Another View of Anne Boleyn

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), June 11, 2010 | Go to article overview

Another View of Anne Boleyn


Byline: Carol Herman, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Did Anne Boleyn commit adultery? This is the question at the heart of a new biography of

the woman who won King Henry VIII's affections, was a key figure in his break with Rome and paid for her alleged affairs - including an incestuous one with her brother - on the executioner's block.

Over the centuries, one version of history has steadfastly upheld the young queen's virtue, pointing to her refusal to sleep with Henry (unlike her sister Mary) until he made an honest woman of her. That version denies any adulterous affairs and celebrates her as a martyred heroine of the English Reformation.

Now, however, in a generally persuasive book, British historian G.W. Bernard argues that it was not Anne who resisted a sexual union for years, but it was Henry who held back until he could be assured that his offspring would be legitimate. Moreover, in a matter of more stunning consequences, Mr. Bernard argues that the allegations of adultery were probably true.

Mr. Bernard builds his case and his narrative chronologically, returning to Anne's girlhood and her time spent in the Netherlands in the household of Archduchess Margaret of Austria and at the French court where she was a maid of honor, first to Queen Mary, then to Queen Claude of France. Patiently, with exhaustive detail and probing questions, Mr. Bernard charts a trajectory of the woman who would become queen in her own right at a tumultuous crossroads in European history.

In an early chapter titled Who was Anne Boleyn? Mr. Bernard writes, Anne Boleyn is often presented as a 'self-made' woman rising from lowly origins to the top before her dramatic fall. But that is nonsense. Anne was not 'a poor knight's daughter' as one Nicholas Delanoy allegedly said to a skinner of St. Omer Calais. Such talk was and is highly misleading. Anne was born into the English social and political elite. Her father was Thomas Boleyn, who as Anne was growing up was an increasingly prominent courtier-administrator at the court and in the government of Henry VIII.

She was born in the early 1500s, most likely 1501, and she spent the most formative years of her adolescence at the French court. As Mr. Bernard sums up this period of her life: In the early and mid-1520s, then, Anne Boleyn .. had been talked of as a wife for James Butler, and had very likely been pursued by Henry Percy and Thomas Wyatt, but had not yet made a marriage Once again the historian might envy the historical novelist who can present Anne unperturbed and liberated or as desperate and unhappy. No surviving sources can help us.

Yes, that pesky no surviving sources caveat has given us the popular, if factually challenged television series The Tudors and countless other books and films that leave conflicting impressions of the doomed Anne. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Another View of Anne Boleyn
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.