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Anne Boleyn, An Illustrated Life of Henry VIII's Queen (Hardback)

P&S History > British History > Tudors & Stuarts P&S History > By Century > 16th Century P&S History > Royal History Women of History

By Roland Hui
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 192
Illustrations: 100 mono integrated
ISBN: 9781399087575
Published: 3rd February 2023



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'If you remember my love in your prayers as strongly as I adore you, I shall hardly be forgotten, for I am yours,' - Henry Rex, forever

Written by King Henry VIII to his sweetheart, the seductive and vivacious Anne Boleyn, his passion for her would be so great that Henry would make Anne his queen, and change the course of English history.

But the woman whom Henry had promised to love for all time would go from palace to prison, charged with heinous crimes. Her life ended on a bloody scaffold in the Tower of London.

Explore the incredible story of Anne Boleyn, the most famous and controversial of Henry VIII's six wives, in this exciting new account of her life told in words and pictures.

I’m obsessed with anything Anne Boleyn so was mega excited to dive into this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommended it to my Tudor loving friends.

NetGalley, L. J

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This book was so interesting. I was so excited to be able to see the people I have only read about before. It was a nice and new way to follow along with the story.

NetGalley, Cynthia Guerra

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Roland Hui's "Anne Boleyn: An Illustrated Life of Henry VIII's Queen" offers readers a captivating and visually stunning exploration of one of history's most intriguing figures. Through a combination of meticulously researched text and striking illustrations, Hui brings to life the story of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's second wife, from her rise to power to her tragic end.

One of the book's standout features is its attention to detail. Hui delves into Anne Boleyn's early life, her education, her time at the courts of Europe, and her eventual ascent to the throne as queen consort. Drawing on primary sources and historical records, he paints a vivid portrait of Anne as a complex and multifaceted figure, challenging many of the myths and misconceptions that have surrounded her for centuries.

The illustrations in the book are equally impressive, ranging from portraits and sketches of Anne and her contemporaries to depictions of the palaces, costumes, and events of Tudor England. Each image is carefully selected to complement the text and enhance the reader's understanding of the period, making for an immersive and visually stunning reading experience.

Hui's writing is clear, engaging, and accessible, making the book suitable for both casual readers and history enthusiasts alike. He deftly navigates the intricacies of Tudor politics, religion, and society, providing readers with valuable context while never losing sight of the human drama at the heart of Anne Boleyn's story.

NetGalley, Chelsea Littleton-Harper

I really enjoyed this.
I am totally enthralled by all things Tudor so love to pick up something a bit different.

Clearly, much has gone into this research wise and also managed to pick up new information.

Would recommend to anyone interested in Tudors history.

NetGalley, Maria Martignetti

The subject of numerous movies and a basic story found in many a novel and academic study, with the publication of "Anne Boleyn, An Illustrated Life of Henry VIII's Queen", historian Roland Hui brings a new perspective to this the dramatic story romance and tragedy that was the life and times of Anne Boleyn -- arguably the most famous and controversial of Henry VIII's six wives. While a welcome and recommended addition to personal, community, college, and university library British Royal Biographies, it should be noted that this exciting and profusely illustrated account of her life told in both words and pictures is also available in a digital book format.

Read the full review here

Midwest Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Along with Marie Antoinette and Mary, Queen of Scots, Anne Boleyn is in the unfortunate position of being more famous for being beheaded than anything else. Yet she undoubtedly changed the course of history, inspiring the English Reformation and giving birth to the future Queen Elizabeth I. On screen, she has been portrayed by Natalie Dormer, Claire Foy and Natalie Portman. This book provides an informative, fully illustrated guide to the doomed Tudor queen's life.

NetGalley, Chris Hallam

Rating: 5 out of stars

I have always loved the Tudor period and particularly Henry and his wives. My favourite has always been Anne Boleyn, she is so fascinating and yet we dont know a huge amount about her compared to other notorious women in history.
There was some information and facts that I already knew, but I also learnt a lot from this book and I loved the inclusion of the illustrations.
A great book that is definitely worth a read.

