Customer Reviews for

The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

16 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

Great History, Well researched

I always eagerly await the release of any book written by Alison Weir - both her fictional works as well as her historical, always well researched, books never fail to please. I am happy to be able to say that "The Lady In The Tower" has been no exception! I began to re...
I always eagerly await the release of any book written by Alison Weir - both her fictional works as well as her historical, always well researched, books never fail to please. I am happy to be able to say that "The Lady In The Tower" has been no exception! I began to read it as soon as I got my hands on it and enjoyed this book all of the way through.

I have long believed that Henry VIII was a narcissistic megalomaniac - especially in the way that he treated Anne Boleyn. Despite whatever faults Anne may have had, Henry quite literally,changed the course of history in order to make Anne his Queen. In this very well researched book, Ms. Weir postulates that it was, in fact, Thomas Cromwell, not King Henry himself, who was behind the allegations made against Anne that resulted in her death. This books covers a very small window in time - 1536- and it has been Ms. Weir's task to sift through voluminous, and sometimes very conflicting, historical accounts, reports & letters to formulate her opinion that Thomas Cromwell was the cause of Anne's meteoric fall from Henry's good graces. In referencing Anne Boleyn's inability to carry a second child, the longed for son & heir, to full term, Ms. Weir postulates a very likely theory that Anne's pregnancies were complicated by the RH negative antibody. There would have been no treatment let alone understanding for this sort of complication at this time and the theory goes a long way as an explanation for the still born son who, in effect, sealed Anne's fate.

Ms. Wier has managed to make what really amounts to 19 days - from sham trial to execution - an engrossing read that will appeal to history lovers in general and, most especially, to those of us of thrive on Tudor and Elizabethan history. The wait for this book was worth it. I do highly recommend this book!

posted by ZQuilts on November 27, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

Don't waste your money!

This book was so poorly written that I was actually angry at myself for having spent the money on it. It was redundant (repeating OVER and OVER that she had to fight for her spot because she had stolen it from the beloved first wife) and there was no new information in...
This book was so poorly written that I was actually angry at myself for having spent the money on it. It was redundant (repeating OVER and OVER that she had to fight for her spot because she had stolen it from the beloved first wife) and there was no new information in this book that hadn't been released in every other book about her.

I have never been dismayed at the amount I pay for a book because I always think that anytime spent reading is worth whatever the book cost, but this book was a first for me. It was a stretch in cost for me as it was (over $20 WITH my Barnes and Noble discounts) and so that may have been a contributing factor as well.

Don't waste your money on this book. I didn't make it past the third chapter in it because it had said the same things over and over to the point that I was numb and no longer reading, but skipping pages and pages of writing to get to something of substance! I know that now I sound redundant in writing this, but I cannot stress how poorly written and researched this book was. It was like reading a high school students research paper when they are just trying to finish the required number of pages.

posted by KathrynTX on March 22, 2010

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  • Posted November 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great History, Well researched

    I always eagerly await the release of any book written by Alison Weir - both her fictional works as well as her historical, always well researched, books never fail to please. I am happy to be able to say that "The Lady In The Tower" has been no exception! I began to read it as soon as I got my hands on it and enjoyed this book all of the way through.

    I have long believed that Henry VIII was a narcissistic megalomaniac - especially in the way that he treated Anne Boleyn. Despite whatever faults Anne may have had, Henry quite literally,changed the course of history in order to make Anne his Queen. In this very well researched book, Ms. Weir postulates that it was, in fact, Thomas Cromwell, not King Henry himself, who was behind the allegations made against Anne that resulted in her death. This books covers a very small window in time - 1536- and it has been Ms. Weir's task to sift through voluminous, and sometimes very conflicting, historical accounts, reports & letters to formulate her opinion that Thomas Cromwell was the cause of Anne's meteoric fall from Henry's good graces. In referencing Anne Boleyn's inability to carry a second child, the longed for son & heir, to full term, Ms. Weir postulates a very likely theory that Anne's pregnancies were complicated by the RH negative antibody. There would have been no treatment let alone understanding for this sort of complication at this time and the theory goes a long way as an explanation for the still born son who, in effect, sealed Anne's fate.

    Ms. Wier has managed to make what really amounts to 19 days - from sham trial to execution - an engrossing read that will appeal to history lovers in general and, most especially, to those of us of thrive on Tudor and Elizabethan history. The wait for this book was worth it. I do highly recommend this book!

    16 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This is a super biography

    Historian Alison Weir takes readers on a deep look at the last days of Anne Boleyn and what led to her execution. Interestingly, the author admits her research changed several of her notions and nukes popular beliefs. The key change that Ms. Weir claims is that she exonerates King Henry VIII of directing his principal adviser Thomas Cromwell to find seditious excuses to rid himself of his second queen so that he can remarry a woman who will give him a male heir. Instead, the author makes a powerful case that Cromwell realizes his boss' spouse was a politically shrewd rival unlike her naïve predecessor Katherine of Aragon so with allies he trumped up false charges of treason and adultery with five men including incest. In other words the monarch's advisor conducted a blood of one velvet coup.

    This is a super biography that is rich with supporting data yet is easy to read and follow the detailed support and conclusions drawn by Alison Weir; who makes a strong case that Anne declaring her innocence all the way to the gallows was telling the truth. Other related "truisms" are also shredded, but it is the historian's powerful argument of Anne Boleyn's innocence, Thomas Crowell's diabolically successful plotting, and King Henry's being bamboozled that make for a great look at who did what leading to the second wife's execution.

    Harriet Klausner

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2010

    Detailed information not found ANYWHERE else! A great read!

