Hunting the Falcon: Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and the Marriage That Shook Europe (Paperback)
  • Hunting the Falcon: Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and the Marriage That Shook Europe (Paperback)
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Hunting the Falcon: Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and the Marriage That Shook Europe (Paperback)

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Paperback 624 Pages
Published: 06/06/2024
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Waterstones Says

Drawing from the most recent archival discoveries, Guy and Fox's magnificently readable account of Henry VIII's turbulent marriage to Anne Boleyn views the relationship as inexorably tethered to wider world events of the time.

The story of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn is one of the most remarkable in history: a long courtship followed by a shotgun wedding and then a coronation, ending just short of three years later when a husband’s passion turned to such hatred that he simply wanted his wife gone. In Hunting the Falcon, John Guy and Julia Fox examine the most recent archival discoveries and peel back layers of historical myth to present Anne and Henry in startlingly new ways. They show how Anne and Henry's relationship was tied almost completely to the major events of international politics at one of the great turning points of European history, and dispel any assumptions that a sixteenth-century woman, even a queen, could exert little influence on the politics and beliefs of a patriarchal society. Anne was in fact a shrewd and ruthless politician in her own right, a woman who steered Henry and his policies - and whom Henry seriously contemplated making joint sovereign.

Hunting the Falcon sets the facts and some completely new finds into a wide frame, unearthing the truth about these two extraordinary lives and their tumultuous times. It pays particular attention to the seven 'missing' years that Anne spent in France, and explores how she organised her side of the royal court in novel ways that ultimately sowed the seeds of her own downfall. In this feat of historical research and analysis, Guy and Fox offer a sumptuous retelling of one of the most consequential marriages in history and an exhilarating portrait of love, lust, politics and power.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781526631534
Number of pages: 624
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

The prologue is indicative of the book as a whole, which combines meticulously researched history and contemporary voices with narrative flair . . . The Guy/Fox approach is fresh partly because they are a married couple writing about a marriage, but more because they reframe the story in the context of continental European politics, in contrast to the parochial English exceptionalism that pervades writing about this era. The authors have uncovered a fair bit of new material in their scouring of the archives and libraries of Europe, the most interesting relating to Anne’s teenage years on the Continent - Gavanndra Hodge, Sunday Times

The vivacious Anne Boleyn comes alive in this impressive study … In Hunting the Falcon, the husband-and-wife team John Guy and Julia Fox have returned to the contemporary sources to place the marriage in its European context. Guy, a Cambridge historian, is one of only a handful of scholars capable of deciphering some of these manuscripts, while Fox has written a groundbreaking book on Boleyn’s sister-in-law, Jane Parker. The result of their efforts moves and informs, improving our understanding of “the marriage that convulsed a continent” and revitalising the biography of Anne … In Hunting the Falcon we see [Anne] quick, bright in flight, her eyes still keen and her talons sharp - Leanda de Lisle, The Times

Traces the diplomatic threads of the story with skill . . . Guy and Fox do Anne the courtesy of taking her seriously as a political agent – even if a disastrously unsuccessful one . . . A serious and compelling study - Rowan Williams, New Statesman

[Hunting the Falcon] is not another unavailing attempt to unravel Anne’s psyche or the secret of her appeal to Henry … It is an attempt, and a successful one, to reintroduce her as a player on the European political stage … Guy and Fox’s research has also produced significant new evidence on the complex web of European negotiations surrounding Henry’s efforts to shake off one wife and marry another. The diplomatic world springs vividly to life here … Anne’s role on this European stage has long been almost ignored … But Guy and Fox foreground her placement here and both the advantages and perils that it brought … In many places, where once we had speculation, we now have certainty. This book is at once an education and a joy to read - Sarah Gristwood, Literary Review

Provides the most cogent narrative reading of the evidence to date. It leaves us in no doubt of the momentous consequences of Henry’s pursuit of Anne Boleyn . . . Fox and Guy achieve this by emphasising the influence of France on the formation of Anne’s personality, her ideas and even on the circumstances of her fall. This they set against the backdrop of international alliances - Mark Bostridge, Spectator

A necessary corrective to the old, broad-strokes story that paints Henry as a fickle child and Anne as the essential Boleyn-dynasty machiavel - Daniel Brooks, Sunday Telegraph

There has been nothing like it since Eric Ives’ magisterial Anne Boleyn . . . New interpretations of some known sources and insights gained from recent archival research clarify significant points in Anne’s story, many of them too often mangled or distorted - Glenn Richardson, The Tablet

Better than Wolf Hall because it’s all true. The authors’ extraordinary scholarship in every possible historical source, as well as the vibrancy of their writing, delivers the seemingly impossible: a genuinely fresh interpretation of the marriage that produced Protestant England and the greatest of all the British monarchs, Elizabeth I. With a paranoiac court where mild flirtation could lead to torture and disembowelment, the story still has the power to shock: Henry Tudor meets Joseph Stalin. Anne Boleyn was a strong independent woman, and paid an horrific price for it - Andrew Roberts, author of CHURCHILL: WALKING WITH DESTINY

John Guy and Julia Fox have turned Henry VIII’s second marriage into a sumptuous drama of lust, intrigue and betrayal, underpinned by the harsh reality of politics. Enriched by a trove of fresh material, Hunting the Falcon offers a new and richer interpretation of one of the most turbulent periods in British history - Amanda Foreman

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