Author's Interests - Part III

People Who Have Inspired Me

There are many things that have helped form me into the person that I am today. And hopefully by sharing some of the individuals that have impacted me the most will help to give you insight as to who I am as an author.

Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn was the second wife of King Henry VIII. She is also famous for being the mother of Queen Elizabeth. Anne Boleyn was born sometime in the first half of the 1500’s. The exact year is not known. What is known is that her affair with King Henry VIII changed the world as we know it. She was engaged to another man before Henry ever met her. And in fact, he would first take her sister Mary as a lover. But as was the case with many vane kings, Henry tired of Mary and was soon rid of her. Anne’s engagement, which was supposedly also a love match, was halted for political reasons.

Eventually Anne, who was a mysterious beauty who proudly wore all she had learned in the French courts, was brought to the court of Henry VIII. She was actually there to serve as a lady in waiting for Henry’s still-wife, Katherine of Aragon. To make a long story short, Henry and Katherine were married for political reasons and after she had married and been widowed by Henry’s older brother. Their union had only produced one living child with Princess Mary, and Henry believed that they were being punished by God.

While it is unlikely that a blessed union by God that would produce a healthy male heir was the only motivation for an affair, Henry began to persue Anne. Eventually Anne began to show the king encouragement, though it is said that she never gave in to his physical advances.

Henry wanted to take Ann as his mistress, but Anne complicated things a bit when she said that she would only be his wife or nothing at all. Eventually Henry asked the Pope for a divorce from Katherine, but for political reasons, as well as for fear from his own life from the Emperor (who was also Katherine’s nephew and consequently holding the pope hostage), the Pope refused the divorce. Anne had been a sympathizer with the Reformation and eventually Henry broke with the Catholic Church. He formed The Church Of England and declared himself the head of it. He then granted himself a divorce and married Anne Boleyn.

Their daughter Elizabeth was born shortly after the marriage and Princess Mary was knocked down a rung in the line of succession and Elizabeth took her place. Sadly, Henry was not satisfied with another daughter. His goal was to produce a male heir to the throne. Anne and Henry would suffer several miscarriages and never have another child that lived.

Eventually her failure to produce a male heir finally pushed Anne out of the King’s good graces. False charges of witchcraft, treason, and incest were brought up against her. She was sentenced to death and on May 19th, 1536, she was beheaded on the tower green at The Tower of London.

The reason that this woman’s story is so inspiring to me is because she lived during a time where woman were traded like livestock and treated like property. Women were second-class citizens at best during the Tudor dynasty. Yet Anne Boleyn changed the face of politics and religion in her lifetime.

The Church Of England is still strongly in place today. While neither the monarchy or the church hold nearly as much power over the world as they used to, it’s still impressive to see the same structure in place over 500 years later.

Anne went to her death praising the King and proudly professing her faith. She would never get to see the great ruler that her daughter would become. The daughter that was not as valued as a male heir to her father would become one of the greatest rulers that the world would ever see. Anne Boleyn was executed by those who wanted to remove her from her place of power. But despite her execution she has gone down in history as someone that has shaped the very world that we know.