19th of May 1536: execution of Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn

Though I don’t write Tudor fiction, I am fascinated by Anne Boleyn. This anniversary gives me an opportunity to return to Gareth Russell’s gripping recounting of the downfall of the young Queen at Confessions of A Ci-Devant.

“Archbishops had knelt before her, foreign rulers had showered her with gifts, evangelicals had celebrated her as God’s Chosen Nymph and for a moment, all too brief, the world had been hers. Then, with a gradient of catastrophe so unparalleled it still has the power to boggle the imagination, she was dragged from her throne and a one thousand-roomed palace, to be left here, kneeling, alone, in the sawdust, waiting for the sword to strike at a neck that had once inspired poetry and glittered with diamonds,” writes Gareth.

And speaking of Tudor fiction, I have begun reading Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies, where Anne is, of course, a prominent though not very likable character.

I will publish a full review when I am done with it. Suffice to say that I have my reservations but find it quite an engaging read.

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