The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn
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The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  6,250 ratings  ·  494 reviews
From one of the world's foremost popular historians, a detailed and intricate portrait of the last days of one of the most influential and important figures in English history.

The imprisonment and execution of Queen Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's second wife, was unprecedented in the annals of English history. It was sensational in its day, and has exerted endless fascination o...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published December 28th 2010 by Emblem Editions (first published October 1st 2009)
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Madeline
The Part of the Review In Which the Reviewer Rambles About Herself and Not the Book She's Reviewing:
Lately, I like to insist that "I liked the Tudors before they were cool!" (yes, I am a history hipster.) This isn't true, of course; people have been fascinated by the Tudors since the Victorian Age. But it is true that I was obsessed with this messed-up family long before Philippa Gregory jumped on the bandwagon. Karen Cushman was my gateway author into historic fiction in 4th grade, and it must...more
Sarah
This book has a VERY special meaning to me as I bought this book from the gift shop at Hampton Court. Anne Boleyn, the amazing, incredible, life changing Anne Boleyn spent some of her royal life at Hampton Court. She graced those long decorative hallways with her spirit and elegance, holding her head up high and proud as Queen of England. It was also within these walls that she allegedly held some of her affairs (I say allegedly because most of the dates are so inaccurate and have been disproven...more
Hannah
Apr 20, 2010 Hannah rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tudor history buffs
In this non-fiction book (her 5th on the Tudors), Weir zeros in on the last 3 months of the life of Anne Boleyn, arguably the most fascinating of Henry VIII's six wives. Anne, as most English history buffs know, was beheaded after failing to produce the one and only thing desired of a royal spouse - a living son - but there was much, much more to her story then her inability to bare an heir. Weir expands on the last days of Anne, and covers information not available in her former book, The Six W...more
Chris
I’ve been reading Weir for years. I’ve read almost all of her books. The two I haven’t read yet, I have, and they are in my TBR pile. I picked up The Lady in the Tower at my local BJs (which sometimes has the most wonderful books).
There is something about the Tudors, and it shouldn’t surprise that most of Weir’s non-fiction, and all of her fiction connects to this royal family. I first grew interested in the Tudors because I loved Renaissance English Literature. The Tudors are the ultimate soa...more
Wealhtheow
Feb 25, 2010 Wealhtheow rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: liz, dana
Many books have been written on the Tudors, not least on Henry VIII's notorious second queen, Anne Boleyn. Weir revisits her subject with a closer focus, writing primarily on the last four months of Anne's life in 1536. I'm a huge fan of Anne--I've even toyed with getting a tattoo of her signature. But despite it's sometimes claustrophobic focus, this book does not expand my understanding of her, or tell me much that I didn't already know. That Anne had few friends and many enemies, that she had...more
Marie Z. Johansen
I always eagerly await the release of any book written by Alison Weir - both her fictional works as well as her historical, always well researched, books never fail to please. I am happy to be able to say that "The Lady In The Tower" has been no exception! I began to read it as soon as I got my hands on it and enjoyed this book all of the way through.

I have long believed that Henry VIII was a narcissistic megalomaniac - especially in the way that he treated Anne Boleyn. Despite whatever faults A...more
Orsolya
If 60 Minutes, the late 20/20, and "How to Catch a Predator" existed in Tudor England, then this novel would be the transcript.

We all know the story of the famous concubine turned queen to Henry VIII: Anne Boleyn. We also know how she was accused of adultery and witchcraft (although her trials were only regarding the accusation of adultery and witchcraft was never even mentioned). If you seek to dig deeper into the story, then The Lady in the Tower will become your new best friend.

This piece is...more
Kara

Alison Weir examines the last five months of Anne Boleyn's life - from riding high as expectant mother of the next king, to dead on the block, in this fascinating new biography.

Weir digs up a lot of previously unexamined primary sources, draws some new lines between old points, as well as examining what other historians have said on the subject - giving serious consideration to every single other Tudor scholar out there, from serious Starky, to overly romantic Strickland, and less-than-credible...more
readinghearts (Lyn M)
Feb 12, 2010 readinghearts (Lyn M) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tudor or Medieval history affincionado's
Recommended to readinghearts (Lyn M) by: Author I like and TL group
Shelves: ccclib, borrowed, royals, tudor
First, I have to say that I find the Tudor dynasty fascinating, and have since I first read about them in my teens. That said, my reading up until this point has mostly centered around historical fiction. This is my first non-fiction book about Anne Boleyn, and my first non-fiction book by Alison Weir. When I first began this book, I had already read some Weir, but all novels. After the first chapter of this book, I admit, I was worried, as it took me a little while to get used the numerous quot...more
Susan
I thought this was one of Weir's better nonfiction books. She resists the temptation to demonize either Anne or her opponents, and the book's written in a gripping style. My only real caveat is that Weir seemed to rely too heavily on Cavendish's description of George Boleyn to make a case for his being sexually promiscuous and even sexually predatory, though she herself notes that Cavendish was hostile toward the Boleyn family. I thought that there, and also in her consideration of Anne's sexual...more
Pete daPixie
I have to give this five stars. I'm just a sucker when it comes to historical mystery or a good old conspiracy theory. English history is littered with some classics. Edward the Martyr at Corfe Castle back in the tenth century, William Rufus in the New Forest, the happy family tumult of Henry II, the mystery of Edward II with the machinations of Roger Mortimer and Philippa of Hainault as well as everyones favourite mystery of the Princes in the Tower, to name but a few.
Alison Weir's 'The Lady in...more
Amanda
Ms. Weir is one of my favorite writers on the Tudor period and this book was certainly not a disappointment. I couldn't put it down and read it in two days. Much of Anne Boleyn's life has been lost to history, save the last four months, and this is what Weir tackles in "The Lady in the Tower."

