by Roberta Philbrick
People have been attracted to the story of Anne Boleyn and her life with King Henry VIII for centuries…I believe the draw is because she was an “empowering” woman in a time where women had no “legitimate” power in the world and because she was once the “underdog” we can all relate to.
In the 1500’s the people of England and most other lands were ruled by fear. The church governed the masses with the fear of an afterlife in damnation. The Roman Catholic Church held their “virtual” power by keeping the public ignorant and not permitting the Bible to be translated into other languages. The Church itself feared, and rightly so, that if the general masses could read and actually interpret the bible for themselves, then in turn they would be capable of governing their daily lives and “afterlives”.
The English Monarchy ruled with fear by determining your place or “station” in daily life. In order to rise above your borne station or “class” in life you had to be in the favor of the “court” and the ruling monarchy. Anyone in the “court” fiercely protected themselves and any “favor” they may have gained from King Henry VIII at the time. Our fascination with Anne Boleyn begins here, I believe, because she was able to move herself up through the court and into the favorable eye of Henry. As she is moving up, the “Court” supports her, for everyone loves an “underdog” and wants to come along for the ride and any favorable “scraps” they can grab. Yet, once the “underdog” achieves its higher ground, everyone can’t wait to “knock” them back down to their “rightful” place amongst us.
With education and technology our society has truly evolved, yet, even today you see the same “human” behavior. Daily, we all “tune-in” to all forms of media to catch any hype on individuals whom achieve greatness in all avenues of life; sports, music, business, etc. We love and encourage them all on the way “up”, admiring their glorious achievements. Then along with the paparazzi, aka the “court”, we crouch in the bushes and wait to capture their “fall” so that we no longer feel “inferior”.
Anne Boleyn’s second attraction was as basic as they come…her sex. Anne was keen to the ways of the world in the “court” and in the “bedroom” after living in the French court with her sister, Mary. Unlike her sister and, the many other prior mistresses of Henry, Anne knew her only “leverage” was her “virginity”. Anne’s existence in the French court taught her that her virtue was priceless…so long as she kept it intact. I believe that she learned that men in power need to be “stimulated” or, they loose interest very fast. Anne “titillated” Henry all the way to the alter and secured the future of her daughter, Elizabeth, as a legitimate heir to the thrown.
Some say that Anne helped to reform the Church of England…I’m not sure if she “knowingly” did this or if she did what ever she had to do at the time, with the only “tools” she had to use to survive at this time when it was truly a man’s world. Which to me is why I’m so fascinated with her story, she was a survivor!
Read more: http://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/resources/addicted-to-anne-boleyn/#ixzz1CXHwvv3E