If Walls Could Talk
by Lucy Worsley
What there was of it was terribly interesting, there just wasn’t enough of it. There were also precious few citations and no footnotes. Each chapter was much too short, and only just scratched the surface. To suit me, each chapter should have been a book of its own.
Also, I expected An Intimate History of the Home to be a history reaching back further in time, and ranging over more of the world. This should have been titled An Intimate History of the Home in Britain from the Normans On, With Special Attention Paid to the Tudor Court.
Worth picking up, but do align your expectations properly beforehand.
The Creation of Anne Boleyn
by Susan Bordo
I really enjoyed this fresh look at Anne Boleyn. Bordo brings all sorts of things to light, things that Tudor aficionados may know already but maybe never put together completely, and things that are accepted as fact that just aren’t true. It’s hard to look backwards without using today as a lens, but Bordo does what seems to me a fine job here.
It was fun to read about the various books, movies, plays, and television shows about Anne, and how she was portrayed. I liked the first, more historical section of the book as well. The photo plates were great, showing me a few portraits I’d never before seen.
I enjoyed the afterword perhaps most of all, where Bordo brings us into the reasons why she chose to write this book.
If you’re a Tudor junkie, this is not to be missed.
by Julia Fox
I found this purported biography of Anne Boleyn’s sister-in-law Jane to be wildly erratic. First of all, there is little verifiable known about Jane’s life and the author spends a lot of time speculating. The first “if Jane were there, she would have” was barely noticeable, but by the middle of the book it was clear that nobody really can ever know what Jane Boleyn thought, said, or did beyond what’s already documented. I didn’t like the imagined Jane. I also didn’t like what felt like clear bias against the Boleyn clan as a whole. I did like the meticulously researched, historically verifiable parts. But mostly I didn’t like it.