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In the news -- Anne Boleyn

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message 1: by Naomi V (new)

Naomi V (naomi_v) See this article in the Guardian

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/...


A new biography of Anne Boleyn is set to claim that, far from being framed for adultery, Henry VIII's second queen may not have been innocent of the affairs for which she was sentenced to death.


The widely held view among contemporary historians is that the charges brought against Anne – that she committed adultery with five lovers, including her brother – are too preposterous to be true, and were either trumped up by one political faction to do down another, or invented by Henry as a result of his desire to marry Jane Seymour, after Anne had failed to give him a son. But George Bernard, professor of early modern history at Southampton University and editor of the English Historical Review, believes that the queen could well have been guilty of some of the charges laid against her – or at the very least that her behaviour was such that it was reasonable for Henry to assume she had committed adultery.


Examining a 1545 poem by Lancelot de Carles, who was then serving the French ambassador to Henry's court, Bernard concludes that the poem, entitled "A letter containing the criminal charges laid against Queen Anne Boleyn of England," offers strong evidence that Anne did, in fact, commit adultery. She was accused of "despising her marriage" and "entertaining malice against the king", with her indictment claiming that "by base conversations and kisses, touchings, gifts, and other infamous incitations" she seduced men including the musician Mark Smeaton, chief gentleman of the privy chamber Henry Norris and her brother George, Viscount Rochford, "alluring him with her tongue in his mouth and his in hers". All five men, and Anne, were executed.


De Carles's poem, says Bernard, explains how Anne's affairs came to light, following a quarrel at court between a privy councillor and his sister who, on being accused of promiscuous living, points to "a much higher fault that is much more damaging" in the queen. Bernard identifies the lady as Elizabeth Browne, wife of Henry Somerset, second earl of Worcester, and her brother as the courtier Sir Anthony Browne, and says that clues offered in the poem can be supported by remarks made in contemporary letters.


"It's not that I've discovered the poem for the first time – it's been known to scholars because an edition was printed in the 1920s – but on the whole scholars have dismissed it because it's a literary source," said Bernard, who speculates that a reason for Anne's adultery could have been to try and produce a son for her intermittently impotent husband. "But it seems to me that [it presents:] a plausible scenario – we can identify the accuser as the countess of Worcester, and we can link her to the queen."


Of the conclusions he draws from this latest evidence, Bernard says, "It's a hypothesis – not a proof. In a court of law you might not condemn her for the crime, but I don't think you'd acquit her either."


His biography, Anne Boleyn: Fatal Attractions, due out from Yale University Press in April, also disputes the view that Anne held back from sexual relations with Henry until he agreed to make her his queen, claiming that it is "highly implausible". He believes that it was Henry, not Anne, who held back, on the grounds that he wanted their children to be his legitimate heirs. "He would, I suspect, have been astonished and horrified to discover that later generations have supposed he did not sleep with Anne in those years because she would not let him," Bernard says.


message 2: by Colleen, Mod #3 (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 1106 comments Wow, what an excellent post! I know I can speak for many in the group by saying thanks so much for this, it sounds very interesting.

On a side note, Ha I say! ;) I had not even seriously taken into account that Henry, being more of a prude than an out of control skirt chaser, would be furious that people would think he the king of England could be controled by a woman like that.


message 3: by Lyn (Readinghearts) (last edited Feb 23, 2010 02:42PM) (new)

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) I agree, an excellent post.

Colleen - Weir both quotes and cites Bernard many times in The Lady in the Tower and discusses the theory that Henry was concerned that people would think him a cuckold.


message 4: by Darbus, Mod #2 (new)

Darbus | 93 comments That's interesting... I was trying to do a bit of research to see if I could find anything to back up an idea that I read once (Francis Weston was a political opposite of Anne, and generally hated her), but couldn't recall where it was from. I came across this page, and wanted to hit myself upside the head. http://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/sir... I wasn't aware that you needed to show a strong opinion about unrelated matters when talking about the Tudors, in addition to being unclear. What does anyone else think?


message 5: by Julie (new)

Julie Thanks for sharing that link, Darbus. Tons of stuff to check out and explore. :)


Darbus wrote: "That's interesting... I was trying to do a bit of research to see if I could find anything to back up an idea that I read once (Francis Weston was a political opposite of Anne, and generally hated ..."


message 6: by Connie (new)

Connie (boleynfan) | 41 comments Per Bernard himself, this is just an hypothesis not a proof.

Guess the author doesn't believe in the concept of innocence unless guilty is proven beyond a reasonable doubt...a quote from this article:

"Of the conclusions he draws from this latest evidence, Bernard says, "It's a hypothesis – not a proof. In a court of law you might not condemn her for the crime, but I don't think you'd acquit her either."

