Posted By Claire on January 4, 2011
Happy New Year! Wow, I can’t quite believe how quickly 2010 went, can you?! It seemed to fly by and next month The Anne Boleyn Files will be celebrating its 2nd birthday! I can’t quite believe it and I am truly grateful for all of your support with the site.
2010 saw the site grow massively and we have new visitors every day, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to explain what The Anne Boleyn Files is and isn’t, what my mission is and what my hopes are for 2011.
The Anne Boleyn Files Mission
If you look at the top of this page, you will see that the title of this site is “The Anne Boleyn Files – The REAL TRUTH about Anne Boleyn ‘The Most Happy’ ” and that really does sum up what The Anne Boleyn Files is all about. It is not a site worshipping Anne Boleyn and putting her on some kind of pedestal, it is a site dedicated to educating people about who she really was and spreading the truth about her. I’m sure you’ll agree that Anne Boleyn’s name has been blackened by history and even today, when the majority of historians believe that she was innocent of all the charges laid against her, the general public still believe that she was a traitor, adulteress and that she committed incest with her brother. I wouldn’t say that it was a losing battle, but it is certainly a continual battle, because every day people around the world read or watch something like “The Other Boleyn Girl” and end up having very warped ideas of who Anne Boleyn was. One re-enactor, who recently dressed as Anne Boleyn for an event, told me of how she had people saying quite offensive and abusive things to her, including one person asking her if the B on her necklace stood for “bit**”! That’s what we’re fighting.
I also ought to add here that I’m not just debunking the myths surrounding Anne Boleyn, but also the whole Boleyn family, including Thomas, George, Mary and Jane. How many times do we see on screen and in books Thomas the Pimp, George the Bisexual Rapist, Mary the Whore and Jane the Voyeur and Liar? Too often. The Boleyn family mean so much to me and I look at what the evidence says, not what the myths and rumours say.
Now, what I’m not about is re-writing history, avenging Anne’s unjust death by making her into some kind of saint or martyr, or claiming that she was solely responsible for the English Reformation! What I am about is using the primary sources, contemporary sources, to build up a picture of Anne Boleyn, the times she lived in and the events of her lifetime. I don’t think that we will ever know exactly what Anne looked like, what she was really like as a person and the complete truth behind the events of 1536, because sources don’t agree and are tarnished by the opinions of those who wrote them. All we can do is compare the sources, see where they agree, take into account who wrote them etc. and fill in the blanks with hypotheses based on that. That is why I tend to list the primary sources I have used in the “Notes and Sources” section at the end of my articles, I want you to be able to understand how I formed my opinions and what my writing is based on. What is wonderful about history is that historians can look at the same sources and come to very different conclusions – just compare the ideas of Eric Ives and G W Bernard! I remember my history teacher at school saying that you can argue anything as long as you can back up your argument with evidence!
I’ve always said that I don’t see The Anne Boleyn Files as just a website or blog, I see it as a community of like-minded people, people who are passionate about Tudor history. That is why I welcome your comments on articles, your questions for the Q&A page and your discussions in the forum, that’s what this site is all about – sharing ideas and points of view. I also see it as a place where people aren’t afraid to make a comment or ask a question, however “stupid” they may feel it is. This is not a “snobby” site, it is a friendly community where everybody is welcome, except troublemakers. We learn by asking questions and that’s what I want to encourage here. Thank you for helping to make this site what it is today.
I’d also love to hear what you’d like to see on The Anne Boleyn Files in 2011. Is there a topic you’d like me to write about? Is there something missing from the site? Please let me know in the comments section below.
The Anne Boleyn Files in 2011
I believe that 2011 is going to be a huge year for The Anne Boleyn Files. Here’s what you can expect in 2011:-
- More information – I spend all day every day researching Anne Boleyn and Tudor history, so I will be adding new articles, pages, videos, resources etc. on a weekly basis.
- More products – New jewellery, new dresses and costume, new artwork… and I also have a few ideas of completely new products so watch this space!
- Tours – I’m obviously running “The Executed Queens Tour” and “The Anne Boleyn Experience” this year, but I will also be launching the 2012 programme of events in a few months time. Please do make sure that you join our mailing list so that you know about events as soon as they are launched – go to Free Report or the Subscribe Now box on the left hand side menu bar.
- Much more – I’m also working on 3 books and various other projects and I will keep you up to date on my progress. It’s going to be a manic but fun year! Phew!