A list of fiction books where Anne Boleyn is either the main or a central character. Please contact me if you know of a book that should be added to the list.
I am making no comment on the quality of the books; I am simply offering the reader a comprehensive list. I will though link to my review of the book if I have written one.
I hope to add a rating system in the near future.
It is also important to note that covers will vary from country to country and many of the books have been reissued with different covers and at times, different titles.
Please leave a comment telling us about your favourite Anne Boleyn fiction books.
Hope the list is useful!
The Boleyn King by Laura Anderson (2013)
The Boleyn King is the first book in an enthralling trilogy that dares to imagine: What if Anne Boleyn had actually given Henry VIII a son who grew up to be king?
Just seventeen years old, Henry IX, known as William, is a king bound by the restraints of the regency yet anxious to prove himself. With the French threatening battle and the Catholics sowing the seeds of rebellion at home, William trusts only three people: his older sister Elizabeth; his best friend and loyal counselor, Dominic; and Minuette, a young orphan raised as a royal ward by William’s mother, Anne Boleyn.
Against a tide of secrets, betrayal, and murder, William finds himself fighting for the very soul of his kingdom. Then, when he and Dominic both fall in love with Minuette, romantic obsession looms over a new generation of Tudors. One among them will pay the price for a king’s desire, as a shocking twist of fate changes England’s fortunes forever.
The Queen’s Promise by Lyn Andrews (2012)
Read my review by clicking on this link.
From the bestselling author Lyn Andrews comes a compelling historical epic set at the endlessly fascinating Tudor court about the most infamous woman of the age – Anne Boleyn – and the man who loved her before she became queen.
From the moment Henry Percy, the future Earl of Northumberland, first glimpses the beautiful Anne Boleyn he is captivated and quickly proposes marriage. Anne has been taught to use her charms to her advantage and to secure her family’s position of power at court. She sees that Henry Percy’s affection is sincere and agrees to marry him.
But a match of the heart has no place in a world where marriage is a political manoeuvre. Torn apart, the lovers are exiled to separate ends of the kingdom. For Henry a lifetime of duty awaits, while he remains true to the only woman he will ever love. But he is not the only man to be bewitched by Anne. And when King Henry VIII determines to make her his queen, the course of history is changed for ever…
Le Temps Viendra: A Novel of Anne Boleyn by Sarah Morris (2012)
Anne is a young, 21st century woman in the midst of a life-long love affair with the 16th Century and the enigmatic Anne Boleyn. Whilst indulging her secret passion on an exclusive ‘Anne Boleyn Connoisseurs’ Weekend’, she is taken seriously ill at Hever Castle. Falling into a deep state of unconsciousness, Anne becomes ensnared in a time portal that transports her back in time to England, 1527. She awakens to find herself in the body of her heroine, Anne Boleyn; at the time, a young woman on the brink of an historic love affair with the mighty King Henry VIII.
Anne finds herself at the centre of Henry’s world, yet increasingly vulnerable as the figurehead of the emerging and evermore powerful Boleyn faction. Whilst she learns what it is to walk in the footsteps of the woman who would change English history, she is also engulfed in mixed emotions and only too aware of how her relationship with Henry mirrors that of her 21st century relationship with Dan, her married lover.
Soon Anne begins to lose her own sense of identity as the boundaries between the two women begin to blur. As she is sucked back and forth between her two great loves and two increasingly fragile lives, Anne struggles to change her heroine’s terrible fate on the scaffold whilst trying to prevent her own modern day life hurtling inextricably toward disaster.
‘Le Temps Viendra: A Novel of Anne Boleyn’ is a timeless story of passion, ambition and betrayal; it is also an enduring story of an intense love forged between two souls who are bound together for all eternity.
Available from Spartan Publishing.
Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (2012)
The sequel to the Man Booker-winning Wolf Hall.
