Synopses & Reviews
In this groundbreaking new biography, G. W. Bernard offers a fresh portrait of one of Englandand#8217;s most captivating queens. Through a wide-ranging forensic examination of sixteenth-century sources, Bernard reconsiders Boleynand#8217;s girlhood, her experience at the French court, the nature of her relationship with Henry, and the authenticity of her evangelical sympathies.
He depicts Anne Boleyn as a captivating, intelligent, and highly sexual woman whose attractions Henry resisted for years until marriage could ensure legitimacy for their offspring. He shows that it was Henry, not Anne, who developed the ideas that led to the break with Rome. And, most radically, he argues that the allegations of adultery that led to Anneand#8217;s execution in the Tower could be close to the truth.
"This boldandnbsp;new study of Anne Boleyn is provocative, but it is alsoandnbsp;shrewd and thoughtful and eminentlyandnbsp;readable.andnbsp;Bernard's book will certainly make readers think again about what we really know about Henry VIII's most controversial wifeand#8212;and what we have merely become accustomed to believe we know about her."and#8212;Paul Hammer, University of Colorado at Boulderandnbsp;
". . . the book is a useful resource and an eloquent assessment of the times."--Carol Herman, The Washington Times
'Bernard has worked his fingers deep into the greasy corners of the sources, like a man picking a chicken carcass for one last oyster of meat. And this book is pleasantly written and#8230; certainly an attention grabber.' and#8212; Dan Jones, The Spectator
'Bernard is an outstandingly diligent and resourceful archival historian ... He is also by instinct a histroiographical street fighter, refusing to take on trust the findings of other scholars, even, or perhaps especially, when they are the stuff of broad historical consensus ... To call Bernard's book a revisionist biogrpahy would be something of an understatement. It sets out to turn completely on its head 'the traditional view of Anne.' - Peter Marshall, Literary Review
'His [Bernard's] path, and it's a noble one, is to do painstaking research, consider feasible alternatives, and put cats among the historiographical pigeons and#8230; Berbnard's brave book adds new twists to the mystery.' - Jonathan Wright, The Herald
"[Bernard's] book is an extraordinarily successful demonstration of how much less we know of Anne than we had thought. A shrewd critical eye is turned on the circumstances and motives of those who created the historical record on which our limited knowledge depends; and an even sharper eye distinguishes between evidence and interpretation or opinion."and#8212;Richard Rex, The Catholic Historical Review
About the Author
G. W. Bernard is professor of early modern history at the University of Southampton and editor of the English Historical Review. The author of The King's Reformation, Bernard lives in Southampton, UK.