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The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  1,096 ratings  ·  131 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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3.82  · 
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 ·  1,096 ratings  ·  131 reviews

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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
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
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
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.
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
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 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.
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.
Hanna  (lapetiteboleyn)
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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: history, biographical
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: tudor, history
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
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.
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.
Alexander Catt
Jun 01, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The book seems more like a collection of blog posts discrediting other authors and their use of evidence which just makes the book boring to read and honestly makes the history incorrect considering the assumptions that things didn't happen.
Aug 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
I've read better history papers. Full of typos and grammatical errors
Jennifer Rose
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
The fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown definitely exceeded my expectations. I went into this book thinking it would be the same that I have read throughout most Tudor books. This definitely was not the case.

There are parts and days that I knew about that it was as if I was re-reading them again. Most of the days that Claire talks about aren't as widely known. There are days about the council that show you just how much before her arrest this was all in motion.

One thing that really opened my eyes w
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Having read Ms. Ridgway's previous novel 'The Anne Boleyn Collection: The Real Truth About the Tudors', I knew what type of book to expect. This is not a novel with dialogue, or a story told in Anne's voice. Rather, it's a breakdown of the final days of Queen Anne's life. What lead her to be a prisoner in the tower, who was responsible for her death, and what her final days and hours may have been like.

Keep in mind that this book is completely subjective. Almost the entire book is the opinion of
Mary Louise
A comprehensive, informative, easy and compelling read. Claire has devoted a lot of time and energy researching her subject and it shows! The format of the book was incredibly easy to read. A historical date book of what was happening on the days leading up to Anne Boleyn's execution. I enjoyed how there were brief biographies after the sections where certain personages were mentioned. The reader is told who these people were and how they fit into the story which gives the reader that much more ...more
Jay Pees
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great but tragic piece English history.

Anne Boleyn was likely the most tragic character in Tudor England. This book tells her story in an elegant manner. It is very readable and told in an authoritative way that is very sympathetic to the characters and the time period. While it was certainly a different time with different customs and expectations, Anne was likely at least somewhat culpable and guilty of misdeeds. Today those misdeeds would not be punished with death, that was true in Tudor
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
Jess Casey
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Read

Claire Ridgway really can’t do too much wrong in my eyes. I’ve been a follower of her website for years, and this book is a wonderful accompaniment to the already detailed research she has there. It gives such a different perspective to see the whirlwind of events broken down the way she has, almost day by day. I so appreciate that she doesn’t paint Anne as either a saint or a sinner—she rounds her out as the complex woman that she was and deserves to be known as. Read the book and vis
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.
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you love the history of Anne Boleyn the book is a must!

This is a must read it you are fascinated with Anne Boleyn. Her timeline is very supported and as neutral as one should be. It is informative and sympathetic.
Lizzie Barron Cantu
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found this a interesting read. I love history and I realize there was a lot I still didn’t know.

For those of you who don’t know. This author has a YouTube channel has well. You can follow along with it but the book goes into more details
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.
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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