The Fascination with Anne Boleyn – Why?


Those of you who have read my books and who have been following this website for a while will know that The Anne Boleyn Files started after a vivid dream I experienced in early 2009. It was about Anne Boleyn’s execution and although I have no memory of what Anne looked like or what she said, I remember the swordsman swinging the sword and my feelings of horror and helplessness. Those feelings were so real and I was incredibly upset when I woke up. I knew that I had to start this site and spend my time researching Anne’s life and spreading the truth about her story. It was my mission.

Now, as I have said before, I don’t believe that the dream was anything to do with past lives, I believe it was simply a dream. At that time, I was a freelance writer writing articles, books and content for websites, and although I really enjoyed my writing I was a bit lost. I wasn’t fulfilled. I think my dream was simply a re-awakening of my passion for history and a way of my brain, or God (as I believe), telling me that there was a way that I could combine my passions and be fulfilled. I now spend all of my working day researching and writing, and I love it. I am fascinated by Anne Boleyn, the Boleyn family and Tudor history, and I feel truly blessed to be able to do what I do and to have a supportive family and online community.

When did my fascination with Anne begin?

I don’t know. I can’t give you a date – sorry! I know that I have loved the Tudor period since I did a project when I was 11, and I loved revisiting it at school and then when I studied the Reformation at university, but I can’t say exactly when Anne began to captivate me. I had always considered her to be the most interesting of Henry’s wives but I don’t think it was until that dream that she really grabbed me and took over my life, in a way. Now, it’s not just Anne who fascinates me, it’s her whole family and I have very strong feelings about how they have been misrepresented, in my opinion, in fiction and non-fiction, but that’s another story.

Why am I writing this, when so many of you know my story?

Well, I want to know your story. I want to know why you visit this site, when you became fascinated with Anne Boleyn and Tudor history, how fascinated you are and why, and why you think Anne and her story appeal to so many people. Please do share in the comments section below because I’d love to know. In February 2009 I really did think that this blog would be just me writing for myself as a record of my research, and I love that it has become such a community. So now I want to hear your thoughts and your story. Please share and don’t be shy!

P.S. Apologies for my absence here and on The Anne Boleyn Fellowship recently, we’ve had friends and family staying. Back to normal now!

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172 thoughts on “The Fascination with Anne Boleyn – Why?”
  1. Dear Claire,
    all of your work about Anne Boleyn and everything related to her is the most inspiring deed I have ever witnessed.We are blessed to have you and what you do is truly respectable and admirable!A big THANK YOU!!!
    My story is simple.Powerful and tragic women of the past have always fascinated me – Cleopatra VII, Mary Stewart, Marie Antoinette, Anne Boleyn….When I was 12 years old, I found my obsessions with Cleopatra VII and her story.She and Anne Boleyn are quite similar in some aspects, if you ask me.I don’t know what is it exactly that drew me to her.When “The Tudors” came out, I watched it with great interest and that’s when I “fell in love” with Anne Boleyn.I started collecting information about her, watched a few movies about her life and she became a part of my life.Maybe the fact that she had a tragic fate, or maybe that her story was severely misinterpreted, or her exhilirating spirit…I don’t know exactly why am I drawn so much to her.I guess it’s her mysterious nature, the dark light that emits from her that makes her so interesting to me.Everything that is Anne Boleyn I find to be…mythic.
    Well, that’s my “story”.It may sound a bit too emotional or even crazy (who can you find today to be sooo obsessed with dead since long time figures?), but that is what she means to me today.A source of strength and inspiration, a person whom I think about every day, a character that I can learn something from.Anne Boleyn – an ever shining star in the “historic” sky of the world.

    1. I am always drawn to Anne Boleyn because of what we do not know about her and the dichotomy of opinions about her. I am still searching to make up my own mind- was she a home-wrecker, harlot, predator, or was she the reformer who happened into Henry’s life when he needed a change? I study her because I want to know the truth, and by learning all I can, perhaps it will become clear. Still up in the air though!

    2. I became interested in Tudor history in the late ’70’s when I went to my first Renaissance Festival. Subsequently I began reading everything I could and listening to period music. A friend and I created our own costumes ( mine was patterened on the dress Elizabeth wears at age 13). We sewed while listening to hte music. OUr results were so successful people thought we worked the fair every year after that when we attended. Elizabeth became my passion but then her mom started to grab hold of me. I continue to read everything, even to the point of being able to recognize skewed history in novels and hunted down early editions of Strickland to round out my reading. I’ve traveled to London twice and spent as much time as the ushers will allow communing as it were with Elizabeth and Mary at Westminster and I’ve been to St. Peter ad Vinclula once. I regret that at the time Anne had not yet caught hold of me yet.

    3. Thankyou Momchill for sort of giving my thoughts! Are we women just intrigued by powerful women who may have ended badly? We just want the truth? My start was the Life Magazine cover of 1962 with Elizabeth Taylor on the cover as Cleopatra in her golden death outfit. Light bulb moment that started me on a path that is not yet over. I started with Egyptian history and now mainly Roman because like with Anne, you must know about all the people around her. Marie Antoinette and Versailles life is also another deep interest.

      Claire, I cannot pretend to know what happened before or after your dream. Nothing can be dismissed. I owe my interest in Anne, and theTudor period, to YOU after coming across this site by accident! Thank you for enriching us with your knowledge and trips. Hope to join you one day.

    4. There’s just something about Anne that grabs us, isn’t there, and it’s the same with women like Mary Queen of Scots, Elizabeth I, Cleopatra etc. All amazing women.

      I’ve always had a strong sense of justice so I think Anne’s miscarriage of justice also piqued my interest.

  2. I always knew about Anne. Since I was younger I have always been passionate about history, though my early interests leaned towards Russia and Rome.

    As embarrassing as it is, my mum took me to see TOBG a few years ago and that was when I became fascinated. The movie made it seem like Mary was the heroine, perfect and innocent (which we know isn’t true. No one is THAT perfect.) But Anne… she was far more interesting , even as the “bad guy”. She had guts and she wasn’t about to let anyone push her around. In my opinion those were qualities far more deserving of admiration than the frail little English Roses.

    I went out and bought Ives the next day (luckily I picked him!). I know better than to trust a Hollywood blockbuster to tell the truth! And the rest, as they say, is history.

  3. There’s nothing embarrassing about that Kim, a lot of people become interested in periods of history after watching a movie or reading a novel, I know I always do.
    I was interested in Elizabeth I when I was younger and had a couple of her biographies around but I had never gotten around to reading much about her mother. Of course I knew general things about Henry, but not a lot. I picked up a copy of The Other Boleyn Girl second hand and thought it looked interesting, as I didn’t read much historical fiction at the time I thought I would try something different.
    After I read it I ordered more of her books, went through the bibliographies and started buying some non-fiction and I haven’t stopped reading about the Tudor years since then. I found all of the Boleyn children fascinating, but especially Anne and Mary.
    I stumbled across this website when I was searching Google for more books on Anne and joined the forum immediately. I love the forum, I hang around there every day 🙂

    1. Bibliographies are a wonderful way of getting deeper into a subject. Whenever I read a Tudor book I always go through the Bibliography now and then read the books and sources the author has relied on.

      I don’t get much time to go on the forum any more but I’m glad you’re enjoying using it.

  4. I was 12 when the Six Wives of Henry VIII was on Masterpiece Theater in the US and was glued to the TV. It was at that point that I started to read everything about the Tudors. I found Anne fascinating and it wasn’t untl I was older that I began to explore the untruths. It’s wonderful that this site chooses to restore who she really was.

  5. Hi claire! I share with you the same fascination with Anne Boleyn and The Tudor family. My interest started with the tv show ” the tudors” , from then on I have never stopped reading and investigating about The Tudors, their ancestors and everything related with them. Although I am very young (just 23) I am fascinatied with english history.!
    Everyday I read all the publications you made in the web page and I learn something new, I am trying to get your book but I havent had the opportunity yet. (I´´am from Argentina and there are just few libraries with international books)
    At the end of the year I am travelling to England. I hope I have the time and the money to visit all the castles and places related with the tudors.. I am very excited ! 🙂

    its good to know that many other people have the same interest and fascination with the tudors as me.

    Have a nice day !

    ivana- from Argentina!

    1. Hello to you in Argentina from me in Spain! My sister-in-law is Argentinian and it sounds like a beautiful country. I’m so glad that you found the site but sorry that you can’t get hold of my books. They’re on all of the Amazon sites if that helps and The Book Depository in the UK do free international shipping.

  6. This is going to sound really crazy to everyone how I got to Anne Boleyn but here goes. My previous husband died and so came the search for what happens to our dreams and thoughts (I know crazy huh?) but that’s what happened to me. I began my the meantime The Da Vinci Code comes out and all that hoopla over that..I read the book and began searching for historical facts and such. In the meantime I remarried a wonderful man who came 2 years from being a priest (no, I didn’t stop him, he ended up marrying someone a long time before me)…..which began my fascination with Rome. I learned a LOT and took classes to become Catholic….then I was researching the Catholic church and why we have so many religions today…which led me to the Church of England. Then Showtime came out with “The Tudors”. By this time I knew alot about Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII and all the wives. I haven’t stopped since! In my readings and such I found this website and I’m certainly glad I did after reading so many conflicting “historical facts”! I have thoroughly enjoyed my journey of history and it began my thinking of my own family and where we came from and am now doing our family tree which has led me back to England!!!! I’ve met a wonderful group of people here and enjoy reading everyone’s opinions and facts they have uncovered during their own search. Thank you Claire and Tim for your efforts….I can only speak for me but I am so glad you had that dream Claire! lol

    1. I don’t think that’s crazy at all, I think that grief makes us question things and questioning is good. I know what you mean about being interested in the religious angle. I did religion at university and one of my favourite units was the history of Christianity when we looked at the Reformation and I love researching Anne’s faith and that of her family.

      Thank you to you too for all your support!

  7. My love with Tudor History began with a physcic reading when I was 30 years old. I was told I had 3 past lives, the first one being a tavern waitress in 16th century England. I fell in love with a man, who still figures in my life in present day. I then gobbled up all the information on 15th and 16th century England, and am still doing so today. A fascinating family, a fascinating history!!

  8. Last summer I was flipping the channels on the television and came across “The Tudors” on BBC America…and it just happened to be the episode leading up to Anne’s execution. I was completely fascinated by it and ended up watching the whole series but, knowing that a TV show was not the most trustworthy source of information, I decided to try and find out Anne’s real story.

    I have always been very interested in history, but the schools I went through in the US didn’t spend a whole lot of time on Tudor England. And since I was not a history major in college, the few history classes I took there were pretty broad as well. Prior to seeing that episode of “The Tudors,” all I knew about Anne was that she was one of Henry VIII’s wives who was executed because she couldn’t give him a son.

    So anyway, I googled Anne’s name, read the Wikipedia entry (which I knew to take with a grain of salt), then afterwards, looking at the rest of the sites that came up on the Google list, I thankfully settled on yours! Like most people on here, the more I find out about Anne, the more I am fascinated by her. My eyes have truly been opened to the revisionist nature of history…it is so unfair how she & her family are often portrayed, and it is a shame that people who read and see those portrayals take them as fact and don’t bother to dig deeper.

    While I know we’ll never know the full truth about Anne, and even though she was a flawed human being (as we all are), what I do believe to be true about her leads me to see her as a very strong and courageous role model, even all these years later. On a personal level, many of my ancestors came from the British Isles, so I often wonder how much of an impact Anne’s short, but oh-so-important, reign had on them and their faith. As a Protestant myself, I am particularly impressed by Anne’s role in the Reformation, and her religious ideas, which are so overlooked in many cases.

    Sorry if I rambled on too much…but all that to say, I love your site and am so grateful for all the work you put into it! Keep it up!

    1. Thank you, Emily, I’m so glad that you enjoy the site and I’m happy to go on researching and writing for as long as I possibly can!

