Anne Boleyn: Henry VIIIs Obsession
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Firstly, Mary Boleyn has encounters with Francis, where she declares the French king forced himself upon her during the farewell banquet for Mary Tudor. Mary is naturally so distressed, she begs to go home, instead of going to her posting with Anne at the French courts, her honour completely ruined.
And then, when back in England, Mary has caught the attention of Henry VIII, he goes ahead and rapes her too, although she begins to develop fondness for Henry and they have a short lived and rarely described affair. Henry apparently sees this as charming, that this rando girl just suggests the king is capable of committing such a crime. And then we get to the be all and end all of doozy lines. I mean come on. But seriously, I was so mad I wanted to throw the book across the room.
But, what these novels do is skims the surface. Katherine of Aragon is being stubborn?
Annoyance and frustration. Henry VIII takes some mistresses? Loses a two babies? Can I catch a break pls. About the be beheaded? Oh cool, great. Bit sad. Like, okay? It was too crowded in my head to think about novels, tv shows and films, when I had my academic hat on.
- Anne Boleyn: Henry VIII's Obsession by Elizabeth Norton (Paperback, ) for sale online | eBay;
- Anne Boleyn: Henry VIII's Obsession by Elizabeth Norton (Paperback, 2009).
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And doing this project, researching and reading, has definitely made me feel much more comfortable wearing both hats, and loving historical fiction again for the sake of it. And, of course, super happy that the Tudors are always and forever, popular. Next up, Jane Seymour, the least interesting queen to me. Probs not. Father Davy is livid. She knew how deeply it gnawed at him, being the youngest of three sons. There had been other sons too, but they slept in St. Anne had never gotten used to the appalling sight of her tiny dead siblings lying in their cradles, all decked out in macabre finery, to receive the final prayers and farewells of their family.
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Lady Boleyn doted on George, her youngest, more than she did on Thomas and Henry. Unlike them, he must make his own way in the world. Father reminded him of it often. Because she did not have looks and he was not the heir, they had pulled together since they were very little.
Some took them for twins. Their tutor was a rotund little man with a merry face and cheeks rosy as apples. It will improve her mind. Anne followed them into the private parlor used by the family in the evenings, and sat down at the oak table. She knew she was fortunate, being a girl, to receive a good education.
Anne struggled with French, despite excelling at everything else. Mary was good at French, but dismal in all other respects. Anne could compose passable poetry and songs, thanks to Father Davy being a famous composer of church music and a gifted teacher. Mary battled, murdering her lute; it did not help that she was tone deaf.
Anne Boleyn: Henry VIIIs Obsession by Elizabeth Norton 9781848685147
Anne danced gracefully; Mary galumphed about the floor. Most men would not see beyond her beauty and the dowry Father could give her. Thus it did not matter that, when the time for lessons arrived, she was rarely to be found. She enjoyed learning for its own sake, and reveled in the praise Father Davy lavished on her.
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From the kitchens nearby they could hear a great clatter and commotion. There would be a feast tonight, Anne thought happily. The best silver was set out on the high table above the great gilt salt, with polished pewter on the lower trestles set at right angles to it. Banks of greenery trailed along the center of the boards, interspersed with candles and ewers of wine.
Father liked to impress his neighbors with his wealth. Normally the family dined in the parlor, seated at the long polished table. It was a cozy room, its walls adorned with wainscot of oak and painted friezes, and hung with another of the costly tapestries of which Father was inordinately proud. But that was all familiar and commonplace; feasting in the great hall was an occasion, and Anne was impatient for it to begin.
Father was home, and she had been summoned to see him in his study before dinner. There he sat, in his high carved chair, nodding as she made her curtsey: the man who had dominated her life for as long as she could remember, whose lightest word was law to his family and servants, and to whom Anne and her brothers and sister had been brought up to render unconditional obedience. When she and Mary married, their husbands would take over his role. It had been drummed into them both that women were weak creatures and should always be subject to the wise dominion of men. When Sir Thomas Boleyn was at home, the household revolved around him, but that was a rare occurrence.
I enjoy great influence. Anne understood that there were many people who wanted Sir Thomas Boleyn to ask the King for favors, and that they were ready to pay him a lot of money to do that. It is a signal favor, much sought after. Besides, I have other plans for Mary. And the Regent specially asked for you.
That was months away. Your mother will know what is required. There is no finer place, for it offers many opportunities for a young girl of good birth, and is universally well regarded. You will be well placed to attract a marriage that will advance the interests of our family. I hope you appreciate your good fortune.