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Friday, March 16, 2012
This week my reading suggestion is not necessarily an Anne Boleyn book but it covers the ruling women of England prior to 1560. It is entitled She Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth by Helen Castor. The book has recieved wonderful reviews and I would add my stamp of approval. It is quite long but reads really quickly. Hope you enjoy!
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Anne's interest in religious reformation became apparent early in her life at the Tudor court. In 1527, it was recorded that she has obtained a copy of The Supplication of Beggars by Simon Fish. This sixteen page pamphlet, published in Antwerp in 1524, accused the Roman Catholic Church of crimes ranging from treason to murder. It also covered his ideological disagreements with the Church including the sale of indulgences and the existence of purgatory. The pamphlet was banned in the Tudor court where Catholicism reigned.
Henry, who had entrusted his good friend Sir Thomas Moore with suppressing religious dissent within the Kingdom, had no tolerance for those who did not share his religious faith. As a result, reformation ideas were spreading in the intellectual circles of England, but were kept quiet for fear of the believers being burned or tortured. Despite his virulent faith, the tenants of Henry’s belief system would come under personal scrutiny very quickly. In 1526, Henry set aside Mary Boleyn in favor of Anne, officially asking her to be his mistress. She refused citing the preservation of her virtue and reputation as a reason not to comply with his majesty’s wishes. Anne began to entice Henry saying he could divorce Catherine and marry her instead. She frequently called the Queen “old…and dowdy; incapable of producing a male heir...” which for Henry was a primary concern. Henry constantly worried over the birth of a son. The Tudor line had come to power during the War of Roses, a dynastic conflict fought between the Plantagenet houses of York and Lancaster. The Tudors seized power during the struggle and in order to legitimize their claim to power, Henry VII married Elizabeth of York. Without the birth of a legal heir Henry worried that the war would resume, destroying everything his father had worked to build.
 EW Ives, Anne Boleyn. 3rd. ed. (New York: Blackwell Books 1986), 341.
 Greg Walker, “Rethinking the Fall of Anne Boleyn” The Historical Review 45, no. 1 (2002) Pg. 4
 The Plantagenets were a ruling family who held the throne of England from 1154-1485. The Yorks and Lancasters are cadet branches of the line.