  9. I have been fascinated with Anne Boleyn, Henry, and all the Tudor kin and court since I read ‘Brief Gaudy Hour’ when I was 11 years old. I am sure my classmates through the years got rather tired of my reports and term papers on them! Additionally, I learned that her date of death, 19 May 1536, was also the wedding anniversary of my parents and maternal grandparents. I would calculate each year how many years she had been dead on that day…and when I was very young would announce it to everyone present. I am now 52…almost 42 years and counting.

  10. I’d always thought of Anne as the mother of Elizabeth…and had read a lot about the literature of that period when I read Spenser’s The Faerie Queen in grad school decades ago. Early last year I decided I wanted to attend the University of Cambridge’s International Summer School a second time. When I thumbed through the catalog I noticed that Richard Rex was going to be teaching a course called “The Triumphant Reign of Henry VIII” in the history track. I’d read “The Other Boleyn Girl,” but also Antonia Fraser’s “The Six Wives of Henry VIII.” I began reading every book I could lay my hands on about the Tudors in preparation for the course. Since then I’ve followed this website and read many more books on Anne Boleyn and others of the Tudors. I’m delighted with this site, and so much appreciate your research.

    1. Was the course on Henry’s reign good, Terri? I have a couple of Rex’s books and have enjoyed reading them.

      I’m so glad you found the site and that you enjoy it.

  11. I think the most fascinating thing about Anne is that very fascination which has lasted over all these years and will it seems continue ever more as young people become enchanted by her in their turn and so it keeps going. A woman who lived and died so many years ago still has the power to stir people on both sides of the Anne fence and that apart from everything else about her is her greatest achievement.
    I loved the tudors (well all history really) from school. I had a brilliant History teacher (Mr Climbie) and it was always my favourite lesson. I have always read history both fiction and non fiction my favourite times being the Tudors, WWII, The Conqueror, Versailles and Victorian London (not Victoria herself – she leaves me cold), in that order.
    After my ‘episodes’ when I had to stop work etc I turned back to my love of history as a way to pass the time and have become ever more submerged in it. I adore Anne and all she represents as well as all the things we do not/cannot know of her but maybe unlike most of the others here I also like Henry, but I suppose it would be boring if we all just put him down as ‘lard ass’ or whatever.
    Anyway as far as Anne goes her endurance down through the centuries has to be the most fascinating thing of all.

    1. I’m fascinated by Henry too, Maggyann. I’m fascinated by his psyche and what drove him, what he really thought and felt. I love David Starkey’s book on the young Henry – “Virtuous Prince” – and as someone who believes that Anne was an intelligent woman I cannot help but think that Henry was deserving of her love at some point!

  12. I first heard about Anne Boleyn from a children’s book called “Shakespeare’s Secret.” Obviously, she wasn’t the main focus. The story was about the rumor that Shakespeare was really Edward de Vere (or something), and that he was the son of Elizabeth I; and that she had given him a diamond that once belonged to her mother, Anne Boleyn. I was interested when the book said that she faced her execution with dignity and courage, but that wasn’t when I started researching
    A few years later, I was required to do a report on a Renaissance character. Our historical figures were assigned to us and, to my dismay, I got Anne Boleyn (I had been hoping for Magellan). One of my friends offered to switch her with Michaelangelo, but something held me back. I remembered that old children’s book, and decided that I wanted to do some research on her before I gave her up.

    By the time I finished the report, I was very, very glad I wasn’t assigned Magellan. Anne Boleyn was such a fascinating character, a true Queen. I loved learning her story. I always admired people who weren’t even important enough for most to remember their birthday in the beginning of their lifetimes end up having the day they died remembered forever, because it means that they did something that /mattered/ in between, and Anne Boleyn was definetely one of them. I doubt I have ever been that obsessed with a report topic before.

    Even after the report, when I thought it was over and done with, Anne Boleyn wouldn’t leave me alone. She was way to interesting for that, and I had only touched the tip of the iceberg with her story. Slowly, my fascination extended to her daughter, and I began researching about her as well; and next thing I know I’m an amateur expert on the Tudors (by that I mean if my friends ever need any info about them they go to me first).

    To sum that up, Anne was awesome, and you can bet I’ll keep learning about her. 🙂

    1. My friend calls me her “Historical Oracle” because she always comes to me when she needs a fact! I’m so glad that you had Anne Boleyn as teh subject of your report and that she grabbed you as she has done with so many people.

  13. I’m 22 now and I first heard of Anne when I was about eight. We studied the Tudors briefly back in primary school and I found the whole era really interesting, and I was so disappointed when we moved on to other topics. I had the two Horrible Histories books on the Tudors and I read them over and over, as well as a children’s book called Beware The King, which covered the whole of Anne and Henry’s relationship.

    I didn’t take history in secondary school once it stopped being compulsory because they focused on the wars to the exclusion of pretty much everything else, so my next real encounter with Anne was, shamefully, reading The Other Boleyn Girl when I was about seventeen. For some reason, although I still only really knew a little about her, the way Gregory wrote Anne didn’t sit right with me at all. I can’t really explain why I felt that way, but it just felt really wrong and I knew I had to find out more about what Anne was really like. So one day while browsing in a book shop, I headed for the history section.

    What a world that opened up! This sounds absolutely stupid now but while I knew there was Tudor fiction, it had never occurred to me before that day that there would be proper academic books on the Tudors. I always thought it was just me being a bit weird and obsessive by myself for wanting to know what they were all really like. I didn’t think there would be actual historians out there who cared enough to write books.

    Anyway, I picked up a couple of books. I can’t remember which books they were specifically because the size of my collection is now quite worrying, but there was one on Henry and all his wives, the other on Anne. The Anne I found in those books, the true Anne, fascinated me and very quickly became someone I admired, so I kept buying more books on her because I wanted to know as much as I could.

    Having said that, I didn’t go really crazy about Anne until I visited Hever Castle in 2010. I didn’t realise before I got there how much it would affect me, but walking in her footsteps, seeing things she would have seen and, even more incredibly, things that she actually used, was so moving. Most of all it was when I stood at her bedroom window for about ten minutes by myself, staring out of the window, thinking “This is Anne’s actual bedroom. I’m standing in her bedroom. I’m looking out of her window just like she would have done.”. I know it sounds a bit daft but I just felt so close to her in those ten minutes that it was honestly as if she was standing right next to me.

    I believe in spirits and all that so I like to think I felt that way because she actually WAS there, that she saw somebody who loves her “having a moment” in her old bedroom and came to have a closer look, but who knows?

    It was that experience that really cemented my obsession/fascination/whatever you want to call it/ for her. I bought yet more books in the castle shop, and some postcards- two with pictures of the castle, one of all six wives, and one of Anne by herself- and they’re still all on my bedroom wall. I own a replica “B” necklace and other Anne-inspired jewellery from this site, including one with a portrait of Anne, which I wear all the time. And this probably sounds strangest of all, but while I don’t mind reading fiction on Anne, I have never watched a TV or film adaptation featuring her because I have such a strong image of her in my head that I don’t want it affected by somebody else’s portrayal of her.

    In a strange way I’m grateful to Gregory, as much as I hate how she wrote Anne and absolutely loathe the way so many people take her books as fact rather than fiction, because it was my unease with the way she wrote Anne that really sparked all this off and led me to discover how wonderful Anne really was.

    So that’s my story, apologies for the length and the crazy. 🙂



    2. As much as I don’t like the author’s notes in the back of The Other Boleyn Girl, Gregory has done a wonderful job at bringing people to Tudor history, as has The Tudors show.

      I love Horrible Histories, I often watch it with my kids and we have all the books too.

    3. actually i read somewhere that her ghost is said to stand at her bedroom window and just lwatch so maybe she was there with you

  14. I loved the PBS dramas of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. I even had Tudor coloring books. I think I just wanted to know more about women in history and Anne struck me as being so beautiful and intelligent. I would find myself more interested in her whenever a tv or movie came on about her life. And then I found this site and was surprised that so many people were as fascinated by her as I was. Then “The Tudors” came on and I read “The Other Boleyn Girl” and started to understand how the media distorts the facts. I also realized that the more I learned about Anne, the more I wanted to know about her family, friends, and just Tudor history in general.

    1. “The Other Boleyn Girl” has brought so many people to Tudor history so I am thankful for that and the fact that lots of people do dig more into the truth after they’ve read it.

  15. I’ve loved history since I was a kid. My first taste of Tudor history was the book Mary, Bloody Mary. But I wasn’t completely hooked on it untilI was channel surfing and found the episode of The Tudors in which Henry marries Anne. Then my music teacher told me to read TOBG, which I did. I admired some aspects of the book so much, that I searched for more books, which I’m still doing. People like Anne and Elizabeth I fascinate me with their strong characters.

    So here’s my story. It’s relatively short because I’m only 17. I love the site and am on it every day. I have both copies of your books and I ADORE them!

  16. I became fascinated with Tudor history at a very young age, through my mother’s love of English history. We watched all the PBS shows (Elizabeth R, Six Wives of Henry VIII, etc) and I can remember watching the old black and white movie with Charles Laughton as Henry. Anything Tudor (or royalty), we watched. “Lion in Winter”, “A Man For All Seasons”–all fabulous movies. I think I fell in love with Anne when we were on a Florida vacation when I was 13-14, and went to see “Anne of the Thousand Days”. That hooked me and I had to know more about this tragic beautiful woman.

    1. Have you seen the Elizabeth series with Helen Mirren as Elizabeth I and Jeremy Irons as Dudley? I would highly recommend it as they have such chemistry.

  17. My fascination with Anne Boleyn began back in 1972 when CBS (That was in the old days when they aired quality programming) ran the Six Wives of Henry VIII with Keith Michell. My mother watched it with me, and she championed Catherine of Aragon…even buying Mary Luke’s biography of her. I, on the other hand, became fascinated by Anne. I started raiding the libraries, looking for books on her. At that time, there wasn’t much, unfortunately. I read everything I could find on Anne for years.

    Then a strange thing happened in …I was in a local library on May 19, the anniversary of her execution. I went to the biography section, and the first book on the top shelf of new biographies was the Eric W. Ives book Anne Boleyn, the first biography he wrote of her. My hands were shaking as I grabbed it off the shelf…LOL. I took it home and devoured the book, even sitting up all night to finish it. I’m happy to say now that bookstores in the area get the latest books on Anne Boleyn – I had to order the Ives book from a local bookseller since no one had it in stock. My fascination with Anne grows every year. I’ve collected dolls, books – so many things about Anne. The only thing I wish is that they would find, behind a wall or something, an actual authentic portrait of her so we could finally see what she looks like. Your site is wonderful Claire!

    1. Keith Michell was an amazing Henry, such a good series! I remember devouring the Eric Ives book for the first time too! The first book I got on Anne was Joanna Denny’s, but it was nowhere near as good as Ives.

      Thank you!

  18. It’s somehow awckard to be so fascinated with the Tudor being brazillian as I am. My interest started when I visited London in 1996, while
    Studying French at Switzerland. Then, i fell totally in love for Elizabeth when i saw a movie about her ascencion with Cate Blanchet. I admired her intelligence, her independence from me and her sense of duty as a queen. I was also always fond of tradition. After falling in love with Elizabeth I started to research about Anne because i was certain that only a very strong and interesting woman could bear (is it right?) a child like her. I fell Elizabeth very close to me because I also lost my mother in an early age, i love to study and speak foreign languages and so. Once I started reading about Anne and Henry, I simply couldnt stop. It became an addition. I want more and more. I love their passionate romance. I admire her personality so much! The way she confronted him, the way she defended her will and points of view, her intelligence and her sense of humor. I think she was a woman ahead of her time and I wonder what should be her opinion about todays world. When I became pregnant abd i found out it was a boy (twice actually) I coulnt help remembering her and tought that if I was a Queen of the 16th century I would be safe…

  19. I honestly cannot remember a time when I was not fascinated by the Tudor era. I have read countless books, both fact and fiction to understand the times and the people who lived them. I also attend our local Renaissance Faire and am always amused when the plot lines for the season are quite farfetched (I suppose I’m a snob that way).

