In the Footsteps of Anne Boleyn
This book by Natalie Gueninger and Sarah Morris gives a wonderful historical
account of the places where Anne Boleyn visited during her life-time. Wonderful chateaux
in France, stately tudor mansions and beautiful lost palaces and majestic castles which hark back
to an earlier time in history.
I found this book informative and would also be useful as a guide if visiting some of the places
mentioned. There is Hever Castle, childhood home of Anne Boleyn, where her father is buried
at the chapel of St Peter with the full regalia in brass of the Order of the Garter.
There is also the history of the Tower of London, which at one time was also a palace for royalty
and Anne Boleyn was accommodated here before her coronation.
Wonderful snippets of history are included in the book which also portrays a time of romance and
elegance from another era. Anne Boleyn was created Marquess of Pembroke at Windsor Castle and Blenheim Palace is built across the valley from the Lost Palace of Woodstock. There is a little village of Woodstock in Oxfordshire.
It is interesting to note also that Anne Boleyn may have been inspired by the interior decorations of the renaissance which she would have become accustomed to during her time in France. These renaissance themes may also have influenced her decisions when Henry and Anne were decorating Whitehall Palace and other places.
It is also sad to think that so many old palaces and castles from tudor times have been lost because of fire, civil unrest or from not being maintained in a proper manner over the years. However, there are still many emblems of tudor life to be seen and many old medieval tudor themed villages in England with the timber framed houses to view.
Many of the grounds of the castles are described vividly with orchards, gardens, tiltyards, fish ponds and it is easy to imagine the beautiful scenery of a bygone era when the king, queen and court would go on their progress around the countryside visiting many of the stately manors and castles. This book is highly recommended and gives the reader a fascinating insight into the layout of the castles, grounds and gardens and the way of life lived in many of the rooms of the lost palaces and castles. It also gives wonderful insights into the romance of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. e.g. The palace of Havering-Att-Bower which was a palace given to Anne Boleyn on her marriage to
Henry VIII, which was set upon a hill overlooking the Thames Valley with beautiful park land. This was an old Saxon castle and popular with kings and was known as the Palace of the Queens from the days of Queen Eleanor’s dower.
Abbeys are also included in this book, though unfortunately many of these were lost with the dissolution of the abbeys and monasteries during the reformation years. Notley Abbey was restored by Vivien Leigh and Sir Lawrence Olivier in the 1940’s.
This book is certainly evocative of earlier times of enchantment and romance with the lovely descriptions of scenery and locations brimming with fascinating history. A book which is lively and interesting and a wonderful companion to take on a journey throughout some of the byways and paths travelled by Anne Boleyn and Henry in England.