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A portrait of the doomed queen’s image and influence that provides “a detailed look at real life in Tudor England” (Manhattan Book Review).
Romantic victim? Ruthless other woman? Innocent pawn? Religious reformer? Fool, flirt, and adulteress? Politician? Witch? During her life, Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s ill-fated second queen, was internationally famous—or notorious. Today, she still attracts passionate adherents and furious detractors.
It was in London that most of the drama of Anne Boleyn’s life and death was played out, most famously in the Tower of London, the scene of her coronation celebrations, her trial, and her execution, and the place where her body lies buried. In her few years as a public figure, Anne Boleyn was influential as a patron of the arts and of French taste, as the center of a religious and intellectual circle, and for her purchasing power, both directly and as a leader of fashion. It was primarily to London, beyond the immediate circle of the court, that her carefully spun image as queen was directed during the public celebrations surrounding her coronation.
In the centuries since Anne Boleyn’s death, her reputation has expanded to give her an almost mythical status in London, inspiring everything from pub names to music hall songs and novels—not to mention merchandise including pincushions with removable heads. Over fifty Twitter accounts use some version of her name. This book looks at both the effect London and its people had on the course of Anne Boleyn’s life and death—and the effects she had, and continues to have, on them.