ANNE BOLEYN, A KING'S OBSESSION Alison Weir
Six Tudor Queens Series, Book 2
Ballantine Books
ISBN: 978-1-101966-51-8
May 2017
Historical Fiction

England During the Reign of Henry VIII

Anne Boleyn's story is one that is well known to history buffs. Little has been known, however, of her early years, and author Alison Weir delves into that era as well as behind the scenes in the House of Tudor.

Born to a noble family, thanks to her mother who was related to the powerful Howard family, Anne grew up in a structured household under the iron hand of her upwardly mobile father. Sir Thomas Boleyn had worked his way into Henry Tudor's inner circle, and he intended to advance his offspring. For Anne, this means being sent to the royal court in the Netherlands at the tender age of twelve.

Anne quickly fits into the royal routine and adores the Dowager Duchess of Savoy, Margaret of Austria. A quick learner, Anne's French improves, and she becomes adept at expectations of those senior to her. Later, she finds herself at the French court where she truly blossoms. Anne also learns early on that it isn't easy being a woman; there is no way she has total control over her life.

When Anne returns to England and catches the eye of Henry VIII, her life takes a different turn. Henry has no son, and he's still married to Katherine of Aragon. He offers to make Anne his mistress, but she refuses, which sets Henry off on his rampage to rid himself of his long-time wife, and to make Anne his queen.

ANNE BOLEYN, A KING'S OBSESSION is beautifully written, exquisitely detailed, and gives readers a more down-to-earth picture of the often maligned Anne. Born into an era when women were not given any credit for having brains, Anne stands out as someone who is both educated and intelligent. Henry is, well, Henry, obsessed with having a son, but also obsessed by his sexual urges, and possessing a cruel and dangerous demeanor.

Alison Weir's Six Tudor Queens series begins with KATHERINE OF ARAGON, THE TRUE QUEEN and continues with her Anne Boleyn tale. Don't miss this series.

Jani Brooks