Claimed to be the best bio on Anne Boleyn to date, and I agree I think I like Anne best portrayed as she really was, not based upon all the myths and, let s face it, downright lies that surrounded her rise and ultimate destruction.
Everything is well researched and the supporting evidence is facinating, ranging from letters, artwork and the royal accounts, to songs and poetry Ives gives an amazing insight into life as it was in the Tudor Court and the major personalities within it Henry VIII, the Boleyns, Cromwell, Wyatt, Wolsey, Chapuys, Suffolk, Norfolk cIf you are interested in the Tudors and appreciate historical accuracy, then I highly recommend this book.
I LOVED IT Ives feels like the best of both worlds his credentials as a legal historian make him detailed an analytical enough that he s a authoritative source on Anne Boleyn, while his well supported admiration for her makes the sometimes dry, dense writing style worth it for anyone accustomed to popular historians like Alison Weir and Joanna Denny Considering the lack of solid historical documents or artifacts from Anne herself even trying to establish her birth year causes controversy , Ives does a brilliant job of presenting historical evidence and then offering well informed, interesting speculations without seeming biased He also imparts a thorough understanding of politics and social life in the Tudor era without you feeling as if he s side tracking himself And as someone who s had a life long fascination of Anne Boleyn, there s something extremely wonderful about a historian like Ives who admired Anne enough to make her the sole subject of an authoritative biography.
This was a wonderful and very complete biography of this amazing woman.
Exceptionally well researched, but written in dry style with an overwhelming amount of detail Excellent political analysis of her rise and fall, but very little about her personality motives essence come through I could have done with a little less of Thomas Wyatt s tedious verse too It s quite a feat to make Anne Boleyn boring, yet Ives manages to do so here I had to push myself to finish it.
As far as I am concerned this book is THE last word on Anne Boleyn s story I read Ives first edition 20 years ago and even though I have read other author s takes on Anne, I always return to this one Ives revised this edition after Henry s Inventory was published so there is detail and if you are not into detail you may find its a bit dry in places but honestly I love the details Anne was very aware of her Image but this was an essential part of a person s power in court Back in those days there weren t political parties but there were most certainly factions Anne enjoyed gambling and this was her biggest gamble Unfortunately for her, she ended up folding Ives has a knack of portraying Anne in human terms, she isn t a saint nor is she sinner She is flawed and ambitious but she is not an evil monster Ives puts out the facts without judgments either way.
just simple deductions about what was probable He does address Retha Warnicke s claims of the deformed foetus, witchcraft the homosexuality of George Boleyn very ably in this revised edition I highly recommend this book to all you real tudorphiles as a MUST read.
To us she appears inconsistent religious yet aggressive, calculating yet emotional, with the light touch of the court yet the strong grip of a politician but is this what she was, or merely what we strain to see through the opacity of the evidence We shall never really know Known as the Anne Boleyn Bible, The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn is the most detailed and well researched book about Anne out there Eric Ives knows what he s talking about, and has the credentials to back it up He really addresses everything you could ever think of, and addresses multiple theories while backing up his claims with historical evidence the last 100 pages of this book are literally citing sources Definitely not for the faint of heart, Ives gets into and dissects everything which might scare off the mainstream casual history fans there are block quotes abound If you are brave enough to take the jump and are interested in Anne Boleyn, it is totally worth it This book is the utmost authority on her, and paints the most clear picture we will probably ever have.
This is the bible of Anne Boleyn It is the first book I ever read completely dedicated to Anne and even today it is the first book that I refer back to when I am researching or learning about Anne My poor copy is dog eared and tattered but to me that only gives it character and life If you want to know about Anne Boleyn, want to learn who the woman was who rose to be the jewel in Henry VIII s eye and then fell shattering into history then this is the book to read I would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about Anne Boleyn It is the go to book it is the bible of Anne Boleyn There is so much detail within these pages Ives starts off at Anne s beginnings what little we know about her first years of life He talks about her family, where she was raised, and her family s role at court etc He moves onto her time spent in Europe and at France and how that period of her life would forever influence not only her sense of dress, but her style, her views on music, dancing, literature, social interactions and use of sexuality.
Ives discusses Anne s first taste of love with Thomas Percy, how her heart was broken and also the attraction that Thomas Wyatt the famous poet had towards Anne He moves on to talk about how Henry VIII s eye turned from Mary Boleyn to Anne Boleyn and how he started to court Anne Ives goes into great detail about the long years now known as The Great Matter in which Henry fought with Rome about his divorce and the beginnings of the Reformation Ives also discusses Anne s personal religion and her views and beliefs There is a lot within these pages about Anne and Henry s marriage and how it started off with great love, passion and shared interest and slowly turned sour with Henry wanting nothing less than Anne s death The anti Boleyn faction is spoken about in detail and how, Cromwell and these men within the faction worked together to bring down Anne Boleyn.
And of course, Ives details the Anne s trial and the trail of her fellow accused, her tragic last days and then her final, gut wrenching moments He talks about Anne s burial place and her legacy and her beloved daughter Elizabeth I My favourite and most touching line from the book is To Christ I commend my Soul And while her lips were still moving, it was suddenly over I challenge anyone who is interested in Tudor history not to feel some emotion over Ives writing I believe within the pages of this book Ives captures the image of who Anne Boleyn was The spirited, passionate, vivacious, hot tempered, determined and sometimes cruel, but always bold, Anne Boleyn If you want to know about Anne Boleyn, then this is the book to buy She has been a remarkable woman She would remain a remarkable woman even in a century which produced many of great note There were few others who rose from such beginnings to a crown, and none contributed to a revolution as far reaching as the English Reformation To use a description no longer in fashion, Anne Boleyn was one of the maters of history Yet historians see through a glass darkly they know in part and they pronounce in part What Anne really was, as distinct from what Anne did, comes over very much less clearly To us she appears inconsistent religious yet aggressive, calculating yet emotional, with the light touch of the courtier yet the strong grip of the politician but is this what she was, or merely what we strain to see through the opacity of the evidence As for her inner life, short of miraculous chase of new material, we shall never really know Yet what does come to us across the centuries is the impression of a person who is strangely appealing to the early twenty first century A woman in her own right taken on her own tears in a man s world a woman who mobilized her education, her style and her presence to outweigh the disadvantages of her sex of only moderate good looks, but taking a court and a king by storm Perhaps, in the end, it is Thomas Cromwell s assessment that comes nearest intelligence, spirit and courage Ives2005, p 359.
This is the Anne Boleyn I have come to know, admire and love.