By 1535 Thomas Cromwell, the blacksmith’s son, is far from his humble origins. Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes have risen with those of Anne Boleyn, Henry’s second wife, for whose sake Henry has broken with Rome and created his own church. But Henry’s actions have forced England into dangerous isolation, and Anne has failed to do what she promised: bear a son to secure the Tudor line. When Henry visits Wolf Hall, Cromwell watches as Henry falls in love with the silent, plain Jane Seymour. The minister sees what is at stake: not just the king’s pleasure, but the safety of the nation. As he eases a way through the sexual politics of the court, its miasma of gossip, he must negotiate a ‘truth’ that will satisfy Henry and secure his own career. But neither minister nor king will emerge undamaged from the bloody theatre of Anne’s final days.
At the Mercy of the Queen: A Novel of Anne Boleyn by Anne Clinard Barnhill
This novel will be published in early 2012, more information to follow soon.
Read my review here.
A sweeping tale of sexual seduction and intrigue at the court of Henry VIII, At the Mercy of the Queen is a rich and dramatic debut historical novel about Madge Shelton, cousin and lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn.
At the innocent age of fifteen, Lady Margaret Shelton arrives at the court of Henry VIII and quickly becomes the confidante of her cousin, Queen Anne Boleyn. But she soon finds herself drawn into the perilous web of Anne’s ambition.
Desperate to hold onto the king’s waning affection, Anne schemes to have him take her guileless young cousin as mistress, ensuring her husband’s new paramour will owe her loyalty to the queen. But Margaret has fallen deeply in love with a handsome young courtier. She is faced with a terrible dilemma: give herself to the king and betray the love of her life or refuse to become his mistress and jeopardize the life of the her cousin, Queen Anne.
Had the Queen Lived: An alternate history of Anne Boleyn by Raven A. Nuckols (2011)
This is very different to other books that have been published about Anne because it poses the question what if Anne Boleyn had lived beyond 1536? How might English history have unfolded if Anne had remained Henry’s wife and queen consort?
I think that all Anne Boleyn admirers have at one time or another asked themselves these questions. Raven has taken it one step further by writing a book and recreating a new world – an alternate history where Anne Boleyn provides the king with his longed for male heir and secures her position.
Read my interview with Raven here.
To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn by Sandra Byrd (2011)
Read a guest post by Sandra here.
Read my review here.
To Die For, is the story of Meg Wyatt, pledged forever as the best friend to Anne Boleyn since their childhoods on neighboring manors in Kent. When Anne’s star begins to ascend, of course she takes her best friend Meg along for the ride. Life in the court of Henry VIII is thrilling at first, but as Anne’s favor rises and falls, so does Meg’s. And though she’s pledged her loyalty to Anne no matter what the test, Meg just might lose her greatest love—and her own life—because of it.
Meg’s childhood flirtation with a boy on a neighboring estate turns to true love early on. When he is called to follow the Lord and be a priest she turns her back on both the man and his God. Slowly, though, both woo her back through the heady times of the English reformation. In the midst of it, Meg finds her place in history, her own calling to the Lord that she must follow, too, with consequences of her own. Each character in the book is tested to figure out what love really means, and what, in this life, is worth dying for.
Though much of Meg’s story is fictionalized, it is drawn from known facts. The Wyatt family and the Boleyn family were neighbors and friends, and perhaps even distant cousins. Meg’s brother, Thomas Wyatt, wooed Anne Boleyn and ultimately came very close to the axe blade for it. Two Wyatt sisters attended Anne at her death, and at her death, she gave one of them her jeweled prayer book—Meg.
The Falcon Chronicles by Lauren Elflein (2011)
Read a guest post written by Lauren here.
About the throne, thunder rolls…
Before her is a sea of faces. These faces of men who are accusing her of crimes that she did not commit: adultery, incest, and compassing the King’s death. These expounded rumors, these wisps of conversation, these fractions of truths have blossomed into a plot so thick with lies and deceit that she knows she shall never escape them. They surround her heavily as the headsman turns his ax towards her, a sign that she is condemned to die. It is her fault she is thus treated; she helped change the nation of England through the rule of her husband, King Henry VIII. She is a wife, mother, and Queen of Christendom, she is Anne Boleyn, and this is her story.
The Arrow Chest by Robert Parry (2011)
# Although Anne does not feature as a character as such, she is very important to the story. Confused? Guess you will just have to read it and find out!
Read my interview with Robert Parry here.
Read my review here.
