Anne Boleyn was born into a wealthy and well-connected family. While she had no title, her grandfather was a duke, and her father held several important court positions before Anne caught the eye of the king.
Her mother was a Howard, one of the most powerful families in England, and her father descended from the Butler family. Royal blood flowed in Anne’s veins, because she could claim Edward I, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and Henry II as ancestors.
Anne Boleyn was actually more well-born than Henry VIII himself.
There’s no doubt that Thomas Boleyn struggled financially during his younger years, but the notion that Anne was a girl plucked from genteel poverty and obscurity by the king is false. By the time Anne was reaching marriageable age, Thomas was a successful courtier, wealthy enough to finance careers at court for his children, and Anne was a popular young woman with fine marriage prospects.
In 1525, the king elevated Anne’s father to Viscount Rochford. Anne afterward signed her letters as Anne Rochford. Four years later, the king gave Thomas Boleyn the titles of Earl of Ormond and Earl of Wiltshire. (The king then granted the title Viscount Rochford to Anne’s brother, George.) This came with a significant increase in income for the Boleyn family.
On Sunday, September 1, 1532, Henry gave Anne her own title - the Marquess of Pembroke. It was the first time a woman had ever been granted a hereditary peerage in her own right.
The ceremony was held in the king’s presence chamber at Windsor. The short contemporary description we have mentions Anne wore a red velvet robe, trimmed with ermine, and her long auburn hair flowed loose. Henry placed a coronet on her head and handed her two patent documents, one of which listed the title she had been given and the other the lands it included.
Not including the property Henry had already given her, Anne now owned five manors and controlled an income of over £1,000 … £200 more than her her father’s income had been when the king first noticed Anne. She was a very wealthy woman.
The title came with the interesting provision that did not go unnoticed by the court. Usually, titles were specified to pass on to the legitimate sons of the title holder. Anne’s patent specified only that it would pass on to her male heirs.
Speculation must have been rife in regards to this omission. Perhaps some thought a bastard was already on its way, or that Anne would finally surrender her virginity without a wedding ring if she was assured any illegitimate son would have a semi-royal title.
There must have been those who thought the title was intended to be a “consolation prize” since Katharine of Aragon showed no signs of being willing to surrender and agree to the annulment Henry sought. Was that the intent? To throw the court off track in regards to what Henry was really planning?
There were a few reasons for Anne’s elevation to the peerage. Firstly, no one could now say that Henry was marrying a commoner - he was marrying a marquess. The following March, the king asked the Duchess of Norfolk if she did not think Anne was a finely dowered woman. The letter notes they sat in Anne’s apartments, “beautifully ornamented with splendid tapestry hangings, and the finest of buffets covered with gold plate.” The Duchess, who was no friend of Anne’s, must have internally rolled her eyes, since a good portion of that fine dowry had come from the king’s own coffers.
Secondly, Henry was meeting with King Francis in France in November, and he intended to bring Anne along, even though there was no royal lady willing to receive her. Anne would remain behind in Calais with her royal-sized retinue until Francis reciprocated the visit on English territory. While she waited, the people of Calais entertained her in royal style. When Francis came to Calais, he danced with a masked lady who -surprise!- revealed herself as Anne once the dance had ended. They chatted privately and Francis tacitly recognized Anne as Henry’s next consort, as hoped.
The stage was set for the next step in the plan.
you know you have a book problem when you open your bag and
Author, historian, poet, philosopher
Born 1364 or 1365 – Died 1430 (age 65 - 66)
Claim to fame: An advocate for women’s education, Christine is the first European woman known to have made her living as a writer.
Born the eldest child of the personal physician to King Charles V of France, Christine was well educated and benefited from access to the King’s vast library.
Christine was married at 15 and widowed just 10 years later. After her husband’s death, she turned to writing to support herself and her family, serving as a court writer for several dukes as well as Charles VI of France.
Her 1405 book, ‘La Cité des Dames’ (‘Book of the City of Ladies’), catalogued female accomplishment and helped establish her popularity. This book is considered by many as the inaugural text in the field now known as women’s studies.
Christine completed forty-one works during her career. Her work contradicted negative female stereotypes and countered unjust slander of women within other literary texts. She argued that women have the same aptitudes as men and thus the right to the same education. Christine’s influence in the otherwise male-dominated field of rhetorical discourse lead Simone de Beauvoir to acknowledge her as the first woman to “take up her pen in defence of her sex”.
Start writing today…
I’m not a delinquent, but I’m totally rockin’ the recluse thing.
"Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that – but you are the only you."
Neil Gaiman (via maxkirin)
"If you are a writer, and you have a novel idea that you are excited about writing, write it. Don’t go on message boards and ask random Internet denizens whether or not something is allowed. … Who is the writer here? YOU ARE. Whose book is it? YOUR BOOK. There are no writing police. No one is going to arrest you if you write a teen vampire novel post Twilight. No one is going to send you off to a desert island to live a wretched life of worm eating and regret because your book includes things that could be seen as cliché.
If you have a book that you want to write, just write the damn thing. Don’t worry about selling it; that comes later. Instead, worry about making your book good. Worry about the best way to order your scenes to create maximum tension, worry about if your character’s actions are actually in character; worry about your grammar. DON’T worry about which of your stylistic choices some potential future editor will use to reject you, and for the love of My Little Ponies don’t worry about trends. Trying to catching a trend is like trying to catch a falling knife—dangerous, foolhardy, and often ending in tears, usually yours.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t pay attention to what’s getting published; keeping an eye on what’s going on in your market is part of being a smart and savvy writer. But remember that every book you see hitting the shelves today was sold over a year ago, maybe two. Even if you do hit a trend, there’s no guarantee the world won’t be totally different by the time that book comes out. The only certainty you have is your own enthusiasm and love for your work. …
If your YA urban fantasy features fairies, vampires, and selkies and you decide halfway through that the vampires are over-complicating the plot, that is an appropriate time to ax the bloodsuckers. If you decide to cut them because you’re worried there are too many vampire books out right now, then you are betraying yourself, your dreams, and your art.
If you’re like pretty much every other author in the world, you became a writer because you had stories you wanted to tell. Those are your stories, and no one can tell them better than you can. So write your stories, and then edit your stories until you have something you can be proud of. Write the stories that excite you, stories you can’t wait to share with the world because they’re just so amazing. If you want to write Murder She Wrote in space with anime-style mecha driven by cats, go for it. Nothing is off limits unless you do it badly.
And if you must obsess over something, obsess over stuff like tension and pacing and creating believable characters. You know, the shit that matters. There are no writing police. This is your story, no one else’s. Tell it like you want to."
Rachel Aaron (via relatedworlds)
Yeah, so, this answers a lot of asks I get. It’s also why YW focuses on technique and style, and less on content and research.