The Lady in the Tower

The Lady in the Tower

The Fall of Anne Boleyn

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
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Nearly five hundred years after her violent death, Anne Boleyn, second wife to Henry VIII, remains one of the world's most fascinating, controversial, and tragic heroines. Now acclaimed historian and bestselling author Alison Weir has drawn on myriad sources from the Tudor era to give us the first book that examines, in unprecedented depth, the gripping, dark, and chilling story of Anne Boleyn's final days. The tempestuous love affair between Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn scandalized Christendom and altered forever the religious landscape of England. Anne's ascent from private gentlewoman to queen was astonishing, but equally compelling was her shockingly swift downfall. Charged with high treason and imprisoned in the Tower of London in May 1536, Anne met her terrible end all the while protesting her innocence. There remains, however, much mystery surrounding the queen's arrest and the events leading up to it: Were charges against her fabricated because she stood in the way of Henry VIII making a third marriage and siring an heir, or was she the victim of a more complex plot fueled by court politics and deadly rivalry? The Lady in the Tower examines in engrossing detail the motives and intrigues of those who helped to seal the queen's fate. Weir unravels the tragic tale of Anne's fall, from her miscarriage of the son who would have saved her to the horrors of her incarceration and that final, dramatic scene on the scaffold. What emerges is an extraordinary portrayal of a woman of great courage whose enemies were bent on utterly destroying her, and who was tested to the extreme by the terrible plight in which she found herself. Richly researched and utterly captivating, The Lady in the Tower presents the full array of evidence of Anne Boleyn's guilt - or innocence. Only in Alison Weir's capable hands can readers learn the truth about the fate of one of the most influential and important women in English history.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 2010.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780345453211
0345453212
Characteristics: p. cm.

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llwboston
Aug 26, 2012

Meticulously detailed yet highly readable. Alison Weir's account of the power struggle that was the real basis of Anne Boleyn's downfall concludes that even before her trial her fate as sealed. Weir demonstrates that Anne was in many ways her own worst enemy, and gives us a riveting account of her final days, in the Tower and on the scaffold. This book certainly changed my perceptions of Jane Seymour's character-far from passive player in these events. In response to an earlier comment-I can find no mention in this book of the supposed "sixth finger", only two brief mentions of Anne having a double fingernail. I highly recommend this book, as well as Weir's "Life of Elizabeth I" and "Children of Henry VIII" to anyone interested in the lives of the Tudors.

crankylibrarian May 21, 2012

Weir has already written a half dozen books on the Tudors,so I wasn't sure what she would have to add here. I was pleasantly surprised; the consummate scholar, Weir has continued to do primary document research and has modified some of her theories about the relationship between Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII. Weir hesitates over the key question: did Henry believe Anne guilty of adultery, or did he knowingly and intentionally send his innocent wife and 5 subjects to the block for political purposes? Weir concludes that while Anne probably suffered from a "miscarriage of justice", Henry likely believed the charges, although they certainly proved marvelously convenient. This may be slow going for those not familiar with the story; her _The Six Wives of Henry VIII_ is a better introduction. Includes a fun chapter on Anne Boleyn ghost stories and legends.

k
KarenW
Jan 02, 2012

After some very meticulous research, Alison Weir has delivered a well balanced portrayal of the first English queen who was beheaded. She brings to light first person accounts of an event that was so shocking for the time period that there was no precedent for it. And her explanations for why Anne's situation became so dire so quickly lend a clarity that brings the reader as close to the truth as we can get.

PrimaGigi Dec 25, 2011

This is the second time I tried to read this. Alison Weir has a horrible time with facts and fiction. I tried to push forward, but I couldn't get over the fact that she kept saying that Anne had a sixth finger, which has never been proven. It just freaking nagged at me. I only trust David Starkey, Alison Weir fictional work is what she should stick to.

akarenina Jul 27, 2011

Read through page 206, then 70 pgs. of the Ives bio, then completed this. Very Scholarly but lucid and readable.

k
kaja
May 12, 2011

Wonderful book, full of details. love it!
Alison is such a great author.

g
Gizmocat
May 12, 2010

Alison Weir has written much better books. This one contains no new material and is occasionally sloppily written. There are better biographies of this queen.

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