London, 1876. The painter Amos Roselli is in love with his life-long friend and model, the beautiful Daphne – and she with him – until one day she is discovered by another man, a powerful and wealthy industrialist. What will happen when Daphne realises she has sacrificed her happiness to a loveless marriage? What will happen when the artist realises he has lost his most cherished source of inspiration? And how will they negotiate the ever-increasing frequency of strange and bizarre events that seem to be driving them inexorably towards self-destruction? Here, amid the extravagant Neo-Gothic culture of Victorian England, the iconic poem ‘The Lady of Shallot’ blends with mysterious and ghostly glimpses of Tudor history. Romantic, atmospheric and deeply dark.
The Boleyn Wife by Brandy Purdy (2010)
# Please note that this is a reprint of Vengeance is Mine and the UK edition is published as ‘The Tudor Wife’ by Emily Purdy.
Read my interview with Brandy here.
Shy, plain Lady Jane Parker feels out of place in Henry VIII’s courtly world of glamour and intrigue–until she meets the handsome George Boleyn. Overjoyed when their fathers arrange a match, her dreams of a loving union are waylaid when she meets George’s sister, Anne. For George is completely devoted to his sister, and cold and indifferent to his bride. As Anne acquires a wide circle of admirers, including King Henry, Jane’s resentment grows. But if becoming Henry’s queen makes Anne the most powerful woman in England, it also makes her highly vulnerable. And as Henry, desperate for a male heir, begins to tire of his mercurial wife, the stage is set for the ultimate betrayal. . .
A Golden Sorrow Volume 2 – The Most Happy: Anne Boleyn by Dixie Atkins (2010)
Henry the Eighth to six spouses was wedded: one died, one survived, two divorced, two beheaded. When the subject of Henry VIII’s many marital adventures is discussed, Henry’s wives are spoken of as one entity, with no existence outside their lives with Henry. In Dixie Atkins’ four volume novel, ‘A Golden Sorrow’, she sets out to give the reader a comprehensive account of each Queen, from birth to death, based on meticulous research. Each wife tells her own story: Katherine of Aragon, the Spanish princess; Anne Boleyn, brought up at the French court; Jane Seymour, living in the shadow of her ambitious brothers; Anne of Cleves, who became Henry’s ‘honorary sister’; Katherine Howard, the promiscuous teenager; Katherine Parr, who sacrificed happiness to care for an ailing king. All paid dearly for wearing ‘A Golden Sorrow’. ‘THE MOST HAPPY’ Motto of Queen Anne Boleyn Refutation of Anne, Queen of England, Marquess of Pembroke, wife to the High and Mighty Lord Henry, Eighth of that name, King of this realm, Defender of the Faith, Supreme Head of the Church in England. The year 1536. ‘My lords, it is the cold which makes me tremble more than the aspen leaf. There is a keen wind on the river today. See how the surface ruffles. The barge makes slow headway.’ Anne Boleyn, speaking from the Tower, shows the passionate recklessness which eventually brings her to the block.
Anne Boleyn and Me: A Tudor Girl’s story 1524-1536 (My Royal Story) by Alison Prince 2010
When the King came riding in on his big, black horse, a murmur went up, because his tunic was stitched with the words, Declare I Dare Not. All the ladies were giggling behind their hands, and I asked Mama what it meant. Her face had turned quite pink and she said, ‘Never mind’, so I asked Rosanna later. She told me the words meant the King has a new love, but he dares not say her name. But everyone knows her name, of course. It is Anne Boleyn.
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (2009)
Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2009 ‘Lock Cromwell in a deep dungeon in the morning,’ says Thomas More, ‘and when you come back that night he’ll be sitting on a plush cushion eating larks’ tongues, and all the gaolers will owe him money.’ England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey’s clerk, and later his successor. Cromwell is a wholly original man: the son of a brutal blacksmith, a political genius, a briber, a charmer, a bully, a man with a delicate and deadly expertise in manipulating people and events. Ruthless in pursuit of his own interests, he is as ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. His reforming agenda is carried out in the grip of a self-interested parliament and a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages. From one of our finest living writers, Wolf Hall is that very rare thing: a truly great English novel, one that explores the intersection of individual psychology and wider politics. With a vast array of characters, and richly overflowing with incident, it peels back history to show us Tudor England as a half-made society, moulding itself with great passion and suffering and courage.
