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GEORGE BOLEYN COMES IN FROM THE COLD
on 18 July 2014
This well written book brings together many things that have previously remained obscure about the brother of Anne Boleyn - and I particularly liked the illustrations of his signature, letter and cypher. His handwriting was bold and beautiful, with the tell tale sweep of an artistic nature. I agree with the authors that his portraits were almost certainly destroyed - it seems to me highly unlikely that the brother of the Queen, and an important courtier and diplomat in his own right, would not have been at least sketched by the likes of Holbein, and it is probable that his poetry met with the same fate..
Another reviewer has criticised the authors for a biased picture of George Boleyn, and feels that their picture of Henry VIII 'bluff king Hal, beloved of his subjects,' is a testament to their loathing of the man - but I must disagree. The Henry Tudor who destroyed the woman he had once been obsessed by, together with men - George Boleyn and Henry Norris - who had been his closest companions - was a cruel and ruthless tyrant, not the merry Hal of his distant youth. Of course, this is too simplistic a view, and we, in the 21st century, cannot ever hope to think with the mindset of a 16th century man or woman. But this was a ground-breaking book, bringing into our orbit the scant information about a charismatic and fascinating personality, that has until now remained buried in a variety of obscure places. After reading it, I can say that George Boleyn is a man I would like to have known.