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Mistress Anne

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  1,020 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
As Maureen Quilligan wrote in the New York Times Book Review of The First Elizabeth, Anne Boleyn "was a real victim of the sexual scandals her brilliant daughter escaped, and a subject Ms. Erickson's sensitivity to sexual and political nuance should well serve." Indeed, Carolly Erickson could have chosen no more fascinating and appropriate a subject. Alluring and profoundl ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 15th 1998 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 1984)
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The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa GregoryThe Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison WeirThe Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa GregoryThe Constant Princess by Philippa GregoryWolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
Best Books About Tudor England
111th out of 517 books — 1,351 voters
The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn by Eric IvesThe Wives of Henry VIII by Antonia FraserThe Lady in the Tower by Alison WeirThe Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison WeirSix Wives by David Starkey
Best Books about Anne Boleyn
22nd out of 46 books — 121 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,777)
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Jun 07, 2009 Chris rated it it was ok
For non-fiction book, this reads like a romance novel, and some times it doesn't make sense. For instance, Anne was a loose woman, but careful of her honor, but everyone but Henry knew she was sleeping around. Huh?

It is a good history for a high school student, I suppose, but there are better biographies out there.
Feb 04, 2011 Sarah rated it it was ok
I have to admit that from the very start I was severely disappointed with this book. The book starts off with Anne going to France accompany Mary Tudor on her future marriage to King Louis. There is no mention whatsoever about Anne’s early years; no discussion about the proposed dates for her birth or where she was brought up or lived. In fact the first few years of her life are completely omitted.

There are some serious mistakes within the pages of this book which I admit, as an avid admirer of
Erik Graff
Feb 06, 2013 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tudor fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: biography
Reading this I thought, "what an exceptionally clear biography", not recognizing until pulling up the Goodreads database that I'd read an enjoyed a couple of other books--one on Mary, Queen of Scots, the other Erickson's The Medieval Vision--by this author.
It's also an opinionated one, the author fleshing out the evidence with informed suppositions in order to flesh out the figure of Henry VIII's second wife, Anne Boleyn.
The picture given of Anne is not particularly sympathetic, her intelligen
May 06, 2011 Jeanne rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys the history genre, or tudor history
I love reading about Tudor history, so I picked this up from my local library for a bit of light reading. It was exquisitely written. The author certainly could tell the life of Anne Boleyn without making it mundane. However there were a few things I felt were rather off, or inaccurate.

The book focuses entirely on Anne being unfit to be queen. It doesn't put her in any light other then a bad one. The author also assumes quite a bit about what Anne was "probably" thinking, and the same with Henry
Kimberly Ann
How this book made the Best of list in 1984 is beyond my comprehension. The writing is terrible, the information jumps from one person to another (many intertwining stories), part of this reads as non-fiction the rest as bad fiction (and you really never know which is which), and there is too much information that I believe was unnecessary.

Chapter Four: Page 45: "Never mind that, after several years, there was no conclusion in sight, or that her young charms were withering with every passing mon
Jun 25, 2015 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This may just be the best book I've read so far on the life of Anne Boleyn. The author was accurate but, unlike many other biographers of this woman, she avoided making statements that could not be firmly documented. Instead, she described events within their historical context, gave opinions which were identified as such, and sometimes simply admitted that we can never know certain things. I also felt her portrayal of Anne was balanced, and shown in the context of her times.

So glad I read this.
Oct 07, 2014 Silvia rated it really liked it
Alzi la mano chi non ha mai sentito parlare di Anna Bolena. La celebre donna dagli occhi sporgenti, testarda, caparpia, maliziosa. Colei che riuscì a entrare nelle grazie del re, a sposarlo provocando lo scisma in Inghilterra e da lui condannata a morte ufficialmente per adulterio, ma in realtà perché non era riuscita a dargli figli maschi ed era ormai divenuta un personaggio scomodo.

Carolly Erickson ricostruisce le vicende della celebre regina che amò definirsi “la più felice”.