In the Shadow of Lions by Ginger Garrett (2008)
“I am the first writer, The Scribe. My books lie open before the Throne, and someday will be the only witness of your people and their time in this world. The stories are forgotten here, and the Day draws close. I will tell you one of my stories. You will record it.”
So begins the narration of one such angel in this sweeping historical tale set during the reign of England’s Henry VIII. It is the story of two women, their guardian angels, and a mysterious, subversive book . a book that outrages some, inspires others, and launches the Protestant Reformation.
The devout Anne Boleyn catches the eye of a powerful king and uses her influence to champion an English translation of the Bible—Scriptures the common people could read for themselves. Meanwhile, Rose, a broken, suicidal woman of the streets, is moved to seek God when she witnesses Thomas More’s public displays of Christian charity, ignorant of his secret life spent eradicating the same book, persecuting anyone who dares read it.
Historic figures come alive in this thrilling story of heroes and villains, saints and sinners, angels and mortals … and the sacred book that will inspire you anew.
Luther’s Ambassadors by Jay Margrave (2008)
In Luther’s Ambassadors, the second of the Prideux mysteries, we rediscover Tom Prideux, now serving the young Anne Boleyn. However, Tom is more than just a servant; at different times, he is her mentor, her confidant and sometimes her critic. Anne has one overriding ambition: to reform the Catholic Church. The only way she can achieve her aim is to marry a powerful man and use her wiles to influence him to make the changes she wants. This man, of course, is Henry VIII. Prideux helps her in this aim and when her schemes are going awry he is there to fight her battles; when her life is threatened he saves her; when she needs an ally he is there at her side. But for how long can he survive the political battles of the Court without himself becoming a target for powerful men.
Mademoiselle Boleyn by Robin Maxwell (2007)
Read my interview with Robin here.
When young Anne Boleyn is sent to French court with her father and sister Mary, she believes she’s going for an innocent adventure. But when the ambitious Ambassador Thomas Boleyn leads them into the highly sophisticated and sexually permissive court of Francois I, Anne quickly learns that they are merely pawns to be used for their father’s own political purpose. Since all good English girls are expected to do their father’s bidding, Mary becomes mistress to the outrageous French king and is ultimately seduced into his dangerous world by the luxuries of court. But Anne has a different fate in mind.
Anne is younger, cleverer, and stronger willed than her elder sister, and with the guidance of chosen, powerful allies and unlikely friends, such as Leonardo da Vinci, she learns how to navigate the challenges, passions and betrayals of court. As she grows into a beautiful young woman, Anne undergoes her own sexual awakening, each daring exploit taking her one step closer to the life that is her destiny.
Anne Boleyn and The King’s Great Secret by Julia L. A. Kelly (2007)
The story of Anne Boleyn and King Henry has been told many times, but Julia L.A. Kelly brings new life to the tale in Anna Boleyn: The King’s Great Secret.This fictionalized account pays close attention to historical detail while fleshing out the life of this remarkable woman. Beginning with the death of her mother when Anne was a young girl, it follows her adolescence, her introduction to the courts of England and France, and of course, her love affair with the king. The political climate leads to an order for Anne to be executed, and Henry will have to take a new wife. But where other accounts may end, Kelly’s narrative continues, revealing a secret plot that continues for decades.
Ultimately the story of how love can remain strong despite the greatest adversities, Anna Boleyn: The King’s Great Secret paints a vivid portrait of a woman caught in circumstances beyond her control. Kelly’s compelling hero rises above obstacles to contribute to the world in her own way.
A Lady Raised High by Laurien Gardner (2006)
Young Anne Boleyn entranced the most powerful man of his time, King Henry VIII. But she would not yield to him unless he offered her marriage and the Crown.
To win her, Henry would challenge the powers of Heaven–and create upheaval on Earth.
Frances Pierce is a simple, plain country girl who enters Lady Anne Boleyn’s circle after shielding her from an angry mob. Anne is beloved by King Henry VIII, and queen in all but name. And Henry is determined to put aside his wife Catherine, marry Anne, and make her his lawful queen – no matter the consequences.
