Posted By Claire on October 8, 2015I’ve noticed that every time I write an article about Mary Boleyn, or share one from the archives, I get a sudden spike in traffic to The Anne Boleyn Files. Between 23rd and 30th September, for example, I had a maximum of 71 people on The Anne Boleyn Files simultaneously, yet, when I published my article “Anne Boleyn and Mary Boleyn – Two Sisters” on 1st October it shot up to 145 simultaneous visitors.
Now, you could just put that down to me writing a new and interesting article (I do try!), but I’ve noticed that it happens every time I write about Mary Boleyn. Traffic also goes through the roof every time The Other Boleyn Girl airs on TV, and it does appear to be from people searching for more information on Mary Boleyn.
There’s something about Mary, but what is it?
I’m fascinated by the whole Boleyn family. I’ve been researching them since 2009 and I’m still not bored. They’re such an interesting family, with Thomas and George’s diplomatic careers, Anne’s rise to Queen and then her dramatic fall, the family’s background, their links to religious reformers etc., but Mary is such a shadowy figure. Don’t get me wrong, I find her interesting too and I’m certainly not criticising those who find her interesting. I love the letter she wrote to Thomas Cromwell after she’d been banished from court. Here was a woman who was living on her own terms and who had been brave enough to face the wrath of her family and marry for love. It never fails to move me. I also find the mystery surrounding her intriguing, but I don’t know what it is about her that causes such a jump in traffic whenever I mention her.
Is it the mystery surrounding her?
Is it her sex life? Her alleged relationships with Francis I and Henry VIII?
Is it the controversy surrounding the paternity of her children?
Is it The Other Boleyn Girl effect? In other words, is it Philippa Gregory’s portrayal of her that makes her so appealing to people?
Is it the fact that she married for love?
What is it?
Please help. I really want to know what it is about Mary that causes this interest. Please comment below and share your thoughts. Thank you!