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Anne Boleyn: The Queen of Controversy

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The story of Anne Boleyn goes to the root of all history; what makes an individual or event memorable to later generations? Anne is an exceptional case for her life was a double helix intertwining extraordinary human drama with profound historical crisis. A young lady of no particular importance or talents - she was neither a great beauty or a captivating charmer - married The story of Anne Boleyn goes to the root of all history; what makes an individual or event memorable to later generations? Anne is an exceptional case for her life was a double helix intertwining extraordinary human drama with profound historical crisis. A young lady of no particular importance or talents - she was neither a great beauty or a captivating charmer - married a man who turned out to be England's most notorious monarchy, and then three years later she was publicly executed for treason, accused of quadruple adultery and incest. Mistress Boleyn was the crucial catalyst for three of the most important events in modern history: the break with Rome and the English Reformation, the advent of the nation state, and the birth of a daughter whose 43 years on the throne stand as England's most spectacular literary and political success story. Remove Anne and the Reformation as we know it today would not have taken place; remove Anne and Elizabeth I would not have existed at all. Anne Boleyn stands as a monument to the truth that there is nothing consistent in history except the unexpected.


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The story of Anne Boleyn goes to the root of all history; what makes an individual or event memorable to later generations? Anne is an exceptional case for her life was a double helix intertwining extraordinary human drama with profound historical crisis. A young lady of no particular importance or talents - she was neither a great beauty or a captivating charmer - married The story of Anne Boleyn goes to the root of all history; what makes an individual or event memorable to later generations? Anne is an exceptional case for her life was a double helix intertwining extraordinary human drama with profound historical crisis. A young lady of no particular importance or talents - she was neither a great beauty or a captivating charmer - married a man who turned out to be England's most notorious monarchy, and then three years later she was publicly executed for treason, accused of quadruple adultery and incest. Mistress Boleyn was the crucial catalyst for three of the most important events in modern history: the break with Rome and the English Reformation, the advent of the nation state, and the birth of a daughter whose 43 years on the throne stand as England's most spectacular literary and political success story. Remove Anne and the Reformation as we know it today would not have taken place; remove Anne and Elizabeth I would not have existed at all. Anne Boleyn stands as a monument to the truth that there is nothing consistent in history except the unexpected.

30 review for Anne Boleyn: The Queen of Controversy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Helene Harrison

    ISBN? - 9781445610238 General Subject/s? - History / Tudors / Biography / Anne Boleyn / Henry VIII / 16th Century Title? - Anne certainly provokes serious controversy, especially among historians. Baldwin Smith, I believe, is the first to acknowledge this in the title. Most historians don't make as much out of it. Certainly no other English Queen is as debated. General Analysis? - I was very disappointed in this latest offering on the multitude of debates surrounding Anne Boleyn. Lacey Baldwin ISBN? - 9781445610238 General Subject/s? - History / Tudors / Biography / Anne Boleyn / Henry VIII / 16th Century Title? - Anne certainly provokes serious controversy, especially among historians. Baldwin Smith, I believe, is the first to acknowledge this in the title. Most historians don't make as much out of it. Certainly no other English Queen is as debated. General Analysis? - I was very disappointed in this latest offering on the multitude of debates surrounding Anne Boleyn. Lacey Baldwin Smith doesn't seem to have introduced anything new and merely reaffirms the arguments of others who have gone before him. Even in discussing these arguments he fails to come down on one side or the other, instead repeating an argument on the paucity of the evidence. Although this is an important factor, it does annoy me that he doesn't even make a decision based on the surviving evidence. There also isn't a lot of detail in places with the same information being repeated over and over. Recommend? - Not the best book on Anne Boleyn I've read. A poor effort in my opinion as it doesn't add anything at all to existing debates.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Midgetbee

    This is less a biography of Anne and more a set of book reviews with so many digs at Eric Ives, you'd think he owed Smith money. A complete dismissal of all evidence, a half-hearted attempt at support for one person's almost completely evidence-less theory and the absence of any semblance of political thought and ability to link known facts makes this a book to avoid. Disappointing.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Short, but thought-provoking

  4. 4 out of 5

    Finuala

    Very much enjoyed this. It is wonderful to read a scholarly critique of other sources and with the same flashes of humour with which Lacey Baldwin Smith approaches all of his work. Picking his way through the publications of four other authors, Baldwin Smith attempts and generally succeeds in finding the middle path, putting aside their personal biases and weighing the likely veracity of their sources. He also reflects on Tudor ways of thinking, particularly the concept of Divine Revelation as a Very much enjoyed this. It is wonderful to read a scholarly critique of other sources and with the same flashes of humour with which Lacey Baldwin Smith approaches all of his work. Picking his way through the publications of four other authors, Baldwin Smith attempts and generally succeeds in finding the middle path, putting aside their personal biases and weighing the likely veracity of their sources. He also reflects on Tudor ways of thinking, particularly the concept of Divine Revelation as a means of gathering evidence which was difficult, if not impossible, to gainsay. Alien as it may seem to us now, if God was apparently against Anne, she had little chance of proving otherwise. Overall, a scholarly piece worthy of a place in the collection of the Tudor enthusiast.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    I liked the topic enough to want to read much more about Henry VIII and his wives but this particular author took too much time pointing out that no one really knows the truth about 95% of the story. Then goes on to explain why each of Henry's most notable biographers might have it all wrong. PS. I'm upping him to 4 stars and recommending the book for anyone who can stand some dryness in order to get the accuracy. I just read about Henry's 6 wives by Gladys Malvern and it was awful. Partially I liked the topic enough to want to read much more about Henry VIII and his wives but this particular author took too much time pointing out that no one really knows the truth about 95% of the story. Then goes on to explain why each of Henry's most notable biographers might have it all wrong. PS. I'm upping him to 4 stars and recommending the book for anyone who can stand some dryness in order to get the accuracy. I just read about Henry's 6 wives by Gladys Malvern and it was awful. Partially because she writes like a 10 year old and partially because I knew, thanks to this book, that many of her facts were incorrect.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    Smith gives an interesting overview of the life of Anne Boleyn and the controversies surrounding it by contrasting four different biographers' findings and opinions, but doesn't really add anything new.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mal

    franscoffeebreaks.com/marchandaprilreads

  8. 5 out of 5

    Savina King

    I learnt so much about the tudor era from this book and look forward to getting as much from his other books. If I can find them at my local library that is.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Viktoriya Padurya

  10. 4 out of 5

    Julian Lloyd

  11. 5 out of 5

    Becca Belbin

  12. 5 out of 5

    Elina

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lauren McCarthy

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kyra Kramer

  15. 4 out of 5

    Linda Buchan

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kayla

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

  18. 5 out of 5

    Emmi

  19. 4 out of 5

    Olivia Longueville

  20. 4 out of 5

    G. Lawrence

  21. 4 out of 5

    Christine Hartweg

  22. 5 out of 5

    Josh

  23. 5 out of 5

    Matteo Persechino

  24. 4 out of 5

    Belinda

  25. 4 out of 5

    Isabelplummer

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  27. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

  28. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Johnston

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jasmin

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shiv

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