Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Saints, Sinners and Survivors - Disarming 2

Daughter of Thomas Boleyn and Elizabeth Howard, Anne was educated in the Netherlands and France. Plans for her first marriage (to a cousin) fell through and so she became a lady-in-waiting to then Queen Catherine of Aragon. She was sent home by Cardinal Wolsey after a second betrothal (to a gentleman at court) failed. Third time was a charm though - she attracted the attention of Henry and the chase began. 

As her older sister Mary had been Henry's mistress before her, Anne refused to be so easily used. She held her ground and became so great a desire to him, Henry took control of the English Church and annulled his previous marriage 5 days before wedding Anne. Their first and only surviving child was Elizabeth - afterwards known as Elizabeth I. After three more miscarriages, Henry had moved on to courting Jane Seymour. Anyone sensing a pattern?? 

In April 1536 Henry had her investigated for high treason - the charges of Adultery, Incest, and Witchcraft tenuous at best. None-the-less she was found guilty and beheaded on May 19th of that year. During her daughter's long reign, she was honored as "the most influential and important queen consort England has ever had" due to her involvement in the English Reformation. And she is still quite the controversial figure. 

I'm not sure I feel quite as bad for Anne as for Catherine Howard. Catherine seemed to be young, careless and not terribly bright to begin with while Anne was well educated, exacting and indulgent. It was again amusing to watch my boyfriend react to Anne in the Tudor series because of her abruptness (See reaction to finding Henry and Jane together towards the end of the second season or the overly paranoid Mary-could-be-Queen scene in the first/second season) and "creepy mouse mouth." Obviously as we are both fans of Catherine, we are a bit biased against Anne. But I tried not to let that come across too strongly since she is my own sister's favorite.
This one goes out to you G! : )

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, I think this one is my favorite yet. :)

    I don't know how I feel about Anne Boleyn. The Tudors definitely did not make her a likeable character, but from what little I've read about her as a historical figure she made lots of enemies at court because she was too smart and it freaked them out, lol.