In novels, movies, television, too, you’ve been all the fashion,
Because yours is a story of such tragic passion. The Boleyn girl book has become a cottage industry,
All because of your rampant celebrity.
A sorry pawn of an ambitious father,
Or a scheming hussy full of bother?
Which is the truth, despite all the tales,
Did you deserve to go down on Justice’s scales?
A pretty face, a slender neck,
All the better for Henry to bedeck,
You with glittering jewels and such trumperies,
While his pious wife went down on her knees,
And prayed for a means to ensure Henry’s love,
Cast off as surely as any old glove.
You played upon the king’s mania for an heir,
But the birth of a daughter led to despair.
No matter that she would later steal the scene,
By becoming England’s greatest queen.
This triumph was one that you’d not live to see,
For Henry’d grown tired of your company.
No matter your protests and cries,
That charges of adultery were all lies.
The time for untruths to be told,
Sent two men to the scaffold.
Lovely queen to grace a monarch’s bed,
Your fame would come only when you were dead.
But like all romantic fashions, yours will end,
And some other woman will bow and bend.
I wonder what tragic figure she will be—
Someone sad, like Cassandra or Antigone?
Historical Footnote: the library catalog has 96 books on Anne Boleyn, of which 24 are works of fiction (many of them recent publications). You can find these titles under the subject heading: Anne Boleyn, Queen, consort of Henry VIII, Kind of England, 1507-1536