    Anne Boleyn was a fascinating woman in a time when women did not have a lot of power other than behind the scenes. Depending on who you read, Anne was a sl*t or saint. The truth lies somewhere in between, I think. She literally shaped events and altered the course of history. There has to be something special about her that Henry was determined to have her at all costs.

    I think a lot of the fascination about Anne is that she is an enigma. We can only guess at her motives and how she lived her life based upon letters and historical accounts. Since the victor determines how history is written, I’m sure there are many layers of Anne Boleyn that we have yet to find.

    I will continue to read and study the Tudor era. I do read the fiction that is written and enjoy the stories but always keep in mind that it is just that – fiction. I am glad I stumbled upon this site and I appreciate the amount of work you have put into discovering the historical Anne. Many thanks!

    1. I think I was just meant to be a Tudor history addict as I’ve come into contact with Tudor history on so many occasions!

      Yes, she was an amazing woman for her time and I love finding out more about her. I agree with you, the mystery surrounding her definitely adds to the appeal, she’s a puzzle we all want to solve.

      Thank you!

  20. Anne grabbed me late one night when I was watching the TV show, Bewitched. Sam traveled back into the Tudor period. When she arrived a cannon blast went off and she asked why. The man replied “oh that’s Henry, he must have killed another wife”. Being the morbid child that I was I became instantly fascinated in this monarch. That’s when Anne called out to me from beyond and I was hooked. To me she was everything. She had dark hair and dark eyes, she was smart, she had long slender fingers, basically she was me. I finally had an idol. I was never the princess type I was awkward and lanky not a true beauty when i was younger. I saw myself in her. I saw that she wasn’t the Tudor rose but she used her amazing wit to ensnare a King.
    My obsession became more rampant when I was living in Luxembourg, Luxembourg. I had a holiday where i went to the UK most of the time was spent in London where I visited the tower. Being a medieval history major and an Anne fanatic I HAD to see the famous Tower of London. I proceeded to go on a tour where the tour guide was telling false information, i then began to correct him, this did not go well. Finally he pulled me aside and said, “look what do you want?” I replied that I loved medieval English History and that i was obsessed with Anne. So, after the tour he took me on a private tour, things people don’t usually get to see. At the end he cleared out St. Peter ad Vincula moved the partition to expose the grave markers and left me alone with them. It was the most amazing 5 minuets of my life. It was me, Anne, and the London snow. I had a spiritual moment I cant begin to describe or even put into words.

    1. I’ve never seen that Bewitched episode! I must try and find it, how wonderful!
      That’s wonderful that the tour guide let you past the barrier onto the chancel floor. I was able to do that once on the 19th May and it was an incredible experience.

  21. I taught English History in Italian Grammar schools for about 30 years. I went across your site by chance and I read about Elizabeth: it was very interesting (are you going to do more reaserach on Elizabeth and write more?). What you wrote about Anne Boleyn was new to me, so I started reading and reading and reading, using your bibliography as a starting point, of course. And your newsletters are a joy every time.
    So, thank you Claire…

  22. Hi Claire,
    I love your story and the dream about Anne. I also love the way you responded to it, creating the ABFiles, etc. To me, your approach is what I think of as co-creating your life with God. I have felt that, too, in my writing life–that my spirit was following what I sometimes think of as the Great Creator.
    I came to be intrigued by Anne in my teens, after reading Norah Lofts’ novel, The Concubine. Then, my grandmother was going over family history with me and mentioned our ancestors were related to the Boleyns. This really grabbed my attention. I started reading everything I could about Anne and Henry and, if the book mentioned the Sheltons, I grabbed it up. I must have read about this for pleasure for about 25 years before I wrote AT THE MERCY OF THE QUEEN.
    Anne seemed to be a very powerful woman to me, when I was a teenager. She managed Henry very well, keeping her virtue. I admired the power she seemed to have during their courtship. I was too young to realize Henry always had the real power. I loved Anne’s sense of fun, the spirit which attracted Henry and so many others. She wasn’t a raving beauty but she had wit and style. To an insecure 15-year-old, it seemed hopeful.
    And who can resist the tragic end of her story—her own husband ordering her death, her leaving her toddler behind, her brother and so many others who had had the favor of the king, murdered and for such sordid reasons.
    There are so many elements to her story–Catherine, the discarded wife; Mary, the disinherited daughter, Henry’s love affair wtih Anne’s sister. Who could make this stuff up!
    And there is also the opulence of Henry’s reign–the clothes and the jewels, the castles and the food. The sheer richness of court life appeals to me.
    Here are a few reasons–there are more, like the advent of the modern era, the conflict between the Catholics and those who wanted the Reformed Religion. Rich, rich, rich!
    Thank you for all your wonderful work here.

  23. I first became fascinated with Anne when in 8th grade I was assigned her character to play in a short play called “Ladies of the Tower” for drama class. I had an awesome monologue and have loved her and learning more about British History ever since.

  24. I was simply reading a book by Carolyn Meyer- “Doomed Queen Anne”. The novel’s story captivated me. I couldn’t believe that something like that had actually happened! On Wikipedia I researched her life, amazed by her story. After reading several more historical fiction books with Anne in them, I Googled “anne boleyn”. It brought me to your wonderful site, that I now check daily, and check whenever I need info on Anne, Heny VIII, or any of the important people of the time or the Tudor time period itself. What started as a simple curiousity has turned into a passion!

  25. for me it was going to see anne of a thousand days,from then on been fasinated by her,always on my mind .you can love her or hate her or both at different times i think a lot of the wonder of her and sometimes obsession comes from the fact she had such a terrible ending ,now i know she was controlled by her father and uncle but she was very ambitious herself but sorry to say very vain to think she could control henry ,one justs wants to go back in time and shake her and tell her to run and keep running away from such danger but i guess she also liked the living ,the castles the jewels ect

  26. I was in my early teens when I first read Anne of a Thousand Days. It was a very thick book, I wish I could find it again. I have the shorter version, but it just isn’t the same. My best friend was interested in Mary Queen of Scots. One day we found a theatre showing both Anne of a Thousand Days and Mary Queen of Scots. It was the 60’s and double features were common. My BFF was certain befote the movies she would prefer Marys story. After the movies ended I said to her, Well? And she agreed Anne Boleyn was the most fascinating character. This was when I was about 15 years old, and when my obsession began. I’ve read so many books about the Tudor period I panic that I have read everything available and am thrilled when a new book comes out. I have passed on this obsession to my daughter Jennifer. You can bet when The Other Boyely Girl came out I called both my daughter and my best friend Debbie! Although I enjoyed the movie, as well as the Tudor series. I have found in all my reading I can differentiate what is actual history and what is pure fiction. When I read stories of Anne, Elizabeth, or any of the people from that time I remember they were human and far from perfect. It was very difficult to be a woman in that period of history, Some how I thing those of us who are a little “obsessed” may have been there, who knows? It’s fun to ponder!

  27. I started watching the Tudors halfway through the second season and loved it!! I then saw the other boleyn girl, refusing to believe any of the rubbish about Anne started looking for the truth!! 🙂

    1. Bree,I totally agree both thoses made for tv fiction were the worst,not a ounce of truth in ither of them. THX Baroness

  28. My love of the Tudors was inherited from my mother. As a child, I didn’t so much hear fairy stories, as Tudor stories. I remember hearing them from a very young age – as young as 6. My mother’s favourite was Anne Boleyn, and after hearing her story many times, I joined the junior library and began taking books out on her. I read fiction and non-fixtion – my fav being ‘Murder Most Royal’ by Jean Plaidy which I constantly re-read from the age of 11. At 9, my mother took me to the Tower of London – and in those days, you couldn’t go in St Peter ad Vincula, and I wrote to a tv show called ‘Jim’ll Fix it’ to ask if I could go in and see where Anne Boleyn was buried. I did lots of projects in school on Anne Boleyn, took A level history and then a degree. At 15, I also wrote my own book on her, which I never really finished. I have many, many books on Anne, and this year finally made it to the Tower on May 19th. I find it amazing there are still so many books written about Anne – to the point where some are even seriously questioning whether she was actually guilty! I visit this site to read what others are thinking/saying about Anne, as I do not think there has been any new evidence on her for many, many years – just re-hashing of the facts already known and different interpretations.

  29. Hi there. My name is Catarina and I am a portuguese in love with Anne since I saw the film “The other Boleyn Girl”. Peraphs, because I felt that something was not rigth in that story. I adore Natalie Portman and she was a very convincent Anne. But my heart was looking for more. Much more. I started to buy anything (erverything) i could afford about this AMAZING, inteligent, adorable, and remakble lady, feminist, QUEEN. I even wanted to write my master thesis about her…but i had no support unfortunatly.

  30. Claire,I have always had a great interest in Queen Anne and what I at first thought to be one of the greatest love story’s, I was all about 15 yrs old now still at 56 yrs,I am just as fasinated.To find your site and so many others who shared the same interest in English histroy and why, Such a great love story ended so wrong .You have done such amazing work to bring out the real truth, not just about Anne and Henry, but all the people who lived to know and what a trajic ending for many.I love your writting and have read both book,s and starting to read them over again,I think I can say this to, I am so greatfull and am sure all the AB Friend’s feel the same way.You found your dream,keep it going Claire/You to Tim. THX Baroness

  31. Claire, I was just starting to get addicted to the Tudor period and I happened to find your site. I don’t even remember how but I am forever grateful to you for all your research and information. You are a very talented and fascinating person. Usually people don’t thank others for making them addicts but I truly thank you for making me an “Anne addict”. I read and absorb your information and research with all of my being.
    Thank you
    Mary from a very hot Texas USA

  32. I dont know when Anne grabbed me. I was on th lookout for grippimg story material and hitsory was my favorite subject all my lfe. I read the royal diary elizabeth when i first heard her story. then i just googled her and spent 2 hours on line buying books and reading wikipedia.

  33. Hi,

    My OBSESSION actually started in 7th grade – I was 12 I am now about to turn 19 – I was in English class and we were required to read books and log them as well for a grade. My teacher let me choose from a pile of books and I chose Mary Bloody Mary by Caroline Meyer. I loved it! Naturally, it portrayed Anne Boleyn in a negative light as the book was from Mary Tudors point of view however she briefly describes Anne’s fall from grace and her beheading and for some reason, that really drew me in. I found out that Meyer also had a book called Doomed Queen Anne and it all went down from there. I purchased several of the historical fiction novels about Anne, and then shortly after The Tudors came out and my obsession just grew from there. To be truthful, I will never understand why I am so fascinated but I do know that my obsession will never cease. She was an extraordinary person and I’ve learned a lot through her. She was the perfect example of class, wit and grace. I’d give anything to sit down and talk with her for a day!

  34. I became obsessed with Anne when I was 5 years old and my mother bought Norah Lofts’ biography of her. I was drawn in from the second I saw the book cover and heard her name and the feeling has never abated. Why? I have no idea. As an adult I can appreciate her historical impact and the horror of her downfall, but I am at a loss as to what captivated a small child. Thank you for your wonderful website – I have bookmarked and will return frequently!

  35. I remember watching ‘The Six Wives of Henry VIII’ and ‘Anne of a Thousand Days’ when I was a child. This helped to create an interest in the Tudor period. I continued to have an interest in History, read historical novels by Jean Plaidy and others in my early teens. At A level I studied Reformation History and as a Bible believing Christian found the source writings of Martin Luther on salvation by faith in Jesus Christ and his death and resurrection inspirational. I studied History at Aberystwyth University.

    Henry VIII’s desire to divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn created the situation where a break with the domination of the Roman Catholic Church could happen.

    I have been fascinated to discover that Anne was a reformed believer who read William Tyndale’s books. William Tyndale translated the New Testament into English and worked living as a fugitive from Henry VIIIs emissaries in Antwerp as the Roman Catholic Church strongly opposed the Bible being available to be read by people in their own language.

    William Tyndale was eventually captured through treachery in 1535. He was imprisoned in the Castle of Vilvorde, tried there and then strangled and burned on 6th October 1536 for the crime of translating the Bible into English and boldy testifying to his reformed (biblical) beliefs which were unacceptable to the Roman Catholic Church.

