Denny seeks to redeem Anne Boleyn from the slanders of Catholic propagandists hired to paint her as a monster. Anne and her diplomat father, Thomas, were advocates of the "New Religion"—the Protestantism spreading through England in the early 16th century. The Boleyn family's meteoric rise in status and influence threatened Cardinal Wolsey and his Catholic power base even before Henry VIII divorced the Catholic Catherine of Aragon in order to marry her lady-in-waiting, Anne, thus initiating England's Protestant Reformation. While effectively setting this scene of high-stakes intrigue, Denny focuses on Anne; in her interpretation, Anne's integrity and moral courage lay at the center of the period's vortex of personal and political strife. Brilliantly evoking Henry's bullish intensity, Denny mines the 17 existing love letters that reveal the king's impatient infatuation with Anne. By contrast, she portrays Anne as reticent, acquiescing to the king out of commitment to the Protestant Reformation rather than personal desire. Denny lucidly catalogues the technicalities of Henry's seven-year legal struggle to make Anne his wife and how Anne fell from favor when she failed to produce a male heir. Finally, Denny (the author of a fictional trilogy on the Tudors) records Anne's stoicism as she was charged with incest and adultery, tried and, in 1536, executed. Although she sometimes idealizes her subject, Denny's defense of Anne is coherent and thoroughly readable. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The second wife of England's Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn continues to fascinate readers and inspire authors. Denny's biography is but the latest after The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn (2005), by Eric Ives. Anne was a daughter of one of the king's diplomats; her arrival at court in the 1520s contributed to the English schism with Roman Catholicism by intensifying Henry's machinations to annul his first marriage. Queen Anne eventually outlasted her dynastic usefulness, bearing but one girl (the future Elizabeth I) and not the boy on whom Henry hoped to stabilize the legally dubious Tudor claim on the crown. This context, while present in Denny's narrative, is less prominent than Anne's alluring personality and her posthumous reputation. Was Anne vamp or victim? Historical opinion favors the latter, a viewpoint Denny develops as she contests the adultery and treason charges by which Henry rid himself of her. For fans of the Six Wives, Denny delivers a fast-reading and dramatic portrayal. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I have read more than 2 dozen historical accounts of the life of Anne Boleyn (and dozens more on the general Tudor period and the Plantagent period that preceded it) and this one... Read morePublished 25 days ago by L. Posterino
This book brought a fresh perspective to the life of Anne Boleyn. Many of the reviewers seemed to be beholden to a certain view of Ms. Boleyn and gave it very low ratings. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Teresa
I was not thrilled with this book but I will say this, at least there was no mention of the infamous 6th finger. Read morePublished on August 19, 2013 by Andree Weger
This book is phenomenal; and I do not say so lightly. Having been a student of Early Modern Europe, specifically Britain, for many years, I was astounded that finally the truth was... Read morePublished on January 1, 2013 by Ladyethyme
Denny is too biased and her research shaky at best. Her defence of Anne turns into some fanatical piece of nonsensePublished on March 27, 2012 by Gen
This book is good but I felt like the author tried too hard to make Anne Boleyn look like a saint, that she was a Protestant martyr. Read morePublished on October 19, 2011 by Nicole
If you want to read a well thought out scholarly take on Anne Boleyn, stick to Bernard, Ives, or Warnicke. Read morePublished on July 18, 2011 by Lady Phoenix
I recently re-read this book, six years after first reading it. The first time I wasn't impressed, since I found it impassioned, and eager to cheer on its heroine and portray... Read morePublished on February 11, 2011 by Judith Loriente
Many of those who reviewed this book before me censured Joanna Denny's obvious Protestant slant as blindly excessive, and criticized her for not being more evenhanded; what should... Read morePublished on September 28, 2010 by Ellen