The imprisonment and execution of Queen Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's second wife, in 1536 was unprecedented in English history, and never before has there been a book devoted entirely to her fall. But here Alison Weir has reassessed the evidence and created a richly researched and detailed portrait of the last days of one of the most influential and important figures in English history.
©2009 Alison Weir (P)2010 WF Howes Ltd
I thoroughly enjoyed this stunning portrayal of Anne Boleyn's final weeks. Sometimes non-fiction books can seem a little dry, but this account of the fall of this most controversial queen will have you holding your breath on quite a few occasions. No amount of films or novels of Anne's life can live up to the real thing.
Often, when we read about great characters from history, time distances us from them, making us feel detached, or their stories are embellished for the modern audience. Not the case here.
Alison has managed to cut away all the myth and legend surrounding Anne, thus transporting us back in time to watch events as they unfold. You are quickly caught up in the drama of the time, watching it as if you don't have the gift of hindsight. She brings to life all the important movers and shakers of the time, and I particularly liked the way the author dealt with the men who were accused with Anne, giving mini biographies of them along the way. As for Anne herself, the account of her execution will take your breath away.
The narrator in this recording did a wonderful job, particularly when quoting from contemporary accounts of the time. She was very easy to listen to.
All in all, highly recommended:)
This book is a lively and interesting account of the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn combining historical scholarship with plausible invention that makes for a great listen. The narrator, Judith Boyd, brings the characters to life in this roller-coaster of a story. The basic story is very familiar, but I found the input of the author as an historian added to my enjoyment. She, to my ears, gives an unbiased account of the evidence for and against Anne being either a wicked fornicator or a woman set-up by her enemies who might have included Henry VIIIth eager to be rid of her so he could marry Jane Seymore. The story reminds one again and again what a dangerous place the Tudor Court could be for those jockeying for favours and position and the extraordinary power of the Monarch over his courtiers. The outrageous intrigues and disloyalty even within the high-born families stands at variance with their outwardly professed piety. I had earlier listened to the Audible's version of Hilary Mantel's excellent book 'Wolf Hall' which pairs very effectively with this book as it overlaps the same time period but tells the story from the different perspective of Thomas Cromwell: he, who at first, supported Anne but later became her enemy and instigator or collaborator in her downfall.
A very thorough account of Anne Boleyn's last months, with a full examination of every aspect of the events which would lead to her downfall and death. It is a story familiar to many of us, but I would imagine that anyone who is not a specialist in the period would learn much which is new. However, the book is rather excessively keen on all the minutiae, and moreover Alison Weir sometimes repeats detailed information which she has already examined earlier on. This rather turgid effect is heightened by the over-deliberate reading of Judith Boyd - her voice is very clear and easy to understand, but the book needs more pace in the delivery to save it from seeming rather inflated and pompous. Overall, I found it interesting but at times irritating.
T HAVE LOVED ALL KINDS OF HISTORY BOOKS, FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER. I'VE ALWAYS BEEN AN AVID READER, I'M SO GLAD TO HAVE AUDIO BOOKS.
THIS HAS TO BE AT THE TOP!
ANNE BOLEYN! HAVING READ MANY BOOKS IN THE PAST, ABOUT HENRY THE EIGHTH, AND HIS SIX WIVES.THIS AUDIO BOOK SAID SO MUCH MORE ABOUT ANNE, AND HER LIFE BEFORE,AND AFTER HER THREE SHORT YEARS OF MARRIAGE TO HENRY THE EIGHTH.
IT WAS NOT ANNE WHO WANTED THIS MARRIAGE,AS SHE LOVED PERCY, BUT WHEN HENRY SET HIS EYES ON HER ,HER FATE WAS SEALED.ANNE BLAMED CARDINAL WOLSEY AND NEVER FORGAVE,OR FORGOT THAT HE HAD PERCY SENT AWAY,AND MARRIED.SHE THEN REFUSED TO BE HENRY'S MISTRESS. IF I SAY ANY MORE IT WOULD SPOIL THE STORY IF YOU DON'T KNOW IT..
THE WAY ANNE STOOD HER GROUND,AND REFUSED TO GIVE IN TO HENRY'S ADVANCES UNLESS THEY WERE MARRIED.SHE TOOK A GREAT RISK IN DOING SO,AS HENRY WANTED HER TO BE HIS MISTRESS,LIKE HER SISTER HAD BEEN BEFORE HER.. THIS WAS NOT FOR ANNE AT ALL,SHE WANTED MORE THE INTRIGUES,AND PLANS BETWEEN HENRY, ANNE, AND WOLSEY WAS EXTREMELY INTERESTING,AND A VERY VIVID PICTURE OF ANNE WAS BROUGHT TO LIFE BY THE NARRATOR JUDITH BOYD.
ALISON WEIR IS EXTREMELY GOOD ON ROYAL HISTORY,AND I HAVE PURCHASED OTHER AUDIO BOOKS BY HER.
I FOUND THE WHOLE BOOK A MIXTURE OF EMOTIONS.
FOR ANYONE WHO LIKES THE HISTORY OF ROYALTY OF LONG AGO. I THINK THEY WOULD ENJOY THIS BOOK.
I enjoyed this book and its not often that a non-fiction work can be described as enjoyable, they are informative and interesting but rarely do you actually enjoy them.
This book is a very good listen and the narration does it justice.
I already had a reasonable knowledge of Boleyns life and execution - but this book provided new details and background 'feel'- a very worthwhile purchase!
I will visit the Tower of London on the anniversary just to see if the 'roses' story still holds good!
The reader dragged it out reading far too slowly. It just went on and on.
As a Tudor fan & budding historian I LOVED Alison Weir's book on Anne Boleyn. Using several accounts from the 16th Century, & beyond, Alison Weir gives not only different perspective to one of the most talked about moments of British history, but also gives you previously unknown (or little known) knowledge & broadens our horizons. Excellent book!!
I have always been an avid reader but now it's mostly audio books. Very relaxing.
This would merit a second listen if you needed to absorb all the facts and different opinions of what really happened. Good if your'e writing an essey.
Ann was a strong individual. I really liked the way she was portrayed. No saint but certainly not the sinner she was made out to be by the courts. She had to be 'got rid of' as she couldn't produce a son for the tyrant.
I liked the scene at the block when Ann conveyed her message to the crowd. Terribly sad.
No it was too long. Easy to join it later though.
Brilliant writing but also a very long history lesson. Most enjoyable if you like history. Some lengthy scenes with lots of facts and figures that were not exactly necessary but it did not spoil the book for me as I am obsessed with the Tudors.
"Informative, enjoyable, but a bit repetitive"
I really enjoyed listening to this book and admired the depth of research that went into it. Mention of other texts and arguments why these should/should not be relied on was most interesting. There was just a little too much repetition of information for me. I was jarred out of concentration quite a few times by a sense of de ja vu. Glad I bought this book.
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