L’opera si apre,
Kylie Cheung
Jun 01, 2013 Kylie Cheung rated it liked it
Before there was the famous and beloved "The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn" biography (Eric Ives), there was this one, and it's often overlooked today because Ives' history is recognized as the Anne Boleyn 'bible'. Yet I found "Mistress Anne" enjoyable and informative, written in beautiful historical hindsight and witty, clever speculation -- but that's not to say it was lacking in glaring historical errors.

Given its publication date in 1984, it wasn't Erickson's fault that Anne's highly importa
Jan 29, 2013 Sandy rated it really liked it
The extraordinary life of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, has long captured imaginations. Is she a seductress who steals the King's heart away from Queen Katherine or is she unwittingly tangled in the intrigues and passions of the 16th century English court?

Carolly Erikson does a fine job of pulling together what historical evidence about Anne exists and paints a historically accurate picture of life in King Henry VIII's court. However she seems too often to use such statements as "
I remember liking Carolly Erickson's biography of Elizabeth I, The First Elizabeth (though it's been a while since I read it); unfortunately, I can't say the same for her biography of Elizabeth's mother Anne Boleyn.

Part of the problem, I think, is Erickson's avowed practice of allotting as much space to a subject's earlier years as to the later ones, which she refers to as trying "to preserve the natural arc of the life as my subject lived it". However, since very little is known about Anne Bol
Delicious Strawberry
I enjoyed this book, but not as much as two other books from this author. Not much is known about Anne herself, her thoughts, and the like. There's a lot of history in here, such as about the French court in young Anne's time, or Henry's divorce with Katherine, or secondhand accounts. So honestly, compared to this entire book, the content of which is about Anne is not that much, which was disappointing, because if Ms. Erickson was going to talk about other aspects of Anne's environment rather th ...more
Apr 05, 2016 Tracy rated it did not like it
Disappointing. First of all the editing of the kindle edition is horrible. The typos and spacing errors were so frequent that it really stunted the enjoyment of reading. On top of that the book did not cover an in depth look at Anne's life; rather she was mentioned almost in a secondary capacity during the oft repeated comments of Henry's life.
Helene Harrison
ISBN? - 9780312187477

General Subject/s? - History / Tudors / Anne Boleyn / Henry VIII / 16th Century / Biography

Title? - An unusual title, and doesn't make it clear who it's about, and the picture doesn't aid either, as it's not a popular or accepted image.

General Analysis? - I think Carolly Erickson's work, although now a little outdated, is still a very useful work. However, she does subscribe to some older arguments which are now generally dismissed by modern historians. What I did find good
Oct 30, 2015 Diana rated it really liked it
Reread for a paper on the Tudor period in my British Literature class. I have to admit I enjoy this author's books. While there are multiple books out there on the subject, I did find a few things that while familiar to me since I had read the book before, I do not remember reading about them in other books. I am a huge fan of books about the Tudor dynasty and these biographies got me started many years ago in wanting to know more, and eventually leading me to become a history major. Are there n ...more
Veronique Varchi
Ho letto questa biografia spinta dalla curiosità, stuzzicata dal preambolo dell'autrice che sosteneva di regalarci una descrizione molto diversa da quella fornita dalla Storia.
De facto, non mi sembra che che abbia dipinto una Anna Bolena molto diversa, senza contare che il personaggio viene sempre descritto in maniera troppo indiretta, attraverso gli occhi di coloro che hanno avuto a che fare con lei, dunque attraverso fonti parziali in positivo o in negativo. Troppo spesso l'autrice cade in lun
Jul 15, 2014 Mich rated it liked it
Not the best written book about Queen Ann but certainly not the worse. Would have liked to read more about he childhood
Anja Calabrese
Jun 30, 2015 Anja Calabrese rated it it was ok
Nothing new here,and didn't care for the writing style .
S.A. Parham
Aug 13, 2007 S.A. Parham rated it did not like it
Shelves: biography
A biography on the life of Anne Boleyn, I expected a bit more by an author who's done several such books in the Tudor period. Sadly, the book reads like it is simply a high school student's history notes (not even the 'final paper'). The style is jagged and choppy, with so many 'we really don't know much about this woman' comments that I almost gave up on finishing it. I understand not wanting to embellish history and keeping a book historically accurate, but there are ways of doing it without d ...more
Written in 1984, "Anne Boleyn" is an interesting, relatively unbiased biography of Henry VIII's second queen.

