Why was Anne Boleyn so mean?

I don't think that she was a mean person, I think, like everyone, that she had her flaws and these were a quick temper, speaking without thinking and lashing out at people when she was hurt or threatened.

If you mean her behaviour towards Mary, I don't believe that she ever tried to poison Mary but I do believe that she was mean to Mary at times and that she could have been more understanding of Mary's position and her feelings. I have copied the following from an article I wrote- Anne Boleyn and Bloody Mary (see https://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/anne-boleyn-and-bloody-mary/2670/):-

"We know from evidence that Anne often ranted about Mary and threatened to curb “her proud Spanish blood”, but Anne was a quick-tempered woman who felt backed into a corner and was just lashing out. Imagine Anne’s position: she is Queen of England but there is still a woman who declares herself to be the “true queen”, and who is still embroidering her servants’ liveries with “H&K”. This woman’s daughter is refusing to acknowledge Anne as the new queen, was once the legitimate heir to the throne, is a pretty and popular princess, and could be a real threat to Princess Elizabeth. Wouldn’t you be paranoid and defensive? I think Eric Ives is right when he says that any rantings and ravings from Anne were borne out of self-defence, rather than any malevolence.

There is evidence that Anne did try and forge a relationship with the defiant Mary. On one occasion in 1534, she visited Elizabeth’s household by herself and asked to see Mary. Anne offered to welcome Mary back at court and to help reconcile her with her father if Mary would accept her as queen. Mary’s impudent reply was that she knew of no queen apart from her mother but that she was pleased if the king’s mistress wanted to intercede on her behalf! How Anne must have wanted to slap her face! Anne did in fact try to reason with her, but to no avail."

I think that Mary did not help herself by antagonising her stepmother but Anne should've acted like an adult, risen above Mary's behaviour and kept trying to forge a relationship.

So, Anne was no angel but then she was also not the monster of "The Other Boleyn Girl" either.

What do others think?

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10 thoughts on “Why was Anne Boleyn so mean?”

  1. SeanaLuvsBurleigh says:

    Thank you for saying this about Anne. I am tired of the vilification of Anne Boleyn. It’s nearly 500 years after her wrongful execution and some people still treat her and her legacy like she and it is something evil.

    1. Hi ello says:

      Hi no you are wrong

  2. Victoria says:

    After reading as much as I have about her, but being fairly new to this story, I must admit, my gut feeling is that while Anne may not have been “mean,” she was extremely dedicated to becoming Queen. She had her “beloved” father standing beside her (and her sister Mary). Living at court must have been extremely difficult – talk about office politics! Frenemies everywhere! How would you know who to trust when you can’t even trust your own parents to have your back? I think she was constantly in survivor mode, so stressed out she could hardly hold a pregnancy!

    1. Christie says:

      I am not sure about the whole story, but everything I have read so far yells that she was forced by her family to accept the Kings advances. I do not think they thought she would be Queen though. I think that the stress of keeping a man like Henry VIII happy could make a woman very snippy and appear to be mean or nasty. I also think that being pregnant can make you snippy and miscarriages and thoughts of failure tend to make any human very unhappy.

  3. Christie says:

    I have been reading about Anne Boleyn for a few years now and I read so many different stories about her personality. I was wondering if she could have been Bipolar? This wasn’t something many people thought about because it would be considered she was cursed or a witch or something along those lines. I also think that Henry had a personality disorder, other than being the spoiled king. I am a Queen Anne supporter and I think if she had some sort of depression disorder that people would understand her better.

  4. lal says:

    Anne was actually really really mean. On my on reader she killed her servant girls. She killed more then 200 girls when she was alive. When a servant girl did something wrong, she killed her and hid their bodies.

    1. Claire says:

      I’ve never heard that claim before! Where did you read that? There are no reports of Anne treating her staff badly or of any of them disappearing, never mind being killed. I don’t know what you’re talking about.

      1. Guest says:

        I know this is extremely late in thr game, but I just wanted to clear this uo for future readers. Lal is actually referring to Elizabeth Bathory, a romanian duchess.

        1. Claire says:

          So she’s got Elizabeth Bathory and Anne Boleyn confused?

  5. Lexie says:

    Anne literally FORCED Mary to become an “illegitimate child” and her infant daughter’s lady in waiting. like if that isn’t mean, I don’t know what is.

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