Book Review: Anne Boleyn: 500 Years of Lies by Hayley Nolan

November 28, 2019

A bold new analysis of one of history’s most misrepresented women.
History has lied.
Anne Boleyn has been sold to us as a dark figure, a scheming seductress who bewitched Henry VIII into divorcing his queen and his church in an unprecedented display of passion. Quite the tragic love story, right?
In this electrifying exposé, Hayley Nolan explores for the first time the full, uncensored evidence of Anne Boleyn’s life and relationship with Henry VIII, revealing the shocking suppression of a powerful woman.
So leave all notions of outdated and romanticised folklore at the door and forget what you think you know about one of the Tudors’ most notorious queens. She may have been silenced for centuries, but this urgent book ensures Anne Boleyn’s voice is being heard now.

Something not a lot of my followers know is that I did a history degree at uni, specialising in the Tudor and Stuart period, and I spent a lot of my three years unravelling my own preconceptions about infamous characters like Anne Boleyn. So when I was approached to take part in the blog tour for this book I could hardly turn it down - it carries a message close to my own heart.

500 Years of Lies is fluently written, and full of a lot of humour, which I wasn't expecting but nevertheless enjoyed. The story of Anne's life is told in a very punchy way, increasing the impact of the events described, which I always find impressive in a writer. Hayley Nolan takes us behind the scenes to the realities of Anne's ascendancy and ultimate downfall at court, revealing the truth behind what is so often portrayed in popular history books and documentaries. This book was fully engaging, and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in this period of history. It's also very accessible, so regardless of your prior knowledge of the period, you will learn a lot from Nolan's work.

As a further point, I really enjoyed this article which discusses how the vilification of Anne Boleyn relates to the present day treatment of Meghan Markle in the media. I think that's why I enjoyed the overall message of this book so much - it highlights how the past is still important today, something which I think we would all benefit from recognising more than we do.

Buy this book here.

Thank you to Midas PR for my advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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