Just read about this poem as a source in "The Lady in the Tower" by Weir, who mentions Bernard in the notes about De Carles'. Check it out on page 356. She suggests this poem is not the one written on the fall of Anne Boleyn.


message 7: by Danielle (new)

Danielle (danielledore) Interesting idea about Henry holding out on the sex... but what made her the one he married then? Why upheave the country and go through a grueling six years of waiting if she wasnt witholding sex from him? She would have likely just became another mistress like the others and he would have tired of her like he did almost as soon as he married her. She must have been tantalizing him with something to keep him enamoured with her for so long before thier marraige.


message 8: by Colleen, Mod #3 (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 1106 comments Since his lawful wife was going through menopause the much desired prize AB held over his head was the promise that she would bear him sons. She did hold out on sex seeing as according to some of their remaining letters he told her if she became his mistress he would make her the only one (wow Henry, way to make a woman feel special). I just think Henry would have been angry to think that a second class citizen (a woman) could completely control him, not that he was the one withholding sex per say. He already had a son but he was a bastard so could never be his heir. I think AB convinced him she would not be just another roll in the hay then held his true desire, a legitimate son, over his head and drove him mad with it.


message 9: by Tina (new)

Tina | 0 comments Poor son who was illegitimate. No one who is illegitimate could ever rule. . . what, wasn't both Mary and Elizabeth one time considered illegitimate, then later got named as rulers in dad's will, and then later did become queens?

Poor guy, he got the short end of the will.


message 10: by Colleen, Mod #3 (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 1106 comments Yes Tina, when Henry divorced KoA that made Mary illegitimate. Then when he secured a divocre from AB while she was in the tower and right before she was cropped at the neck that made Elizabeth illegitimate. In his final will he named Edward (the much longed for son from Jane Seymour) his heir then Mary then Elizabeth. Henry's illegitimate son (Henry Fiztroy), by his short affair with a Bessie Blount, died when he was fifteen anyway. Though during his life the boy did have titles and his own household and was in the kings affection.


message 11: by Tina (new)

Tina | 0 comments Thanks for the synopsis Colleen. . . I was attempting humor at the legitimacy/illegitimacy whims of royalty :-) Seems like Ole Henry changed his mind on legit and illegit as many times as he changed his bathwater (not as many times as his wives, but often nonetheless). *cough* Another joke. I think I'm falling flat today, I didn't have my morning cup of coffee. It's thrown off my whole day! ;-)


message 12: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Totten (katherine42) Tina wrote: "Thanks for the synopsis Colleen. . . I was attempting humor at the legitimacy/illegitimacy whims of royalty :-) Seems like Ole Henry changed his mind on legit and illegit as many times as he chang..."
It's good to have a sense of humor. So many people are so sour these days.


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Tina - I love your sarcasm. "Ole Henry" as you call him was quite a guy, huh?


message 14: by Colleen, Mod #3 (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 1106 comments Sorry Tina, didn't catch the sarcasm; such is the peril of having an online conversation! lol


message 15: by Tina (new)

Tina | 0 comments Colleen wrote: "Sorry Tina, didn't catch the sarcasm; such is the peril of having an online conversation! lol"

Oh, totally don't worry about it--online is difficult Besides, I learned a long time ago that I should never try to communicate thoughts before coffee--bad things can happen! :-)


message 16: by Tina (new)

Tina | 0 comments Lyn M wrote: "Tina - I love your sarcasm. "Ole Henry" as you call him was quite a guy, huh?"

Awww, thanks. ;-)

Henry--he's one of those guys I'd love to see doing a counseling session, or an interview on Oprah, or Larry King Live. Or Christine Amanpour. Just had a funny thought--could you imagine how marital counseling sessions would go? With any of his wives? I would love to be a fly on the wall for any of those!


message 17: by Colleen, Mod #3 (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 1106 comments True true Tina! I got up the other day and stumbled into the kitchen and ended up warming up an empty mug in the microwave, proof bad things happen before coffee! LOL


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Connie wrote: "Per Bernard himself, this is just an hypothesis not a proof.

Guess the author doesn't believe in the concept of innocence unless guilty is proven beyond a reasonable doubt...a quote from this ar..."

What's between acquittal and conviction? Is he saying there would be a hung jury today? I bet the paper spliced up his quotes.


message 19: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (arizona03) A book supposing marital counseling sessions between him and his wives would be simply amazing!! :D


message 20: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (arizona03) A book supposing marital counseling sessions between him and his wives would be simply amazing!! :D


message 21: by Jennifer, Mod #5 (new)

Jennifer (jennifertudor) | 951 comments Ashley wrote: "A book supposing marital counseling sessions between him and his wives would be simply amazing!! :D"

Haha someone should definitely write that! It could be fantastic :)


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 1951 comments Apparently Brian Blessed (he played Augustus in I,Claudius) is currently playing Henry as a suburban guy, married to Catherine Parr and twitting the king of France on Facebook and giving the Pope raspberries on Twitter on "Henry 8.0" for the BBC on the web. http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/clips/p00...

I think he also played Henry in "The Nearly Complete and Utter History of Everything," (1999), a sort of collection of comedy sketches with everyone from Stephen Fry to Dawn French. I believe his sketch was Henry in marriage counseling with Catherine Parr (Julia Sawalha).


message 23: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (arizona03) I can just see it now....

Counselor: So what brings you here today?
Henry: I don't have a son!!!
Anne: Always about you isn't it?? Maybe if you weren't off tramping so much....
Henry: Cause you haven't given me a son!!!

The next week...

Henry: So, I'm seeing somebody new!
Counselor: New? But where is Anne?
Henry: Oh....um...yeah, she couldn't handle court life..lost her head about it actually heh heh...*cough cough*


message 24: by Jennifer, Mod #5 (new)

Jennifer (jennifertudor) | 951 comments LMAO!


message 25: by Colleen, Mod #3 (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 1106 comments Hahahahaha!


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