Friday, September 7, 2012

Anne Boleyn

When I came across this on Tumblr. It brought up all the controversial feelings that I have about Anne Boleyn. The person who I saw post this strongly disagreed with what the picture said. It was interesting to see what she said. I have decided to do a post to vent all of the conflicting feelings, thoughts, and ideas that come up when Anne Boleyn's name in mentioned.

This could get a little crazy so please bear with me as I muddle my way through this.

I do agree with the picture that I am really sick of hearing how good and wonderful Anne Boleyn was. I sometimes feel that some people forget the fact that Henry divorced Katherine of Argon to marry her. It just seems like forget some significant parts of her life. They also seem to ignore his reasons for marrying her. I will list the ones that I have so far come up with from all that I have read.

1) He wanted a son. Katherine was not giving him a son, and he believed that Mary would not do a good enough job, because she was a girl.(let us ignore the fact that her reign was pretty bad, but things might have been different if her father had not divorced her mother and had all those marriages). It is interest that of his three children it was his daughter Elizabeth who ruled the best.

2) He wanted Anne. She was pretty, cocky, and different from Katherine. He was tired of Katherine. It is really very sad how unfaithful he was to Katherine, and Anne I am sure. I really can't thing of any other reason he would want Anne, she came from a nobody family, and she had no money really.

Those are the two that always seem to come up. Not many, but very important..

One more thing I would like to just clear up. I have read many many time about how Anne was so great for the reformation in England. Even when I was a Protestant I would laugh to myself at the idea. Sure because of Anne major changes happened to the church in England, but I really really don't think Anne cared about what Church was in England. She wanted to marry Henry and the Catholic Church would not let them get married. Henry reforming the Church and to her advantage because it made it so that Henry could pass his own divorce, and marry her. I have always wondered what people would think of her if Henry had not broken with the Catholic Church, but still married her. We would probably all still feel sorry for her since she might still have gotten her head chopped off.

While Anne did do many things for people( I am sure she did as it would have been good for her to do so when she was so politically unstable), and she was extremely intelligent and clever, she was very well educated, and I don't think she would have made her way up to being Queen of England otherwise. She is not the what some people portray her to be, or want to think of her. I admire her intelligence and bravery when she was going to her death. I was very into Tudor history, and I still am, I often want character to be better than they are, but I need to be truthful. I am sorry it I offend anyone with this post, but I needed to get it out.



  1. I know what you mean. Although I don't think she was probably the nicest of people (to be that ambitious you also have to be pretty ruthless), I think it is a little unjust to make her out to be completely evil, as some people do. She was definitely intelligent, brave and determined, as you said :)

    I always felt it was the way she seemed to have made Henry treat Katherine of Aragon that made people dislike Anne. Henry treated his first wife pretty badly once he decided he wanted to marry Anne - for example, rarely being allowed to see her daughter Mary. Although this was undoubtedly partly due to Anne's influence, I think she had to be ruthless to get what she wanted. Not saying that a good thing at all, but I like to think she didn't do it out of spite.

    I think the reason people are so interested by her is because of how she managed to work her way up to becoming the Queen of England. Not necessarily in an admirable manner, but nonetheless it is very interesting how she managed to do so. Also, although she didn't give Henry the son he wanted, her daughter became one of the greatest English monarchs.

    She's a difficult historical character to like, but I can definitely understand why historians are still talking about her today.

    I often want to make historical characters out to be better than they are too! Probably because I generally believe that in most cases, regardless of the bad things they do, people have some redeeming features. But contemporary and modern historical accounts have all portrayed her differently, so it's difficult to know the truth.

    Sorry for the long comment! I just love Tudor History :')


  2. While Katherine of Aragon is definitely my favorite of the wives (doesn't everyone have a favorite?) I agree with your analysis.
    I think that she was very smart, because she played Henry to get what she wanted (to be Queen), but I don't think that she was particularly devout in the "new faith" nor do I think she particularly cared.
    I also think that she was framed, and that definitely colors peoples' opinions.
    I love that there are others who contemplate these things :)

  3. @Abby: I love long comments, and I very much agree with what you have said. It is difficult to know what to make of some people they are portrayed so differently.

    @Mimi: Yes that she was framed there is little doubt. She was to clever to do what Henry accused her of. If she did it would have risked her position. I think everyone has a favorite. :) History is very interesting to contemplate.

  4. Hi, I'm new here, and just began to follow your blog, The Endless Road. I was really glad to find someone else my age who shares an interest in Anne Boleyn! :)

    I respectfully disagree that Anne Boleyn was not interested in her religion or that she was not religiously motivated. During the time she held sway with the king, both before and after her coronation, she gave protection to evangelical protestants, and those who wished to study the scriptures in English, which had been translated by William Tyndale. I am supposing that Anne Boleyn wouldn't have had any true feelings for the King. Her mission to attract the king's interest was purely calculated because of the power in the realm that her position as Queen would afford. But I disagree that this calculating behavior was motivated by personal ambition. Anne was placed in the position at court, and trained and educated for success in her mission by not only her family. She would have had the backing of all those in England who had being trying to establish the Protestant cause since the days of John Wycliffe and the Lollards in the 1300's. I think Anne Boleyn had knowingly dedicated her life to the cause, and sacrificed her personal romantic happiness to this cause. She was a very strong and vivacious person with a quick wit, but she had a lot of people behind her, too.

    By the way, two years ago I found out that I am related to Anne Boleyn through her cousins, the Butlers of Kilkenny. The cool part is that I am related to them through the maternal line! :D Eleanor Butler, of the Butlers of Kilkenny (Dukes of Ormond) married into our family once upon a time. She was said to have married "beneath her". Anne Boleyn was a cousin to James Butler the 9th Duke of Ormond.

    Anyway, sorry for my incredibly long comment - I promise not to write quite as much next time! I tend to go on and on about Anne Boleyn. Even the mention of her name makes me want to talk about her for hours.

  5. So nice to meet you! :) I am glad to see your comment!

    It is true that she supported the study of Scripture in English. Which could show and interest in religion. I always wondered about it, as it does not fit with everything else. I could only come up with it as a scholarly interest. She did have some behind, her but Anne was highly unpopular with the people as they largely supported Catherine. She is very difficult person to pin down to something. What I mainly have an issue with is how so many protestants hold her up as a great example when I think there were much better.

    That is so awesome that you are related to her!! :) I love to talk about the Tudors and Plantagenets for hours, and some of my friends can tell you that I have! :) I like long comments so please don't hesitate to post more! :)

  6. Thanks for your response! It's nice to meet you, too! :)

    I think what might be hard to understand about Anne Boleyn is that she was not an example of the virtuous woman, not in a pure sense anyway, because she and the other people she was working with, if she was part of a group, were prepared to do certain things to achieve their goals. Maybe a truly virtuous person would not be willing to do anything wrong at all, and in doing nothing to change the world for the better, might not be so very virtuous in any practical sense of effecting real change.

  7. I think that is what I have an issue with is people holding her up as something she is not. It is very true that we live a a world that has fallen. Not everything can be black and white like we want it to be. Some times we are stuck trying to decided which is the lesser of two evils, and there is really nothing we can do about it.

    I don't know if you have read it, but I think you might enjoy a book by Jean Plaidy called The Lady in The Tower. It is a historical fiction book about Anne Boleyn. I really enjoyed it, and found it interesting. :)

  8. No, I haven't read that book, but I would love to! It sounds like an enjoyable book to read. I'll have to check it out!