    I came across your very interesting website when I was doing some research. I am very distantly descended from Sir Thomas Wyatt (the elder) who had been in love with Anne Boleyn before she married Henry VIII and was as you know one of the accused but not condemned to death.

    I agree with you that Anne has been misjudged and I do not believe she was guilty of adultery but was the victim of Henry VIIIs determination to have a male heir at all costs.

  36. The monarchy, particularily the tudors has fascinated me since i was 12, so 20 years now. Elizabeth has always interested me, such a powerful woman who lived in a man’s world. Thru Elizabeth I “met” her parents and of course all of Henry’s wives and children. I read a book sympathetic to Mary queen of scots that portrayed Elizabeth as this evil she devil and i was horrified that this woman could just have another queen beheaded? of course i would walk around the library and book store trying to find out about her and I have not stopped since. I was always sorry about Elizabeths childhood situation and was shocked to discover that her father had her mother beheaded on trumped up charges, i could’nt understand why death in such a way was a normal punishment in that era. Anne Boleyn always stood out because she just seemed different to the normal woman of the day and there is just so much about her we don’t know 100%, which keeps me rereading books every few years! For me its the injustice of her death and the cruelty of Henry that keeps boggling my mind! Now where is that time machine!!!:)

  37. I love reading the bible. Over the last few years I have become very interested in William Tyndale’s life and how we got the English bible through him. David Daniell’s biography of him absolutely fascinated me. The facsimile of his 1526 NT as well as a facsimile of the 1537 Matthew’s bible which contains his work are in my library and they are read. I have come to believe that in the early 1500’s God’s time had come for the English people to have the bible in their own language and that William Tyndale was used by Him to accomplish His purpose. I have come to believe the same about Anne Boleyn. Her life therefore fascinates me. The problem point for me is that I believe in my heart that Henry VIII was in the sight of God married to Katherine when he started to court Anne. I agree with Tyndale that it is against the scriptures to marry your brother’s wife while he is still alive, but not once he is dead. Joanna Denny’s biography of Anne makes sense to me, but it’s hard to know for sure. That’s why I visit this site. A genuine effort seems to be made to present the truth about Anne and her family and others in an unbiased way. Please keep up the good work!

  38. Anne got me my one and only A grade for a history assignment as part of my essay on the Tower of London.

    Tudor history has always been of intereast of mine, my maternal grand-mother was born a Tudor from Wales.

  39. I can remember reading about Anne Boleyn in History class in grade school. I was not interested in History when I was a kid. But as an adult I have loved history for
    years. My fascination with her started, mainly due to “The Tudors”. I have to thank
    the producers for that, I guess. After watching it, I started buying every book about her I could find. And I have a lot of them, now. And watching the different movies about her. She was fascinating, there is absolutely no doubt about that. You could almost put her and Cleopatra in the same class. Both queens. Both extremely
    intelligent, both died relatively young. Had both of them been allowed to live out their lives fully, who knows how different England and Egypt might be today. Albeit
    those countries are strong BECAUSE of their rule, however short it may have been. It would have been amazing to know these two women. Wouldn’t it have been something if they had known each other!!!!! Look out world!!!!

    1. I think that many people came to be interested in Tudor history through “The Tudors” or had an old fascination reawakened by the show.

  40. In Australia as far as I’ve known it at least in my circle, Anne is sadly not very well known or understood. Despite having so many ‘ten pound poms’, I think there’s always been a distrust of British rule and we didn’t even have British history as an elective let alone included in the compulsory history at school. Australians are very egalitarian and feel very uncomfortable praising royalty etc. which I think is fantastic truly, but certainly not for history’s sake. I don’t think an interest in past royalty is incompatible with the firm belief that today, no one should be born ‘above’ others. We can’t help the past so why not have interest in it? The few people I do get to talk history with are the people that caught TOBG or The Tudors, which piqued their interest but leaves them with misconceptions. I started obsessively reading about the Tudors in 2009 too, to get the truth behind The Tudors, which is a brilliant show and I wish they’d continued filming throughout the whole period!

  41. I remember reading about Anne as a child in my uncle’s encyclopedia when I was 8 or so years old. Strange as I am a Native American female from Arizona, USA, with absolutely no known connection to England or the Tudor period. Nonetheless, my my interest remained over the years,and I finally made it to England, the Tower, Hever Castle, Hampton Court and other wonderful locales in December 2009 at 41 years of age. I feel at home in England, and now visit annually. Returning in October! Thank you for feeding my obsession, and for knowing there are quite a bit like me who are fascinated with Anne and this period of time.

  42. Claire; I also thought I should let you know something which may be interesting regardings KOA and Henry’s marriage. It will undoubtedly be useful for you for general historical research. I was recently watching the British version of Who Do You Think You Are (which is something everyone should do for themselves; as a result of mine I found a famous Australian rules footballer in my family who I took up charge of his Wikipedia page) in which the actor from the Office completes his history. He also had in his family background a whole long length of miscarriages, still births, and deaths in early infancy before one child survived and each child from thereon was stronger. It progresses generally in that manner; miscarriages for some pregancies, then a series of stillbirths, then weak living children, progressing to stronger living children. As the expert genealogist said; when there is a big block like that in the family tree, and if the year in question is say 1490’s to say the 1930’s, the culprit is almost certainly syphilis. Now; I am aware that there is no proof Henry or any of his wives were syphilitic, but it is certainly plausible, given that the history of the actors family really showed the disease is very complicated. One doesn’t neccessarily have symptoms or even suffer terribly, and go on to die of other causes at a great good age (the woman who had been born with the disease was blinded from it, and went on to be re-infected a second time from her husband, and then suffered six still births or infant deaths before birthing healthy children and she lived into her 90’s!) and it can be ‘worked out’ of the system, and given the number of Henry’s lovers, it is most definitely possible that one of the women was infected. Indeed it could have been one of his early mistresses, and if she was young enough to be born after the disease arrived in Britain it is possible she could have been born with it. In any case I don’t need to make excuses for anyone; you could get the disease from one person, and pass it on just by sleeping with two, and the men of the age were generally expected to be experienced…how many prostitutes did these high up men sleep with? They took it home to their poor wives, who then had to suffer the tragedy of losing her children.

    We have to remember there were also other significant health issues, and still births and miscarriages and early deaths were all too common. Perhaps KOA’s last child, born after Mary, was not weakened by syphilis but some other disease (which would account for why Mary survived). We know Mary was a sickly child and adult, and my thinking has that as a result of congenital syphilis, but she was born late enough along the line that it was not so bad that it would kill her. After all, we know of a long line of heartbreak from 1510 to 1516, and many believe it’s possible there were even more unsuccessful pregnancies. I should also say that of course it hardly ever fits perfectly into a certain number of miscarriages then another lot of still births, then weak live births. Other factors and the enigmatic nature of the disease means that of course it would never work perfectly. But if you see an empty block in the family tree, think syphilis as most likely.

    1. Thanks, Tania, I must look into this some more. I don’t agree with the syphilis theory as Henry did not display symptoms and was not treated for it (mercury was the standard treatment). I think Mary’s problems may have been to do with menstruation and stress, rather than syphilis, and although it was traditionally thought that Edward was sickly, it is now known that he wasn’t, and neither were Elizabeth or Fitzroy. I must research it some more, though.

  43. *as an Ammendment to my syphilis post*

    My previous belief was that KOA couldn’t be the infectee because she was both a virgin before her second marriage and also that she was born too late (1485) for the disease to be congenital. Now; after a quick spot of research I’ve changed my tune. I was not aware of the competing theory that argues the disease has existed in Europe for some time before the first recorded ‘outbreak’ in the mid 1490’s. Now, that date was simply the first time it was described in detail and named that we are aware of; that doesn’t mean that it didn’t exist before then, perhaps not named as such, and perhaps it was just its outbreak on a grand scale that put it into writing that has survived. We know Kings slept with many women so would have been at even higher risk than the general population, the there is a high possibility the disease wrecked houses of royalty. Wouldn’t we love to be able to see the men’s faces when they are told their failures are their fault! Henry would be enraged to have anyone dare question that his seed wasn’t perfect!

    Therefore; we cannot rule out the possibility of congenital syphilis (I’m not aware of troubled in Isabella’s mothering record though so its slim, am I mistaken?). The disease isn’t nearly as straight forward as myth has it; huge telling wart like rashes on people that sleep around, brought by Columbus’ men. If I’m not mistaken, the Spanish royals did have much to do with Columbus and his men did they not? Interesting…I believe that voyage was responsible for the outbreak personally, but the disease may have existed on a smaller scale before. Perhaps the men brought back a stronger strain or simply that so many of them were infected was what did it.

  44. Hello from New Hampshire USA 🙂
    To be honest, I became intrigued while I was watching “The Tudors” on BBC America. I had to learn more about Henry and his wives,and when I was looking around the internet I came across this site,which is fabulous! I have the Kindle editions of what you have published and I love them! I have also read other authors since. I love history!

  45. Thank you so much for creating this website and Elizabeth files. I love them. I was a girl when my fascination with the Tutor period started. My parents were singers and one of the songs they liked to sing was a song about Henry VIII and his wives, With her head tucked underneath her arm (she walks the bloody tower)about Anne. Morbid way to learn about someone but I think that was my first real introduction to her. About two years ago I did an internet search to find the words to the song and that is how I found your site. Anyway I went on to being really interested in Elizabeth and reading all I could on her with an awareness of Anne Boleyn and an appreciation because she was mother to Elizabeth. One day I rented Anne of a Thousand Days and thought wow! What an amazing woman. Then of course the Tutors came on and Natalie Dormer did such a fantastic job bring Anne to life. I think that her performance helped to make a lot of Anne Boleyn fans. Now I just want to read and learn all I can about her. What is so impressive about Anne and Elizabeth is how strong they were against all odds and what an impact they made on history in a time when women just did not have that kind of power. But they did. Thank you again for your site and all your passion and research.

  46. really good post above ,i know there are no reports on documents that henry was ever treated with mercury but i believe he could possibly had been infected with something that led to miscarriages ,stillbirths and weak children also is the possibly that maybe henry treatment with mercury was NOT documented ,i dont think henry would have allowed this to be recorded and goodness knows what would happen to any physican who took pen to paper on this one i think a lot was hidden but seriously we dont know anything only basing facts on historical documents ,and impossible to judge the tudors on this alone ,it was a very materialistic time and everyone was out for what they could get ie wealth ,status including anne boleyn ,it was their way of life and they basically did not care about anyone else the big thing was the crown and to get into the inner circle ie henrys court,also they all slept around ,it was a game to them no love lost there at all,so its really silly to paint them as tragic heros ,heroines, they knew what they were getting into ,in my mind one was as bad as another

    1. I’m corresponding with Kyra Kramer at the moment and she believes that Henry VIII had Kell blood type and McLeod Syndrome which would explain his behaviour and his “reproductive woes”. I’ve asked her to write an article on it for the site so hopefully she will as it is an interesting theory.

  47. Hi Claire!
    I never really had an interest in Anne or the Tudors’ until I saw the movie “Anne of the Thousand Days” about 10 years ago. I fell in love with the movie and was FASCINATED with Anne. That was when my interest started and now your website is something I visit almost daily. Since then I have movies, books and yes, a tattoo of the “B” necklace on my left ankle, (not too obsessive, uh?)
    I think that people that live in England and and nearby countries naturally have an interest in English history from school and from growing up there. The fact that I am from Michigan, I never had an early exposure. But, let me tell you now, that I love Anne Bolelyn, English history and even current events that I cannot help but follow.
    One day I will visit England, which would be a dream come true! I would be in awe if I saw with my own eyes, the place that I only have seen through t.v. and of course through your eyes on your site.
    Thank you so much for your work so that I can continue to learn and have a source to turn to.
    Maybe one day I will be able to make one of your trips, and meet you Claire!

    Take Care,
    Julie B.

  48. I have always been interested in the British monarchy, mainly Diana. My interest in Anne and her story began with season 1 of the Tudors. i watched it with my parents when I visited them. I loved Natalie’s portrayal of Anne. Her passion and vulnerability. The clothing and jewlery was a bonous. This is when I started looking on the net. I wanted to know what was true about Anne and her life. When I found this site I was hooked. I have read both of your books Claire and love them. I have also read several historical fiction books based in Tudor times, thanks to my mom.

