The Creation of Anne Boleyn by Susan Bordo

Fascinating. Examines both what we know about Anne Boleyn (very little), and the stories that have been told about her (very much).

Turns out most of what I thought was accepted history is in fact based on gossip spread by her enemies.

Three things I learned:

  • Execution of Anne was the first time a queen had been executed in English history
  • Anne spent a good deal of her childhood on the continent, under the tutelage of Marguerite de Navarre (sister of Francis I of France) who ran the most philosophically glittering salon in Europe
  • The intelligent, pro-reform Anne of the second season of The Tudors is due mainly to Natalie Dormer, who wanted to portray an Anne closer to the historical one than had been done before