When Queen Catherine was asked to hand over the royal jewels so that Anne Boleyn could wear them, she was outraged. “I will not give them up to a person who is the scandal of Christendom and a disgrace to you” she returned. Anne and Henry’s affair had indeed scandalised Christendom, and has been dividing folks ever since. So this is the chance for the good listeners of The History of England to tell the world what we think.
From October 8th to November 5th we are going to be celebrating Anne’s life, the momentous events that surrounded it, remembering her death. From 29th October there’ll be a chance for you all to both comment and vote, and it’ll be topped off by a prize draw. Meanwhile I am also really lucky to be joined by two historians and authors, Claire Ridgway and Natalie Grueninger, who will be doing guest episodes. Over the next month there’ll be:
- 3 episodes from me about Anne and her life, and England during her reign when Henry VIII breaks with Rome
- Guest episodes from authors and historians Natalie Grueninger and Claire Ridgway
- Members only episodes, poll and prize – Anne and her reputation through the ages; Who killed Anne Boleyn poll and prize draw.
- The Listeners speak: The Scandal of Christendom debate: an argumentative episode from me, and votes and comments by for everyone on the Facebook site
- Prizes! Original Coins , Anne Boleyn Medallion by Lucy Churchill, and books. Sponsored by Simon Hall of Halls Hammered coins, Natalie Grueninger and Claire Ridgway
There’s a smorgasbord of Prizes. A smorgasbord I tell you. Find out more on the Prizes page.
The History of England Podcast is free, but frankly it keeps going because of the members who support it. So there will be special episodes, debate and competition just for members. on 25th October there’ll be an episode from me on who killed Anne? Then there’ll be comments on the Facebook Page, and a prize. The prize is an original Elizabeth I Silver Half Groat.
To support The History of England (aka me) why not go to Become a Member? You’ll get a back catalogue of podcasts, and 90 minutes or so worth of new podcasts, including a History of Scotland.
The Scandal of Christendom Diary
Below are the episodes and events over the next month, so you know what’s going on.
Scandal of Christendom? The big question
Anne remains a fascinating puzzle; what motivated her, what did she achieve? She was a complex character – and yet has been too easily categorised as villain or hero.
So I have a complicated question on which I’d like your views; to focus on Anne’s impact:
The History of England agrees with Eric Ives that Anne Boleyn was “a maker of history” and rejects Catherine of Aragon’s insult that she was nothing more than the “Scandal of Christendom”.
I realise the question is a composite one, with many variables. To agree you will probably tends to agree with the majority (not necessarily all) of the statements below:
- Anne did not cynically entrap Henry solely because she wanted power; she and Henry shared had a genuinely loving relationship
- Anne was an active and effective player in court politics, rather than simply its victim
- Anne was a genuine leader and principal of change, rather than just a catalyst because of the king’s desire for her; she played an active part in leading, influencing and shaping policies such as the strategy to break with Rome.
- She promoted evangelical ideas and reform; and that did so from personal conviction and piety – not just because they increased her chances of becoming Queen.
- Her treatment of Catherine of Aragon and Mary was as much due to the king’s views and the necessities of the situation as to any personal vindictiveness.
We’ll start your comments and voting on 29th October – so watch this space!