As usual, the author's research was exhaustive, but the fruit of her labor is one well-written, fact-driven book. What I like about Weir is that, in true journalistic and scholarly fashion, she always seeks...more
Jeff
On May 19, 1536 Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's second queen, was beheaded at the Tower of London on sensational charges of adultery; her destruction had been accomplished in less than a month. Anne's story has been told in many good biographies (and a few really bad historical novels), but this book is the first time her fall has been studied in depth as an isolated event in itself. The reliability of the surviving documentary sources varies wildly and constitutes something of a minefield, but Weir,...more
Marie
4.5 STAR READ. PLEASE SEE FULL REVIEW AT THE BURTON REVIEW

Although perhaps anti-climatic with the multitude of biographies and Tudor histories, this newest work by historian Alison Weir provides Anne Boleyn enthusiasts with so many detailed accounts of the last four months of Anne's life that there is little left wanting. It is extensive with the recounting of the events that led to Anne's arrest, and Weir leaves no stone unturned in her endeavor to relay details from the myriad of sources. Wei...more
Danielle
Read this review and others on my blog, Shady Tree Reads

This is an intimate view of Anne Boleyn's final days, and as usual Alison Weir does a stunning job of presenting the facts to her readers. As I have mentioned before, I love Weir's writing because she presents all the information, then gives her opinion on which event in question most likely occurred and why she believes so. This lets the reader to come to their own conclusion.

This book is not just about Anne, it is also about the men exec...more
Adriana
Forget all about the scandals and corruptions you have read in the headlines. The historical documents and evidence Alison Weir presents about the railroading of Henry VIII's second wife to be executed in front of the English on fictitious charges will make the hair on your arms stand up in alarm. Weir explains how the popular culture of the time and political factions in the royal courts throughout Europe made the accusations of Queen Anne Boleyn committing incest, promoting lechery, treason, a...more
Robyn Hawk
In this latest offering in the stacks of books written about the Tudors, best selling author Alison Weir posits a new theory!!!

The commonly proffered "history" has it that the aging and randy King Henry VIII was feeling the pressure of not having an heir with his current wife Anne Boleyn and sought the assistance of his principal adviser Thomas Cromwell to find criminal grounds for executing the Queen.

In The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn Weir skillfully presents the argument that it...more
Kimberly B.
Jul 13, 2010 Kimberly B. rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kimberly by: Lindz
Shelves: own, 2010, non-fiction
This was my first book by Weir and one of the few historical non-fiction books I've read. Overall, I appreciated Weir's methodical research on such a short period of time in history--Anne's imprisonment, trial, and execution. Although most of the research was fascinating, there were a few slow parts for me (which is why I rarely read non-fiction). Probably the most fascinating idea that I came away with is the theory that Anne was RH positive and that was why all of her subsequent pregnancies en...more
Brigette Feathers
My appreciation for Alison Weir only grows with every book I read. She's a rare historian: one who can bridge the gap (sometimes a huge chasm) between the Historian and the history buff. This book is an academic analysis of the last months of Anne Boleyn's life, but it's by no means dry or stuffy. Weir's arguments and analysis of previous biographies of Anne Boleyn (including her own attempt in her book on the six wives of Henry VIII) are intertwined with an exciting story of the fall of a woman...more
Andrew
What a brilliant book! Instead of the usual historical monograph, I found that I really got caught up in this book. As we all know, it's basically the last 19 days of Anne Boleyn's life, from the 1st May, Mayday joust where she Henry for the last time, through to her arrest a couple of days later, then subsequent imprisonment, trial and execution on 19 May. It also plot the demise of her 5 co-accused and their subsequent trials and executions. I could actually feel the tension rise as the days p...more
Jodi
Jun 20, 2010 Jodi rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of British History
I was looking for more of a "story" to read when I picked up this book and this one is more of a textbook about the Anne Boleyn era in
Tudor England, but I still found it interesting!. First let me say that I always find it sad to read about this time period and know that women who miscarried a child were believed to be a sinner or a witch and that is why the baby was lost - how sad for a woman going through such a traumatic time. Next, I have to wonder if Mary's status as a "bastard" and her tr...more
Dorothy
Having read several fictional accounts of the Tudor era, including Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and the Tudor mystery series by C.J. Sansom, I thought it might be interesting to get an actual historian's take on the period. Alison Weir is an actual British historian who has had an almost life-long fascination with that era and has written widely about it. This book, The Lady in the Tower, concerns the last four months of the life of the second of Henry VIII's six wives and Elizabeth I's mother, Ann...more
Tara
I like that for once, instead of the sweeping biography encompassing all the heaves and sighs of Anne's (admittedly dramatic)life, someone finally focused on the crucial last four months of her queenship and the political machinations that brought her to the scaffold. Although I have been known to disagree with Weir on many subjects, I like that she proposes (as so few do) that Henry, while certainly gulled by Thomas Cromwell and Anne's other enemies, did not directly orchestrate or order his qu...more
Cheryl
The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn is based around facts surrounding Queen Anne Boleyn’s fall from court. Author, Alison Weir tries to piece together the best she can what really happened to cause Anne Boleyn to land in the tower and eventually be beheaded.

