The Anne Boleyn Bible
Imprint: Pen and Sword History
216 Pages, 6.1 x 9.2 in, 35 mono illustrations
- December 2023
Anne Boleyn sells, but she sells in segments; a biography here, a study over there on her guilt and something else yonder concerned with where she lived or what she liked to wear. This book, covering not just her life but her life onscreen, in theater, on TV and also the impact of the first black actress to play her, is the definitive, all-encompassing story of Anne Boleyn from 1501 (or thereabouts) to 2023. Having examined the ardent fandom of Anne Boleyn for his doctorate, Dr Mickey Mayhew is in a unique position to offer something new to say on this much-discussed ‘tragic’ Tudor queen and is not afraid to tackle some of the less palatable aspects of her life.
Also, this book is the first to examine with authenticity the reality of Anne’s relationship with the most important man in her life, the man whose name she repeated in comfort while facing the Swordsman of Calais on the scaffold, having spent her life promulgating his doctrine; Jesus Christ himself. As for the aforementioned executioner, Dr Mayhew’s research in Calais and Saint-Omer can now lift a lid on a few of the particulars of this elusive and yet essential figure of Anne Boleyn mythos; and yes, now he even has a name as well.
The Anne Boleyn Bible also offers a straightforward retelling of Anne’s actual historical life, albeit one that outlines an entirely fresh and empowering perspective on her rise to prominence; this is followed by a series of considered arguments on the ‘for’ and ‘against’ in regard to her guilt & execution; then her entry into popular culture, firstly in plays and masques, before she went on to headline movies, TV series, cosplay, and now, with the first black woman to portray her, model and actress Jodie Turner-Smith. This book is simply what it says on the cover - The Anne Boleyn Bible - leaving no depiction, no religious aspect, no appearance in popular culture, from The Simpsons to the West End musical ‘Six’, overlooked; likewise, Dr Mayhew also turns his trademark brand of rather wry commentary toward the vast plethora of Anne Boleyn merchandising, tourist spots, rubber ducks, beanies and the wrangling question of who was the ultimate onscreen Anne; Geneviève Bujold or Natalie Dormer?!