In this second novel of Alison Weir’s epic Six Tudor Queens series, the acclaimed author and historian weaves exciting new research into the story of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s most infamous wife, a woman ahead of her time whose very life—and death—forever changed a nation.
Born into a noble English family, Anne is barely a teenager when she is sent from her family’s Hever Castle to serve at the royal court of the Netherlands. This strategic move on the part of her opportunistic father also becomes a chance for the girl to grow and discover herself. There, and later in France, Anne thrives, preferring to absorb the works of progressive writers rather than participate in courtly flirtations. She also begins to understand the inequalities and indignities suffered by her gender.
Anne isn’t completely inured to the longings of the heart, but her powerful family has ambitious plans for her future that override any wishes of her own. When the King of England himself, Henry VIII, asks Anne to be his mistress, she spurns his advances—reminding him that he is a married man who has already conducted an affair with her sister, Mary. Anne’s rejection only intensifies Henry’s pursuit, but in the absence of a male heir—and given an aging Queen Katherine—the opportunity to elevate and protect the Boleyn family, and to exact vengeance on her envious detractors, is too tempting for Anne to resist, even as it proves to be her undoing.
While history tells of how Anne Boleyn died, this compelling new novel reveals how fully she lived.
Praise for Anne Boleyn, A King’s Obession
“A persuasive attempt to restore the humanity of a tragic, misrepresented figure, one of history’s original nasty women . . . Weir’s fictional Anne is ferociously smart and guilty of nothing but craving the power that’s rightfully hers to claim.”—NPR
“This Anne is clever and clear-sighted. . . . Those sympathetic to Boleyn tend to stumble at her documented spite towards Katherine of Aragon and Mary Tudor, but Weir roots this bad behaviour in understandable insecurity as the King’s ardour for her wanes and the longed-for son does not arrive.”—The Times (UK)
“This is a stunning, engaging, comprehensive and convincing novel. . . . [Alison] Weir’s characterisation is superb, and this complex novel will be, without doubt, one of the most admired works of historical fiction of 2017.”—Historical Novels Review
“Anne Boleyn, A King’s Obsession is beautifully written, exquisitely detailed, and gives readers a more down-to-earth picture of the often maligned Anne. . . . Don’t miss this series.”—Romance Reviews Today
“[Weir] explores Anne’s influences and motivations, creating a multifaceted portrait of an ambitious woman who reluctantly accedes to Henry’s courtship and later acts out of desperation to protect herself and her daughter, Elizabeth. Even readers who know Anne’s story well should gain insights from this revealing novel.”—Booklist
“A richly detailed rendering of the familiar Tudor drama . . . Weir brings considerable expertise to her portrait of Anne as ‘a flawed but very human heroine, a woman of great ambition, idealism and courage’ . . . [and] vividly depicts court life.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A well-written and fast-paced novel that should appeal to fans of Tudor-era fiction looking for a fresh look at one of the period’s most popular protagonists.”—Library Journal