Becoming Anne Review

The tie-in book to Hever Castle’s major new exhibition explores the early years of the most famous of Henry VIII’s wives

Authors Dr Owen Emmerson and Kate McCaffrey | Price £10 | Released Out now

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Order a copy of Becoming Anne from the Hever Castle Online Shop

This year sees the 500th anniversary of Anne Boleyn’s debut at the court of Henry VIII. Perhaps the most well-known of Henry’s six wives, she nonetheless remains something of an enigma. In this tie-in book to Hever Castle’s Becoming Anne: Connections, Culture, Court exhibition (4 March – 9 November), Dr Owen Emmerson and Kate McCaffrey examine Boyeln’s upbringing, family and surroundings to explore the life of the Tudor queen.

Becoming Anne, as the title suggests, focuses on Boleyn’s life up to, and concludes with, her debut at the English court. Earlier chapters explore the history of the Boleyns themselves as well as Anne’s father, Thomas Boleyn, and the Boleyn women. This helps create a greater sense of Anne’s origins and upbringing, where she’s from and who her family were. For what is a relatively short work (a mere 96 pages), Emmerson and McCaffrey manage to pack in a wealth of facts and sources while still making sure the book is accessible to someone not well-versed in Tudor history.

Given this is an exhibition book, it’s produced in the standard ‘coffee table’ format. As such, as well as facts, Becoming Anne is full of beautiful photographs and a wealth of portraits and paintings. The result is that while being a fascinating read, it’s also a gorgeous book that’s sure to catch the eye of the eager Tudor fanatic. A brief but fascinating book, it is very likely to entice its readers to visit Hever Castle’s accompanying exhibition.


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