The Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look at England's Most Notorious Queen

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The Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look at England's Most Notorious Queen

Format:  Hardcover,

343 pages

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Publish Date: Apr 2013

ISBN-13: 9780547328188

ISBN-10: 0547328184

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The following content was provided by the publisher.
Part biography, part cultural history, "The Creation of Anne Boleyn" is a fascinating reconstruction of Anne's life and an illuminating look at her afterlife in the popular imagination. Why is Anne so compelling? Why has she inspired such extreme reactions? What did she really look like? Was she the flaxen-haired martyr of Romantic paintings or the raven-haired seductress of twenty-first-century portrayals? (Answer: neither.) And perhaps the most provocative questions concern Anne's death more than her life. How could Henry order the execution of a once beloved wife? Drawing on scholarship and critical analysis, Bordo probes the complexities of one of history's most infamous relationships.
Bordo also shows how generations of polemicists, biographers, novelists, and filmmakers imagined and re-imagined Anne: whore, martyr, cautionary tale, proto "mean girl," feminist icon, and everything in between. In this lively book, Bordo steps off the well-trodden paths of Tudoriana to expertly tease out the human being behind the competing mythologies.


Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publish Date: Apr 2013
ISBN-13: 9780547328188
ISBN-10: 0547328184
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 343
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 1.3
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.1

Chapter outline

Introduction: The Erasure of Anne Boleyn and the Creation of "Anne Boleyn
Queen, Interrupted
Why You Shouldn't Believe Everything You've Heard About Anne Boleyn
Why Anne?
In Love (or Something Like It)
A Perfect Storm
The Tower and the Scaffold
Henry: How Could He Do It?
Recipes for "Anne Boleyn
Basic Historical Ingredients
Anne's Afterlives, from She-Tragedy to Historical Romance
Postwar: Domestic Trouble in the House of Tudor
An Anne for All Seasons
It's the Anne That Makes the Movie: Anne of the Thousand Days
The Tudors
Chapuys' Revenge
Anne Gets the Last Word (for Now)
Afterword: Anne, Susan, and Cassie


Review by Library Journal (2013-04-01)

Cultural thinker Bordo (humanities, Univ. of Kentucky; Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body) sets out to right what she sees as history's unjust portrayal of Anne Boleyn. She reviews the ways in which Henry VIII's second wife has been depicted, both in historical writing since the 16th century and in popular culture more recently. Bordo clearly hopes to revitalize Boleyn's image. The unfortunate queen has at times been cast as a shrew who nearly destroyed the English monarchy.

Instead, Bordo presents her as a powerhouse feminist who was ahead of her time. But the author's insistence on judging historians-who have necessarily framed Boleyn through the lens of their own times-by standards she violates via her own assumptions and speculations makes her historical review of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII hard to take seriously. The second half of the book, which analyzes fictionalized versions of Boleyn over the succeeding centuries right up through the recent BBC series The Tudors, is stronger.

Verdict: This book may appeal to die-hard Boleyn and Tudor hobbyists but does not stand out as a serious title.

-Elizabeth Goldman, Perth & District Union P.L., Perth, Ontario

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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