The Creation of Anne Boleyn

The Creation of Anne Boleyn

A New Look at England's Most Notorious Queen

Book - 2013
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Part biography, part cultural history, The Creation of Anne Boleyn is a fascinating reconstruction of Anne's life and an illuminating look at her afterlife in the popular imagination. Why is Anne so compelling? Why has she inspired such extreme reactions? What did she really look like? Was she the flaxen-haired martyr of Romantic paintings or the raven-haired seductress of twenty-first-century portrayals? (Answer: neither.) And perhaps the most provocative questions concern Anne's death more than her life. How could Henry order the execution of a once beloved wife? Drawing on scholarship and critical analysis, Bordo probes the complexities of one of history's most infamous relationships.

Bordo also shows how generations of polemicists, biographers, novelists, and filmmakers imagined and re-imagined Anne: whore, martyr, cautionary tale, proto "mean girl," feminist icon, and everything in between. In this lively book, Bordo steps off the well-trodden paths of Tudoriana to expertly tease out the human being behind the competing mythologies.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, [2013]
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9780547328188
Branch Call Number: 942.05209 BOLEYN
Characteristics: xvii, 343 pages, 8 unnumbered pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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Sep 18, 2017

I realized within the first 8-10 pages or so this author was extremely biased toward the other writers who wrote about Anne Boleyn because she does nothing but bash, criticize, and them put down. I knew the direction it was heading when she further shows an extreme dislike for Henry's first wife Catherine and her devotion to her faith. It continues mercilessly until I gave up reading around page 87.

I wanted to enjoy it and do not mind difference of opinion but Bordo cannot go through one page without a put down.

Oct 21, 2013

Interesting biogrphy of one of England's most maligned and mysterious Queens. The author admits to not being a professional historian, so after a couple of chapters of Anne's history that we know of, she examines the "Anne Boleyn" of popular imagination and various media interpretations of her. A good read for fan's of Tudor history.

jennrose Jul 22, 2013

At last someone sets the record straight after the misinformation conveyed by the juicy but completely irresponsible film "the Other Boleyn Girl" based on the novel by Philipa Gregory. When i saw this riveting film i thought "a queen so desperate to provide the tyrannical Henry VIII with an heir that she commits incest with her brother? It can't be!" And sure enough, it never happened. Bordo's scholarship and research tells the real story, but unfortunately, many folks only exposure to the story will be the one they see in the wildly inaccurate film. Too bad this book will not reach as many people as the film.

crankylibrarian May 05, 2013

I wanted to like this more than I did. Bordo is splendid in her critique of the "received" history of Anne Boleyn, pointing out the pernicious tendency of even objective historians to color the tale with their own prejudices. It was fascinating to trace the historical evolution of Anne's image, from scheming sex crazed heretic, to soulful Reformation martyr, to Victorian victim, to power feminist. Bordo's interviews with two of the most influential Anne interpreters: Genevieve Bujold and Natalie Dormer, illuminate the interplay of sexism, commerce, and wish fulfillment in each generation's re-imagining of Anne's character. So far, so good. However, when Bordo attempts to psychoanalyze the 400 years dead Henry, (Did a childhood dominated by strong female figures, but with unrealistic expectations of autocratic masculinity result in borderline personality disorder? Discuss..) she wanders into shakier territory. When she attempts to conflate her own, very 20th century sexual misfires and 60s radical follies with the enormity of Tudor sexual politics, we sink into glurge of Oprah-esque proportions. Ultimately, Bordo is guilty of the same misprision as the writers she critiques, namely reinterpreting a complex, multidimensional tragedy in light of her own limited experience.


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