I will persevere

Here’s a picture of my handmade polymer clay “chibi” Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn; I bought them to sit serenely on my desk, inspiring me as I finish Perseverance, my novella that traces their ‘love story’. I think Chibi Henry and Anne will perhaps get a little impatient with me, as a change in professional circumstances […]

“There is written, her fair neck round about”: The legend of Anne Boleyn’s initial necklaces

To say it’s archetypal isn’t actually doing it justice. It’s flat-out impossible to envision Anne Boleyn without her pearl-and-gold “B” necklace – a fact that filmmakers and book cover designers seem to agree with. Although the fashionable Anne was usually a trend-setter, initial jewellery was already extremely popular at the Tudor court. Henry VIII himself […]

Sir James the Lame

In writing Perseverance I am taking pains to base every creative decision, every ‘scene’ I write on the historical record. It’s proving – at times – rather constricting and has resulted in the release date being pushed back a whole quarter of a year! At least when Perseverance does hit Amazon later this year, I will be […]

I have come here to die

Today in History: 19th May 1536 – the execution of Anne Boleyn Escorted by Sir William Kingston, Constable of the Tower of London, and “four young ladies”, Anne Boleyn made the short walk from the Queen’s Lodgings at the Tower of London, skirting past the Great Hall, through Cole Harbour Gate to reach the western […]

There is no remedy

At some point between her sentencing and execution, tradition holds that Anne Boleyn used her time to write a beautiful, achingly sad poem known as O Death! rock me asleep.  Some believe it was more likely written by her brother, George, who was well-known and respected as a poet during his lifetime. Although it has been […]

The condemnation of the putain

Today in History: 15th May 1536 – the trial of Anne Boleyn On the morning of 15th May 1536, Jane Seymour – affianced to the King of England – busied herself with wedding preparations from her new lodgings in Chelsea. Her predecessor – although not yet quite ‘pre’ enough for Henry’s taste – prepared herself […]

Hoping shortly to receive you in these arms

In May 1536 the court – perhaps even the whole of London – was uneasy and twitchy. Their Queen was imprisoned in the Tower, accused of fearful things, her trial set for the 15th of May. Things were never to be as they were before. King Henry – one way or another – was going […]

From the Lady in the Tower: 6th May 1536

Today in History: 6th May 1536 On this day in 1536, tradition holds that Anne Boleyn wrote her husband a desperate letter. In a state of limbo – her trial was not to be held until May 15th – perhaps she thought that she could still stop the tide, secure her daughter’s legitimacy, her brother’s […]

Some deep and difficult question

Today in History: 30th April 1536   Today – April 30th – in 1536, Anne knew she was in trouble. Summoning up the fight and the spark that had attracted Henry to her a decade before, Anne went to him carrying their daughter, the infant Princess Elizabeth, who was staying with them during Eastertide. We […]

Dead Men’s Shoes

Today in History: 29th April 1536 On this day – 29th April – in 1536, the normally quite savvy Anne Boleyn made two fatal blunders. Perhaps her slip in poise was a sign of her rising unease and growing panic..? When Anne saw her favourite musician, Mark Smeaton, gazing morosely out of the window of […]