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Anne Boleyn in London (Hardback)

British History London Social History Women of History Tudors and Stuarts

By Lissa Chapman
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781473843615
Published: 30th January 2017


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Romantic victim? Ruthless other woman? Innocent pawn? Religious reformer? Fool, flirt and adulteress? Politician? Witch? During her life, Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s ill-fated second queen, was internationally famous – or notorious; today, she still attracts passionate adherents and furious detractors.

It was in London that most of the drama of Anne Boleyn’s life and death was played out – most famously, in the Tower of London, the scene of her coronation celebrations, of her trial and execution, and where her body lies buried.

Londoners, like everyone else, clearly had strong feelings about her, and in her few years as a public figure Anne Boleyn was influential as a patron of the arts and of French taste, as the centre of a religious and intellectual circle, and for her purchasing power, both directly and as a leader of fashion. It was primarily to London, beyond the immediate circle of the court, that her carefully 'spun' image as queen was directed during the public celebrations surrounding her coronation.

In the centuries since Anne Boleyn’s death, her reputation has expanded to give her an almost mythical status in London, inspiring everything from pub names to music hall songs, and novels to merchandise including pin cushions with removable heads. And now there is a thriving online community surrounding her – there are over fifty Twitter accounts using some version of her name.

This book looks at the evidence both for the effect London and its people had on the course of Anne Boleyn’s life and death, and the effects she had, and continues to have, on them.

As featured in

Antiques Diary, January-February 2017

Author Guest Blog as featured on The Anne Boleyn Files.

The Anne Boleyn Files

Most definitely the most famous of Henry VIII's wives, Anne Boleyn is as fascinating a character now as she must have been when she first became queen. Lissa's lively biography concentrates on her time in London and how it influenced and changed her, and adds magnificently to our knowledge of this poor, misguided and unfortunate woman. Brilliant.

Books Monthly, March 2017 - reviewed by Paul Norman

About Lissa Chapman

Lissa Chapman is a theatre director and historian. She is co-founder and, with Jay Venn, artistic director of Clio’s Company, which specializes in site-specific theatre, usually focusing on London history. One production, Baited Hooks, is set at the time when Anne Boleyn’s marriage was the city’s worst-kept secret. Lissa has also worked in publishing and for the National Trust; she lives in north-east London, and takes great delight in her garden.

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This book describes a selection of people caught up in the turmoil that presaged the reformation - a period of change instigated by a king whose desire for a legitimate son was to brutally sweep aside an entire way of life. The most famous and influential of the victims were the two people closest to Henry VIII. His mentor, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, a great churchman and a diplomat of consummate skill. The other was to be the King’s second wife, Anne Boleyn. These two adversaries, equally determined to succeed, had risen above the usual expectations of their time. Wolsey, of humble birth, became…

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