Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Tudors

Some of my favorite blogs are about one of my most favorite topics: The Tudors. And I'm not talking about that historically inaccurate show on Showtime. I'm talking about England's most infamous family. And the one Tudor that I am most enamored with is Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII's second wife and mother of Elizabeth I.

The only thing I love more than Tudor fact is Tudor fiction. I own seven novels on Anne Boleyn, plus every book Philippa Gregory has written on the Tudors and "The Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII" by the renowned David Starkey. I think that the reason I like them so much is they're like fiction, but it all really happened!

The first time I read about the Tudors was in sixth grade when I borrowed "Doomed Queen Anne" by Carolyn Meyer from the library. After reading it I thought it was the most amazing story until one day I found out it all happened.

Anne Boleyn, a nothing in the court of England, was the sister of Mary Boleyn, who was the mistress of King Henry VIII until he tired of her. The king was famous for having many mistresses while still married to Queen Katherine. While the king was so worried about not having a son (all he had was princess Mary), Anne Boleyn beguiled the king and held his affection for six years while he worked out his divorce and separating from the pope to lead his own church, even without being his mistress.

Unfortunately, the honeymoon ended soon after they got married, for Anne had a daughter Elizabeth (who we all know now was one of the greatest monarchs of England). She had three miscarriages after her and the marriage only lasted three years. The king was ready to get rid of Anne, so he had someone devise a plot. Anne was accused of having carnal knowledge of six men, including her brother, which is treason. She was arrested and beheaded. The king went on to have four more wives after her.

I still can't put my finger on why Anne Boleyn intrigues me so, but I think she was a strong woman, who wasn't afraid to risk anything to be powerful and spoke her mind. She was very intelligent and got an education most women didn't get back then. Unfortunately a strong-willed woman is what the king wanted in a mistress, not a wife, and Anne wasn't able to have children after her Elizabeth.