Frances delights Anne with her poetry and her forthright ways, and soon becomes a favourite. Dazzled by her new life and the glamour of the court, besotted with Anne’s brother George, she pays scant attention to the intrigues that swirl around her mistress. But when the king’s favour shifts, Frances will learn just how quickly those who rise far and fast can meet their downfall…
The Last Boleyn by Karen Harper (2006)
Read my interview with Karen Harper here.
She Survived Her Own Innocence, and the Treachery of Europes Royal Courts Greed, lust for power, sex, lies, secret marriages, religious posturing, adultery, beheadings, international intrigue, jealousy, treachery, love, loyalty, and betrayal.
The Last Boleyn tells the story of the rise and fall of the Boleyns, one of England s most powerful families, through the eyes of the eldest daughter, Mary. Although her sister, Anne, the queen; her brother, George, executed alongside Anne; and her father, Thomas, are most remembered by history, Mary was the Boleyn who set into motion the chain of events that brought about the family s meteoric rise to power, as well as the one who managed to escape their equally remarkable fall. Sent away to France at an extraordinarily young age, Mary is quickly plunged into the dangerous world of court politics, where everything is beautiful but deceptive, and everyone she meets is watching and quietly manipulating the events and people around them. As she grows into a woman, Mary must navigate both the dangerous waters ruled by two kings and the powerful will of her own family in order to find a place for herself and the love she so deeply desires.
The Tudor Sisters by Aileen Armitage (2006)
A beautiful moth flutters too close to the candle of Henry VIII’s brilliance – Fair and loving, devoid of ambition, Mary Boleyn was exploited by men who found her desirable: by Francis I, King of France, who taught her how to love; and by England’s virile young King Henry VIII. For a time, she held Henry’s ardent heart, and she bore him a son, but his fickle eye was already upon her cleverer sister Anne.
Doomed Queen Anne by Carolyn Meyer (Young Royals Book) 2004
The third installment in the Young Royals series follows the life of Anne Boleyn, from her humble origins to her role as the Queen of England, during which her ambition and influence over her husband, King Henry VIII, led to her death. Reprint.
The Queen of Subtleties by Suzannah Dunn (2004)
Read my interview with Suzannah Dunn here.
Lucy Cornwallis is King Henry VIII’s confectioner, the only woman in a kitchen staffed by two hundred men. She sculpts valuable sugar into ‘subtleties’, the centerpieces for royal celebrations, and keeps her head down in a court riven by intrigue.
Anne Boleyn – stunning, ambitious, headstrong – has changed the history of England. By taking Henry from his wife, the new queen has now made enemies of all by a favoured few. Powerful forces are gathering to make her pay dearly for her prize. And now the innocent Lucy and her musician confidante, Mark Smeaton, are caught in the maelstrom that will claim her life – and could destroy their dreams…
Dear Heart, How Like You This? By Wendy J. Dunn (2002)
Read my interview with Wendy J. Dunn here.
May, 1536. The poet Sir Thomas Wyatt, released from imprisonment in the Tower of London, is in his fathers custody. From almost the beginning of his life, Tom has loved his cousin Anne Boleyn, content to sit at her feet while she sang her love songs to another, if doing so gave him just a moment in her company. Now he is heartsick and despairing, having witnessed her juridical murder by Henry VIII. Only wanting to escape from the recent memories now rending his heart, Tom recounts his story, a story which narrates too the tragic tale of Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII.
Threads: The Reincarnation of Anne Boleyn by Nell Gavin (2002)
It’s 1970. Anne and Henry still have issues they need to address. It’s been 434 years since they parted – on bad terms – and they haven’t spoken since. Henry now has problems with alcohol, drugs and irresponsibility, and Anne is still holding onto a grudge.
They don’t know they were married 434 years ago. They don’t know they parted on bad terms. Anne has no idea why she has a compulsion to punish him, a man she’s only just met, and Henry has no idea why he can’t be near her without falling in love.
Threads, a reincarnation fantasy, opens with Anne’s death in 1536. Her husband Henry, seemingly in defense of Anne (but more likely acting out of “stubborn perverseness,” she observes), has terrorized England and decreed murder after political murder to protect her. Ultimately, to Anne’s horror, he made the decision to have her executed as well.
