Tatiana Dokuchic
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Anne Boleyn: The French Connection

user image 2013-09-07
By: Tatiana Dokuchic
Posted in: History

Anne Boleyn, Margaret of Austria, Claude of France, Margueriteof Navarre

Where would you start if you wanted to blog a bit about the Renaissance? Would it be easier if you limited your scope to the French Renaissance ? How long would it take and how far would you get before tying yourself up in so many knots that the only sanemove would be to cut and run?

I recently found myself ponderingthese questions (and so many more)but before I could be overwhelmed into inaction I decided to just pick a point and begin. After all it's the journey that counts and since this is purely a pleasure cruise I thought it best tobegin with one of my favourite historical personages, Anne Boleyn.

Now we know that Anne's daughter, Elizabeth I, prided herself on being "mere English" and it's true that Anne's roots were decidedly upper-crust Anglo-Saxon but her early life experiences connected her to thecore of the French Renaissance. Born a courtier andeducated with royalty, Anne Boleynwas aRenaissance woman through & throughand thereforethe perfect travelling companion forthese Renaissance ramblings.

John Wilmot Earl of Rochester
08 Sep 2013 03:33:28PM @john-wilmot-earl-of-rochester:

More importantly she had a Humanist education which was rare for women of the period indeed any education beyond household management was rare for a woman of her station . Part of her fascination for Henry was her very "Frenchness"

Contessa Elena Marina Foscari
08 Sep 2013 05:09:56PM @contessa-elena-marina-foscari:

And she was not afraid to speak her mind and show her intelligence in a man's world....

Jane Ixtar
08 Sep 2013 05:19:28PM @jane-ixtar:

I have just received The creation of Anne Boleyn by Susan Bordo published recently, which I believe was from your link Tatiana. I can't wait to read it. We realise fully how a character can be constructed, easy then as it is now.

Tatiana Dokuchic
08 Sep 2013 06:53:08PM @tatiana-dokuchic:

She definitely wasn't afraid to speak her mind, Elena. Sometimes I think it might have been better for her if she had gone a little more softly in some cases. What do you think?She certainly did grow up amidst many strong, intelligent, women whom I assume also spoke their minds freely.

Ileft this introductory post just as Anne was headed to the court of Margaret of Austria. From what I understand this was the beginning of afirst rate education with, as Tartuffe mentions,a Humanist bend to it. Margaret's court certainly was known as a welcoming place for the great humanists of the time, including Erasmus.

It's fascinating to see all the women that wereboth rulingand educating future rulers (and therefore influencing the world at large). I'm looking forward to blogging a bit more about these female leaders including, not only, Margaret of Austria but Louise of Savoy, Marguerite of Navarre, Anne of France etc. The list just keeps on growing :))

I knew that Anne was the most educated of Henry VIII's wives, next to Katherine of Aragon of course, but until now I didn't really comprehend the extent of that education. It's too bad that fiction often portrays her asa one-dimensionalscheming seductress.

You'll have to tell me what you think of The Creation of Anne Boleyn, Jane. I downloaded it to my e-reader and then found out it had technical issues so I had to get a refund for it. It's probably for the best as I think it's a book I will enjoy more in hard cover but now I have to wait for the delivery as well. Something to look forward to for certain!