Here is Part Ten and the final part on my series on Mary Boleyn. In this final part I take a look back over Mary's life and the few events that we do know happened to her. I also explore my thoughts and feelings about this remarkable woman and talk a little about why Mary Boleyn means so much to me.
I also wanted to say a big THANK YOU to Claire from The Anne Boleyn Files for posting my series on Mary Boleyn on her website, it has been such an honour to share my work with such an incredible woman and a fantastic website. I also wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has followed by series and followed me on this journey as I explored the life of Mary Boleyn. For me it has been incredibly rewarding to explore Mary's life, to learn more about her and to find my own strength in such a remarkable and inspiring woman.
Posted by Sarah
In Part Nine of my series on Mary Boleyn I explore the happenings of Mary's life from the time of her sibling's executions until her death. How did she feel knowing that her only brother and sister were put to death on trumped up charges of incest, adultery and treason? How did she respond to the news of their tragic executions? Where was she when all of this happened? What was her life like after their deaths? Where was she living? Where did she die? So many questions to be answered....
Posted by Sarah
A Lover’s Guide to King Henry VIII of England: A Look at the Man, His Wives, and His Mistresses Including Catherine of Aragon, Elizabeth Blount, Anne Boleyn, Mary Boleyn and More edited by Annabel Audley from High Quality Wikipedia Articles.
The role of the book within our culture is changing. The change is brought on by new ways to acquire & use content, the rapid dissemination of information and real-time peer collaboration on a global scale. Despite these changes on thing is clear – “the book” in its traditional form continues to play an important role in learning and communication. The book you’re holding in your hand utilizes the unique characteristics of the Internet – replying on web infrastructure and collaborative tools to share and use resources in keeping with the characteristics of the medium (use-created, defying control, etc.) – while maintaining all the convenience and utility of a real book.
I have to admit that I bought this book on a whim. I am completely and utterly taken by the life of Mary Boleyn and find her to be the most interesting personality to live during the Tudor period. I saw on the title of this book Mary Boleyn’s name and pressed the purchase button before I actually stopped to read the details of the book!
This book is essentially a compilation of Wikipedia articles, collated and edited by Annabel Audley. Audley seems to have collected information from various Wikipedia articles as well as using other sources such as books by Eric Ives, David Starkey, Alison Weir, Retha Warnicke and Joanna Denny. She has also used a range of other websites to compile information together about Henry VIII, his six wives and his two most well-known mistresses.
I thought it was quite a good idea to have a single book which compiles a range of internet sources as it makes gathering and reading information quick and simple. Instead of viewing multiple webpages the reader has the opportunity to take out a single book and flick through to find the piece of information they are after. While on one hand this is quite good on the other hand the reader is paying for information which they can get online for free. To be honest I am not sure how many people will purchase this book if they know that all the information within the pages is available for free on the internet.
I also have to admit that I do have a tendency to doubt Wikipedia articles as at times there are mistakes such as dates of births, deaths, marriages and also incorrect information given for various events. While reading through this book I did pick up on several inaccuracies. For example Audley writes that Anne Boleyn was an Anglican. I am quite stumped to where she gained this idea as in all my reading and research I have NEVER heard Anne Boleyn being referred to as an Anglican. Certainly she had evangelical leanings and desired to see some modifications to the traditions within the Catholic faith, but never have I heard of her being called an Anglican. Some suggest that she may have been a Protestant, but during her lifetime that term was not in common use. Audley also stated that Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII’s marriage was annulled by Thomas Cranmer on 14th May 1536, where in fact it was annulled on the 17th of May 1536.
Audley then goes on to state that Anne Boleyn was the only Protestant member of the Howard family – yet a few pages before she had stated that Anne Boleyn was an Anglican! Anne Boleyn was not the only member of her family to have evangelical leanings. George Boleyn, Anne’s younger brother is also known to have a passion for religious reform and he commissioned two texts which spoke about making the bible accessible to the common man. It is also believed that their father Thomas Boleyn shared his children’s desire for religious reform.
I was also a little confused when Audley wrote that Elizabeth “Bessie” Blount was the mistress of Henry VIII for approximately eight years. She then gives the dates of the affair from sometime around 1514/1515 to 1519. These dates do not span eight years, but rather five years. I think this is a typing error that was not picked up on.
Lastly it frustrated me that it was stated that Mary Boleyn had two children, Anne and Edward Stafford with her second husband Henry Stafford. There is no evidence at all to suggest that any child born to Mary and Henry survived infancy. It is known that in 1534 Mary was pregnant by her second husband but what happened to this child remains a mystery. There are no records of it being born or of the child’s life so it is commonly believed that Mary either miscarried or the child died in infancy. I do get frustrated when a piece of information is given as fact but there is no evidence or records to pack it up.
Overall I probably would not suggest purchasing this book. While it is good to have information about Henry’s wives and mistresses compiled in one book, it should be kept in mind that this information is available free on the internet. There are also several inaccuracies within this book and I would suggest that if someone wanted to read a detailed account about Henry’s wives that they choose a more reputable book such as David Starkey’s “Six Wives The Wives of Henry VIII”, Alison Weir’s “The Six Wives of Henry VIII” or “The Six Wives of Henry VIII” by David Loades.
Posted by Sarah
The Tudors history of a Dynasty
By David Loades
This is a book about one of the most powerful and influential dynasties in English history, a dynasty of five monarchs who ruled their domain for over a century. The Tudors were concerned to build a government that would endure, hence their constant concern with the succession – an anxiety which lasted throughout the century.
Although all Tudor monarchs believed that their authority derived from God, they had different ways of expressing that conviction, and above all they believed in ruling with consent and advice. For this reason they built partnerships, not with the old nobility as their predecessors had done, but with the wider community of the gentry, and above all with parliament. They were not in any sense democrats, but the partnerships which they built in church and state lasted for centuries, and still influence the way we look at our politics today.
The Tudor age was an era of momentous religious, social and political change and David Loades provides an expert overview of this pivotal period of British history.
Yet another Tudor book to add to my never ending collection! I have always been quite a fan of David Loades and I thoroughly enjoy his writing style so when I heard that he was releasing a book summarizing the rule of the Tudors I was eager to purchase it for my book collection. I have read several books which look at the Tudor monarchs and have enjoyed them all and I am eager to see what Loades includes and does not include within his book. It is a rather small book so it shall be interesting to see just how much depth he will go into and what aspects of Tudor history he chooses to focus on.
I am aware that Loades does have a tendency to give inaccurate dates, for example he keeps stating in his books that Anne Boleyn was executed on the 18th of May rather than the 19th. While reading his latest book I will have to keep my eyes out for any dates and double check that they match up. But other than this I am still very excited to read Loades book. I think it will be a very interesting and informative read!
Posted by Sarah
For thsoe that have been following here is Part Eight of my series on Mary Boleyn. In this part I look at the fall and execution of Mary's siblings Anne and George and try to work out her whereabouts during this time. I also explore a little about how Mary may have felt about her affair with Henry VIII being the reason that Anne's marriage was annulled. I hope you enjoy...
Posted by Sarah
Quick Question: When did the Mary Rose Sink?
The Mary Rose was Henry VIII’s great flag ship which was built between 1509 and 1511. When Henry VIII succeeded to the thrown after his father’s death he decided to build up the English navy since the country was under the constant threat from a French invasion. Amongst other ships Henry VIII ordered the building of the Mary Rose, most probably named after his younger sister Mary Tudor.
After a long and successful naval career the Mary Rose tragically sunk on July 19th 1545 in the Solent during a battle with the French fleet. When the Mary Rose met her fate and sank she was thirty four years old, one of Henry VIII’s greatest war ships and she carried magnificent guns and had a crew of over four hundred men. Nearly all of the four hundred crew and soldiers perished when the Mary Rose went under. It has been proposed that a possible reason the Mary Rose sank was because she was making too tight of a turn and that the gun ports close to the water level were still open thus letting water into the hull of the ship. It has also been suggested that there was disorganisation and unruly men aboard the ship either not taking orders or due to the chaos unable to hear and understand the orders. The orders may have been given to close the gun ports before the ship turned, but unfortunately they were not heard or understood.
The hull of the Mary Rose was raised in 1982 and is currently located at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard where it is undergoing restoration and preservation to be viewed by the public in 2012.
A sketch of the Mary Rose
National Geographic, ‘The Ghosts of the Mary Rose’, date watched 10th July 2011.
The Mary Rose Trust, 2011, ‘19th July 1545: when their world stopped our story began’, viewed 22nd September 2011, Available from Internet < http://www.maryrose.org/index.html>.