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I stumbled on this as I had just listened to another book narrated by Barbara Rosenblat (and loved her voice) and I am also interested in Anne Boleyn as a historical figure. I was surprised to realize that this really is about the "creation" of Anne Boleyn, specifically as she is portrayed in literature, plays and movies. I have never watched the Showtime series "The Tudors" which was referenced a lot and so I didn't have a good vantage point at times to truly understand what the author was speaking about. It was illuminating to hear the evolution of Anne which has been taking place since the early 1800's and to see that there is still a roaring debate even up to this day about who Anne was "really". Anyone who has watched movies or read historical fiction about Anne will no doubt enjoy this book.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Would you consider the audio edition of The Creation of Anne Boleyn to be better than the print version?
YES! Barbara Rosenblat added so much to the text. She read it with the wit and sarcasm the book is intended to be read with. I admit (and I don't do so lightly), I could have never have matched Rosenblat's mastery and enthusiasm in my own mind. Rosenblat's style is fun and simply delicious!
What other book might you compare The Creation of Anne Boleyn to and why?
Hmmm, I can't think of any. This book had so much going on. It's written in that contemporary way that women (especially feminist) are writing today (like in "American's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates and Heroines" by Gail Collins to give an idea and that too is another great read). You know, it's sorta like talking with your girlfriends. That is one of the most charming things about this book. When you read this, it's as if Bordo is poring you a glass of wine saying "now, about that sixth finger..." She goes into the TV series, films and books on Henry and Anne and shakes out a lot of the BS. She does this in a scholarly academic way that allows the reader to trust her with her piles of research, references and historical documentation.
Have you listened to any of Barbara Rosenblat’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
I haven't. I did look her up on Audible but nothing else she has done looks compelling to me. I will just keep re-reading this one, ha!
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
You know, I really did. Bordo asks one question I never thought of before and that is simply why. Why in the hell did he do it. I mean he was a known cheat, (having already had at least one son out of wedlock by this point) so why would he kill her. Granted her allegations (all false of course) that she had slept with George and countless others is gripping but still, why didn't he just send her to a nunnery or lock her in the tower. The horror of it really gets you like being bitten--he chopped off her head. One day he was making love to her, and another legally ordering her beheading. It hits you as you pour over this text. She writes on why Henry might have done it in great detail...so I won't spoil it here on what she suggests!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Loved this, as I always enjoy Susan Bordo's work. She is one of the few academics whose writing engages me right from the start, and keeps me glued to the page - or headset, in this case.
I was taught during a Catholic upbringing that Anne Boleyn was a six-fingered whore and scheming monster, who single-handedly forced Henry VIII to abandon the Church. Even as a teenager I thought that was a bit much, but never took the trouble to find out for myself who this fascinating woman had really been. No-one has made it clearer that we actually have very little real information to go on!
I love Susan Bordo's clarity and the way she helps me learn how better to approach a topic - history, and historical fiction are two of my favourites; I doubt that I will look at either in exactly the same way again.
Barbara Rosenblat's narration was excellent.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
WOW. This book has convinced me ( not that I need much convincing) a largish historical fiction writers do very little, if any research into their chosen topic. This will not stop me reading them but I will use more than a pinch of salt with them. Susan Bordo seems to be a woman after my own heart, with a wonderful narrator who reads the text putting the best inflection in her voice and incredulity where needed. Super book and narration.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful