Saturday, April 02, 2016

Me and Anne Boleyn

I knew I had a lot in common with Anne Boleyn. Apart from the fact that we're both stunningly beautiful power-hungry women we both have an extra digit. I have an extra toe and, allegedly Anne Boleyn had an extra finger, although there is some dispute about that. (Also apparently some doubts are cast over her/our beauty.)

But I discovered recently that I also have much in common with Katherine Parr, Henry VIII's sixth and final wife.

I very much enjoyed The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory about Kateryn Parr. She was the first woman to publish in English as well as a campaigner for religious reforms - as far as it was safe to be with Henry's mood swings.

So it was that I came home from taking Uncle to church on Good Friday, feeling more than slightly uncomfortable with the adoration of the cross (kissing the feet of a wooden Jesus) during the service, to read of Kateryn's distaste for rituals that have no basis in the bible.

I grew up in the Anglican church which has its own share of rituals and, though there is much in both Protestantism and Catholicism that is good, there is also plenty with which I would now quibble.

But it is rather jolly to find myself in such good company. Henry VIII excepted. Later in life he was a bit of a tyrannical crackpot to say the least.


Mike Tea said...

Just read Hilary Mantel's account of the end of Anne Boleyn at the hands of a French swordsman.It was quick, painless, and irreversible. I do hope you follow closely the life of Katherine Parr in this respect. It does no good being the most power-hungry, beautiful woman in a box.

Liz Hinds said...

You're right, Mike. And I am a dreadful coward so I would make such an absolute fool of myself were I to be beheaded.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I'm not too sure I'd be brave , either ! I'm not even sure 'brave' is the right word anyway , given that beheading seems rather extreme for adultery .

Graham Hunt said...

At least Katherine survived him - which is a better outcome than Anne's...