At first I thought I wasn’t sure how much I would like this book. This is only because when I realized that this book was non fiction with some fiction mixed into it, I wasn’t looking for a book all about facts. I devoured this bo...more
Conor Byrne
This is arguably Alison Weir's most comprehensive, analytic and original research. I always enjoy returning to this highly readable study of Anne Boleyn's sudden downfall in 1536.
By and large, Weir agrees with Ives' theory that Anne fell in 1536 due to politics. She became alienated from Master Secretary Thomas Cromwell due to conflicting views about monasteries and religion in general; since religion and politics were intertwined in this period, Cromwell began to view her as an enemy, and in a...more
Louise
Just when you thought all the ins and outs of the fall of Anne Boleyn have been explored, something new appears.

Alison Weir shows she is the master of this era. She integrates her own scholarship and thoughts with what she has sifted through in the work of other Tudor historians. Weir must have read every Tudor related scrap of writing housed in the British Museum and every other collection. Her wide and deep knowledge of this period gives her the background to interpret all of it for the reader...more
Caroline
I always enjoy Alison Weir's books, although I do tend to read them with a certain amount of reserve as she does have a tendency toward bias. She writes with a very clear, intelligent style, and her books are always a pleasure to read - but as I said, I always read them with a pinch of salt in store, and this one is no exception.

Anne Boleyn is one of the most fascinating and probably most mythologised figures of the Tudor period. Indeed, the whole history of Henry VIII often gets reduced to myth...more
Crystal
A coherent, detailed study of Anne Boleyn's final days. I do, however, take issue with a few of the author's theories, namely that Henry VIII was as much a victim to political machination as Anne.
Page 60, Weir states that "Henry VIII would warn Jane Seymour--after she in her turn spoke up for the religious houses--that she should 'attend to other things, [for:] the last queen had died in consequence of meddling to much in state affairs.' No fool, Henry knew exactly what had brought about Anne's...more
John
An exhaustive, and often exhausting, study of Queen Anne Boleyn's final days, this book goes much deeper than any other work I've ever encountered on the subject, and will educate you much more about the doomed Anne's final days than you may have ever believed possible.

It would seem that so much has been written on the subject that there cannot possibly be more, but, to Weir's credit, she does find archival sources and manages to keep her own assumptions relatively scarce. She also refutes the...more
Jodi
Okay, was a bit leery of delving into the Alison Weir. I had started a fiction book on Elizabeth I by Weir in the fall and had to stop reading it because it was so historically incorrect and sensational—feared she could have sold out on this non-fiction book. She didn’t (if you can overlook the chapter on the sightings of Anne Boleyn’s ghost at various locales throughout history). Weir makes an attempt to bring in many primary sources and since she started out by acknowledging the work of Dr. Er...more
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Lady in the tower 4 31 Sep 26, 2013 11:02AM  
Cafe Libri: October and November: "The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn" by Alison Weir 2 22 Oct 10, 2012 03:39PM  
  • Anne Boleyn: Henry VIII's Obsession
  • The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn
  • Mary Tudor: Princess, Bastard, Queen
  • The Mistresses of Henry VIII
  • The First Queen of England: The Myth of "Bloody Mary"
  • Edward VI: The Lost King of England
  • Mistress Anne
  • The Sisters Who Would Be Queen
  • Elizabeth's Women: Friends, Rivals, and Foes Who Shaped the Virgin Queen
  • The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn: Family Politics at the Court of Henry VIII
  • Catherine of Aragon
  • Catherine of Aragon: The Spanish Queen of Henry VIII
  • Elizabeth & Leicester: Power, Passion, Politics
  • The Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look at England's Most Notorious Queen
  • The Tudor Chronicles: 1485-1603
  • The Other Tudors: Henry VIII's Mistresses and Bastards
  • The Sisters of Henry VIII: The Tumultuous Lives of Margaret of Scotland and Mary of France
  • The Wives of Henry VIII
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Alison Weir (born 1951) is a British writer of history books for the general public, mostly in the form of biographies about British kings and queens. She currently lives in Surrey, England, with her two children.

Before becoming an author, Weir worked as a teacher of children with special needs. She received her...more
More about Alison Weir...
The Six Wives of Henry VIII Innocent Traitor The Lady Elizabeth The Life of Elizabeth I Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life

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