Julia Fox’s debut book, Jane Boleyn: The True Story of the Infamous Lady Rochford, is an extremely well researched biography of Anne Boleyn’s sister-in-law, Jane.
When Jane Parker married George Boleyn in 1524 she had no indication that one day her sister-in-law, Anne, would rise to the throne of England and set off a political and religious crisis in that country. Anne’s entrance into royal life opened up a whole new world for Jane and George - the glamorous and exciting world of life at court. Anne’s descent from King Henry’s favor, however, would also become Jane’s and George’s undoing.
Anyone who is intrigued by the story of the Tudors and the court of Henry VIII (as I am) will be familiar with the much maligned Jane Boleyn. Historians have presented Jane as the person responsible for providing evidence against her husband, George, which led to his execution and weighed heavily in the execution of his sister, Anne. However, Julia Fox has uncovered the truth behind Jane’s testimony and has even uncovered the sources of the misinformation that has been repeated by historians for more than 400 hundred years.
In addition to presenting a more balanced view of Jane herself, Fox has created an intriguing look at court life and the life of the nobles during the reign of Henry VIII. Filled with interesting details of everyday life, Fox provides the reader with a wealth of information about Jane’s life and experiences as a young woman. Fox also details how Jane was able to overcome her status as the wife of a traitor, remain in good stead with the King and continue living at court, thereby enabling her to support herself. Julia Fox has written a fascinating book which showcases not only the lives of the people who populated the court of Henry VIII, but which also illuminates the very real dangers facing those who were close to this volatile and unpredictable monarch.
I would give Jane Boleyn 4/5 stars (I really liked it).
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