Anne’s fury at her husband’s betrayal has enough momentum to survive centuries, but in “Threads” she learns that she has been assigned a hard task: she must forgive him. This may prove difficult and take some time. The husband in question is Henry VIII. The narrator is the stubborn, volatile Anne Boleyn, who is not at all inclined to forgive. .
It is a very unusual love story.
2000 William Faulkner Competition Finalist for best novel.
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory (2001)
Dazzled by the golden prince, Mary’s joy is cut short when she discovers that she is a pawn in the dynastic plots of her family. When the capricious king’s interest wanes, Mary is ordered to pass on her knowledge of how to please him to her friend and rival: her sister, Anne.
Anne soon becomes irresistible to Henry, and Mary can do nothing but watch her sister’s rise. Anne stops and nothing to achieve her own ambition. From now on, Mary will be no more than the other Boleyn girl. But beyond the court is a man who dares to challenge the power of her family to offer Mary a life of freedom and passion. If only she has the courage to break away – before the Boleyn enemies turn on the Boleyn girls…
Pray for Reign: an Anne Boleyn tale by Thea Atkinson (1999)
#Please note this was originally published as an ebook
As Anne Boleyn forges her way into a married man’s heart and onto England’s throne, she convinces herself that the resulting bloodshed and religious upheaval is a necessary price for the country to pay. But how will she reconcile the letting of her brother’s blood when he is accused with her of incest?
The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn by Robin Maxwell (1997)
Read my interview with Robin here.
Synopsis by Publishers Weekly:
This is a wonderfully juicy historical novel so convincing that it’s difficult to believe it is the author’s first. Just as the newly crowned Elizabeth I is about to become amorously involved with a power-hungry nobleman, an old friend of her mother’s appears, shriveled and decrepit, bearing a tome written in the hand of the new queen’s mother, Anne Boleyn. The friend had promised Anne that she would deliver the diary to Elizabeth when she reached maturity. Orphaned at age three, Elizabeth grew up knowing almost nothing of her notorious mother but what official history put forth: that she was an adulterer and traitor and deserved to die. From her mother’s diary, she learns the truth, the inside scoop on the lusty, unstable King Henry, the good and pious Queen Katherine, scheming Cardinal Wolsey, high-minded Thomas More, King Francis I of France, Emperor Charles of Spain and others. Elizabeth learns, too, of her mother’s life-from her youth, through her tempestuous courtship and marriage to Henry VIII, which ended with her being beheaded. Elizabeth thus becomes acquainted with the mother she had never really known at precisely the moment when she most needs a mother’s advice. She picks up valuable survival skills along the way-two of which, concerning the treachery of men and the unreliability of courtiers, deeply impress the young queen and help explain the mystery of why she never wed. Painting vicious court intrigue, national and international politics and the role of the Reformation, Maxwell brings not only the two queens but all of bloody Tudor England vividly to life.
The Heir of Allington by Philippa Wiat (1995)
A novel about the romance between Sir Thomas Wyatt and Anne Boleyn (originally published in 1973)
Blood Royal by Mollie Hardwick (1988)
Synopsis by Publishers Weekly:
Dazzling pageantry, court intrigue and harsh twists of fate figure prominently in this skillfully told historical saga set mainly in 16th century England, and focusing on sisters Mary and Anne Boleyn. Their father, Sir Thomas Boleyn, a man obsessed with attaining prestige and royal recognition, manipulates his daughters mercilessly, oblivious to their tragic lack of foresight and restraint. As a result of his machinations, Mary and Anne are sent to France to serve the English princess Mary Tudor, bride of King Louis XII. Even in the licentious atmosphere of the French court, Mary’s sexual wantonness gains attention. Disgraced beyond redemption, she returns home, bears two illegitimate children to King Henry VIII, marries twice and dies at 45. Anne, an outspoken beauty cursed with her father’s ambitious nature, weds the fickle, notoriously cruel King Henry and gives birth to Elizabeth I. When he tires of her, Anne is unjustly convicted of adultery and beheaded. Hardwick ( Up stairs, Downstairs ) brings to these often-told events a fine grasp of historical details, against which she deftly presents a turbulent, moving human drama.