Well worth reading if you can get hold of a copy.
Oct 26, 2011 Trudy rated it really liked it
Anne Boleyn was an obedient daughter. Sent to live in France and learn courtesan ways, she returned to England to live in Henry the VIII court. She was used by those around her to capture Henry's attention and heart. Interesting the political scandals that followed her. She had laws changed and fought for approval of the kingdom. To have lived at the time of Henry VIII would have been interesting and at times frightening. Kings did pretty much what their whims were.
Jen Hendrickson
Nov 19, 2015 Jen Hendrickson rated it really liked it
very informational and well-researched
Jul 30, 2014 Roberta rated it it was ok
Si nota un lato diverso di Anna: non si limita a descriverla come la rovinafamiglie, cos= come siamo abituati a immaginarcela per via dei riassuntivi paragrafi dei libri scolastici; piuttosto, e' una giovane donna vittima delle ambizioni paterne che riesce a prendere in mano il proprio destino.
Si tratta comunque di una trattazione scritta cn fare saggistico, pertanto a chi non ama il genere risulta un po' pesante e di lettura lenta
This was OK. I have read a lot of biographies and historical fiction about Anne Boleyn, and I didn't really learn much new from this book. I wanted MORE detail and more discussion, but it just wasn't that kind of book. (And using her own books as references seemed a bit off - the information in THOSE books had to come from somewhere, right?)
Megan Franks
Mar 04, 2011 Megan Franks added it
Shelves: abandoned
Sadly, I had to return this to the library because I haven't had the time to devote to finishing it. This book reminded my how much I loved Carolly Erickson's writing: history written in story form (with footnotes!). I was very much a fan of "The First Elizabeth" and I look forward to picking up this book again at a later date.
Feb 23, 2016 Mdbeltrano rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Very accurate history and very well written. Makes the history come alive. You can see the people not just as historical "characters" but real people who made real choices in their lives.
Jan Abraham
Oct 08, 2010 Jan Abraham rated it really liked it
I loved this book. It was really refreshing compared to all the scholarly books on Anne. It also reinvented the tale of Anne Boleyn as a tenacious and unfit Queen. It was a nice mix between the Tudors, Anne Boleyn we know from Eric Ives, and the old wives tales told by the common people. A delightful easy read
Sep 13, 2007 Nancy rated it really liked it
I continue to be fascinated with the wives of Henry VIII, and although this well-researched biography Anne Boleyn offered little new information, it's an enjoyable read. Anne continues to be a tragical historic figure, no matter how many times her story is re-written.
Sep 15, 2016 Samantha rated it really liked it
Shelves: biographies
I enjoyed this book, even though I know that it was written in the early 80s, and there are books out now that go into greater depth as new info has come about. I've always felt sorry for Anne. I don't believe that she was guilty of what she was accused of.
Dec 23, 2008 Hannah rated it it was ok
This book was just like a text book, except more details and how they managed to spend 200-ish pages breaking down such a interesting event into insane boringness is beyond my knowledge! i didn't even finish it, i was on 161 when i couldnt read it anymore!
Aug 10, 2015 mariella rated it did not like it
The author's bias toward Anne Boleyn reaches "look at this bitch eating crackers like she owns the place" status within the first twenty pages.
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Distinguished historian Carolly Erickson is the author of The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette, The First Elizabeth, Great Catherine, Alexandra and many other prize-winning works of fiction and nonfiction. She lives in Hawaii.
More about Carolly Erickson...

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