Meticulously detailed yet highly readable. Alison Weir's account of the power struggle that was the real basis of Anne Boleyn's downfall concludes that even before her trial her fate as sealed. Weir demonstrates that Anne was in many ways her own worst enemy, and gives us a riveting account of her final days, in the Tower and on the scaffold. This book certainly changed my perceptions of Jane Seymour's character-far from passive player in these events. In response to an earlier comment-I can find no mention in this book of the supposed "sixth finger", only two brief mentions of Anne having a double fingernail. I highly recommend this book, as well as Weir's "Life of Elizabeth I" and "Children of Henry VIII" to anyone interested in the lives of the Tudors.
Weir has already written a half dozen books on the Tudors,so I wasn't sure what she would have to add here. I was pleasantly surprised; the consummate scholar, Weir has continued to do primary document research and has modified some of her theories about the relationship between Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII. Weir hesitates over the key question: did Henry believe Anne guilty of adultery, or did he knowingly and intentionally send his innocent wife and 5 subjects to the block for political purposes? Weir concludes that while Anne probably suffered from a "miscarriage of justice", Henry likely believed the charges, although they certainly proved marvelously convenient. This may be slow going for those not familiar with the story; her _The Six Wives of Henry VIII_ is a better introduction. Includes a fun chapter on Anne Boleyn ghost stories and legends.
After some very meticulous research, Alison Weir has delivered a well balanced portrayal of the first English queen who was beheaded. She brings to light first person accounts of an event that was so shocking for the time period that there was no precedent for it. And her explanations for why Anne's situation became so dire so quickly lend a clarity that brings the reader as close to the truth as we can get.
This is the second time I tried to read this. Alison Weir has a horrible time with facts and fiction. I tried to push forward, but I couldn't get over the fact that she kept saying that Anne had a sixth finger, which has never been proven. It just freaking nagged at me. I only trust David Starkey, Alison Weir fictional work is what she should stick to.
Read through page 206, then 70 pgs. of the Ives bio, then completed this. Very Scholarly but lucid and readable.
Wonderful book, full of details. love it!
Alison is such a great author.
Alison Weir has written much better books. This one contains no new material and is occasionally sloppily written. There are better biographies of this queen.
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