The Final Year of Anne Boleyn

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Pub Date 30 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 21 Oct 2022
Pen & Sword, Pen & Sword History

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There are few women in English history more famous or controversial than Queen Anne Boleyn. She was the second wife of Henry VIII, mother of Elizabeth I and the first English queen to be publicly executed. Much of what we think we know about her is coloured by myth and legend, and does not stand up to close scrutiny. Reinvented by each new generation, Anne is buried beneath centuries of labels: homewrecker, seductress, opportunist, witch, romantic victim, Protestant martyr, feminist. In this vivid and engaging account of the triumphant and harrowing final year of Queen Anne Boleyn’s life, the author reveals a very human portrait of a brilliant, passionate and complex woman.

The last twelve months of Anne’s life contained both joy and heartbreak. This telling period bore witness to one of the longest and most politically significant progresses of Henry VIII’s reign, improved relations between the royal couple, and Anne’s longed-for pregnancy. With the dawning of the new year, the pendulum swung. In late January 1536, Anne received news that her husband had been thrown from his horse in his tiltyard at Greenwich. Just days later, tragedy struck. As the body of Anne’s predecessor, Katherine of Aragon, was being prepared for burial, Anne miscarried her son. The promise of a new beginning dashed, the months that followed were a rollercoaster of anguish and hope, marked by betrayal, brutality and rumour. What began with so much promise, ended in silent dignity, amid a whirlwind of scandal, on a scaffold at the Tower of London.

Through close examination of these intriguing events considered in their social and historical context, readers will gain a fresh perspective into the life and death of the woman behind the tantalising tale.

"Natalie Grueninger skilfully unravels the myths surrounding Anne Boleyn’s downfall, and presents the most compelling account of her final months to date. A Triumph.” - Dr Owen Emmerson, Historian and Assistant Curator, Hever Castle

"A heart-stirring account of Anne Boleyn's last living year. Researched flawlessly, the events are revealed in a compelling read; little-known facts adding to the tension which builds toward an emotional end. A must-read for fans and students of Tudor history." - Sandra Vasoli, author of Anne Boleyn's Letter From the Tower: A New Assessment

"Genuinely ground-breaking, provocative yet sensitive, exquisitely well-researched and fair - both to Anne's friends and enemies - Natalie Grueninger's book shows us the complexities, and the secrets, that wove together during Anne Boleyn's final twelve months as queen. This is an exciting and important book of Tudor history." - Gareth Russell, Historian and author of The Ship of Dreams and Young and Damned and Fair

“Astonishingly well-researched, The Final Year of Anne Boleyn triumphantly re-writes the fall of one of England's most famous queen consorts, shedding new light on a well-known story. A riveting and emotional read.” - Kate McCaffrey, Assistant Curator, Hever Castle

"The Final Year of Anne Boleyn is proof that a thoughtful, serious, and sensitive work of scholarship can also be entertainingly and delightfully written. Grueninger grasps the nitty-gritty and gives us a deeply considered, elegantly restrained, and often freshly compelling interpretation of this thrilling, contested, and fatal year." - Professor Suzannah Lipscomb, Historian, Author and Broadcaster.

"Meticulously researched: check, well-referenced: check, a fascinating read: check, an engaging style: check. That's what I look for in a history book! Thank you, Natalie, for meddling in Anne's cause so delightfully well." - Claire Ridgway, Author and Historian

“From the scaffold, she asked that we ‘judge the best’, but history has not been fair to Anne Boleyn. Finally, in this engrossing and meticulously researched exploration of the final year of the controversial queen’s life, the real Anne leaps to life in all her tangible humanity. Brilliant, loving, compassionate, acerbic, resilient and breathtakingly bold, this is the Anne we’ve never fully met. From her dedication to the most vulnerable in her community, to her courage in fronting up to injustice, here was a woman who was speaking truth to power centuries before the term entered the lexicon. The prevailing patriarchy thought they’d silenced her but her enduring popularity has proven them wrong. Weaving primary sources and exhaustive contemporary research, Natalie Grueninger masterfully places the reader front and centre of one of the most portentous years in English history, untangling the complex web of intrigue that ended in the sanctioned murder of an English queen.”- Karina Machado, Author and Podcaster

There are few women in English history more famous or controversial than Queen Anne Boleyn. She was the second wife of Henry VIII, mother of Elizabeth I and the first English queen to be publicly...

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EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781526776983
PRICE £19.99 (GBP)

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