The Tower as viewed from Tower Bridge in 1930

Anonymous asked: Just wondering what your thoughts are on Anne's birth date? I've always been in the 1501 camp, but, recently have read some semi convincing arguments for 1507 and now i'm slightly torn.

Personally, I think she was born circa 1501. My reasons for this are:

She went to Europe in 1513. Shortly after, She wrote a letter to her father. If you imagine the difference in handwriting and in writing style between a 13 year old and a 6 year old, it is quite significant. Eric Ives argues that from the handwriting and the style of this letter, it is beyond what a 6 year old would have been able to do and suggests she was certainly nearer the age of 12 or 13.

Secondly, can you imagine a 6 year old being sent to a foreign court to be a fille d’honeur to an Archduchess? A young child like that is not going to be able to help look after you, they need too much looking after themselves. 12 is a much more reasonable age. Remember that in Tudor England, when you hit puberty you were an adult. ‘Teenagers’ weren’t a concept. So her being 12 would mean she was probably starting puberty and therefore a grown up ready to go out into the world.

She did get sent for ‘education’ - but this is not basic learning to read or that kind of education. She was being educated in courtly life, how to dance, sing, play music etc and how to navigate the complexities of court. So this doesn’t indicate that she was a young child either, but she was going to what Ives calls the finishing school of Europe for princes and aristocrats.

Anonymous asked: Is Alison Weir reliable?

Well, I wouldn’t go so far as to say she is unreliable. But I’m currently working on my dissertation, and her book was completely useless for that. The references she provides are truly terrible - to a point that is almost breaking the convention that all historians should use. After realising that everything she says she doesn’t reference, I quickly stopped reading. So if you are using it to study, don’t, there are far better and more useful books out there. However, I don’t really have a problem with what she writes, I think it is ok and fine to read if you are just wanting to read about Anne, and not trying to write an essay. On the other hand, Alison Weir also writes historical fiction and it is important that you make sure that you know whether the book you are reading is one of her fiction or non-fiction works - because her fiction books are definitely not a reliable historical account.

infected-by-the-barricade asked: Here's another: what do you like best and least about Anne Boleyn?

Oooh this is difficult… erm I think really what I like best about her is how much there is that is unknown and that historians debate and so on, it makes everything about her so much more interesting. But if you mean in terms of her personality, I don’t know, I guess probably her belief in the importance of charity work. The thing I like least - she got her head chopped off way too soon? Also her temper was not really the best aspect of her.

My dissertation tutor said my draft was good!!!!!!!!!!!


Ceiling, Anne Boleyn’s Gateway by felicityfaery on Flickr.

Note the ‘HA’ (Henry Tudor/Anne Boleyn) emblem in the top right and bottom left. These escaped being removed after Anne Boleyn’s execution for adultery and treason in May 1536. After her death, all traces of her were removed from Henry VIII’s sight- except for these course!

Also her badge is here - the falcons on the upper left and lower right. The same falcon badge also remains on the carved wooden ceiling of the Great Hall.

crawling my way to the end of this semester

"The habit of scribbling in books is much to be deplored, except where the offender is a person of historic interest."

—Eric Ives.

aaaaaaaaah currently buried under a pile of anne boleyn books… still haven’t read anywhere near enough though :((

p.s. people who have asked me questions that i haven’t answered yet, i promise i will answer asap - next week at the latest. this week is going to be the most full-on ever with horrible dissertationness :(