The Tragic Story of Henry VIII's most notorious wife
- Norah Lofts
15th May 2012
The tragic story of Henry VIII's most notorious wife.
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Ever since she first appeared in the Tudor court, Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's second queen, has been a mystery and a source of controversy. Even her birth is shrouded in obscurity; both year and place are the subject of debate. Was she beautiful, as those who fell under her spell believed, or was she a rather plain girl blessed with striking eyes and a wealth of black hair? More mysterious still is the nature of her role in one of the most turbulent times in British history. Henry, who wrote her impassioned love letters and composed songs in her praise, honoured her as no woman was ever honoured before, and finally defied the Pope in order to marry her. Her enemies at the time believed she owed her success to witchcraft, and indeed she bore two 'devil's marks'. But was she, in fact, only a hapless pawn, subject to the passions of a notoriously mercurial autocrat? Why was her fall from favour so sudden and complete? Henry's love changed to a hatred so vicious that he conspired with his chief minister to have her accused of adultery with five men - one her own brother. Four of them went to the block protesting her innocence - and their own.Includes 80 Illustrations (40 in colour)
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