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The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown by…

The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown

by Claire Ridgway

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Not knowing much of the particulars of Henry VIII and his six wives, I found this book to be a delightful introduction to the fall of Henry's second wife, Anne Boleyn. The author does a good job of mixing events of the days leading to the queen's execution with biographies of the players and other background material. The result is a book of interest to both experts as well as beginners like me.

Two observations. First, the author is quite outspoken about what she thinks are the causes and motivations of what happened. Although in the introduction she promised to only mention her opinions, in fact she promotes them quite strongly. Second, it has apparently been proposed that some people involved in the story were gay. The author dismisses these suggestions in a quite perfunctory manner. In discussing the queen's brother, for example, she says, "It is unlikely that a zealous evangelical would have put his life and his mortal soul in peril by committing 'buggery'," thereby ignoring the rash of congressmen and fundamentalist preachers caught straying in recent years and demonstrating the ease some have separating their public persona from their private behavior. ( )
  jimcintosh | May 11, 2016 |
Ridgway carefully sifts the evidence surrounding Anne Boleyn's fall from the King's favor, her trial, and execution. I've read my fair share of Tudor history, but Ridgway still made several points new to me. For instance, although I knew the space of time between accusing Anne of adultery and her execution was short (less than a month!), I never realized that only days before the accusations Henry was still referring to Anne as his queen in writing and pushing for foreign courts to recognize her. And although I knew Cromwell had been instrumental in bringing accusations against Anne, I hadn't realized that they had differed not just over foreign policy and her destruction of his former master Wolsey, but also over the profits from the dissolution of the monarchies. (Cromwell wanted the money for the crown, while Anne argued that it should go toward poor relief.) Plus, I hadn't realized that the tower Anne lived in between being accused and being executed had been torn down in the 18th century. So much for making a pilgrimage to her former rooms!

All in all, a well organized piece of history. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
I enjoyed this book and it was informative but didn't like it quite as much as the other. Claire is a great author and I love all of her work. ( )
  Desilu42 | Aug 1, 2013 |
I love reading about the Tudor times! ( )
  Steph2472 | Apr 4, 2013 |
This was an interesting book. This book discusses the execution of Anne Boleyn. It discusses events that happened before her execution, the key players in her trial and execution, discusses who might have been behind it all, and many other topics. It is clear that Claire Ridgway is very passionate about what happened to Anne Boleyn and the people relevant to the trial and execution. Ridgway shows this passion by supplying readers with a well researched book. I do have to agree with another reviewer that at points Ridgway's language wasn't exactly professional (i.e. "my opinion" "I think"). I would definitely recommend this book to those interested in learning more about Anne Boleyn. ( )
  dpappas | May 25, 2012 |
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For Tim, Christian, Verity and Joel, always xx

In memory of Queen Anne Boleyn, George Boleyn, Sir Henry Norris, Sir Francis Weston, Sir William Brereton and Mark Smeaton

These bloody days have broken my heart
First words
Dressed in an ermine-trimmed, grey damask robe, with an English style gable hood and a crimson kirtle underneath, the slight, dark-haired woman took her final walk. (Preface)
The fall of the Boleyns and the executions of Anne, George and members of the Boleyn faction cannot be put down to one single factor; the bloody events of 1536 can only be examined properly by looking at their context. (Introduction)
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During the spring of 1536 in Tudor England, events conspire to bring down Anne Boleyn, the Queen of England. The coup against the Queen results in the brutal executions of six innocent people - Anne Boleyn herself, her brother, and four courtiers - and the rise of a new Queen.

Drawing on sixteenth century letters, eye witness accounts and chronicles, Claire Ridgway leads the reader through the sequence of chilling events one day at a time, telling the true story of Anne Boleyn's fall. The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown is presented in a diary format, allowing readers to dip in, look up a particular date, or read from start to finish. Special features include mini biographies of those involved, a timeline of events and full referencing.

* Why was Anne Boleyn executed?

* Who was responsible for Anne Boleyn's fall?

* Was Anne Boleyn's execution a foregone conclusion and was she framed?

Claire Ridgway, creator of The Anne Boleyn Files website and best-selling author of The Anne Boleyn Collection, continues her mission to share the real truth about Anne Boleyn.

The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown is a guide to the chain of events leading up to Anne Boleyn's execution on the 19th May 1536. I chose a diary format so that the information was easily digestible and so that readers can dip into it and find out what happened on a specific date, or read in its entirety to see the tragic events unfold. I include full references and a bibliography (on the book website for the Kindle version) so that readers can also do their own research or check facts.
[retrieved from Amazon, 5/22/12]
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