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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Review: The Creation of Anne Boleyn by Susan Bordo


On my way back from St Andrews, I finished reading a wonderful book called The Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look at England's Most Notorious Queen by Susan Bordo. I've been fascinated by Anne Boleyn since I was a little girl and always a bit annoyed at many historians' (and authors') portrayal of her. This book is both a brief history of Anne's life, a look at how the myths about her were formed, and an investigation of her different portrayals in the media over time.

Bordo analyzes everything from the letters of Eustace Chapuys, the Spanish ambassador to Henry VIII's court during Anne's time as queen, to Natalie Portman's portrayal of her in The Other Boleyn Girl. Her writing is beautifully conversational, while never losing an intellectual tone. She's a bit tongue in cheek, but it's clear that she's done her research. I was personally excited to read about her interviews with Natalie Dormer, who played Anne Boleyn brilliantly on The Tudors.

This is definitely my favorite Tudor biography I've read in a while and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in the Tudors, Anne Boleyn, the Tudors in the media, or feminist history.

2 comments:

  1. I wonder what others thought of Claire Foy's portrayal of Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall. I liked it quite a lot. The execution scene was a particular favorite of mine. Was Anne Boleyn as ascerbic as Claire Foy? I keep thinking that although I loved Claire Foy's portrayal, perhaps Anne Boleyn was not quite like that. Back and forth I go.

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    1. I haven't seen Wolf Hall yet, but I know that Susan Bordo had some issues with her portrayal in the Wolf Hall novels. Obviously, it's hard to know much about Anne Boleyn's actual personality because there's a huge lack of documents, but I definitely personally don't think that she was very scathing or cruel! Thank you for reading! x

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