The Creation of Anne Boleyn

  • by Susan Bordo
  • Narrated by Barbara Rosenblat
  • 12 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Part biography, part cultural history, The Creation of Anne Boleyn is a fascinating reconstruction of Anne’s life and an illuminating look at her afterlife in the popular imagination. Why is Anne so compelling? Why has she inspired such extreme reactions? What did she really look like? Was she the flaxen-haired martyr of Romantic paintings or the raven-haired seductress of twenty-first-century portrayals? (Answer: Neither.) And perhaps the most provocative questions concern Anne’s death more than her life. How could Henry order the execution of a once beloved wife? Drawing on scholarship and critical analysis, Bordo probes the complexities of one of history’s most infamous relationships.
Bordo also shows how generations of polemicists, biographers, novelists, and filmmakers imagined and re-imagined Anne: Whore, martyr, cautionary tale, proto “mean girl,” feminist icon, and everything in between. In this lively audiobook, Bordo steps off the well-trodden paths of Tudoriana to expertly tease out the human being behind the competing mythologies.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Best Boleyn Book!!!

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 I won't spoil it here on what she suggests!

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- Sara

The title says it all

Any additional comments?

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.

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- Red Emma

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-25-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios