BLURB: “Part biography, part cultural history, The Creation of Anne Boleyn is a fascinating reconstruction of Anne’s life and an illuminating look at her afterlife in the popular imagination. Why is Anne so compelling? Why does she inspire such extreme reactions? And what really was the colour of her hair? And perhaps the most provocative question concerns Anne’s death, more than her life: how could Henry order the execution of his once beloved wife? Drawing on scholarship and popular culture, Bordo probes the complexities of one of history’s most infamous relationships and teases out the woman behind the myths.”
REVIEW: Considering that this book is essentially a book exploring the historiography of Anne Boleyn, and considering the fact that historiography is generally extremely dry, I was not expecting to fall in love with this book as much as I did. In exploring the myths surrounding Anne Boleyn from both during and after her lifetime, and looking closely at her portrayal in media and historical fiction/non-fiction, Bordo dispels many of the legends surrounding in a way that is sometimes ruthless, but always brilliantly researched and often highly amusing. Bordo says many of the things I have often thought myself about some of the portrayals of Anne in popular culture; particularly how she is portrayed in The Other Boleyn Girl, in which her brother George is also depicted terribly. I originally read this book as part of my dissertation research, not for enjoyment; but I found myself liking it so much that I read it too quickly to take notes, and had to go back and go over the relevant sections! I especially enjoyed reading of the interviews Bordo had with various actresses who have played Anne Boleyn, which shows us not only how they feel about Anne, but also how this influenced their enactment of the role. This book is highly informative, witty and brutally honest – and I loved every page. I would highly recommend it.