Doomed Queen Anne by Carolyn Meyer

May 25, 2011
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If you’re well-versed in English history, then you should know at least parts of this book already, because this is the story of Queen Anne, wife of King Henry VIII and mother to Queen Elizabeth I. On the other hand, you’ve probably never heard the entire story from her point of view, beginning with her earliest recollections as a toddler and ending the night before her execution, awaiting her own death in the Tower of London.

Queen Anne, born Anne Boleyn, was the stereotypical ugly duckling with the beautiful older sister. But while her sister was content to be the King’s mistress, when Anne captured his heart, she was determined to make the already-married king divorce his wife and wed her, so she could become queen. But her ambition alienated everyone around her, leaving her nearly alone at the top. When she failed to deliver to King Henry the promised male heir, he decided he no longer had any use for the “witch”.

It’s a classic story, told with astonishing historical accuracy, and all the characters are real people from history. But it is Anne’s voice, her hopes and desires and ultimate despair, which bring this story to life.

This book is part of the Young Royals series, which tell the stories of a number of young royals from their own point of view, including Bloody Mary, Princess Elizabeth, and Queen Catherine, King Henry VIII’s previous wife. Those are all good reads—and an entertaining history lesson, too.

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