  49. I, too, became fascinated with Anne Boleyn after reading Brief, Gaudy, Hour in my youth. I have always been interested in history, especially English history, and am most impressed with Anne Boleyn by her intellectual and creative activities — poetry, music, etc. and her friendship with Thomas Wyatt. What most disturbs me is that she was never able to know of the life and success of her daughter, Queen Elizabeth I, and what Elizabeth meant to the world!

  50. I can not say when i come to be fascinated with The Tudors and it was not from the showtime tv show.
    I love history and i would go to the book store and fine all i could on Anne and The Tudors. I have a lot of book on the Tudors and about Anne and i do have all your books you put out and love them all so. them one i come to your wed sit and got to get a lot more on Anne and the others..
    So keep up the good work and give all of us all you can on the The Tudors and Anne.

  51. ‘The Six Wives of Henry VIII’ starring Keith Michell on the BBC 1, as a 12 year old, if anything had been mentioned about this fascinating period at school it was obviously not enough to have any lasting effect, though I did love history at school ,but it tended to be dominated by wars, battles and victorian times…I watched it again when it was repeated when I was 14, and this time it really did kick start my interest. As luck would have it I was baby sitting for a neighbour around that time too, and I found a book on the shelves about Jane Seymore, thankfully the ‘babies’ were good and stayed asleep and I was able to read a good third before the parents came home, the nice lady let me take it home to finish, I was well and truely hooked. So I read all the other books as mentioned above, Brief Guardy Hour etc. mainly fiction, good, bad and indifferent, didn’t mind.
    I never studied indepthly as Claire, and the other clever ladies who visit this site do, but it has been one of my hobbies on and off ever since, put on hold at times though life in general, and studying horticulture, but it never left me. I have always loved visiting historical places, castles, manor houses and so on, even more so if they had the Tudor connection, and I did see lots and lots, and have kept all the guide books to re-read, as I live in Scotland now the Tudor link is sparse, so I can re-live and remind myself of who and what was happening there.
    Now I have come back to ‘the fold’ :), again, I have been amazed at how many new books have been written on the subject, fact and fiction, its wonderful, and I don’t care how good or bad they are I enjoy the lot…it’s great to see how many interpretations can be made out of the live and times of Henry and his wives, it is also great to see authors/historians extending their writings to the more neglected people of this period. I still have a stack of books unread as yet, and more still to get. As for finding this site, I couldn’t believe it, all my birthdays came at once!! I was bowled over by the amount of Anne/Tudor enthusiasts there were…
    Anne and Henry, to me are the greatest attractions, there seems to have been so much more happen when they were together that was so compelling and interesting, exciting and frightening, that beats the rest hands down, to me anyway. Both Anne and Henry have been much maligned through history, and Henry rightly so when he became that tyranical beast of a King, but its great to see Anne being seen in a different light, though I dont think it will ever come to be that everyone will be convinced that she wasn’t the ‘Great wh*re’, just as it won’t come to be that Henry is remembered as that young Renaissance King first and foremost,…the bad and the bloodthirsty seems to have more appeal, you only have to see the looks on peoples faces when the beefeaters tell their ‘dark’ stories….
    My ‘obsession’ (as some I know call it, lol), with the Tudors has extended to collecting a group of small costume dolls, by a British maker called Peggy Nisbet who started in the 50’s. The historical ones are wonderfully dressed, especially from this period, they stand 8″ high, and come as standard or portrait, no longer in production, but easy to get hold of on the auction sites, take a peek, the gowns are unbelievably detailed and on the whole hand made, Henry is a great likeness…got about 30 now, I really must stop, lol, running out of room what with all the books as well….

    1. Oh yes! Good old Keth Michell as Henry, that was such a good series and I’m sure it made many people interested in the period.
      Do you have photos of your collection of dolls? I’d love to see them all together.

      1. No but I will get some together for you, and try my very best to send them on this laptop ‘thing’ I’m on, flippin useless with technology, much, much better with a trowel and plants, :). But…last month I was filmed at Cawdor Castle (of MacBeth fame) by the antiques road show with 7 of these dolls, and guess which ones they were…Henry and his wives. There are going to be 2 shows shown from Cawdor aired in the autumn, even though I was filmed doesn’t guarantee I will be featured, I hope so for the dolls point of view because they never received the recognition other dolls have eg french,german victorian types, on a person level I dont mind if they dont show me, the actual taking part was wonderful, having my make-up done, meeting the professionals, (they were so nice), and just watching how a programme is put togeather, its very complex, For a few hours I felt like a film star, lol, and loved every minute of it, though I must admit its quite scary, my sister was with me but they couldn’t persuade her to stand with me, but they let her wear the headphones so she could listen to me, hopefully, trying to sound like I knew what I was talking about!! A great day, and a great experience. Any tips on how to get photos to you would be appreciated Claire, or anyone….

        1. The easiest way I find is using the camera on your phone (you’ll almost certainly have one) and taking a series of shots. Go into your email account on your phone and simply add the photos as an attachment in an email to Claire. Just follow the attachment prompts to get to your saved photos. Most phones are fairly user friendly, and you can almost definitely email and take photos on it. If you haven’t set up your email on it just go into the ‘Mail’ icon as its usually called and sign in using your normal laptop signins. Alternatively plug your camera or phone into your laptop after taking the photos and save them as a file before using email like normal and attaching the photo file. Alternatively you can Copy and Paste; hover over chosen photos and right click and select ‘copy’ (or Press Control & c together) then move into the email body and right click and select ‘paste’ where you wish to drop in the photo (or press Control and p!)

        2. Thanks very much Tania, I will have a bash at it, and hopefully don’t press something that will put the laptop into self destruct mode.. 🙂

        3. Thanks Tania for your help, I used the ‘plug the camera in’ way, and Yippee I did it…. 🙂

  52. I too am part of the crowd that was intoduced to Anne Bolyen at an early age. I can remember going to the library in grade school and reading any book I could find on the Tudor’s. I found Henry interesting, as well as his wives. I guess I did not understand how 1 man could have so many wives. As time passed, I read more and more on England and did term papers on anything English. I watched the Six Wives of Henry the VIII and Elizabeth R in the 70’s. Then I saw Anne of a Thousand Days and I was an Anne Fan from that time on. There is something about her that draws you into her story and wanting more. I found The Tudors on BBC America by chance and had to see it all, 3 times. While watching each episode, I would write things down that did not seem right and after the show I would go to the computer and look things up, That is how I found your web site Claire. I finally saw TOBG a few weeks ago, not a fan. But all in all, it seems that we all have traveled different roads to come this point, we are all fasenated with the woman we know as Queen Anne Boleyn.

  53. I have loved history since i was six and first watched Anastasia but I fell in love with Anne Boleyn and her story when i was nine and read The Other Boleyn Girl, I loved the mystery of nher story and how much there is that we don’t know. When i had finished the book i moved onto The Six Wives of Henry VIII and any other book i could find. And while Russia is my main historical interest, I will always read about the Tudors and Anne Boleyn because the more i know about her the more I feel I need to know

  54. I have been interested in the Tudors and medival history from childhood. I remember building a tudor house out of sticks and paper at primary school and have always loved old buildings. My passion for Anne Boleyn began when my Aunt gave me four Philippa Gregory books for christmas a few years ago, which included The Other Boleyn Girl. My interest has blossomed since and I have several films and documentaries (David Starkey ones) about the period, also loads of books. I love visiting historic houses, finding famous tombs in cathedrals, reading plaques on buildings. Also I believe in the before and afterlife, and I know I have lived at least three lives between Hnery VIII and Elizabeth I. That is probably why i feel at home in hampton court.

  55. For me it started as a young girl looking at my mother’s book “Henry VIII and his Court”. I absolutely loved the clothes and spent a lot of time staring at the pictures and wondering who all the people were. As I got older, I became fascinated with all the Queens in that period – 6 wives, Mary QofS, Mary & Elizabeth, Henry’s sisters, Catherine de Medici, Isabella,… I read anything I could get my hands on, and when I got the chance to see a costume drama I was in heaven. Unfortunately this was all well before the internet and I never found anyone to connect with who shared this interest. Now I enjoy checking in on the fan sites. I am very interested in how history is constantly reinterpreted. The Tudors is a very good example with all sorts of different views on many subjects presented over the last 500 years, although the facts haven’t really changed.

    1. That’s what I love about running this site, the way that it has turned into a community and we can meet like-minded people and discuss Tudor history as often as we like.

  56. Anne, during high school in the late 60’s, I spent a summer reading books on the Tudor Roses that I discovered in the library. The stories of Henry VIII’s wives & Elizabeth I stuck with me. Now being an American, we learned very little about English history except how it intertwined with the US. Over the year I’d recall what I had read, but details diminished. I have not been able to locate those books. I recall that I did not like Anne and like so many others felt she got what she deserved. All those myths: 6 fingers, breaking up the perfect marriage, executed for being unfaithful. Then I watched TOBG and read Ms. Gregory’s book. That sparked my research interest because, like you, I was interested in finding the truth. Boy were my eyes opened. I found your website in April and have not looked back. I have read more books on Anne and the Tudors in these past 5 months than any reading I did in graduate school for 3 years. I love what you are doing and thank you for opening up a whole new world on this most fascinating time in England. My family and friends see my as the resident scholar on the subject (LOL). Why this addiction? I do not know. But it may have something to do with the fact that my paternal ancestors came to the US in the 1500’s from England (I’m also part Choctaw Indian and second generation German). Thank you for sharing your mission and passion with us and keeping the spirit of Anne alive. I strongly believe she was innocent and greatly maligned,

    1. As much as I disagree with Philippa Gregory, she’s done a great job at sparking people’s interest in Anne and the Tudor era. Have you read Jean Plaidy’s books?
      Wow, German, Choctaw Indian and English roots!

  57. Like many of your other readers, I became interested in Henry VIII and his wives through books. In high school I found Jean Plaidy’s series and loved them, enough so that I started reading anything I could find about the Tudors and also the Stuarts. When I traveled to London in 2006 the first thing I wanted to see was the Tower – so much history there! I’ve watched the Tudors and even gotten my husband interested in the series and that time in history and was so excited this year when my sister and I were able to take a fabulous Tudor tour throughout southern England. It was the trip of a lifetime and we both enjoyed every minute. All of Henry’s wives fascinate me, but Anne was the most interesting and I was so happy to find your wonderful website. Many thanks from another American fan!

  58. A few years ago when I was in high school I had seen “The Other Boylen” girl and became obsessed with the Tudors. After that I had bough history books on the Tudors and I learned about Ann Boylen. After seeing “The Tudors” on show time I became really interested in Ann Boylen. I believe that if she were alive now a days she would be a very powerful figure. Ann I believe was an amazing women who didn’t let anyone push her around, because of her England had divided from the pope and Catholicism. Just an amazing Queen!

  59. this is to claire, the dream you had seems very interesting and very scary,this might sound crazy but have you any blood lines yourself with anne boleyn or perhaps someone way back that was at annes execution ,i believe that if you were really to delve back into your family tree you might be surprised ,you obviously have a strong connection with anne boleyn and mad as it might sound to you ,you do have her colouring

    1. I don’t believe in reincarnation or memories passing through bloodlines, so I don’t believe that there’s any type of spiritual connection – sorry! I would love to delve into my family tree, though sometime as it would be interesting to find out more about my roots.

  60. I guess I fit the profile too. My first introduction to Anne was through the wonderful world of historical fiction. My older sister and I devoured “Brief Gaudy Hour” in our teens in the early 1970s and of course, the fire was fuelled by the “‘Six Wives of Henry VIII”‘ ,”Elizabeth R” and “‘Anne of a Thousand Days”‘. I studied history in university in my native Canada, although I was only able to take one Tudor and Stuart course since that was all that was offered. I travelled to England once with my husband when I was in my late 20s and enjoyed an “Annefest – (except for Hever Castle which is still on my list of places to see). I am also a student of material culture since I worked in Archaeology for years as an artifact researcher and I can appreciate the richness of the Tudor court. I was thrilled to see the entwinned “H&A”‘ in the Hampton Court gateway and to see the Anne portrait in the National Portrait Gallery. I went to the Tower (twice) but I didn’t know then that her execution site was not located where the plaque indicated. I need a new trip!