NetGalley, Aria Harlow

I thoroughly enjoyed this addition to the biographies and narrative of Anne Boleyn. A much misunderstood and underestimated figure, this work added some additional details to her history and I loved the illustrations which added depth to the knowledge to be soaked up.

NetGalley, Jessica Mayhall

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Loved this book and highly recommend for all Tudor fans out there. This book was insightful. I read a lot of books about Anne Boleyn and sometimes most of the books have the same information on her, so after a while it gets repetitive and boring hearing the historical information. This author surprised me with some different points of view and I really enjoyed it.

NetGalley, Heather Michael

A biography about one of the most famous wives of Henry VIII, someone that was completely engulfed in the aristocracy machine of the time.
I loved the illustrations in the book, adding interesting details to a fascinating story. Although I was not surprised by the facts and ideas in this biography, I always enjoy reading more about this mysterious and strong woman.
In my opinion, the book is much more about Anne's life and interests than just pointing out the importance of being married to the king.
Overall, an enjoyable read.

NetGalley, Bookcoffeetravel C.V.

I’ve read many books both fiction and nonfiction featuring the Tudor’s and Anne Boleyn. The difference between these books and Roland’s book, was the emotional connection, and sadness for Anne. She would have been a successful Queen and the history book would have had a different conclusion if Anne would have given birth to a boy.

NetGalley, Lynn Eager

This was an interesting read. I enjoyed the use of pictures to give more context about Anne Boleyn’s life. I would have read a longer book.. I felt like I had learnt a lot about Anne Boleyn that I didn’t know by the end of the book. Yet the writer was very engaging so it was easy to digest.

NetGalley, Sparkling Green

I thought the illustrations went well with the text and helped bring a visual element to the time period. Especially since certain buildings and portraits of people have been lost to history.

NetGalley, Ashleigh Hughes

This was a great synopsis of her life and easy to digest. The writer did a great job with details and even included some stories I haven’t heard yet.

NetGalley, Katelyn Wilson

This was a lovely biography, illustrating the short life of a woman caught in the middle of a royal machine. Sent as a child from England to France, Anne Boleyn has greater depth and meaning than simply being one of Henry's headless wives. Her story deserves a look into the woman herself, rather than her love life or who she married, and certainly she deserves more than how she died. This is a richly illustrated and highly digestible book about a 16th century royal figure, and a delightful read. You'll end this book knowing more, and having more compassion for the woman herself.

NetGalley, Anna Wooliver Phillips

The images and the prose combine, bringing the reader fully into the Tudor court to witness the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn’s for themselves.

NetGalley, Lily Amidon

'This is a treasure of a book: beautifully written, sumptuously illustrated, and deeply moving. Compulsive reading even for seasoned fans of Anne Boleyn and the Tudor dynasty.'

Steven Veerapen, author of Elizabeth and Essex: Power, Passion, and Politics

'Roland Hui has an eye for detail and a way of writing prose that is both authoritative and compulsively readable. This illustrated history puts Anne Boleyn's life in context - her world fleshed out alongside the stunning artwork of the period. Absorbing and meticulous, this is a book you won't want to miss.'

Adrienne Dillard, author of Keeper of the Queen's Jewels

'Roland Hui's lavishly illustrated new biography is a must for every Anne Boleyn fan. Hui manages to make seemingly familiar material feel fresh and new, and the emphasis on Anne's early years and education is welcome. A compelling, lively biography.'

Stephanie Russo, author of The Afterlife of Anne Boleyn: Representations of Anne Boleyn in Fiction and on the Screen

'The story of Anne Boleyn's life and death comes vividly to life in this illustrated biography. Enlivened with illustrations of people, places and objects intimately connected with Anne's story, this book is a must-read for Tudor enthusiasts.'

