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Would you listen to The Fall of Anne Boleyn again? Why?
Absolutely love the story and it's excellent research. The narration and story transport you back to Hampton Court and the Tower of London. One feels the angst the courtiers must have felt back in the 1500s.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Anne Boleyn, but I'm obsessed. Claire's excellent work both in her books and on her Anne Boleyn Files and Tudor Society websites given me a new and reasonable perspective on Anne and her time. She is not a victim, but she's not the common homewrecker many have assumed she was. There is so much more to her and Claire takes you there with facts, insights, and clarity that you can believe in.
Have you listened to any of Claire Ridgway’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
Yes - I listened to "The Truth in the Line" By Melanie Taylor about Tudor Era Miniaturist Nicholas Hilliard (wonderful Read!) and the "Anne Boyelyn Collection" another of Claire's books on the Tudors in Anne's time. Both make me feel as if I am sitting in one of the court palaces as an observer of people and places hundreds of years ago.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
You've heard the story. Now behold the truth.
Any additional comments?
Often authors mold history to make reading more provocative --- think The Other Boleyn Girl. Sadly these dramatizations often become conventional wisdom. Claire Ridgeway recognizes that truth told can be better than fiction. Henry VIII and his times were fascinating without the creative adjustments. Claire's research and primary source documents with reasonable inferences based on the times and the customs are far more interesting, human, and will stand the test of time.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Well told and informative. The chronological order and detail are helpful to those new to Anne Boleyn's plight. Thank you Claire Ridgway
At last an account of Anne's last year based on the actual sources from the time, a concentration on the facts and events without sentimentality and overemotional reaction but with distanced appraisal on the part of the author to the possible interpretations of the events. I also loved the way Claire Ridgeway presented differing interpretations of other distinguished historians and how she leaves it to the reader to make his or her own judgement. I for one tend to agree with the author's arguments which hold Henry responsible not only for the facts she presents but also in the light of my own knowledge of Henry's behaviour towards his first wife Catherine of Aragon and Cardinal Wolsey and also how in the first years of his reign he had his father's hated tax collectors beheaded on flimsy charges. No matter what one might think of Anne and her behaviour in former years she certainly did not deserve to die in this shoddy way and I think the charges were a work of fiction and even absurd especially the supposed sexual relations with her brother George.
Claire Ridgeway reads well enough but she is not a professional narrator so there are times when pacing or intonation becomes a little strange.
I think that this is a wonderful book for someone who has background knowledge of the period and the various important figures of Henry's court. The author does begin with a cast list of the main people in the story so if you are a neophyte it might be a good idea to earmark that first chapter and go back from time to time to situate people if you find it hard to remember who is who.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful