This book primarily looks at the last few months of Anne Boleyn's life, with Weir aiming to mostly use primary sources in her research and retelling.
It started off a little bit slow (although I could possibly also account for this just by me getting reacquainted with the slower style of well-researched historical nonfiction, as it's been a while since I've read any), which I why I didn't quite assign 4 stars. About 1/3 of the way through, it really picked up for me. I found myself more interested once Anne was arrested, throughout her trial and the trials of the men arrested along with her, and throughout the executions of all of them.
It ended with looking at some of the main players' lives after Anne was beheaded, including a brief section on Elizabeth I. In the last chapter of the book (preceding the Appendix and Notes), she investigates how Anne was regarded in the time periods since her death up until the 21st century. The Appendix includes interesting anecdotes of "Legends" (ghost stories) of Anne.”
“It was interesting to read about the last 4 months of Anne Boleyn's life. How terrifying it must have been.
Te Author makes a few good points, but I do not completely buy into her theory...
I think Weir let's Henry off a bit easy in the whole thing... He was not as ignorant of everything as she makes him out to be....I think he was quite a manipulative person. I feel he would have loved the way she portrait his role in the fall of Anne.
I personally think he was acutely aware that Cromwell had a problem with Anne and was too happy to let him have free hand. Since it played directly along with his wish to rid himself of her without being "the bad guy" this time round.
“I'm not a person who gravitates toward biographies, but Alison Weir does have a way of making biographies feel less like a dry retelling of facts and more like an detailed suspense novel. Much has been written about Anne Bolyen, but if you're going to delve into the life of this controverisal Tudor, this is the book you want to have in your hands.”Sarah J. Bradley wrote this review Tuesday, August 17, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I liked this close look at the last 4 months of Anne Boleyn's life. Alison Weir examines past and present writings about Anne's spectacular fall from favour, the politics of the day and the motivations of various key players in her story. Well researched and well written, it was a worthwhile read for me.”Sabina E wrote this review Saturday, August 14, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Thoroughly researched scholarly evaluation of the evidence surrounding the execution of Anne Boleyn, the mother of Elizabeth I and the second wife of Henry VIII (he deprived his first, Catharine of Aragon of fuel and food and the deprivations were a partial cause of her early demise). Popular belief holds Henry responsible for Anne's trial and death, but Weir argues convincingly that Henry believed the lies about her (incest with her brother being the worst of many) and believed himself a cuckold. Weir places guilt mainly on the head of Thomas Cromwell, although many Catholic and Imperialist nobles were actively complicit, and Anne's imperious ways and impetuous temper denied her support when her flirty behavior gave credence to accusations of adultery.
Although I'm fairly familiar with the persons and politics of Tudor England, Weir's detailed analysis (which includes the dimensions of most rooms and the details of every outfit) can be tedious. Persistence is rewarded with insights into Elizabeth I's attitudes towards her mother (new info for me), specics about Anne's beheading (not as portrayed in many films about the era), and details on the post execution fate of many of the conspirators in Anne's undoing.
Overall, interesting and informative for Tudor buffs. Might be hard going for anyone else.”
“Excellent, interesting points I hadn't really thought regarding Anne's her innocence”Damion D wrote this review Monday, July 26, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I love Alison Weir's writing. It is compelling and well informed.”Jen wrote this review Tuesday, July 20, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Especially interesting to read in conjunction with Weir's The Six Wives of Henry the VIII, published in the early 1990s, to see how her interpretation of Anne's story has been refined over the time period. ”Jacqueline H wrote this review Sunday, July 11, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Alison Weir is one of my favorite historians. She takes all of the data, and analyzes it withing the context of that time period, not filtering it through today's standards or values. Her writing is perfect and keeps me reading beyond the time when I should have gone to bed! The Lady in the Tower is about Anne Bolyn, and how she managed to woo King Henry VIII - over about 7 years - into setting aside his first wife and marrying her. So much political unrest and intrigue always surrounds the court, and the king was responsible for breaking from the Roman Church and the the religous turmoil that continued until Elizabeth settled things down. Poor Anne - she does sound like an obnoxious person who couldn't keep her mouth shut and really had no training to be a queen, but it is pretty apparent that she was framed for the crimes for which she lost her head. She was only queen for about 3 years. sad.”charlotte r wrote this review Saturday, July 3, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No