Sylvia Barbara Soberton, author of Ladies-in-Waiting: Women Who Served Anne Boleyn

‘Richly illustrated and full of fascinating detail, this is a Tudor book to treasure. Fabulous!’

Leanda de Lisle, author of Tudor: The Family Story

'A gem of a book, painting an absorbing and sparkling portrait of Anne Boleyn, with lavish illustrations and documentations. A must-read for Tudor enthusiasts.'

Margaret George, author of The Autobiography of Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers

As featured in

The Bookseller, Jan 23

If you are a fan of Anne Boleyn and want to learn new facts about her life, I suggest you check “Anne Boleyn, An Illustrated Life of Henry VIII’s Queen” by Roland Hui.

NetGalley, Heidi Malagisi

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Anne Boleyn was much more than a murdered wife and the author has done an amazing job in demonstrating this. Setting the context of the time in which Boleyn lived, the author has researched her and the people around her to truly bring her story to the fore. An excellent account which will supplement the library of any Tudor history buff.

NetGalley, Louise Gray

A great literary stroll through the life of Anne Boleyn, supplemented with the odd gorgeous illustration. I’ve always been interested in this headstrong character in history so this book was perfect for me to indulge in my interest.

NetGalley, Nicola Wilton

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I can never resist reading books about this fascinating, much-beloved Queen! Roland Hui provides an excellent introduction to her life, filled with illustrations. It is thoroughly researched, and sympathetic to Anne. I especially liked the emphasis on how religious Anne was, and the behaviour that she expected from her ladies-in-waiting. Hui describes her clever, creative and temperamental character, and her relationship with the King beautifully. The book also contains interesting details about her relationship with her daughter, the future Gloriana.

NetGalley, Lisa Sanderson

Very interesting illustrations, paintings and drawings in this. I was particularly fascinated by the Holbeins and I thought the story of Anne's life was well sourced and told.

NetGalley, Leslie Hall

I loved it! If you, like me, are a fan of history, this book is for you, Anne Boleyn's story is incredible, I never imagined that the life of a queen would be surrounded not only by wealth, but also by pressure, lies, infidelity, hatred, revenge and a horrible ending.

What surprised me the most was the theme of the heir son, the pressure from the queens because they could not give birth to a son and Henry VIII pointing them out as guilty for it and using this as a pretext for her multiple infidelities.

✨ The information is very well researched, clear and concise.
✨ You enter the life of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII in a very intimate way.
✨ The illustrations make you feel reading as if you were there, you know the places and people of royalty very close.
✨ You discover details of the story that you did not imagine.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars, I would definitely read more books by this author.

NetGalley, Stephany Díaz Cruz

I've heard/read about Anne Boleyn's story a thousand times but it never gets old. It is basically a cautionary tale of what happens when men have too much privilege. 🙄🙄 To be fair though, there's also something powerful in making a man alter the foundation an entire kingdom just for you. 😏😏

Anyway, as far as the book goes, I found it to be very informative. There was so much I didn't know about Anne Boleyn and I was glad to learn more about her. Moreover, I particularly liked this book because the illustrations were beautiful. I don't read history books often, so I wasn't really familiar with any of them but they did make reading a lot more interesting and less monotonous.

NetGalley, Evi Tsokkou

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

It is well-written and well-researched. I admired Hui's thoughtfulness to include little debates over what is usually presented as blatant facts in other historical works about Anne Boleyn. Was she born in 1501 or was it actually 1507? Did she have an elusive extra digit on her hand? Hui gave reasonings as to why historians give their answers to these questions.

The use of images throughout the pages of the book versus clumping them all together in the middle, as other historical books tend to do, gave this version of Anne Boleyn's life a fresher perspective. We get to see places she visited and people she enteracted with as those moments happen.

This is a book to be read and reread. I am looking forward to its release so I can add it to my collection of books on Tudor history.

