- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 16 hours and 51 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 12 April 2010
- Language: English
- ASIN: B003H21JV2
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The Lady in the Tower Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top customer reviews
David Starkey's "Six Wives" contains a much more comprehensive of the relationship between the King and Anne, and shows how Henry's conceited, intractable personality traits were - if not entirely - at least partly the driving force behind her execution.
Weir's theory that Cromwell, unprompted, took it upon his already out-of-court-favour self to arbitrarily remove the Queen (even when the King, according to her, was not on board) is simply fantastic, and frankly very difficult to believe. She completely overlooks the fact that Henry was, even considering the times he lived in, tyrannical, cruel, brutal, conceited and heartless when it came to replacing/executing enemies (including his wives Anne and Catherine Howard - his last wife, Catherine Parr narrowly escaped execution).
One good thing this book has though is a very well-reserached description of Anne Boleyn's execution, which is otherwise quite difficult to find.
I have always had a fascination for Anne Boleyn and have read many books on her life, rise, fall and death, but this one was really refreshing. It charted the lives of those around her in more detail without going down the route of solely focusing on the Katherine/Henry/Anne triangle which has happened in other books. I liked that this centred on Anne and gave some really interesting detail on her trial, the evidence of the men convicted with her and, most especially, her final days in the Tower and her execution. I felt it really brought her back to life and you could get a palpable sense of her fear and anxiety as you read how she prepared for her execution, only to find it postponed.
I also liked the section on the young Elizabeth as I often think she's a little forgotten in the momentous events surrounding her mother. I always think it's terribly poignant that Elizabeth forever wore a ring with a secret portrait of Anne in it, which was only discovered on Elizabeth's death.
I found the chapter on the Victorians exhuming the bones in the Tower Chapel fascinating and I also liked the 'myth and ghost' section at the end which was different and shows how enduring Anne's story has become.
Anne's was such a meteoric rise and spectacular fall that it makes for eternal fascination. Alison Weir's writing, I think, will make that life so much more accessible and ensure that we don't forget this remarkable woman.