The Lady in the Tower by Jean Plaidy (1986)
One of history’s most complex and alluring women comes to life in this classic novel by the legendary Jean Plaidy.
Young Anne Boleyn was not beautiful but she was irresistible, capturing the hearts of kings and commoners alike. Daughter of an ambitious country lord, Anne was sent to France to learn sophistication, and then to court to marry well and raise the family’s fortunes. She soon surpassed even their greatest expectations. Although his queen was loving and loyal, King Henry VIII swore he would put her aside and make Anne his wife. And so he did, though the divorce would tear apart the English church and inflict religious turmoil and bloodshed on his people for generations to come.
Loathed by the English people, who called her “the King’s Great Whore,” Anne Boleyn was soon caught in the trap of her own ambition. Political rivals surrounded her at court and, when she failed to produce a much-desired male heir, they closed in, preying on the king’s well-known insecurity and volatile temper. Wrongfully accused of adultery and incest, Anne found herself imprisoned in the Tower of London, where she was at the mercy of her husband and of her enemies.
The Dark Rose (1981), Volume 2 in The Morland Dynasty, a series of historical novels by author Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
1501: the turbulence of Henry VIII’s reign brings passion and pain to the Morlands as they achieve ever greater wealth and prestige. Paul, great-grandsom of Elanor Morland, has inherited the Morland estates, and his own Amyas is set to be his heir. But Paul fathers a beloved illegitimate son, and bitter jealousy causes a destructive rift between the two half-brothers which will lead to death. Paul’s niece, Nanette, becomes a maid-in-waiting to Anne Bolyen, and at the court of Henry VIII she becomes embroiled in the King’s bitter feud with Rome. Through birth and death, love and hatred, triumph and heartbreak, the Morlands continue proudly to claim their place amongst England’s aristocracy.
Dark Eyed Queen by Lozania Prole (1976)
Anne the Rose of Hever by Maureen Peters (1971)
The Two Queen Annes by Lozania Prole (1971)
The May Queen by Margaret Heys (1967)
Later reissued as Anne Boleyn: a novel by Margaret Heys
On a summer day in 1531 Anne Boleyn was crowned Queen of England. For years she had enraptured Henry, who cast aside his first wife for her sake. In 1536 she was executed for infidelity.
This novel explores Anne’s carefree childhood in England and France; her passionate love affair with Henry; the King’s disenchantment with his tempestuous wife; and his final scheming to arrange Anne’s execution.
She emerges as an intelligent, passionate woman, doomed by her own independent spirit and Henry’s vacillating temper to end her life on the executioner’s block.
A Tudor Story: The Return of Anne Boleyn by W. S. Pakenham Walsh (1963)
# Please note that this book could be listed in a number of categories. The author believed his account to be fact, not fiction. I do not judge his story, simply list it here to allow you to make up your own mind. Fact or fiction?
No-one who knew the late Canon Pakenham-Walsh could accuse his of being a starry-eyed dreamer. At ninety, he was as active mentally and physically as many a man little more than half his age. Join him on his personal journey across psychic channels to find the real Anne Boleyn; a journey, which beneath its psychic and historical drama, demonstrates religious purpose. The author’s deep-rooted fascination for Anne Boleyn first originated in 1917, during a missionary trip in China, yet it was on his return to England in 1919 that Pakenham-Walsh began to see divine confirmation of his desire to uncover the true Anne Boleyn. Following a prayer at Boleyn’s burial site that she might become Pakenham-Walsh’s guardian angel, Pakenham-Walsh experienced a series of bizarre coincidences. It was these strange incidents which led Pakenham-Walsh to seek clairvoyants, who helped to channel the spirit of Anne Boleyn. Through sessions with psychic mediums, the reader is presented with transcripts and accounts of psychic messages from Anne Boleyn and significant characters within Anne Boleyn’s short lifetime. From one of Anne Boleyn’s maids, put to death ‘for the sake’ of Anne Boleyn, to an infuriated Henry VIII, Pakenham-Walsh vividly recounts his experiences in a sympathetic and quaint style. Canon Pakenham-Walsh’s narrative not only relates his experiences of mediumistic contact, it is also a powerful Christian morality tale of redemption transcending death. “This whole story […] all hangs together in a very wonderful way and it seems to me more difficult to put it all down to accident or self-deception, than to take it as an extraordinary but Divinely planned, and allowed working out of the ‘Communion of Saints’ in which we profess to believe.” – From Chapter Eleven: More Coincidences.