NetGalley, Stephanie Peterson

I enjoyed this book. It was a well-written and researched work examining Anne's life. I particularly enjoyed the visual aspects of this book as they showed people and things in Anne's story that I had never seen visually represented before... This is a great book for any Tudor history lover and I highly recommend it to those looking for another interesting read of Anne's story.

NetGalley, Shana Needham

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely loved this book! The author did a great deal of research on Anne, including her early life. It flowed so nicely, it did not feel like nonfiction. The photos and illustrations really made it pop!

NetGalley, Stacy Mawhorter

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The book more than lives up to its sub-title - nearly every single page features a portrait, painting, drawing, medal, coin, or some other illustration of the life and world of Anne Boleyn.

And the text itself is full and immersive, getting into primary quotes as often as possible, getting as close as possible to the real Anne and giving the reader full coverage of every aspect of her life. A good biography for either those just getting into Tudor history or already a fan.

NetGalley, Kara Race-Moore

Anne Boleyn. The second of Henry VIII’s six wives. She is often the subject of debate - what year was she born? Was she the elder or younger daughter? Was she guilty or innocent? When new books, or documentaries, about Anne are released, I cannot help myself. This was the very reason that I just had to read Roland Hui’s new book entitled Anne Boleyn, An Illustrated Life of Henry VIII’s Queen. A huge thank you to NetGalley and Pen and Sword Books for an advanced copy of this book.

Anne Boleyn, An Illustrated Life of Henry VIII’s Queen starts by explaining Anne’s parentage and likely year of birth. We learn about the Boleyn children, their religious education and upbringing. We learn about Anne’s early years and influences such as Margaret of Austria and Queen Claude of France. On Anne’s return to England, Hui delves into how she was received at court and Anne’s involvement in the Chateau Vert pageant. Readers are introduced to Henry and Anne’s lengthy courtship, and the issue of the King’s Great Matter. We see Anne rise to great heights, followed by her quick downfall.

This book is well-written and highly accessible. It is short, and provides a good overview of Anne Boleyn’s life while touching on some of the popular misconceptions about her. The incorporation of over a hundred images throughout the text helped to bring Anne’s story to life. Overall, this book is a great introductory text for readers new to Tudor history, or for those looking for an accessible biography of Anne Boleyn.

NetGalley, Lucy Menadue

Anne Boleyn, An Illustrated Life of Henry VIII's Queen provides a concise but interesting overview of the life of this controversial but ever-fascinating figure.

Throughout the text, there are beautiful illustrations, some of which I had never seen.

NetGalley, Drew B

This has to be the best book to initiate yourself on the life of the late english Queen Anne Boleyn, who will always be remembered as the first English Queen to be beheaded.

This is well documented and has lots of pictures to clarify the text, making it easier for everyone to follow the story and all its participants.

NetGalley, Sira Barbeito

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

One of the most concise and approachable biographies I've read about Anne Boleyn. It's very well done, obviously well-researched, and well-organized. I enjoyed the information about her early years with her family and how she arrived in the situation she was in. I can't say I've read such a clear telling of the dynamics in her family when she was a child... This is a readable biography that can be completed in a short time.

NetGalley, Jennifer Turney LaRowe

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This has to be the best book to initiate yourself on the life of the late english Queen Anne Boleyn, who will always be remembered as the first English Queen to be beheaded.

This is well documented and has lots of pictures to clarify the text, making it easier for everyone to follow the story and all its participants.

NetGalley, Sira Barbeito

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I read many different accounts of about Anne Boleyn and the life of Henry VIII. I was intrigued with this version between the timelines of events and illustrates and it did not disappoint. I will actually be looking forward to buying a physical copy when it published to get a better view of the illustrations.

