Anne Boleyn: Fatal Attractions

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Overview

In this groundbreaking new biography, G. W. Bernard offers a fresh portrait of one of England’s most captivating queens. Through a wide-ranging forensic examination of sixteenth-century sources, Bernard reconsiders Boleyn’s girlhood, her experience at the French court, the nature of her relationship with Henry, and the authenticity of her evangelical sympathies.

He depicts Anne Boleyn as a captivating, intelligent, and highly sexual woman whose attractions Henry resisted for years until marriage could ensure legitimacy for their offspring. He shows that it was Henry, not Anne, who developed the ideas that led to the break with Rome. And, most radically, he argues that the allegations of adultery that led to Anne’s execution in the Tower could be close to the truth.

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Editorial Reviews

The Washington Times

". . . the book is a useful resource and an eloquent assessment of the times."--Carol Herman, The Washington Times

— Carol Herman

The Spectator

''Bernard has worked his fingers deep into the greasy corners of the sources, like a man picking a chicken carcass for one last oyster of meat. And this book is pleasantly written … certainly an attention grabber.'' — Dan Jones, The Spectator

— Dan Jones

Literary Review

''Bernard is an outstandingly diligent and resourceful archival historian ... He is also by instinct a histroiographical street fighter, refusing to take on trust the findings of other scholars, even, or perhaps especially, when they are the stuff of broad historical consensus ... To call Bernard''s book a revisionist biogrpahy would be something of an understatement. It sets out to turn completely on its head ''the traditional view of Anne.'''' - Peter Marshall, Literary Review

— Peter Marshall

The Herald

''His [Bernard''s] path, and it''s a noble one, is to do painstaking research, consider feasible alternatives, and put cats among the historiographical pigeons … Berbnard''s brave book adds new twists to the mystery.'' - Jonathan Wright, The Herald

— Jonathan Wright

Paul Hammer
"This bold new study of Anne Boleyn is provocative, but it is also shrewd and thoughtful and eminently readable. Bernard's book will certainly make readers think again about what we really know about Henry VIII's most controversial wife—and what we have merely become accustomed to believe we know about her."—Paul Hammer, University of Colorado at Boulder
The Washington Times - Carol Herman
". . . the book is a useful resource and an eloquent assessment of the times."—Carol Herman, The Washington Times
The Spectator - Dan Jones
'Bernard has worked his fingers deep into the greasy corners of the sources, like a man picking a chicken carcass for one last oyster of meat. And this book is pleasantly written … certainly an attention grabber.' — Dan Jones, The Spectator
Literary Review - Peter Marshall
'Bernard is an outstandingly diligent and resourceful archival historian ... He is also by instinct a histroiographical street fighter, refusing to take on trust the findings of other scholars, even, or perhaps especially, when they are the stuff of broad historical consensus ... To call Bernard's book a revisionist biogrpahy would be something of an understatement. It sets out to turn completely on its head 'the traditional view of Anne.' - Peter Marshall, Literary Review
The Herald - Jonathan Wright
'His [Bernard's] path, and it's a noble one, is to do painstaking research, consider feasible alternatives, and put cats among the historiographical pigeons … Berbnard's brave book adds new twists to the mystery.' - Jonathan Wright, The Herald
The Catholic Historical Review - Richard Rex
"[Bernard's] book is an extraordinarily successful demonstration of how much less we know of Anne than we had thought. A shrewd critical eye is turned on the circumstances and motives of those who created the historical record on which our limited knowledge depends; and an even sharper eye distinguishes between evidence and interpretation or opinion."—Richard Rex, The Catholic Historical Review
Library Journal
Anne Boleyn's sex life forms the basis of a new biographical snapshot by scholar Bernard (early modern history, Univ. of Southampton; The King's Reformation). In this brief, gossipy tome, Bernard digs into the historical record to present an alternative view of the short but tumultuous life of Henry VIII's second and most famous wife. He gives Boleyn less credit for having major influence on the religious and political upheaval of Tudor England and more for being a sexually confident and provocative woman entangled in a soap opera life that found her winning a hard-fought battle to become queen of England, only to find herself sentenced to death on charges of adultery a few years later. While definitive source material is thin, Bernard has mined it for every clue to produce this unusual melding of scholarship and what is essentially 500-year-old celebrity gossip. VERDICT The exploits of British royals remain popular, and Anne Boleyn's story is among the juiciest. This book will intrigue an avid crowd.—Elizabeth Goldman, Kingston Frontenac P.L., Ont.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300162455
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 5/25/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 977,321
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

G. W. Bernard is professor of early modern history at the University of Southampton and editor of the English Historical Review. He is the author of The King's Reformation: Henry VIII and the Remaking of the English Church. He lives in Southampton, UK.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Preface

Acknowledgements

1 'These bloody days have broken my heart': the fall of Anne Boleyn 1

2 Who was Anne Boleyn? 4

3 'Whose pretty dukkys I trust shortly to kiss': Henry VIII's infatuation with Anne 19

4 The King's Great Matter': Henry's divorce and Anne 37

5 The most happy': King Henry and Queen Anne 72

6 She 'wore yellow for the mourning': Anne against Catherine 79

7 'I have done many good deeds in my life': Anne Boleyn's religion 92

8 Anne's miscarriage 125

9 Conspiracy? 135

10 'A much higher fault': the countess of Worcester's charge against Anne 151

11 'You would look to have me': Anne's lovers? 161

12 'Incontinent living so rank and common': was Anne guilty? 183

Epilogue 193

Appendix: the portraits of Anne Boleyn 196

Notes 201

Bibliography 223

Index 230

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 17, 2010

    Pure Garbage

    PURE GARBAGE....all based on lies, conjecture and falsehoods.....don't waste your time or money

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2012

    Sucks

    Condusing,sexist,biased and disappointing
    Makes "The Other Boleyn Girl" look like a perfect historical novel

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 11, 2010

    not what I expected

    THE book when I ordered it seemed to be a novel according to the writeup but turned out to be a textbook--- Very disappointed that it should be so boring-----seemed to be what could have happened, who was born first, who might have gone somewhere or have done something. Couldn't read pass page 45---good try but nothing makes sense just guessing who what and why--book would be good for school but doesn't make for easy reading.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2011

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    Posted September 26, 2010

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    Posted July 10, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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