    I guess I am attracted to the vividness of Anne’s personality, her wit, her intelligence and her flirtatiousness , traits which I am convinced were passed on to her daughter – along with less disirable elements like a hot temper and a tendency towards occasional hysteria. Whenever I see those passive portraits and sketches of “Anne”, or any of the other Tudors, I try to imagine the personality changing the features into smiles, laughter, desire, fascination, and even rage and dispair. So film and television series bridge that gap for us, taking us visually beyond the historical narrative and working on our emotions.

    Love this site and its community of like-minded people who share my obsession.
    Seriously considering taking the “‘Anne Boleyn Experience””Tour.


    1. Hever Castle is well worth a visit, Denise, I love it there. I’m always struck by how at home I feel there and how close to the Boleyns I feel. It’s a lovely feeling. Staying there is even more amazing than visiting because you get to do things like see the castle after-hours and eat in the castle dining room. I hope you can make the tour!

  61. I can’t pinpoint the beginning of my interest in Anne Boleyn, although I can date my interest in Lady Jane Grey to my first visit to the Tower of London on April 2, 1977. I had heard about Anne years before I heard about Jane – I think that my interest (although it didn’t become an obsession until after my trip to London in 1977) in Anne started in 1969 or 1970, when the movie Anne of the Thousand Days came out. I didn’t see the movie for years after that, probably in 1978 or 1979, and I also saw The Six Wives of Henry VIII, with Keith Mitchell, around that same time. I’ve always been fascinated with history, and in grade school I was able to list the presidents of the United States in order of their presidencies. My first visit to the Tower on that April day in 1977 got me hooked on the Tudor period, and I haven’t looked back. I visit the Tower every time that I visit London, and I’m always looking for Tudor-related sites to visit on my trips to England. In October of 2009 I attended a psychic event at Hever Castle, even making the trip to England again for a 5-day trip even though I had just visited England in September. It was through the psychic event that the staff at Hever told me about The Anne Experience 2010, which I booked immediately upon hearing about the tour. I honestly believe that I lived in Tudor England in a previous life! I attended the Executed Queens Tour in 2011, and I’m looking forward to The Anne Boleyn Experience 2012, which is now only 7 weeks away! I don’t see my obsession with everything Tudor abating any time in the future! I’m forever grateful for the staff at Hever for introducing me to the Anne Boleyn Files – I didn’t think that there were so many people who were just as obsessed as I am!

    1. I’m so glad that Hever told you about the tour, Nancy, it was so wonderful to meet you and to dress up in our costumes together. It is a wonderful feeling when you find out you’re not the only Tudor history addict, isn’t it?

  62. My facination began in school when I was about 15 years old. I bought Anne of the Thousand days and read it. I was completely captivated with Anne at that point and proceeded ti read whatever I could lay my hands on concerning her and Henry. The facination has never went away and I have endeavered to create a Tudor section in my library for all my books. I’ve also added a film section to include the films about that time in history. Not meaning to sound like a broken record, but I also have researched my family’s ancestory and found that mary Boleyn is my 13th GGreatgrandmother. I was totally blown away with that and, not to mention, very happy about that. Somewhere deep down in side, did I know that? I don’t know, I just know that I was totalyy enthralled with Anne for the longest time and with her Daughter Elizabeth too.

  63. Hello 🙂 I became fascinated with Anne Boleyn after watching Natalie Dormer’s magnificent portrayal of her in showtime’s The Tudors. I think Natalie’s portrayal of her was amazing and showed both her vulnerable side and strong and assertive sides where you could really understand her rise and fall. I am fascinated with history specifically British medieval history and the british monarchy in general. Such a rich history there with so many amazing stories to tell its really incredible. But I find Anne’s story especially interesting because of her daughter Elizabeth and her success as Queen; I believe that was God’s justice for Anne’s wrongful execution and Anne finishing what she started when she was Queen. What Henry sacrificed to make her his Queen and how far he went fascinates me as well and how bravely Anne handled herself during her arrest, trial and ultimately her execution. I wonder what went through her mind and how she felt on that scaffold about to be beheaded. I visited England years ago and stood in the exact spot where she was beheaded; it was a haunting experience. I will continue to visit this site, read and research about Anne, her life, her personality and her story for the rest of my life. I want to know her as much as possible because I think she was a brave, intelligent, passionate, ambitious and wise woman that was wronged (Like so many) and I love the fact that she has become immortal through her downfall and death. Go Anne! <3

    1. I too thought that Natalie Dormer was amazing as Anne. I’ve watched and read interviews with Natalie and it is clear that she did a lot of research into Anne and that she also persuaded Michael Hirst to let her play Anne closer to the accepted historical story in season 2. I’m so glad that she did and the execution scene always moves me to tears.

  64. I live here in the U.S where we hardly learn much about English History. But being a homeschool mother, I make sure my children know my passion. After all, much of our history is part of England, and I think it’s important. But anyhow … I have always had an interest in Elizabeth. I didn’t really dig much into her life until a couple of years ago. When I realized her mother had been beheaded by her father, and that he had a total of six wives, I was automatically hooked on the subject. I wanted to know why a King would marry so many times. In the midst of it all I found out more about Anne Boleyn <3

    1. I did a project on Henry VIII and his six wives when I was 11 and I can still remember my shock at the fact that he’d had six wives and that he’d executed two of them!

      1. Claire, I have been reading all the replys,and ask my self, why we are so fasinated with QueenAnne,it seems that the Ab Friends have study Anne ,at a very young age,I was 15 yers and wanted like a thrust to know more and more?? What do you think is are connection ,with the urning to keep us so deeply wondering,about Anne? I know you had a dream,so there must be, something more to it then just wanting to keep learning about Tudor Times and Queen Anne aswell as Henrys other wives? I hope you can give us some more insight on this,as you had a dream,therefore there must be a reason?? THx Baroness

  65. We were learning about The Tudors about .. 3/4 years ago – and when we learnt about it … I just became fascinated! I don’t know why but Im in love with the Tudor culture and just everything about the, ..
    I find it really interesting that theres plenty of more people like this and just love The Tudors 🙂

  66. My fascination started not that long ago. I didn’t study British history at school, but Ive always found everything related to UK interesting. So, 3 years ago I finally had the chance to visit it. We went, among other places, to Edinburgh, and of course to its castle. This was the first “seed”: I wanted to know more and more about the Stuarts, and obviously about the Tudors. I found out quickly that Anne was one of the pieces that would help me to understand everything a little bit better, but I’d never imagine I’ll end up captivated by her. And that’s how I found about you and this community :).

    1. It’s difficult to say as the only contemporary image we have of Anne is the 1534 medal. I would say that it’s as close to that and contemporary descriptions as the other portraits of her.

  67. I was 13, babysitting. found “Brief Gaudy Hour” in the book cabinet. couldn’t wait to go back to babysit to finish the book. Wrote a high school thesis on the Tudor era. read everything I could find ever since. Specifically with Anne Boleyn, she seems modern, and fresh. she was a loving mother. she tried her best. she was courageous.

  68. Hello Claire:
    I can’t pinpoint exactly when my interest began, but I’ve always been drawn to history. I visited Westminster Abbey when I was 19 or 20 years old and saw Elizabeth’s tomb. At that time, I didn’t have such a grand sense of who I was looking at but I would delve more into her story here and there. “Anne of the Thousand Days” really got me hooked. As an American, I’m fascinated with the concept of people being born into a certain family and that makes them royal. Then you have these different levels of people who either are or aren’t good enough to be married to a royal and I find that all very interesting.

    It really helps me to read up on one royal and then go backwards to the parents and learn about them and so on.

    This website has been so fun and informative! I so appreciate what you’ve done, Claire, and all the people who contribute.

    What I love about Anne is like her or hate her, she helped spark a schism between the Church and England. That seems like a huge turning point in human history. It’s the human drama and historical legacy that I like to think about. The dynamic of Henry’s initial love for her and then his complete willingness to destroy her also fascinates me.

    We have a huge scandal over here with one of our college football teams. They are trying to rewrite history by taking down statues, changing records and so on. It makes me think about what must have been done in Anne’s time to deny her a place in history, yet here she still is. Watching these things happen in present time helps me keep a certain perspective about anything I read — at all — which I think is good.

    Here is a web site dedicated to Anne Boleyn, not any of the other wives. It’s Anne whose spirit we admire.

    Thanks for asking!

    1. Thanks, Kim! I appreciate you and everyone else who contributes by leaving comments and encouraging me to do what I do.

      Wow, that college football team story sounds bizarre. What’s going on?

      1. If I’m not mistaken, the scandal with the college football team that Kim is talking about concerns Penn State. It’s hard to describe what’s going on briefly, but I’ll try. One of the former assistant coaches, Jerry Sandusky, was convicted of sexually molesting boys that he met through a charity that he founded for disadvantaged children called The Second Mile. The way that Penn State got involved was that he still had rights to use the athletic facilities at the university even though he had retired as an assistant coach, and he brought children onto the campus and was seen sexually molesting boys in the showers. He was seen by another assistant coach, who reported what he saw to the Head Coach, Joe Paterno, who reported what he was told to the head of the university and the head of the athletic department. The only action that the university took was that it told Sandusky not to bring children onto the campus. It was determined that while Mr. Paterno did what was legally necessary by reporting it to the proper authorities, he (and the other university officials who had been informed) had a moral obligation to see that Sandusky was stopped from abusing children. Because of this, Penn State’s football program was fined a great amount of money, and all wins between 1998 and 2011 were taken away from it. In addition, it has been banned from playing in post-season games for 4 years and some of the athletic scholarships were taken away from it. Joe Paterno, who died in January, was the football coach at Penn State for 60 years, was the coach with the most wins in college football, so of course he no longer holds that distinction due to the fact that all of the victories between 1998-2011 were vacated. While I find it difficult to believe that the assistant coach who viewed the abuse, a janitor, and all of the boys involved were lying and that Sandusky deserves to burn in hell (as well as die in prison), vacating all of Penn State’s victories for 13 seasons and banning it from post-season play seems to be punishing the members of the football team (many of whom were only children when the abuse was first reported) more than it is punishing Sandusky. Joe Paterno was an icon at Penn State, and there was a 7 foot statue of him in front of the football stadium, which was taken down several weeks ago. This is the Penn State scandal in a nutshell, and if I’m mistaken about any of it, or if anybody can think of anything important to add, please do so.

      2. First, when I was 11 I was drawn in by “The Six Wives of Henry VIII “starring Keith Michell. I am 53 and I have never strayed, was thrilled to find this site and know that I’m in good company!!

        Second, I am a Penn State alumni and the abuse scandal really shocked and devastated me. The sanctions were as you stated, Kim, unfair, but Sandusky will burn. Kharma. I am so proud of the team’s record with our new coach, Bill O’Brien. 8-4. “We Are – Penn State!”

        I love this site. Thanks Claire!!

  69. I am wondering Claire! If in fact you have relived a past life? Can our DNA memory cells or ‘T’ cells actually remember a past life? Not in the spiritual sense but in a scientific arena. Perhaps we can pass on to our next generation a thought, image or sensation thru our memory cells (? T Cells) at such a level that it be only momentary, subtle and profound that the event has left a print behind.
    I wonder if you where in the crowd watching Anne’s death or in fact you where her?

    1. I don’t feel that there is any spiritual connection between Anne and I as it doesn’t fit into my own faith and beliefs, but she’s definitely grabbed me!

