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The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  995 Ratings  ·  123 Reviews
During the spring of 1536 in Tudor England, events conspire to bring down Anne Boleyn, the Queen of England. The coup against the Queen results in the brutal executions of six innocent people - Anne Boleyn herself, her brother, and four courtiers - and the rise of a new Queen. Drawing on sixteenth century letters, eye witness accounts and chronicles, Claire Ridgway leads t ...more
Paperback, 348 pages
Published April 30th 2012 by MadeGlobal Publishing/Create Space (first published April 26th 2012)
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Rio (Lynne)
May 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-a-copy
If you want to learn about the actual happenings of this trial and time, this is the only book you need to read. Just like today, the press spins stories to manipulate the public and if people read it, they sadly believe it. In 1536 it was no different. The author includes The Chronicle of Calais and The Spanish Chronicle's versions of the beheadings. How different they are. Then we have Eustace Chapuys version (a man we know who was not on The Boleyn's side) and writers and some historians have ...more
Jun 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit I was somewhat wary of this book. Overall, however, it is actually very good. What I particularly liked, perhaps Ridgway's tone, was the fact that she presents areas of dispute equally. In other words, she gives the evidence for each side, gives each side equal room, and then explains her conclusion.

But I have to agree with Isis - Seymour's death is wrong, I believe. This could be a typo. - See comment section below. Apparently this is going to be fixed. I must say Ridgway is a L
After having read Hilary Mantel’s richly detailed Bring Up the Bodies, depicting the downfall of the Boleyns from the perspective of Thomas Cromwell, I had a sudden hankering to get back to the stark, unadorned sources and facts about events. Claire Ridgway’s The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown was ideal for that purpose, presenting events in an extremely clear and useful chronological format, and cutting through the mire of myth and examining source reliability and bias as we go along. It’s th ...more
Adrienne Dillard
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2016
Concise and well-researched, this is a gem you don't want to miss! Whether you want just a cursory look at Anne Boleyn's fall or are interested in a day-by-day account, Ridgway's book has you covered. This book has been invaluable in my research, plus it's laid out great for reference. I had to refer back to it several times and it was a cinch to find just what I was looking for.
I appreciated the small opening biographies of the "cast" and did glean a lot of information from this book, so overall I did enjoy it.

However, there were times when I was very frustrated with the author. If you are looking for excerpts of old writings and letters to collaborate theories, this is the book for you. If you just want to read a narrative of what happened (or one person's thoughts on what happened), I have a harder time recommending this. Many of the quotes and excerpts that were us
May 07, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was entertaining and informative. However, there were a lot of typos and grammatical errors and I really thought it was unprofessional when the author started saying "I think" or "in my opinion". It's one thing for a blog, but completely another where you are writing a book that (I am assuming?) you want to be taken seriously. On the plus side, Ms. Ridgway is serious about her endeavor to discover and spread the truth about a poorly understood and misremembered (I am making up my own w ...more
May 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: britain-history, 2016
J'aime toujours autant cette auteur. Ses explications sont vraiment très claires et accessibles.
Ce qui me plait par dessus tout, c'est qu'elle cite toutes ses sources. Elle ne se contente pas de nous donner son avis. Elle compare les différentes informations positives et négatives avant de donner sa propre opinion.
This was well written with a lot of quotes from primary sources so the author has clearly done extensive research. But it felt more like a collection of blog entries (which may very well be the case). I think it could have been edited differently to flow better rather than having short, choppy chapters that were sometimes only a page or two long.

Occasionally, I felt it was a little vague in places where I was interested in seeing more detail. For example, the author details how others have come
Mary Josefina Cade
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Queen Anne Boleyn, six fingered witch or dark eyed woman of wit and intelligence? This is an endlessly debated question and the topic of countless novels and academic books. What was Anne’s true nature? What did she look like? Did she cheat on Henry VIII? Following her execution Henry destroyed Anne’s portraits and possibly her letters and much else. Opinions vary from person to person, but I favour feisty, witty Anne, a faithful wife who captivated Henry VIII with her outspokeness, intelligence ...more
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographical, history
I found The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown to be an amazing book. Anne Boleyn was an intriguing person in English history. We all know she was beheaded. We know she was a wife of Henry VIII. We know she was not her first wife nor was she his last. And most of us know that she & King Henry VIII were the parents of Queen Elizabeth I.

I personally always felt that Anne was doomed when she met the King.

