Your post about Anne Boleyn was amazing ! Absolutely flawless. You picked some reasons why I love this historical figure so much. Sure, this woman was not perfect but nobody was in this court.
In my opinion, I think that when she rejected Henry’s advances, she really meant so. Because she loved Henry Percy and because of Wolsey who also worked on Henry’s orders, her engagement with him broke. So if I was in her shoes (and I’m glad I am not) I wouldn’t had been very inclined to accept his royal favours.
Moreover, she saw how his sister Mary acted and most especially the way she was labeled and I think she honestly didn’t want to be treated like this.
In the game of Henry’s pursuit, I believe she know what she did at some point but she didn’t trap Henry to propose her the crown. As Henry always did, he was the one who gave orders, the one who decided almost everything. Like you stated, his marriage to Catherine of Aragon became fruitless and he didn’t share her bed for two years before Anne came in the Tudor court. When people wrote that Anne was a homewrecker, that really pisses me off ! Henry was the king and he was strong and self-willed enough to go through all the consequences his decisions and actions caused. Otherwise, that would mean that he was a weak king. He was not. Selfish, obsessive… but definitely not weak. Even before the woman he loved or claimed to.
That’s the same with Mary’s position as maid to Elizabeth. Another subject that people who hate Anne Boleyn love to raise just because they want to point out that she was such a wicked person. That was Henry, always Henry, who had the last word. Even if we suppose that was Anne who would had proposed that to him (though I really don’t see that from Anne cause she was quite afraid that Mary would had harmed her daughter if she was placed in the same house)she had still to have Henry’s approval. Like I told on another comment, she was a consort queen and as influential as she was, she never hold the “complete” power to make things the way she wanted them to be. Once for all, Henry was the king and since he broke with Rome, he was head of the kingdom, both in temporal and spiritual matters. And why people can’t understand that once Anne was executed, Mary had a more difficult treatment from her father as he wanted her to obey him. Though I could understand that Mary could put the blame on Anne at some point cause it’s always easier to reprove someone else for the great matter than someone who was once a loving father, so proud of her. But as she had to make the rude experience and face the reality, everything came from her father.
What I love the most about Anne Boleyn was her passion, her courage, her strengh. She was like we may say now a hbic - she really stood for what she believed right, as you just wrote. Sure she had some wicked words but nobody could forget she was a fiery character, an high-tempered woman, in both acts and words. That doesn’t always mean she -really- thought that way. So she didn’t or doesn’t deserve to be slandered as an evil witch or slut.
On the other hand, when she did something she took her responsibilities for her actions. If she wanted to tell her mind, she was straight. That was unfortunately the way to her downfall as well. She never acted like an hypocrit, like her successor who claimed to be a pure maiden, kissing a letter she didn’t dare to open and throwing at her knees, beseeching the king to preserve her honor and just after, was surprised on the king’s knee kissing him (she had something with the knee obviously). Quite the not right thing to make when you want to show your honor, even in private… but it’s another topic.
About you wrote on the subject of her alleged adultery, I definitely agree with you. She was a smart woman, certainly one of the most intelligent ones in her times and she knew she wasn’t universally liked, that people would had spreaded gossips about her or distorted the words she said so she was careful enough, I believe, to not put herself in this position. Moreover all the evidences brought against her were false and during her parody of trial, Anne Boleyn denied each accusation and prove each one was wrong.
Anyway, there is so many things to say about that fascinating character, and still more actually. As you already stated, because of the lack of sources, she will remain a mystery to us but the truth is, she was a woman who wasn’t afraid to tell her opinion, to not fit in men’s standards which picture the ideal woman as a submissive and obedient wife who had nothing to do in their business, who had to keep their mouth shut. A woman who was courageous, always, from her coronation to her execution and even before like in 1531, when a crowd mainly of women walked towards her house. A woman who was quick at repartee, in different occasions….
There is really so many things to say about her. And because of that I wish that people stop labelling her with ugly words. She was definitely a woman to be respected.
And I’m very pleased to see that people like you, Slayground, to tell their opinion and to defend her. :)
p.s. : I’m french and even though I’m quite comfortable with english, you might find some mistakes so please excuse me in advance :)