The Concubine by Norah Lofts (1963)
‘All eyes and hair’ a courtier had said disparagingly of her – and certainly the younger daughter of Tom Boleyn lacked the bounteous charms of most ladies of Court. Black-haired, black-eyed, she had a wild-sprite quality that was to prove more effective, more dangerous than conventional feminine appeal. The King first noticed her when she was sixteen – and with imperial greed he smashed her youthful love-affair with Harry Percy and began the process of royal seduction…But this was no ordinary woman, no maid-in-waiting to be possessed and discarded by a king. Against his will, his own common sense, Henry found himself bewitched – enthralled by the young girl who was to be known as – the Concubine…
The King’s Secret Matter by Jean Plaidy (1962)
After twelve years of marriage, the once fortuitous union of Henry VIII and Katharine of Aragon has declined into a loveless stalemate. Their only child, Mary, is disregarded as a suitable heir, and Henry’s need for a legitimate son to protect the Tudor throne has turned him into a callous and greatly feared ruler. When the young and intriguing Anne Boleyn arrives from the French court, Henry is easily captivated by her dark beauty and bold spirit. But his desire to possess the wily girl leads to a deadly struggle of power that promises to tear apart the lives of Katharine and Mary, and forever change England’s faith…
Anne Boleynby Evelyn Anthony (1957)
Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII: a romance that was to turn into tragedy.
The story began with an unexpected arrival one fine summer’s day at Hever Castle in Kent. It ended on a clear May morning on the scaffold in the Tower of London.
Handsome and dominating, Henry seemed to have found a fit match in the beautiful Anne, whose audacity, pride and ambition were to win her a crown before passion and conceit cost her her life.
An age thronged with larger-than-life figures such as Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell and Thomas More, all fighting for power or religious influence in a brutal, tumultuous world is brought vividly to life by Evelyn Anthony in a classic work of historical recreation.
Brief Gaudy Hour by Margaret Campbell Barnes (1949)
The enigmatic Anne Boleyn comes to life in this charming, brilliant portrayal by acclaimed British novelist Margaret Campbell Barnes.
The infamous love of King Henry VIII and the mother of Queen Elizabeth I, Anne Boleyn undertook a rocky journey from innocent courtier to powerful Queen of England. A meticulous researcher, Margaret Campbell Barnes immerses readers in this intrigue and in the lush, glittery world of the Tudor Court. The beauty and charms of Anne Boleyn bewitched the most powerful man in the world, King Henry VIII, but her resourcefulness and cleverness were not enough to stop the malice of her enemies. Her swift rise to power quickly became her own undoing.
The author brings to light Boleyn’s humanity and courage, giving an intimate look at a young woman struggling to find her own way in a world dominated by men and adversaries.
Murder Most Royal by Jean Plaidy (1949)
The story of Henry’s two murdered Queens – Anne Boleyn, one of the most vital and fascinating personalities in English history, and her lovely young cousin, Catherine Howard – each executed on charges of adultery.
Queen Anne Boleyn by Francis Hackett (1939)
Anne Boleyn by E. Barrington (1932)
Frail Anne Boleyn, and her fateful loves with Henry VIII by Benedict Fitzpatrick (1931)
The King Waits by Clemence Dane (1918)
A short story about Anne Boleyn, reprinted in 1929.
The Favor of Kings by Mary Hastings Bradley (1912)
According to Dr Susan Bordo from The Creation of Anne Boleyn, this was the first real ‘novel’ written about Anne.
Read an online version here.
By the King’s Command by Reginald Drew (1904)
A novel about Anne Boleyn.
My Friend Anne: A Story of the Sixteenth Century by Jessie Armstrong (1900)
This novel about Anne Boleyn is aimed at young girls, aged, according to one reviewer, between 12-16.