The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn: The Most Happy Paperback – 10 Jul 2005
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"[Ives is] splendidly successful... Ives's Boleyn, a portrait at all points supported by the evidence he gives, is clever, independent-minded and politically astute. Ives has gone as far as anyone can... in solving the enigma of Boleyn in a narrative at once profoundly researched and lively." Antonia Fraser, The Sunday Times
"Eric Ives has made it unnecessary for anyone else to even make the attempt [to write a biography of Anne Boleyn]. The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn is a stunning portrait of the most controversial woman ever to have been queen consort of England." The Independent on Sunday
"Eric Ives, a scholar utterly at home in early Tudor politics, has been writing about the Boleyns for more than two decades. His book represents a triumphant culmination of all that research, presented with clarity, wit and human sympathy." Diarmaid MacCulloch, The Telegraph
"Ives has written an excellent book on Anne Boleyn. Its great strength is its sophisticated understanding of aristocratic women's involvement in 16th-century politics, and precisely how this worked in practice. ...Ives rises effectively to the human drama of Anne Boleyn's life and in the process illuminates both the inner workings of the Tudor court and its relationship to the larger dramas of the Reformation and European politics." Jane Stevenson, Scotland on Sunday
"The best full-length life of Anne Boleyn and a monument to investigative scholarship." David Starkey
"Magnificently researched. Eric Ives has written the finest, most accurate study of Anne Boleyn we are ever likely to possess. He leaves no stone unturned in his quest to discover the truth. Never has the historical Anne been so satisfyingly portrayed." John Guy
"What is most exciting about The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn is not just that it has confirmed and solidified Ives's earlier work and presented it in a more accessible format. (Like John Guy, Ives has discovered that the Starkey model really does work and that popularisation -- 'to place among the people' -- should not be a term of opprobrium.) Rather, it is the development in methodology, the indication that cultural studies and the history of the book have provided us with new ways to evaluate evidence, to interpret the past." The Spectator
"Eric Ives achieves the notable feat of combining magisterial historical authority with a gripping style, and sets the reader's mind buzzing with debate about the complex reasons behind the astounding events of Anne's life." Times Literary Supplement
"[Ives] delicately pieces together a believable identity ... [and] gives, too, a lucid and coherent exposition of the circumstances that led to Anne's death." The Guardian
"What Ives doesn't know ... about the high politics and court life of Henry VIII's England will either never be known or is not worth knowing. If there is a truth about Anne Boleyn's rise and fall, he will tell it to us." London Review of Books
"There is no questioning the impact of Professor Eric Ives on the historiography of Tudor England. There is a keen sense of the evidence, of diplomatic affairs, of the minutiae of the record and its context. The writing is fluent and well-paced, drawing the reader along." The Tyndale Society Journal
"This is a moving and compelling account by an author who is the absolute master of his subject. I read it with great excitement and admiration." Susan Brigden, Lincoln College, Oxford
"Ives demonstrates triumphantly the potential of the biographical approach in a pre-modern setting. He evinces a deep empathy for his subject without ever becoming an apologist for her, and ... he provides a narrative which is genuinely moving. He has also given us a fully rounded and persuasive account of Anne's life as a whole, and its significance for understanding the politics and political culture of the early Tudor decades." Reviews in History
"The best book on Anne Boleyn ever written. This is a must for all lovers of Tudor history, academics and general readers alike." Alison Weir, BBC History Magazine Books of the Year
"Eric Ives has cut through the myths and misconceptions. The result surpasses all previous work.When Ives describes Anne herself. he is utterly convincing." Renaissance Quarterly
This definitive biography of Anne Boleyn establishes her as a figure of considerable importance and influence in her own right. This is a full biography of Anne Boleyn, based on the latest scholarly research. It focuses on Anne's life and legacy and establishes Anne as a figure of considerable importance and influence in her own right. Adulteress or innocent victim? This title: looks afresh at the issues at the heart of Anne's downfall; pays attention to her importance as a patron of the arts, particularly in relation to Hans Holbein; presents evidence about Anne's spirituality and her interest in the intellectual debates of the period; and, takes an account of significant advances in knowledge in recent years.See all Product description
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This book delves deeply into Anne's life and Ives has obviously done his homework. It is by far the most important book on Anne Boleyn I have ever read and do not expect anything to come close to this work.
There is no point in me dissecting the book any further than it has been done below. There are some reviews below that I thought were a great deal more helpful than I could possibly give. All I can say is I am proud to own a book on a woman who was for a time one of the most influential and powerful in England and a main contributer of the Reformation.
Finally you will notice that you will want to read some of these reviews before parting with your hard earned money. You will continue to notice a multitude of 5 Stars a couple of 4 and a single 1. Yes, you read 1. Now reading the reason for this score is exactly the same as me ordering a book on Chinese and scoring it 1 because I could not understand it. It is under the heading of ' Terrible. ' If I thought it would make any difference I would ask for it to be removed. Personally, I am disgusted with the remark and believe it should be removed.
You can now STOP looking for the ultimate Book on Anne Boleyn, Ives has created the very last word.
This Book has been named The Bible On Anne and I believe that is exactly what it is.
Eric Ives....this is truly a Masterpiece.
For a start, Ives promises to keep things chronological but then jumps around in Anne's timeline at an athletic pace. The most I take issue with this is the structure of the chapters - first one is Anne's continental education, her start in life and family, how she met Henry and where. So that's all the action, all the plot so to speak.
But then the following chapters take two step backwards, the analyses of her portraits so we could know what she looked like. The chapter following is a discussion of the biased source material which of course is all the source material throughout her life. Surely these would be better placed before the "plot"?
I gave up after these chapters with no further understanding on Tudor society or even Anne Boleyn. At the moment I'm whipping through Amanda Foreman's "Georgiana, The Duchess of Devonshire." The late 18th century is something that I'm completely unfamiliar with, but under Foreman's guidance I feel that this society is second nature to me, and Georgiana a person I could meet in the street. Anne with Ives always felt like a subject long dead, Tudor society impregnable.
I'm not going to recommend "The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn" for beginners, but I will recommend it to those who have a greater acquaintance with Anne and know her timeline and the period thoroughly.
My overall summary
Ives has been studying Anne Boleyn and the early Tudor court for a large part of his scholarly career and this book is a fine testament to his research skills and knowledge. Elegant, authoritative, with full attention to the historical sources and their agendas, this assesses in detail what we can know about Anne Boleyn.
By navigating his way through the slander, the innuendo, the sensationalism and the prurience that has accrued around the Boleyn name from the time she emerged into Henry's court in the early 1520s, Ives gives us a historicised and plausible Anne, one untainted by recent fictions (The Other Boleyn Girl, The Tudors) and some of the more unprofessional `popular' historians.
My only query is why Ives' discussion on the sources is chapter 4, after we have already made use of some of them? That apart, this is exemplary history writing - substantial, rigorous and academically-impeccable, yet still an entertaining and compelling read.