughter
* A kind and charitable woman who was known for the large amounts of money she gave to the poor and needy
* A woman who exuded a kind of sexual magnetism - Although she wasn't a typical English Rose, she was said to exude sexual attraction and she used her eyes to tease and tempt.
* A loving mother - Anne hated the fact that as Queen she was meant to give Elizabeth up and not spend time with her. Anne fought to spend as much time as possible with her daughter. At her execution, Anne also did not speak out against the King or the conspirators because she wanted to keep Elizabeth safe.
* A feisty and determined woman who fought for what she wanted.
* A courageous woman who risked arrest to show Henry books like Tyndale's "The Obedience of a Christian Man".
* A quick tempered woman - She was quick to anger, like the King, and the couple were known for their huge rows which were quickly made up. She also faced death courageously and with real dignity.
* An ambitious woman - She was determined to be Queen and woe betide anyone who stood in her way e.g. Wolsey.
* A vulnerable woman - I think Anne was always worried that Henry would stop loving her. While Catherine of Aragon had turned a blind eye to Henry's affairs, Anne felt that she couldn't. It is also said that she was not very nice to Mary and I wonder if this stemmed from jealousy and insecurity.
* A patron of the arts and of the "New Religion"
* A cruel woman - She definitely could be cruel at times - when she refused to help her sister, when she celebrated Catherine of Aragon's death (although it is also said that she broke down in tears later), when she was unfriendly to Mary (although she did try to make peace at certain times), when she encouraged the King to get rid of Wolsey etc. There are many actions which can be seen as cruel and I don't doubt that Anne had her nasty side.

I guess what I'm saying by this list is that she was a complex woman who had many sides and characteristics. If you've read my recent posts on Anne Boleyn: The Witch, Anne Boleyn: The Whore and Anne Boleyn: The Martyr, you will know that I don't believe that she was any of those things, but it is so difficult to know exactly who she was when she is still such a mystery.

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12 thoughts on “Was Anne nice?”

  1. Schehrezade Rahim says:

    Anne Boleyn was amazing. A woman that held her own, and was strong.
    A woman that produced the second best Tudor, Elizabeth I.
    A woman that was never the Great Whore, for if she was a whore, she wouldn’t have produced the best heir to the Tudor Dynasty. Anne Boleyn is an extraordinary woman, whom in my opinion, is a rolemodel for all women to follow. To follow her strenght, and her beauty proceeded her.

  2. Carolyn says:

    I think Anne was ‘complicated’, as many intelligent, open-minded people are. It’s a mistake to pigeon-hole her into categories of ‘nice’ vs ‘bitch’. As with most people, some people think you’re great and others can’t stand you. She was an enigma; a contradiction. She was loving and generous, but she could be haughty and scolding, she was fragile yet strong, friendly yet could be vindictive when crossed. She craved power and money, yet was generous in giving to those in need, and believed in establishing schools and hospitals for the poor.

    1. Annie B says:

      I agree with Carolyn. I find it hard to believe that she could be considered “nice” when she would stop at nothing to get rid of Catherine of Aragon and marry Henry. That being said, she was driven and intelligent and those are characteristics to be admired.

  3. Sarah says:

    Wow, what an interesting answer.

    I’m (at present) thinking about writing a novel about turning back time to Historical eras in a series of books for teenagers. I’m researching all kings, queens, contrasts, subjects and more to give accurate information on the novels as well as getting teens more interested in History.

    Anne, is one of the many examples I’ve come a crossed and I think I’ll use her in many of my stories whither its politics or romance.

    Loving the website by the way!

  4. Baroness Von Reis says:

    I really think Queen Anne was a Kind women,but she did have a temper thats for sure,did she go out of her way just to be mean to everyone,know way! When she married Henry and found she was with child and had everything she had hope for, why would she run around being mean.She was a Queen and wanted to be loved by all not hated.But sad to say thats not what happend,Queen Anne mean ,just another ugly lie.Thats how I see it. THX Baroness x

  5. Jayne Parton says:

    I have heard/ read things about her temper, and how she could be downright abusive to the servants while she was pregnant ( screaming at them and throwing everything in reach at the ones that did not move fast enough to suit her) , but then if i could have gotten away with tossing dishes at people while i was full of ten pounds of my kid i would have as well…
    I also think i remember reading somewhere that she hucked a glass that shattered on the wall inches from the king while she was pregnant and then realizing what she had done started to cry and begged him to forgive her… (like none of us with kids ever wanted to hit the dad with something while pregnant, if only for a moment lol )

    Dont forget that she was a teen and young twenty year old in most records of her, and I for one have never met a girl that age that was not one day devil spawn and the next cuddling kitten.

  6. Leah says:

    I think Anne was just human like all of us. Most people have their good and bad sides. Living in that time I don’t think any one could feel 100% secure and safe.
    But I do think she is one of the most fascinating figures in our history and we will not stop talking about her any time soon!

    I am well and truly obsessed with her and her life ever since my Gran put on ‘Anne of a thousand days’ when I was a little girl and I love your site I have learnt so much from in thank you Claire!

  7. phobe says:

    she was a stuped lady xx

    1. Izzy says:

      Stupid is the one thing she most definitely wasn’t. Anne Boleyn was very intelligent and clever. I agree with this article and it really helped me feel less confused about all the contradicting theories of her. I think she was the most interesting of Henry VIII’s wives and whatever you may think of her, she definitely did not deserve her fate.
      (But I think all of the six wives were mistreated, on varying levels. I mean, for Catherine of Aragon, if you ever feel unwanted, at least your husband didn’t convert the whole of England to a different religion just so he could divorce you.)

  8. william says:

    william from france
    though we do have our Joan of Ark and the much less known Eponina, female Gaulish leader against the Romans I must admit we are quite a few impressed by Anne Boleyn , more than the rest of Henry 8 wives to be honest , Anne did have a kind of mysterious aura from birth and generally I ‘ve noticed that these people , whether queens , actresses like Marylin or James Dean do not live long on Earth but have an impact on our minds and attract us like night butterflies attracted by light , no matter their faults , neuroses or hidden sides and thus will remain unforgettable ; I dunno whether there is a life after death but if there is i wish i meet some of them ; greetings from the former Kingdom of France

  9. Izzy says:

    I read somewhere (it may have been on this website) that her character was summed to three things : intelligence, spirit and courage. I think that’s a really good way to portray her and I like to think of Anne Boleyn like that.

  10. she is my grandma

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