NetGalley, Jennifer Kulak

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable read on history of Anne Boleyn. Highly recommend this book.
This biography is well written and well researched. Has many illustrations of many of the structures and people of that period. The author has done a good job of giving the reader a look at Anne Boleyn's personality and the marriage to Henry VIII. Anne was indeed ambitious and could be cruel at times especially to Katherine of Aragon and her daughter Princess Mary. She was also generous to those she cared about.
Anne was not guilty of what she was accused of but Henry VIII wanted a male heir and since she did not give him one he wanted her gone.
I found myself feeling sorry for Anne for I think she actually fell in love with the king. The reader will have to decide for themselves whether she should be vilified or sympathized.

NetGalley, Gail Allen

Even though there has been countless books written about Anne Boleyn there are authors out there that still find ways to surprise their readers. And allow them to learn something new. And this book does it in both words and pictures.

NetGalley, Carissa Miller

I've read a lot about Anne Boleyn over the years. Some books, nonfiction and fiction, are well-written and many are not (think of those which make Anne seem utterly one-dimensional/leave out details of her religion and patronage).

While this is a short book, Roland Hui captures the reader's attention through interesting facts(even questioning the details around certain sources) written in an easy to understand style that is neither dull or boring. Hui doesn't try to paint Anne in a biased way (neither a misunderstood saint or witchy, mystical sinner like some do).

NetGalley, Christina Childers

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Anne Boleyn, executed by her husband Henry VIII before she turned thirty, had an immense effect on English history. Henry’s desire to marry her caused a split with the Roman Catholic Church and the formation of the Church of England. Elizabeth, her only child, became one of the most powerful rulers the country has had. Anne Boleyn, An Illustrated Life of Henry VIII's Queen by Roland Hui, is a detailed. biography of Anne, full of many illustrations and little known facts.

There are three parts. The first tells of her childhood. Her ambitious father sent her abroad when she was only seven, first to court in the Netherlands, then to France. The skills she learns there are valuable. She is independent, knowledgeable in court politics, skilled in dance and, most important, bilingual. Part two begins after she returns to England and is immediately popular at court. Henry notices her but his mind is on the inability of his wife Katherine to bear a much needed male heir. And in the third part, his desire to marry Anne leads to the schism with Rome, his divorce, subsequent marriage, birth of a daughter and Anne’s fall into disfavor. When Henry moves on to another, Anne’s fate is secured.

We are all familiar with this tale. What is different here is the attention to detail, the compelling illustrations and author Hui’s ability to turn facts into a fast paced story. 5 stars.

NetGalley, Kathleen Hughes

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This is a very interesting and detailed book on Anne Boleyn .many interesting facts about her childhood and upbringing are covered. There is an excellent display of pictures throughout the book. I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone interested in medieval history.

NetGalley, Lional Jones

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

It was great getting to know Anne Boleyn more than the beheaded wife or Elizabeth I's mother Roland Hui has a great way of making Anne Boleyn live and be her own person. I enjoyed reading this a lot and thought it was researched well and worked well. I appreciated the pictures within the book as it helped, I enjoyed reading this and can't wait to read more from Hui.

"Confident of Francis’s support, Henry and Anne expected to be married very soon. ‘As if she were already a queen’, Anne had demanded Katherine’s jewels to wear to Calais. Although she had a treasure trove of her own given to her by the king, she would not be satisfied until she laid hands upon her rival’s."

NetGalley, Kathryn McLeer

About Roland Hui

Roland Hui received his degree in Art History from Concordia University in Canada. After completing his studies, he went on to work for California State Parks, The U.S. Forest Service, and The National Park Service in interpretive media
Roland is the author of The Turbulent Crown: The Story of the Tudor Queens (2017) and is the co-creator of The Mary Queen of Scots Colouring Book (2019). He blogs about Tudor art and personalities at: Tudor Faces: https://tudorfaces.blogspot.ca.

Anne Boleyn crowned Queen of England

1st June 1533

Queen of England from 1533 to 1536, Anne Boleyn was the second wife of King Henry VIII of England.

View all events View all anniversaries

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