Thursday, May 9, 2019

Review: Anne Boleyn: A Life From Beginning to End by Hourly History

Title: Anne Boleyn: A Life From Beginning to End
Author: Hourly History
Publication: April 22nd 2019
Genre: Nonfiction, History
Purchase it on: Amazon
Rating: 2/5

Anne Boleyn is most likely the best-known of Henry VIII’s six wives; she is also the most controversial. History has represented Anne as either a whore or a martyr. The true story, however, is far more complex.

Inside you will read about...
✓ Early Life as a Lady-in-waiting
✓ The King’s Great Matter
✓ Anne Ascends the Throne
✓ Another Birth, Another Tragedy
✓ Trial and Execution
And much more!

Henry VIII of England pursued Anne Boleyn for seven years while he was battling for an annulment from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Catherine had failed to provide Henry with a male heir to the throne, so the king looked to Catherine’s maid of honor, Anne Boleyn, to secure his Tudor lineage. When Anne also failed to give birth to a son, her fate was sealed. She was charged with multiple counts of adultery during a trial everyone agreed was a sham. Found guilty, Anne Boleyn was beheaded immediately afterward and placed in an unmarked grave. Her death served to reveal the true horror dispensed to wives who displeased their royal husbands.

I've always had an interest since I was little in the time where this book is set (late 15th century up to mid 16th century) It was such a fascinating time with a lot of change in England and the world in general so I didn't really hesistate to read this short book. I can't say I was a super fan of it but I did enjoy it a little bit at least.

I've always felt so sorry for Anne Boleyn. Henry VIII was clearly obsessed with her, so much even that his disagreement with the Pope (over getting his marriage to Catherine of Aragon annulled) led to appointing himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England and dissolve convents and monasteries, among other things. And when she couldn't produce a male heir for him (she had a daughter with him who would eventually be known as Elizabeth I of England and reign for 44 years) he just wanted her out of the way. It's crazy really. 

I would say that this book is an okay read for those who don't know a lot about the life of Anne Boleyn and want to dive into everything surrounding her life and death. I'm sure some of those readers can learn the basics about her, not only about Anne but also about Henry VIII and general facts about life in that era. I think we can all agree that the House of Tudor was interesting to say the least.

If you know a lot already about Anne Boleyn I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book because it didn't go that deep into her life and I basically already knew most of the things stated in the book. I also thought the tone of the book was a bit judgy towards the women. And with this I mean not only Anne but also the women that surrounded her and Henry VIII but of course that's just my personal opinion. There were also some typos that I really couldn't overlook like for example it would say Harry instead of Henry. That's a pretty big mistake, I'd say. So that's also a part of why my rating is lower than it usually is. 

5 interesting facts:

  • All traces of Anne's existence were removed; no letters or contemporary paintings remain.
  • Anne's guilty verdict and execution happened so quickly that even she was surprised to be taken from her jail cell one morning and escorted to the gallows.
  • Anne Boleyn's birth date is unrecorded but she is believed to have been born around 1505.
  • Fifty thousand people were executed during the reign of Henry VIII.
  • The day following Anne's execution, Henry married his third wife, Jane Seymour.

Some pictures related to Anne Boleyn

Late Elizabethan portrait, possibly derived from a lost original of 1533–36

Anne's sister Mary Boleyn

An early-20th-century painting of Anne Boleyn, depicting her deer hunting with the King

Catherine of Aragon

Check out my other Hourly History reviews:


  1. I love Tudor history, but I'm not too sure that this book would be for me.

  2. The tone of the book just didn't sit right with me. I would bet that it was written by a dude. lol

  3. Anne Boleyn is one of my favorite historical figures, I'm actually reading a nonfiction about her right now. I think you're right, if you already know a lot of about her, this wouldn't be good to read.

  4. Hey Steph. So Harry was not a typo. That was Henry’s nickname. Not sure why the author is using it though because that’s kind of familiar for a 500 year age gap lol

  5. I didn't know that but it's still weird that they randomly used it once and didn't even mention a nickname. Now it's driving me nuts. xD

  6. What's the nonfiction you're reading? Is it good?

  7. I agree. Makes no sense. Definitely written by a man lol

  8. I actually don't know a lot about Tudor history, so I kind of find this one appealing.
    Krystianna @ Wanderlust Adventurist and Downright Dystopian

  9. It's called The Creation of Anne Boleyn. It was ok!

  10. I don't know a lot about Anne Boleyn but I know quite a bit so I will avoid it because I think I will find it maybe repetitive like you. And I am not going to like that judgmental tone. But if you're beginner, I can see how it would be more useful.


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