Book Review: Anne Boleyn’s Letter from the Tower, by Sandra Vasoli

Anne Boleyn's Letter From the Tower: A New Assessment

Anne Boleyn’s Letter From the Tower: A New Assessment

Anne Boleyn’s Letter From the Tower: A New Assessment has just been published by MadeGlobal Publishing. Author Sandra Vasoli has done the near-impossible for those of us fascinated by Tudor times: she has come up with new research that settles our view of a hotly debated issue.

After Cromwell’s death, a letter was found among his papers purporting to have bene written by Anne Boleyn “from her doleful prison” just a few days before her execution. Historians have debated the authenticity of this letter for centuries. The arguments against were weighty: it wasn’t registered in the state papers, it wasn’t in her handwriting, it misspelled her name, its tone was too challenging. Arguments for were emotional: it was exactly the kind of letter that would leave the legacy that Anne deserved. (It really is an amazing work – if you don’t know it, you can read it here to understand why this topic is the huge deal it is). I have always wanted to believe it was real, I finally feel vindicated!

Vasoli has studied the letter and its mysterious provenance, especially in light of a quiet comment buried in an old document offering a cryptic clue into Henry VIII’s guilt over the way Anne was removed as Queen. She weaves the details together with the same craft she employs in her fiction (she wrote the wonderful Je Anne Boleyn, a first-person account of Henry’s courtship of Anne, soon to be followed up by its  sequel). The result is a book that is a must-read and an important addition to any Tudor library.

I received an advance review copy in exchange for an honest review, which this is. I would absolutely buy the book if I didn’t already own it!

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