    2. i agree with alison morton above post i have always thougt that you indeed get momentary memories ,however brief or bizarre somehow passed on through generations somehow li.we do inherit diseases ,looks traits personality,and a host of other things sometimes explained ,sometimes baffling so why not thoughts,however crazy this sounds .also a lot of people on this site have found out that they do descend from any one of the people around anne boleyn and the feeling of knowing her ,well their ancestors did ,i would love to know more about annes ladies in waiting at time of execution and what became of them and their descendants

  70. i love history anyway and i watched the series of ‘The Tudors’ ages ago when it first aired in the UK however i wasn’t really interested, one episode i did manage to catch was Anne Boleyn’s execution however and i cried my eyes out! i must admit i did watch The Other Boleyn girl’ and being young thought it was truthful, a few years later i rewatched the tudors and became fasinated with Anne Boleyn because of Natalie Dormers portrayal of her. I went out and bought ‘The lady in the tower’ by Alison Weir and ‘The six wives of henry the 8th’ by Antonia. I then began to build up more of a fascination not only with Anne but with the Tudor life and people at court, i visited Hampton Court Palace last year and recently went to Hever Castle, my aim is to visit most tudor places around the country. my obsession with that era is so great is i can clearly tell when i am in a tudor room, after visiting houses such as ‘Chartwell’ in Kent which Sir Winston Churchill actually lived in. i would love to do a degree in Tudor history but unfortunetly you just don’t get stand alone subjects like that. but i am to became an amateur Tudor historian. having already bought a few more books as well as Eric Ives book on ‘The life and Death of Anne Boleyn’ on this websites recommendation. I’m only 18 and believe websites like this help a younger generation connect with history

    keep up the great website! i love it, i read articles every day will on my lunch break!

    1. Thank you, Jacquie, it’s wonderful to hear how this site has become part of people’s daily routines.
      The Eric Ives book is my Anne Boleyn ‘Bible’!

    2. I do not think a course in Tudor history exists, well not that I know of anyway.As far as I know the subject can only be studied at school breifly.To study the Tudors and know more about them you have to be your own teacher and teach yourself.

      1. Degree courses in early modern history cover the Tudor period, but there are also other courses available, e.g. those offered at The Great Courses website. Their Henry VIII one led by Professor Dale Hoak is very good. These courses are available as audio download, on audio CD or DVD.

  71. Dear Claire For as long as I can remember I have always been interested in the Tudor period of history and I could always imagine myself there when I was having to write essays for my exam that I took at school. This has carried on into adult life where I have read as many books as possible on the lives of the people in the most fascinating time in history. But I have always defended Anne and do not believe that she was this wanton witch that Henry for his own purposes made everyone go against her. I love visiting Hever Castle and try to go there at least once a year. Recently my cousin and I have researched our family tree and I may have found the reason to why I have felt that I had to defend Anne. My idrect ancestor is Sir John Drydon the poet who was a very good friend to Charles II he married Elizabeth Howard who is in turn a direct descendent from both Anne and Katherine Howard. So maybe there is something in the belief that our DNA carries memories and feelings from our ancestors. Can I say I love reading this website and love reading about other peoples thoughts and stories of this fascinating time in history. Thank you.

  72. Like many others, my fascination with Anne was cemented by “Anne of the Thousand Days” (which I adored) and the BBC “Six Wives of Henry VIII.” But I actually discovered Anne earlier, though at the time she was not the focus of my interest in the Tudor period. When I was around eight, I was browsing in our local library (my home away from home), and happed across a children’s biography from the 1950s (I believe) of Elizabeth I. It was by a writer called Marguerite Vance, who also wrote a bio of Lady Jane Grey that I loved even more (though Eric Ives has now made me question its traditional interpretation of Jane). Anyway, the biography of Elizabeth led me to Francis Hackett’s “The Personal History of Henry VIII,” and I enjoyed the portrait of Anne there, although again she didn’t become my primary interest, along with Jane Grey, until I saw “Anne of the Thousand Days” on a May day in 1970 and fell in love with Genevieve Bujold’s interpretation. My fascination with the Tudors has remained steady throughout the intervening decades; I was delighted to read Eric Ives’s biography when it first appeared in the late 80s. I can’t tell you how happy I was to stumble across this website, which I would have gone completely wild over had I discovered it in the first glow of Boleyn-mania at age 11.

    A few more tidbits: I dressed up as Anne Boleyn going to her execution for Halloween 1971, though my costume was exceedingly ahistorical, being a maroon 1950s dress my mother edged with lace from the local fabric store. I didn’t even try for a French hood–I just used a hair net! How I would have gone crazy over the Tudor costumes now available.

    A last tidbit: in my early Boleyn-mania I scoured the library for books on Anne. I discovered an old biography, probably from the 20s or 30s, with the bizarre title “Frail Anne Boleyn”!! How misleading.

  73. I think the fact there is a fascination with Anne Boleyn is partly based on our indignation at injustice. It’s a testiment, and a vindication, of basic human nature. That’s what draws a lot of people to her; the sheer injustice of her end. She unites people who are horrified at the thought that someone can be judicially murdered.

  74. I have been fascinated with Anne Boleyn since I was in elementary school and read a biography of her. I have since read every biography and work of fiction I can find on her and those around her. I have always felt that she was an intelligent, perhaps brilliant, passionate woman who made the best of a bad situation and I admired her perseverance and ability to change the world around her. I think she is one of the most wrongly maligned figures in history and tragically misunderstood. I think she was much like her brilliant daughter. I have always felt a kinship with Anne, a feeling that I am on the outside looking in and simply making the best of things. I admire her. And I love what you’re doing.

  75. I really got hooked with BBC’s version of the Six Wives of Henry VIIII and with Anne Boleyn with both Keith and the late Dorothy Tutin’s portrayal of Henry and Anne. That series made me want to find out anything and everything on Henry and Anne . I found so many wonderful historical novels like Brief Gaudy Hour and fell in love with all of Jean Plaidy’s books. I also began collecting the Peggy Nesbit dolls and was a member of the doll club till it was no longer.
    Loved Anne of the Thousand Days and was lucky enough to see a special screening of the movie with Genevive Bujoild in attendance.
    However I am one of the few that did not like the series The Tudors nor the book and both movies of The Other Boleyn Girl.
    I loved Glenda Jackson in Elizabeth R,to me she is the difinative Elizabeth I just as keith Michell is the best Henry VIII portrayal. In searching the internet I found this site and am so happy to be here with all who love Anne.

  76. Sorry it took so long to answer, I was so busy. I became interested in Anne Boleyn in 1957, I was 12. My mother belonged to book of the month club and received Evelyn Anthony’s Anne Boleyn. I read it and was hooked. I have watched everything on TV and in the movies: Six Wives of Henry Vlll, Elizabeth l all BBC, Anne of a Thousand Days, you name it. Also have read every book I can lay my hands on pertaining to the Tudors, wives and children, especially Anne. I have the collection of Peggy Nesbit dolls, Henry and the six wives. I have visited Hever, of course all the places in London. I am passionate that Anne and her family were never given a fair shake by writers. When I found your site it was a dream come true. Finally someone who believed as I did. Hated the Other Boleyn Girl.Love Jean Plaidy. Loved the Charles Laughton portrayal of Henry with Merle Oberon as Anne (although brief) in the 1930’s movie. An interesting take on Henry. I have your two books, recently got The Fall of Anne Boleyn and enjoyed it as much as the Anne Boleyn Collection. I look forward to every post, thank you.

  77. My fascination of Anne Boleyn began at school and the reading of Jean Plaidy’s book, “The Lady in the Tower”. It is such a great book to read providing the reader with a great insight into Anne Boleyn’s early and later life. The film, “Anne of a thousand days” with Richard Burton and Genevieve Bujold really brings that period to life, even if it focuses just on the story of Henry and Anne. it was filmed in many of the real locations which made it even more fascinating.

  78. I really thought that I was probably the only person to have had such an interest in Anne Boleyn. I found this site tonight and have read all the comments, and those are so like mine.
    I have always believed that Anne was innocent as were all the men condemned with her.
    Henry was determined to have Jane Seymour and cared nothing for how Anne felt. What a time in history – the Monarch had the power of life and death over all subjects I am sure that Henry did not witness any of the executions and they were so barbaric in many instances. The “Great wh*re” had her revenge as her daughter Elizabeth became one of the greatest Queens, she had her Mother’s strength and intellect. maybe lacked some of her wisdom but she showed that a woman could rule as well as any man.

    Something that really moves me is the thought of how it was for Anne the night before her execution, indeed for any one who has been condemned. She had been made to witness the deaths of all the men involved and that must have been horrific. She saw her own brother die, the brother who loved his sister well in the purest way.

    Now we know that it is not the woman who determines the sex of a child, but the man.
    I would like to face Henry with that.
    I live on the other side of the world and will never be able to visit London and to stand in the place where Anne died so bravely. Friends who have done so speak of a feeling that is almost overwhelming, a feeling of Anne’s pain.

  79. I just recently watched The Other Bolelyn Girl and am fascinated by the story! I want to know more! What book would you suggest I should read first?

  80. For me it began very intuitively. Heard about Anne first in high school, in a history class and felt sad and shocked at her fate. Decades later, I discovered my interest in history. Sometimes I perceive all the people who lived before us as an anonymous mass, and every now and then someone steps out of the mass and beckons and calls me. – Anne did years ago and I have never lost that connection. This site is a treasure, just discovered it a couple of years ago. Thank you Claire, and thank you for sharing your story about your own ‘journey” with Anne.

  81. For mr part, my love for Anne Boleyn and fascination about her life began with the series the Tudors. I saw the entertainment on tv about this new series and the name “Tudor” rang a bell in my head, and I decided to watch it. And also because I already saw Jonathan Rhys Meyers in films and I liked him. Now I like him even more. But I really loved the story when Anne appeared clearly in the episodes, as a true character. And when I knew of her terrible death, I wanted to know the truth and have her beautiful B necklace. And a friend told me about your website and i was fascinated even more!

  82. Hi Claire.

    My fascination with Anne began with her daughter Elizabeth. I read a book once that was set in Tudor times in Elizabeth’s point of view. I don’t remember the tittle but it dartedy fascination with the Tudors. I then became fascinated by Anne. I found her persistence and strength admirable and amazing. The more I read about her the more I felt I could relate to her! She was a strong woman, she had strong faith, she was not afraid to be herself. I hated how every source I seem to read vilified her and made her out to be every mans nightmare wife. But where male historians saw a manipulative vocal woman who didnot know her “place”, I saw a woman with the courage, strength, faith, and inner beauty that caught a beast of a kings attention for over 6 years. She was that woman everyone lived to hate but she never let that deter her. And I applaud her even now. I will forcer keep her memory alive by speaking of her to others. I was so happy I found your website that not only is levelheaded but also backed by credible sources. It makes it much easier to defend Anne when I know who said what originally! Thank you for starting this site! It’s been a great help! Not to mention I love the way you write and your fresh research.

  83. I first read a book quite a few years ago, Antonia Fraser’s The Six Wives of Henry VIII and enjoyed it but I think watching The Tudors made me more interested and I started buying lots of other books about the period, watching documentaries and really understanding the story of Henry and his wives. Incidentally, I just read the above book again recently and it made much more sense to me after the numerous programmes/films/other reading I have done.

    I also went to the Tower of London about 4 years ago and found it all so fascinating. It was during the anniversary of Henry’s birth and they had the “Dressed to Kill” exhibition on. I was just so, so excited to be in the grounds of the Tower and see where Anne and Katherine are buried and it made me feel sad.

    I really can’t get enough information about the period and enjoy very much reading everybody’s thoughts on this website.

