Posted By Claire on May 30, 2011
“About the throne, thunder rolls…
Before her is a sea of faces. These faces of men who are accusing her of crimes that she did not commit: adultery, incest, and compassing the King’s death. These expounded rumors, these wisps of conversation, these fractions of truths have blossomed into a plot so thick with lies and deceit that she knows she shall never escape them. They surround her heavily as the headsman turns his axe towards her, a sign that she is condemned to die. It is her fault she is thus treated; she helped change the nation of England through the rule of her husband, King Henry VIII. She is a wife, mother, and Queen of Christendom, she is Anne Boleyn, and this is her story.”
In my novel The Falcon Chronicles I have attempted to focus on Anne Boleyn’s life and story. I start straight at the beginning and attempt to give a glimpse into Anne’s young life – though not much is known of it. Nearly the entire novel is from Anne’s point of view; so many Tudor books will deviate from this and bring you the perspective of nearly every player at court – but what we as Anne fans are interested in is what she was thinking. I like to imagine how Anne may have felt at certain tumultuous moments, and to convey that through mere words is hardly enough, but for all of us in this century it will have to do.
I believe what endears Anne to all of us is this aspect of a tragic heroine. Not just because she captured the heart of the King of England, and ensnared the court in her charm and with her great legacy in Elizabeth, but also in that she was highly intellectual and had reformist ideas. She wasn’t some mistress to be swept into sexual intrigues or left courting her own disgrace; she was strong-willed and witty, she knew how to hold her own. She had intelligent beliefs and stayed true to them. She acted bravely in the face of danger and stood up for what she held as right. She was not a flippant individual, and did not run to the moral high-ground every time a battle ensued, but rather showed us that she was in fact human and had her faults as well. She was feisty and spirited; I truly believe this enigmatic character has drawn us all into her world. She has made us all care about what happened to her. To be blindly in love and filled with passion in this gold-glittering and jewel encrusted world, only to be cut down by a swift stroke of a swordsman. It is an abrupt and sad ending to such a vibrant life. We know Anne’s story has been told again and again, yet we cannot seem to get enough of her. In my novel, I attempt to stick as true to history as is humanly possible.
I think that because of the great tragedy and love story surrounding Anne Boleyn we sometimes attribute her with martyr-like qualities, but she in fact did not die for her faith. It is true she was sacrificed, but for entirely different reasons, and not by her own choice. We are also pulled to Anne like a magnet because of the injustice served upon her. She was betrayed by those she trusted and condemned for crimes she did not commit. The appalling bloodbath that ensued leaves us feeling resentful and a torrent of fury descends upon us. It is only human to feel emotion over a story such as this, regardless of it happening centuries ago. And thus in my novel I also steadfastly clear Anne’s name and let her spirited heart carry her through the hardest of times.
None can voice it better than Thomas Wyatt – “About the throne, thunder rolls…” For what else is more fitting than that friction-filled, electric, tempestuous court that made up the Tudor time period? What else could be more accurate than King Henry VIII as thunder? Anne was our fresh morning mist on a hot night, our cool moon, our diamond star thrown across a velvety night, and our bright sun shooting through prisms of rain after a downpour. She was our awakening to temper Henry’s ferocity. And she did not even give us her whole life. Imagine what more she would have achieved for the nation of England!
Thus only half-fulfilled we accept Anne’s sad and yet triumphant story. For none could have foreseen what her daughter, the future Queen Elizabeth I would do for Christendom. Because Anne could not finish her own life, could not finish telling her story, she let her daughter speak for her and fulfill all she could not do. Indeed, Elizabeth would be an embodiment of Anne that we never witnessed. And in this way maybe Anne cheated death.
Anne, she is the great falcon, soaring to greater heights than we will ever know.
About the throne, thunder rolls.
You can read my review of Lauren’s novel, “The Falcon Chronicles” over on our review site – click here. I loved it.
Fancy a signed copy of The Falcon Chronicles? Well, Lauren has very kindly given me one copy to give away. All you have to do is to leave a comment below, by midnight Wednesday 1st June, confirming that you are on our list of subscribers and stating that you’d like the book and we’ll pick a name at random on Thursday. Not on our list of subscribers? Simply sign up for our FREE Anne Boleyn Files Welcome Pack on the left hand side menu bar. Easy peasy!