Sunday, May 19, 2013

“The Most Happy” ~ 477 years later

She who has been the Queen of England on earth will today become a Queen in Heaven. — Archbishop Thomas Cranmer

Hello Everyone

Today I’m taking a different path today writing wise to share something really dear to my heart as a lover of history.

On this day, May 19th in 1536, Anne Boleyn best known as Kind Henry VIII’s second wife and queen, was beheaded on order of her husband for charges of adultery, treason and incest. When I was 12, I found a book about her in our school library called “Doomed Queen Anne” by Carolyn Meyer. For nearly 10 years ever since then I have been completely fascinated by this woman and devoted a great deal of my free time to learning as much about her as possible. When “The Tudors” premiered on Showtime I was thrilled because that meant that now even more people would become aware of her life and her story.

Portrait of Anne from 1533 or 1534, artist unknown.

Anne was an incredible person; in an age when men seemed to dominate all, she stayed true to herself and would not take any shit from anyone and managed to sway the most powerful man in her kingdom, and with that ultimately changing the entire direction of English history forever.

The charges against her which sent her to her grave were false, venomous slander made up by her political enemies at the behest of her misogynistic pig of a husband (yeah you can tell I feel pretty strongly about this). Her only “crimes” against King Henry were her unwillingness to conform to the submissive and obedient role expected of her as wife of the king and her misfortune of not producing a son for her husband in her short 1000 day marriage/tenure. Those things were more on the fault of Henry than Anne and ironically their only child, Elizabeth, ultimately grew up to become Elizabeth I, one of England’s most successful and important monarchs ever.

Anne's "ghost" defends herself and her now teenage daughter Elizabeth against an aging and sick Henry in the final episode of The Tudors. Source unknown.

Sadly, there are many misconceptions about Anne; ranging from her being a home wrecking whore to the whole bullshit myth about her having six fingers on one hand and a third breast. Those last two were again false, propaganda written nearly half a century after she died by one of Elizabeth I’s haters who didn't want to possibly die of treason by slandering her so he took a jab to her mom. And she certainly was not a whore; if anything it was Henry who was the “whore” because it was he who went after her and divorced his first wife for no real reason except for the fact he was horny and she hadn't given him a son neither. If Anne Boleyn is a “home wrecking whore” for breaking him and his old wife up than so is Jane Seymour for “breaking up” Anne and Henry and Catherine Howard (his 5th wife) for breaking up Henry and Anne of Cleaves (his 4th wife).

What has made Anne stick out among Henry’s other wives is not only was she the most historically significant but also because she was amazing in her own right and not because of any man in her life, she was intelligent, talented, astute and truly stood and shone on her own. She was the wife who would call Henry out on his crap and stand up for what she thought was right without fear of the consequences, which there were. And most noble of all is that when she finally faced her fate, she did not blame Henry nor criticize him in her final speech (well she couldn't because it may have caused problems for Elizabeth) but at the same time did not admit to any false guilt. Despite the subtle nature of this, her message rung loud and clear and she died with great boldness and courage that is extremely inspiring to me. My respect for her is second only to my own mother.

 Genevieve as Anne in my favorite outfit from the film. 

Many women have taken a go at portraying Anne in film and TV. My personal favorite is Genevieve Bujold’s portrayal of her in the film “Anne of the Thousand Days”. I feel like of all the actresses who have played Anne, she played her best and (in my personal opinion) the closest to how I feel Anne truly was in real life. Also for this final line she boldly delivered to Henry right before her execution:

“…Look for the rest of your life at every man that ever knew me and wonder if I didn't find him a better man than you… But Elizabeth is yours. Watch her as she grows; she’s yours. She’s a Tudor! Get yourself a son off of that sweet, pale girl if you can - and hope that he will live! But Elizabeth shall reign after you! Yes, Elizabeth - child of Anne the Whore and Henry the Blood-Stained Lecher - shall be Queen! And remember this: Elizabeth shall be a greater queen than any king of yours! She shall rule a greater England than you could ever have built! Yes - MY Elizabeth SHALL BE QUEEN! And my blood will have been well spent!”

None of this was said in real life but it’s all true and so well delivered that it hits so sharply like arrows to a dart board.

I also like Natalie Dormer’s portrayal of Anne in “The Tudors” but for different reasons; mainly for the incredible fashions and gowns she wore in the show which where no less than style porn for a girl like me who loves historical costuming. even if it was not all really accurate I can’t help but go crazy with desire for every single thing she wore; there isn't a single thing in her character wardrobe that I don’t want. Especially the headdresses!! *O*

Vivacious, confident and bold, Anne Boleyn truly was an amazing woman who has left her mark on history, and in my heart. I wish that I can be as strong and stylish as her, without loosing my head of course! XD

Yours Jasmine

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog Jasmine, it was very educational. :-)