The writer, Claire Ridgeway, approaches the life of Anne Boleyn via a timeline or countdown.
May 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a well thought out and thoroughly researched book about the last days of Anne Boleyn. I love learning about "The Tudor Era" and this book is one of the best I have read. Very historically written and it is in the form of a diary. This book makes me respect Anne Boleyn more than I have before. Most documents make her out to be snotty and irrespectable. This is a total opposite account of what she was like. I definitely recommend to those who like British history and King Henry VIII period ...more
May 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, tudor
In a word - Excellent! I've read dozens of books related to Tudor history, specifically Anne Boleyn and this is one of the best. The information is presented in an easy to follow and logical order that is practically impossible to put down. I have always believed the situation surrounding the the fall of Anne Boleyn to be a case of The perfect storm" and I had to smile when I saw I really wasn't alone in this opinion. Definitely a book I will be reading again!
May 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tudor

Written in a rather conversational tone it might make you suspect of what the author is trying to pass off. However, this book does a nice job of a condensed history of the fall of Anne Boleyn. My favourite part however, is the catalogue of historical characters, especially the "after" ones. You don't see that very often
Kilian Metcalf
Sep 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
A complete, concise, and comprehensive account of the fall and death of Anny Boleyn. There is a bonus list of the primary actors in the case with their own eventual ends. I found it very useful for reference.
Jun 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
Only read this because it was free in the Kindle Lending Library. No new information and not very well-written, but a basic layouts of the facts from original sources that allows readers to make their own decision about Anne Boleyn's fate and who sentenced her to it.
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
Some good research here and told without too much spin (there is some although the author does better than most in trying to avoid it). Unfortunately, the writing style was like that of an unschooled teenager and did not appeal to me.
Claire Ridgway
Apr 30, 2012 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
My own book!
Alissa Chandler
Jul 28, 2012 rated it did not like it
A really bad book. Tedious, boring and these were the best parts. I can't say enough negative things about this book.
I was very disappointment and this is a topic I absolutely love.
The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown is another fascinating and well researched book by Claire Ridgway, creator of The Anne Boleyn Files website. As the title suggests, this one focuses on Anne Boleyn’s fall and is written in a sort of diary format: in chronological order, the book documents events which were relevant to Anne’s disgrace.

This format makes it very compelling and easy to read (I finished it in just a couple of days), and also very useful to consult if you are interested in specifi
marianne baddeley
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well balanced and methodically researched account. I appreciate the fact that the author invites the reader to draw their own conclusions.

Excellent academic arguments.
A clear chronology of historical events.
Including all the people involved at court and their individual roles.
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoy reading about the Tudors although I’m a weak history buff. The author did a splendid job about being clear about the facts. If the actual history wasn’t clear-she stated just that. When statements were her opinions-she made it clear and why.
Tammy Scott
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Love the Tudor Reign. Rich in history. Well written and insightful. Author writes so as not to become entangled in timeline. Thoroughly enjoyed!!
Kathleen Cochran
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
New information for Tudor buffs.
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finished in two days!

I love the timeline aspect of it. Instead of romanticizing it like so many do, it's all facts that are given and I was still glued to it.
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Claire Ridgeway does an excellent job making the material of Anne Boleyn’s fall accessible to all readers: those well-versed in the material, novices and everyone in-between. I happen to fall in the in-between having my own blog on Queen Elizabeth I at

The layout garners itself for modern readers who are used to jumping from topic to topic on internet pages. That actually leads to one of my two concerns with this book for those of us who read materials cover to cover —lar
Dec 12, 2012 rated it liked it
This book is a careful collation of facts and dates to clear the fictions around the actual persons and events of those tumultous and murderous Tudors. It's very well put together and presented, and in a sense is the "User Guide" to all the material we have around, that makes great fiction but may not be accurate factually. It's careful timeline and presentation of facts forces you to think and make up your mind about what really went on, especially the farcical trials by juries.
I didn't realis
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book with very good research. It's clearly laid out and I found it both interesting and accurate. Very enjoyable. If you are a Tudor fan this is an excellent book.
Natasha woods
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic read

Again another riveting read by Claire Ridgeway, I've read just about all of her books and each time find her depth of research amazing. I am a complete Anne Boleyn geek and agree whole heartedly the poor woman understand a chance. Anne was no saint as pointed out in this and other books, she was a forward thinking woman who would have been at home in today's world. A great read.
Megan Roman
Dec 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
I decided to kick off 2013 with The Fall of Anne Boleyn because, really, it’s been far too long since my last Tudor read. And while I have a few biographies sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be cracked open, I opted to revisit Ridgway’s personable and accessible writing style instead. Similarly to The Anne Boleyn Collection, The Fall of Anne Boleyn, at times, reads like a conversation that the reader could be taking part in with the author. I love that you don’t only get historical facts and ex ...more
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  • The History of Napoleon Buonaparte
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  • The Queen's Promise
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Claire Ridgway is the author of the best-selling books On This Day in Tudor History(October 2012), The Anne Boleyn Collection (Feb 2012), The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown (April 2012), The Anne Boleyn Collection II (September 2013) George Boleyn: Tudor Poet, Courtier and Diplomat (April 2014), Sweating Sickness: In an Nutshell (August 2014), Illustrated Kings and Queens of England (November 20 ...more
More about Claire Ridgway

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