Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: The Anne Boleyn Collection - The Real Truth about the Tudors
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on May 15, 2012
I don't usually review books, but I felt compelled to give a quick review on this book. While it did provide some interesting facts on the Tudors, I do have to agree with the other reviewers that have commented on the lack of original research here. I was further disappointed by the amount of opinions given by the author and how poorly written the book was. However, because I was interested in learning more about the Tudors, I kept reading the book until I read the line: "I'm not a medical expert, but when I Googled McLeod Syndrome. . ." This was written to disprove an article (apparently written by a bioarchaeologist) claiming that King Henry VIII may have suffered from McLeod Syndrome. I could never take an author seriously when they are trying to disprove a scientist's theory through a google search.
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on July 4, 2012
I absolutely love reading about the Tudors. The real ones, not the Showtime version. Unfortunately, this fell rather flat for me. Pancake-style. There is very, very little here that we haven't all heard before. She delves into the stereotypes, the "Fact vs Fiction", "What really happpened"...and all it is is her OPINION on what happened. How can you write a book called "The Real Truth" while it's all basically opinions and conjecture? While she argues some theories fairly well, I have to agree that this book is a long, loooooong way from being able to legitimately classify itself as truth. Just Google Anne Boleyn and don't waste your money.
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on April 27, 2012
Love the topic and the historical / research context. Fascinating. Be prepared to read a series of blog posts though, rather than a well written complete book.
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on September 11, 2012
I was very disappointed by this book. It was not well written and seems to contain opinions of the author much more than actual facts. I would not recommend this book. I am an avid reader and have read a lot on this topic and could not find it in me to complete reading this book.
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on July 30, 2012
Being a sucker for British culture - especially the Tudor era - I gleefully downloaded this book. Based on the description and title, I expected some degree of historical merit from a fellow anglophile. I expected a properly cited work of non-fiction. This is a series of blog posts - predominately a critical account of Philippa Gregory's "The Other Boleyn Girl." I understand how confusion between fact and fiction by the general public can be frustrating. The "venting" by the author is appropriate for a blog, not for the non-fiction work I anticipated. I applauded research by the author, however, the sources are not properly cited. The book is not written in such a manner as to demonstrate independent thought supported by the research - or the use of research to adequately substantiate another's theory. I fully understand the limited research available on the topic. I further understand that developing new theories on historical topics is difficult at best. However, independent thought and new theories are completely different. I hate to see the author's time, passion, and research wasted on poor execution (or translation to book format). I believe non-fiction should be written in third person. I enjoy Ridgway's website. She has a wonderful blog and a true passion for the subject. However, with her credentials, I did expect a more substantial (scholarly?) read.
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on June 21, 2012
Ms. Ridgeway is obviously extremely passionate about her subject. This collection of blog posts is informative, certainly; it is meticulously footnoted with sources, and filled with clearly thought-out and well-presented opinion. The author does go out of her way to state frequently where she is stating opinion and does compare it to opinions of other historians and uses facts where facts are available.

I was troubled with the enormous overuse of exclamation points to drive home her ideas, but kept reminding myself that this was not a single researched historical book, but instead a collection of blog posts, and blog posts are often not held to the same standard.

What also troubled me, and this seriously, was Ms. Ridgeway's apparent and staggering homophobia in her complete inability to accept even the possibility that any of the men involved in the Boleyn scandals/trials may have been gay or bisexual. Is it such a horror to her that she discounts any and all possibility that it may have been? We know men of previous eras were gay just as they are today, only then they were expected to marry and sire children, as well as feared loss of stature and condemnation of the church, so always kept such activities hidden. Yes, we will never know for sure who may have or may have not had same-sex lovers, but a good historian is not going to completely discount the possibility that it could have been, nor so completely condemn the ideas of other historians who are obviously more open-minded (not to mention using language to describe gay sex that is frankly directly out of the Tudor era).

All in all, I did enjoy the read, and found a number of excellent pieces of information I hadn't had before, as well as a great bibliography to continue my own Tudor research.
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on October 8, 2013
Book blurb says that blog posts were reworked and re-researched, but the amount of typos and mechanical writing errors are just too overwhelming to believe that this book was even properly edited. Sadly, this book is not for the advanced reader with a vast knowledge about the Tudor period; if you are looking for more food for thought, try something else.
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on March 24, 2013
If you are looking for a book to learn more about Anne Boleyn or the Tudor era this is not it. Not only does this book not have any interesting facts it also has a lot of opinion and conjecture by the author. Basically the author picks apart Alison Weir and others and really never backs up any of her arguments. The author is very biased when it comes to Anne Boleyn and it shows. If you love non-fiction Tudor-era books this will be a major disappointment. Not only are the arguments/facts shaky at best, but the writing style is very poor. It generally reads as if a 16 year old wrote it. Don`t waste your time or energy with this book, pick up anything written by Alison Weir, Antonia Frasier or David Starkey. Thank God I got it for free!
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on March 28, 2012
I would have given this book a higher rating had it not been marketed as a piece of investigative scholarship. Ms Ridgway is clearly passionate about the subject, but I saw no evidence of original research. Ms Ridgway extrapolated frequently from the research already done by historians and there was not any depth to her original research. However, I think as a book about interesting facts about Anne Boleyn, rather than an academic work, it would have been fine.
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on January 28, 2013
I was really excited to read this book; as I love history and the story of Henry VIII. However I found this book to be very repetitious. The author would provide information in one chapter and then repeat it again and again throughout the whole book.
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