Life and Death of Anne Boleyn: The Most Happy / Edition 2

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This definitive biography of Anne Boleyn establishes her as a figure of considerable importance and influence in her own right.

  • A full biography of Anne Boleyn, based on the latest scholarly research.
  • Focusses on Anne’s life and legacy and establishes Anne as a figure of considerable importance and influence in her own right.
  • Adulteress or innocent victim? Looks afresh at the issues at the heart of Anne's downfall.
  • Pays attention to her importance as a patron of the arts, particularly in relation to Hans Holbein.
  • Presents evidence about Anne’s spirituality and her interest in the intellectual debates of the period.
  • Takes account of significant advances in knowledge in recent years.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[Ives is] splendidly successful... Ives's Boleyn, a portrait at all points supported by the evidence he gives, is clever, independent-minded and politically astute. Ives has gone as far as anyone can... in solving the enigma of Boleyn in a narrative at once profoundly researched and lively." Antonia Fraser, The Sunday Times

"Eric Ives has made it unnecessary for anyone else to even make the attempt [to write a biography of Anne Boleyn]. The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn is a stunning portrait of the most controversial woman ever to have been queen consort of England." The Independent on Sunday

"Eric Ives, a scholar utterly at home in early Tudor politics, has been writing about the Boleyns for more than two decades. His book represents a triumphant culmination of all that research, presented with clarity, wit and human sympathy." Diarmaid MacCulloch, The Telegraph

"Ives has written an excellent book on Anne Boleyn. Its great strength is its sophisticated understanding of aristocratic women's involvement in 16th-century politics, and precisely how this worked in practice. ...Ives rises effectively to the human drama of Anne Boleyn's life and in the process illuminates both the inner workings of the Tudor court and its relationship to the larger dramas of the Reformation and European politics." Jane Stevenson, Scotland on Sunday

"The best full-length life of Anne Boleyn and a monument to investigative scholarship." David Starkey

"Magnificently researched. Eric Ives has written the finest, most accurate study of Anne Boleyn we are ever likely to possess. He leaves no stone unturned in his quest to discover the truth. Never has the historical Anne been so satisfyingly portrayed." John Guy

"What is most exciting about The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn is not just that it has confirmed and solidified Ives's earlier work and presented it in a more accessible format. (Like John Guy, Ives has discovered that the Starkey model really does work and that popularisation — 'to place among the people' — should not be a term of opprobrium.) Rather, it is the development in methodology, the indication that cultural studies and the history of the book have provided us with new ways to evaluate evidence, to interpret the past." The Spectator

"Eric Ives achieves the notable feat of combining magisterial historical authority with a gripping style, and sets the reader's mind buzzing with debate about the complex reasons behind the astounding events of Anne's life." Times Literary Supplement

"[Ives] delicately pieces together a believable identity ... [and] gives, too, a lucid and coherent exposition of the circumstances that led to Anne's death." The Guardian

"What Ives doesn't know ... about the high politics and court life of Henry VIII's England will either never be known or is not worth knowing. If there is a truth about Anne Boleyn's rise and fall, he will tell it to us." London Review of Books

"There is no questioning the impact of Professor Eric Ives on the historiography of Tudor England. There is a keen sense of the evidence, of diplomatic affairs, of the minutiae of the record and its context. The writing is fluent and well-paced, drawing the reader along." The Tyndale Society Journal

"This is a moving and compelling account by an author who is the absolute master of his subject. I read it with great excitement and admiration." Susan Brigden, Lincoln College, Oxford

"Ives demonstrates triumphantly the potential of the biographical approach in a pre-modern setting. He evinces a deep empathy for his subject without ever becoming an apologist for her, and ... he provides a narrative which is genuinely moving. He has also given us a fully rounded and persuasive account of Anne’s life as a whole, and its significance for understanding the politics and political culture of the early Tudor decades." Reviews in History

"The best book on Anne Boleyn ever written. This is a must for all lovers of Tudor history, academics and general readers alike." Alison Weir, BBC History Magazine Books of the Year

"Eric Ives has cut through the myths and misconceptions. The result surpasses all previous work.When Ives describes Anne herself. he is utterly convincing." Renaissance Quarterly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405134637
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 7/28/2005
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 288,417
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Ives is Emeritus Professor of English History at the University of Birmingham. Ives has written widely on Tudor history, the history of law, and on the development of modern higher education. In 2001 he was awarded an OBE for services to history and the University of Birmingham.

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Table of Contents


List of Illustrations.

Part I: Background and Beginnings.

1. A Courtier’s Daughter.

2. A European Education.

3. Debut at the English Court.

4. The Sources.

5. Passion and Courtly Love.

6. A Royal Suitor.

Part II: A Difficult Engagement.

7. A Marriage Arranged.

8. Anne Boleyn and the Fall of Wolsey.

9. Stalemate, 1529–1532.

10. The Turning-point, 1532–1533.

11. Wedding Nerves.

12. A Coronation and a Christening.

Part III: Anne the Queen.

13. A Royal Marriage.

14. Anne the Queen: Influence, Power and Wealth.

15. Anne Boleyn: Image.

16. Anne Boleyn: Art and Taste.

17. Anne Boleyn: Life at Court.

18. Anne Boleyn and the Advent of Reform.

19. Personal Religion.

Part IV: A Marriage Destroyed.

20. The Rival, 1535–1536.

21. The Coup, April–May 1536.

22. The Response, January–April 1536.

23. Judgment.

24. Finale.


Bibliographical Abbreviations.

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 25, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    An exhaustive (and sometimes exhausting) look at the Queen who c

    An exhaustive (and sometimes exhausting) look at the Queen who changed the course of English and world
    history.  What this book does very well is examine all the minutiae we have of the Anne Boleyn period, from
    inventories of plate and bed hangings, to portraits and jewelry. And it dissects and analyzes all the accounts we
    have of this happening and that, judging why this account based on rumor is likely to be true, and why the other
    may not.

    Where it failed for me is conveying an emotional connection to Anne Boleyn herself. It feels a bit cold, and
    detached, and parts are tedious - pages upon pages about each cup and prayer book, though if you're
    fascinated by such things, you'll be in antique heaven.

    Still, there are many, many details here I've not found in other books about Anne or this period, so it's invaluable
    as a reference. It takes the point of view that Anne's downfall was due more to Cromwell seeing her as a threat
    and taking her and her "party" out of the way, than by the King seeking to dispose of her in order to marry Jane
    Seymour (not that he wasted any time doing so). Definitely belongs on the shelf of all Tudor-philes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 11, 2009

    16th Century Drama

    This book was a complete page-turner!!!!!!!

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  • Posted July 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    simply fantastic

    thrilling, enlightening, not much more can be said about this book. It allows the reader to see more into Anne Boleyn then just the "Great W_ _ _ _" that history proclaims her to be. In this book I find her to be a feminist in an early age, a mover, shaker, passionate about her husband/king and her beliefs.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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