What can you expect?

You may wonder why my book is called “The Daring Truth About Anne Boleyn”. It is called like this because during my research, I have discovered that a great deal of theories about Anne Boleyn’s life is based on the same old stories and ‘what if’s’, repeated as facts in history books and popular culture. Some theories stand as landmarks to Anne Boleyn’s life although they are based on rather shaky references and have no historical basis. I wanted to re-discover Anne Boleyn, and I was not disappointed. I found some new evidence buried in old books and sources. I was eager to share what I had found with other people interested in Anne Boleyn.

What kind of new evidence is inside, you may ask. Well, it has nothing to do with conspiracy theories, so you will not find anything like that within my book.

The premise of my book is to present as many contemporary sources about Anne Boleyn as possible and let them tell their story.

Because so many contemporary accounts about Anne were written in other languages than English, I approached the subject with an open mind, challenging every information I came across in biographies of Anne Boleyn, tracing down the primary sources and original accounts. I have been researching the customs of the sixteenth century Europe,  and tracing down the accounts about Anne Boleyn that were recorded in Latin, Italian and French. Some translations from those languages into English were distorted and I have returned to their originals to learn more. For example, you may heard that according to English translation of Nicolas Sander’s “The Rise and Growth of Anglican Schism”, Anne Boleyn had a “large wen under her chin”, but when I examined the original account in Latin, Sander did not write such thing. He wrote, that Anne had ‘something swollen under her chin’ but what – he did not know. The English translator however added the embellishment and thus the large wen became widely associated with Anne Boleyn.

Below I present you the table of contents of my book and a short description of each chapter.

1. “On her right hand six fingers” – How did Anne Boleyn really look like?  

In this chapter, I take a closer look on Anne Boleyn’s appearance. Since we do not have Anne Boleyn’s contemporary portrait, her look is shrouded in mystery. Anne Boleyn’s appearance was recorded by few contemporaries and I have reached their reports in original languages like Latin and Italian.

2. “Mademoiselle Boleyn” – Did Anne Boleyn really spend her childhood and adolescence abroad?

During my research, I found out that the assertions about Anne Boleyn’s early years are based on rather shaky references.  In this chapter, I present the evidence thatAnne Boleyn’s youth was quite different from what is widely believed.

3. Did Anne Boleyn have royal blood?  

Anne Boleyn is very often depicted as a great lady nowadays. But was she perceived as such by her contemporaries? You will find out in this chapter.

4. “Never with the mother!” – Was Henry VIII Anne Boleyn’s father?

No, there is no new evidence that will reveal that Anne Boleyn was Henry VIII’s daughter ;-) But in this chapter I discuss why such rumors appeared in the first place, and if they had any reflection in reality.

5. “The fire that me so brent” – Was Thomas Wyatt Anne Boleyn’s lover?

Throughout the years, Thomas Wyatt’s name was very often linked with Anne Boleyn. Were they lovers?

6. Anne Boleyn’s infamous reputation: was she a lady of loose moral standards and “the great whore”?

Why was Anne Boleyn perceived as ‘the great whore’ by her contemporaries? Was it only because she was Henry VIII’s queen-in-waiting for almost 7 years?

7. Trip to Calais in 1532: Anne Boleyn’s triumph or disaster?

We know how did the Calais meeting looked like from the English point of view, but how about the French? Did they have the same opinion? You will be surprised that the viewpoints are extremely different.

8. “Lovers’ quarrels” – What was Anne and Henry’s marriage like?

Was Anne’s marriage to Henry a happy one?

9. “The King must have been charmed by potions, or otherwise” – Was Anne Boleyn a witch?

Anne Boleyn’s name is often linked with witchcraft. What the contemporary accounts have to say about that?

10. How Eustace Chapuys shaped the image of Anne Boleyn?

Eustace Chapuys was the Imperial ambassador who recorded a lot of facts from Anne Boleyn’s courtly life from 1529 to 1536. Learn about him more.

11.  Was Anne Boleyn guilty of adultery?

Was Anne Boleyn a sex-crazed adulteress? I don’t think so, but what about Anne’s contemporaries? Who were the five men accused and executed as her lovers?

12. Did Anne Boleyn commit incest with her brother?

No, I do not believe that Anne committed incest. In this chapter I discuss why Anne and George Boleyn were accused of such a crime.

13. How could (s)he do it?

Who was responsible for Anne’s downfall? Henry VIII? Thomas Cromwell? Jane Seymour? Anne herself?  There is evidence that clearly points out who was the prime mover.

14. “Thus I take my leave of the world”  – Common myths about Anne Boleyn’s execution

Learn everything about Anne Boleyn’s execution.

15. Anne Boleyn and Elizabethan propaganda

Why Anne, who was loathed by her contemporaries, suddenly became an icon of the English Reformation and godly lady?

16. When the myths and history overlaps – Anne Boleyn through time

Learn how Anne Boleyn’s image was shaped by myths and how those myths became history.

Appendix 1: “The scandal of Christendom”

Here I  present the legal and ecclesiastical backdrop of Anne’s unpopularity during her lifetime.

Appendix 2: Mary Boleyn, the slandered sister

Here I discuss the other Boleyn girl, Mary, who was overshadowed by her sister Anne.