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The Anne Boleyn Papers

Posted By Claire on September 26, 2013

Anne Boleyn PapersThe paperback version of Elizabeth Norton’s Anne Boleyn in Her Own Words and the Words of Those Who Knew Her has just been released as The Anne Boleyn Papers. The new cover and title may confuse some readers, but it is the same book as the hardback which was released in 2011.

I have both versions – thanks to Elizabeth Norton and Amberley – and the book really is a great addition to any Tudor history lover’s bookshelf. It is not an Anne Boleyn biography, it is a source book: a collection of primary source material on Anne Boleyn which have been transcribed and edited by historian Elizabeth Norton. The book includes the following sources categorised chronologically into Early Life (1501-1526), Queen in Waiting (1527-1532), Queen Anne Boleyn (1533-1536) and the Fall of Anne Boleyn (May 1536):

  • George Wyatt’s Life of Queen Anne Boleigne
  • Documents/letters relating to Anne’s time abroad and the Butler/Boleyn marriage negotiations.
  • Love letters of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn
  • Extracts from Cavendish’s Life of Wolsey
  • Letters written by Anne Boleyn
  • Letters by Cardinal Jean du Bellay
  • John Gough’s Printed Account of Henry and Anne’s Journey to France in 1532
  • Various despatches of Eustace Chapuys
  • Nicholas Harpsfield’s Account of the Marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn
  • Letters by Thomas Cranmer
  • The Noble Triumphant Coronation of Anne Boleyn
  • Nicholas Udall’s verses written for Anne’s coronation
  • Anne’s letters as Queen
  • Extract from The Life of Jane Dormer
  • A Memorial from George Constantyne to Thomas Lord Cromwell
  • Metrical Visions by George Cavendish
  • Thomas Wyatt’s poetry on the fall of Anne Boleyn and the men
  • Letter from Alexander Ales to Queen Elizabeth I
  • Documentation regarding the fall and trials of Anne Boleyn and the men
  • Letters by Thomas Cromwell
  • Poems supposedly written by Anne Boleyn
  • Extracts from contemporary chronicles
  • Poetry by Lancelot de Carles
  • Accounts of the 1536 executions
  • Extracts from John Foxe’s Actes and Monuments

and much more.

OK, so many of these documents are available in online archives, but this book’s value is that they’re all together in one book. It really is a wonderful resource for researchers and those studying Anne Boleyn. To have a collection of primary sources at your fingertips like that saves a lot of time. The book also includes Notes and Bibliography. The hardback version has illustrations.

Just to reiterate one more time: this book is the same book as Anne Boleyn in Her Own Words and the Words of Those Who Knew Her so don’t buy it if you already have that one. I do prefer the hardback version because the text is easier to read, but paperbacks are cheaper and smaller. I’d highly recommend adding it to your Tudor book collection.

Blurb from Amazon

The cover of the original hardback

The cover of the original hardback

Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, caused comment wherever she went. Through the chronicles, letters and dispatches written by both Anne and her contemporaries, it is possible to see her life and thoughts as she struggled to become queen of England, ultimately ending her life on the scaffold. Only through the original sources is it truly possible to evaluate the real Anne. George Wyatt’s Life of Queen Anne provided the first detailed account of the queen, based on the testimony of those that knew her. The poems of Anne’s supposed lover, Thomas Wyatt, as well as accounts such as Cavendish’s Life of Wolsey also give details of her life, as do the hostile dispatches of the Imperial Ambassador, Eustace Chapuys and the later works of the slanderous Nicholas Slander and Nicholas Harpsfield. Henry VIII’s love letters and many of Anne’s own letters survive, providing an insight into the love affair that changed England forever. The reports on Anne’s conduct in the Tower of London show the queen’s shock and despair when she realised that she was to die. Collected together for the first time, these and other sources make it possible to view the real Anne Boleyn through her own words and those of her contemporaries.

Book Details

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Amberley Publishing (1 Aug 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1445612887
ISBN-13: 978-1445612881
The Anne Boleyn Papers is available from, Amazon UK or your usual bookshop.


One Response to “The Anne Boleyn Papers”

  1. BanditQueen says:

    This is a great resource on Anne and the Court at the time. I fell for the new paperback as the title and the cover are very different and got the paperback as well as the hardback from 2 years ago. But at least the paperback is lighter and easier to carry around.

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