  84. I have been fasicnated by Anne from the moment I read Antonia Fraser’s ‘Six Wives of Henry VIII’. She seems to be close to me even though she lived a couple of centuries ago. But it’s not just Anne, Grandma History has always been present in my life and she made me discover a great number of remarkable people whose life are a real inspiration: from Hatshepsut, the pharaoh of Egypt through Eleanor of Aquitaine, Blanche of Castille, Hildegard of Bingen and Emperor Frederick the Second till my recent discovery: Charlotte of Wales, the daughter of George IV. Her life could make a real life scenario without adding any ‘attractions’ to the plot like the producers of ‘The Tudors’ or ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ did. I swear I’ll make a film about her one day and right now I’ll start from making a FB page about her to get her out of the depths of history. Oh and big THANK YOU for running this page Claire! 🙂

  85. My fascination started when I watched the other Boleyn girl. I just got hooked and started reading everything I could about her. I then saw the other Boleyn girl as a good drama but not who Anne really was. I then started watching the Tudors and loved Natalie Dormers performance! Then I searched the internet looking for more information on Anne and Henrys relationship. How they wrote letters and the long courtship they had and how he went to the extreme to have her and how she was so passionate about life and her daughter. And how the charges against, too me, were made up and false! and how she died with dignity and never once insulted him! How she raised up in the court and how she wasn’t a typical tudor looking woman but was dark eyed dark haired beauty who caught the kings attention in a time when pale and blue eyes were seen as most pleasing. It didn’t deter her! And that she was herself most of all. I think that her being herself and not afraid to do so made her even more wonderful especially when even today society has ideas of what woman still should look like, wear and size, and she was involved in politics and religion. I mean come on!! Who wouldn’t be amazed? And I believe that Henry loved her above all his wives. 10 plus years together? I just can’t believe he’d do that to her. And her death after all these years still captivate people. And will continue to do so for years to come. And she is sort of a role model for me…to be myself and stand up for my beliefs and not be conformed to what people think I should look like but be proud and always stand my ground. She is just amazing 🙂 ok i’m done lol. thanks.

  86. I recently bought “The Fall Of Anne Boyle” on Kindle.I am an avid reader,professional genealogist so of course I love the book.I am half way through the book and am amazed at the way Anne was treated, can’t wait to finish although I have already decided she was innocent!

  87. I am searching for the very first memory of knowledge of Queen Anne Boleyn I have. I remember now. I have always been fasinated with the paranormal and I was watching some show about ghosts haunting historical places. I was about 14. I had yet to fall in love with history. I can remember the narrator of that creepy show saying in a dark and a dramatic vioce “And some say you can see Queen Anne carrying her head….” And that definitely caught my attention. I was horrified and fascinated. I asked my mother what was up with this horrible King who could do something so awful! And to his wife or any one for that matter! (Mind you, I was not yet familiar with the Tudor history or too much history at all for that matter and the gruesome fact that they beheaded ppl on a regular basis for method of execution.) She explained what she knew of Anne,Henry and his other 5 wives. I was interested and wanted to know more,but at the time didn’t persue it. But one day another show on cable came on. It was called “the Madness of Henry VIII”. Now this is where SHE really got me. Now the show was interesting and I was loving it of coarse but some of it was innacurate but at time I did not know. But anyways I can’t quite put my finger on it: all I could think of was that portrait(s) of that face,that bewitching magnetic face! Outlined with pearls and this fasnating black curving head dress I would later come to know as a French Hood. I also remember the narrator throwing around decribing words like French, plain,flat chested,highly intellegent, graceful,etc… I remember him saying she was the one of the most desired woman at court and how the King Henry VIII pined after her and fell head over heels in love with her,how she refused to bed him untill they were married and she was queen, and how he so cruelly sent Queen Katherine of Aragon into a dank old castle and then a worse one when she (KOA)requested of Henry a better place to reside and die. “They moved Heaven and Earth and she gave him another girl” The narration continued, “She has miscarried her savior…”Henry wanted to be rid of her quick”….”falsley accussed of cheating on the king with 5 other men including her brother”…..”sentenced to death by quick blow at the neck by sword.” And that courageous amazing lady saying “at least I have only a little neck.” I was entranced by this lady! From that point on I learned all that I could about her. I learned fact from fiction and what was speculation. She can bring out strong emotions in me when I think of her or learn of her. The emotions I experience are awe,at her courage and her perserverance. Her quotes and mottos I find captivating. I love to read or hear about her personality I love how fiesty she was and I love to study her talents and find myself endlessy amazed by all she could do so well:dance,sing,play a variety of musical instruments, write poetry, talk with a wipcrack sharp wit. And I think about her celebrated obsidian eyes with intrigue and how she used them to talk,laugh and flirt much like the way I use my own sapphire ones. I do see alot of myself in her. I sympathise with her. Of coarse for that of her tragic fate but also I know what it feels like to hated by many and labled and the myths suround me too. Not on her scale (of coarse.) Most of the ppl in England and the Hapsburg Empire and how they so hated her and her ideas of religion and wanted to be rid of her. But I know how feels to be demonized by people on my own little scale. She was a fashoin icon for the ladies at court, I love that too. Her loud laughter also reminds me of myself. My favorite show on television was and is
    ‘the Tudors’ I love Natalie Dormer as Anne. It is amost like she was the embodiment of her. But what an all around amazing woman is our Anne Boleyn! I still can’t get enough of her and read or watch whatever I can about her! She has something that is undefinably fascinating about her that keeps people like us always coming back for more and grabbing greedily on to every little srcap of information we can find about her thus keeping her legend and persona very much alive. She also got me into all the other people involved with her in Tudor times and then like a domino effect I started learning more and more about the history of the Monarchs and Consorts (especially Elizabeth I) and aristocrates of Engalnd and all through it’s long and fasinating and bloody history. In short she got me into history and I am so glad of her for that and for just existing and having the courage to be her original self. And that is what she is for me. Thank you for this website,Claire.

  88. I have been interested in the whole Tudor family for about twenty years when I read a book on Elizabeth in my early thirties. Of course I had heard all of the stories about Anne but, since I love the underdog, I was intrigued and I wanted to find out what really happened. I found this website quite by accident when I was doing reasearch abiout the Tudors. This site has been invaluable to me and I visit often even if I don’t get a reply when I ask a question. I am an American who would love to go to England and visit all of the plavces I’ve read about. Thanks Claire and keep going. I’m counting on you!!

    1. Thank you for your comment, Lori, and I’m so glad that you enjoy using the site. England is a beautiful country, although I’m biased, so I hope you get to visit it.

  89. im intrigued about a local legend right on my doorstep,i live a stones throw from a newly restored manor house called shurland hall on the isle of sheppey in kent,now i know henrys warden of the cinque ports sir thomas cheyney lived and owned this building,during annes reign,its just that i read she stayed there,with henry after marrying,on her way to a place called stone in maidstone,kent, i read this once but cant recall where,can any one else throw any light on this?

  90. My interest in Anne stemmed (and I hate to admit it!) from The Other Boleyn Girl. I’d seen previews for the movie on television back in 2008 and I wanted to see it, but I have an unspoken rule for myself that if I want to see a film based off of a book, I need to read the book first. I enjoyed The Other Boleyn Girl but, even knowing very little about the Tudors at the time, I was skeptical of the sketch Philippa Gregory had made of Anne Boleyn’s character. Her characterization was too bereft of human feeling and she was wholly absorbed by her own ambition. She was made into a monster, and I hated that. So I started doing research at my local library and my university library and I haven’t stopped since. I wrote a paper in a poetry class I took about a poem that largely dealt with Anne’s execution and that’s when my obsession hit its pinnacle. Now whenever I have free time I bury my nose in books and articles regarding the Tudors, and am considering writing my honors thesis specifically about Henry VIII’s reign.

    I personally just want to thank you so much, Claire. This website is wonderful for satisfying my daily Anne Boleyn cravings and I love that you back up your research with primary documents. So many people are willing to take history’s stories at face value (case in point, The Other Boleyn Girl – a friend of mine even asked why I was so interested in such a “b*tch”!) and I love how you challenge these presumptions. Thank you a million times over for creating this site. You are the best!

    1. Thanks, Lauren, and can I just say that I couldn’t do what I do without the support and encouragement I receive from people like you and others who leave comments on this site. I love my research but it would be very lonely without the feedback I receive.

  91. “Anne of the Thousand Days”. A remarkable film. Genieve Bujold has been, to me, Anne. With her pronunciation of English dialogue being coloured by her natural French accent, she carried Anne’s young life at the French court into todays’ world. u

    Although…I had to go to the cinema alone to see this film (and Thomas More’s “story”) as noone else I knew was interested in history…least of all Tudor England’s history! Anne is, I have to admit, my 3rd love. Ancient Egypt, 18th Dynasty, being my first and consuming love with Mary, Queen of Scots, my 2nd.

  92. Over 20 years ago, I joined a creative writing class. As one of a group of beginners, we were given some ‘homework’ of having to write a short story which included an historical figure, a current famous person, a place and an object, all chosen randomly by the others in the group.

    My story had to include Mary Queen of Scots, Whitby, a ring, and Donny Osmond!

    I rose to the challenge and decided to do some research on Mary Queen of Scots, about whom I knew nothing, and hopefully come up with an angle so that I could write a plausible story given the diverse characters.

    I thoroughly enjoyed all the reading I did. I wrote my story and loved every minute it took to create it.

    Mary led me to Elizabeth, and Elizabeth to Henry, and so my obsession was born!

  93. My obsession started with my Mom who loved English history. Shortly after she died I found the book The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn. I read it and I became fascinated with Anne as well as with Elizabeth I. I felt a sort of bond with Elizabeth because we were both motherless. As for Anne, I always felt that she was so different from all the other women at the time and that fascinated me.
    I don’t know if Elizabeth would have been the woman she was if Anne had lived. Now I devour any books I can on Tudor history and the Princes in the Tower.
    Your site is very addictive. I tell myself I will only go on for a few minutes and I end up on for hours!

  94. I’m glad I came across this page although hasn’t been active for a few years.

    I was searching on information of the Tudors Henry v111 and especially Anne Boleyn
    My obsession started at around 8-9 years old it was especially king Henry
    At primary school my teachers would call my parents into school on a number of occasions because I was very argumentive with teachers and friends over this obsession with Tudor times. When the teachers and my parents where called into a meeting I would remember being in tears because of my first name they would call me by my name now but I would argue back and be distraught at the fact i was trying to tell them my name was Anne with an e
    I would draw pictures of a king and a lady with a sword through there head. It was like someone was making me do it. Reoccurring visions of people walking in a line with horses through trees holding swords and a king with a gold pointy crown. I’m 36 now and I’m still obsessed with the time of the Tudors and and Anne boleyn through out my life I suffered from anorexia due to tonsillitis and sore throats and a lump I still have in my throat to this day. I’ve been on drinks from the hospitals for years and still suffer from a numbness on my right side of my neck and face and buzzing in my ears. Either it’s all psychological or all this could be linked to a past life I lived. Either way it’s really weird and bizarre when I look at old photograph portraits from the Tudors it’s like I know there faces but I don’t. And past life reading revealed I was imprisoned in a past life being accused for treason and witchcraft. And in this life theres a black bird crow/raven that keeps following me and hangs outside my fence he squacks to let me know he’s here. I realy can’t explain it. I will need to see a professional medium and psychic for a proper reading to see why I have this fascination to court. King Henry and anne. And what is even weirder my worst enemy in this life is called catherine.
    Great little site I will save as a bookmark and hope to see you update it.

  95. I was reading a book about kings and queens of Britain. I was on the Tudors section and a subtitle read ‘Unlucky Anne’. I remember feeling sorry for her. I read she was accused of being a witch (I read your article so know she wasn’t charged with witchcraft) which seemed cool to me at the time. I didn’t read anymore about Anne Boleyn for a while yet in my head subconciously imagined what she would be like.
    The next book I read was Anne Boleyn and Me by Alison Prince. Anne was portrayed very negatively and I was upset, like lots of people are when their fantasies are wrong.
    But I refused to believe she was as horrible as the book portrayed her.
    I typed into Google ‘Was Anne Boleyn nice?’ and prayed that not everyone saw her as a cruel manipulative woman. There was an article answering a question similar to mine on your website. It really helped me understand her and built on my fantasy.
    In films Anne is portrayed as clever, witty and determined. A book I particularly like is ‘Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession’ by Alison Weir.
    Anne is the most interesting of Henry’s wives but I wouldn’t say she was my ‘favourite’. I like them all. I would probably most likely be friends with Kateryn Parr is she was around today. I don’t know much about Anne of Cleves though – I’m waiting for Alison Weir’s next fiction which will be dedicated to her.

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