    WOW! I loved this book....the information is fresh, even after 500 years! The author really digs in deep in the details....you can really invision the tower, the trial...everything. The most shocking part, of course, is that no other author (that I know of) that has written on the subject of Queen Anne's death, has actually described in detail what happens during a decapation...what the person experiences. I had never read anything like that....and the compassion I felt for her, in that moment of no return, was heartbreaking. The hardest part of the book, what I found most difficult, was the authors use of exact quote's....the way people spoke 500 years ago is much different than today, so, at times, I would have liked her to translate the meaning so that the modern reader can understand the context better. However, it is also because of her use of direct quotes, that the author is even more creditable.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2012

    Great book!

    I really enjoyed this account of Anne's final months. Weir takes you through all of the players' involvement in Anne's downfall, including historical documents to support her theories. She proceeds to take you through the mock trial of the accused and supports the conclusion that the trial was nothing but a farce to clear the way for the Seymours. An interesting fact that Weir points out to support the circus was that Henry had sent for the French swordsman, her executioner before the trial had ever even started. Weir proceeds to conclude the volume by showing the aftermath of the scandal, including its inevitable impact on her young daughter, the future Queen Elizabeth I. An excellent book for any Tudor buff.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    She lost her head but issued a Queen

    Allison Weir is THE living expert in Tudor history. She takes on the story of a very complex and controversial figure with gusto. Ann, the second of Henry's wives, is a most complex woman. She is rude and ruthless, virturous and tender, ruthless and loving-a complex person. Weir portrays her as a strong woman who gets caught up in intrigue and she is ultimately sacrificed to make way for the next wife. But, in fact the story is much more intriguing and involved. Weir paints a much more compelling series of events that took hold of Ann's life and lets you follow the story and understand that her death was about much more than not providing Henry with a male heir.
    Weirs writing is detailed, clear, concise and very understandable. She makes history alive and the people she describes have both great beauty and unsightly warts. That is, the characters are real.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    Alison Weir never disappoints!

    Great read and insights into this Tudor story! Alison Weir has such a talent at research and conveying her findings in a readable way! If you are interested in Anne Boleyn, you must read this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    One of Alison Weir's BEST

    WOW. Well-researched with perspectives on multiple opinions; superb writing skills with chapters organized to perfection. Colored images & portraits included. To find this book uninteresting you'd have to have no imagination. Weir brings to life a mysterious part of history that many people, even some 400 years later, are still intrigued with. The book covers detailed information not only on Anne's fall, but also the men accused with her, as well as a chapter dedicated to the after-effects. Anne Boleyn's story is ever-changing as new documents are unearthed, and to have an up-to-date work like this is stupendous. I'm a religion/history major obsessed with the Tudor era & own MANY books on the subject, and believe me, Weir's works are graciously satisfying to a vivacious passion like mine. I'd love to go on about it, but the other reviews here seem to cover everything. You honestly can't find anything better than Alison Weir.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2011

    Loved it!

    As usual, alison Weir does a fantastic job making the story come to life :)))

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Anne Boleyn is intriguing

    I absolutely adore the reign & wives of Henry VIII. Most interesting of all the wives is Anne Boleyn. She was a strong, ambitious, intelligent, willful woman in a time when such traits were not pleasing for a lady. She refused to be a pawn and became a player in a most dangerous game. She would not settle for anything less than the title of "Queen of England". This book helped me to get to know this woman who was the love of one the most scandalous kings in history in a way I never had before. Henry VIII adored her and you will too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Read

    Im almost done with this book and i must say i love it i enjoy reading it. Great read on Anne Boleyn.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A must have for Tudor history buffs

    Having read all of Ms Weirs books as well as those of other historical fiction authors, this book was the frosting on the cake as regards Anne Boleyn. This details those involved in Henry's court during her reign and the part they played in her arrest. It favors no one but provides a real taste of the law in those days and moral attitudes of the time-all of which contributed to her fall. Anne and those accused with her went to a horrible and needless death. Ms Weirs does a great job of explaining why. She gives indepth descriptions of all the events and lets you know what happened to the descendents of those executed. Even medical descriptions of decapitation, which although graphic, brings the horror of the times to life. Not the fast read of fiction but very hard to put down the closer you get to the scaffold and after your eyes are cast away. Highly recommended!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Loved it!

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Posted May 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Exceptional!

    Very well written. I'm a big fan of Alison Weir and this book was another excellent reading experience from this author.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 16, 2011

    Wonderfully Insightful!

    I became interested in the Tudor period after watching "The Tudors" on Showtime. I decided to explore the Tudor world and began with this book. The other reviews are right - Alison Weir is great at giving a riveting historical account of Anne Boleyn. I'm not typically interested in reading historical non-fiction, but I found that if it's a topic you're interested in, combined with a great writer, you can have a great time reading about the past!! Very accessible and keeps you interested!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    ALISON WEIR

    I LOVED IT!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Superb writing

    For my first book by Alison Weir I think I made a pretty good choice. There seems to be quite a few in the house to try. From here I'm researching what is available. What a story. Anne Boleyn is an inseparable character in British history. In just two words consider "her daughter." This book is one of those I returned to for three to four times a day. Unless you are already well informed regarding the subject once you begin reading "The Lady in the Tower" you know you are going to finish it without periods of lapse. There is no need for me to review this story of Anne Boleyn, you will learn enough about her yourself when you get started here. I want to just say that this author does some pretty good work.

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    Posted February 18, 2011

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    Posted May 20, 2010

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    Posted November 28, 2010

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    Posted March 29, 2011

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