Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Just for Fun

New Book!

So I want to begin recommending a new Anne Boleyn themed book every week. This week I enjoyed To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn by Sandra Byrd. It was a great book, pretty historically accurate with a wonderful storyline. The writing brings the characters to life, with a great portrayal of Anne. It is told from the viewpoint of her best friend Meg Wyatt. with wonderful descriptions of court life. Pick it up today!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Did you Know?

This Lent I have been reading a lot about Anne and her thoughts on reformation. I recently discovered that Anne was one of the first English reformists to suggest the poor not fast during Lent. According to several authors she was quoted saying, "Why should those who practice sacrifice and penance all year, starve during the Lenten season? God knows their harts <sic>"

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thesis work continued

Anne's character has been slandered by nobility and historians for hundreds of years. Below you can read an excerpt from my writing which begins to introduce Anne's personality:

....Anne was known for attending Mass regularly and was called a "pious and devout young woman"[1] by archduchess Margaret of Austria in whose court Anne was educated. Following her stint in Austria, Anne was sent to the French court to act as a lady in waiting to Queen Claude. There she learned the flirting, stylish dress and coy mannerisms that would later be her trademark.
            Anne returned to England in 1525 in order to fill a post as lady in waiting to Queen Catherine, wife of Henry VIII, but historians also speculate that the real reason for her return was to act as an ally to her younger sister Mary Boleyn, who at age thirteen had managed to gain the King’s favor.[2] Anne’s darkly exotic looks and witty banter attracted many court men. Mark Smeaton, a court poet whom Anne would later be accused of having sexual relations with, called her, “A rare beauty with a soul of gold…”[3] Anne’s vitality and passion even captivated the King.
Despite the distraction Anne provided; religious strife within Europe had Henry’s fullest attention. In 1517, Martin Luther published his controversial 95 Theses and Henry felt it was his duty as a Christian prince to respond to the heresy printed by Luther and other Protestant reformers like him. In 1518 he published a treatise on Catholic faith called In Defense of the Seven Sacraments.  The Defense called on Christian monarchs “…for the love of the Holy Apostolic See…to weed out heresy…”[4]His prose earned him the title of fidei defensor (defender of the faith) from Pope Leo X.[5] It was not until his narcissistic dual desires for a male heir and Anne Boleyn came about that Henry would consider a break with Roman authority.

[1] Retha Warnicke, “Anne Boleyn’s Childhood and Adolescence.” The Historical Journal 28, no. 4 (1985):939-52.
[2] EW Ives, Anne Boleyn. 3rd. ed. (New York: Blackwell Books 1986), 341.
[3] EW Ives, “Anne Boleyn and the Early Reformation in England: The Contemporary Evidence” The Historical Journal 37, no. 2 (1994): 389-400.
[4] G.W. Bernard.  The King's Reformation: Henry VIII and the Remaking of the English Church (New Haven: Yale University Press 2005),
[5] EW Ives, “Anne Boleyn and the Early Reformation in England: The Contemporary Evidence” The Historical Journal 37, no. 2 (1994): 389-400.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The start of a love affair!

It was at the Shrovetide Joust on February 7, 1526 that Henry first expressed an interest in Anne. He carried her favor; a kerchief with her initials sewn onto it. Soon after the court was abuzz with rumors of the King's new love!