The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown is a book written by Claire Ridgway. I have enjoyed Claire Ridgway’s website ‘The Anne Boleyn Files’ for a long time and was excited when this book first arrived. It documents Anne Boleyn’s last days but not just what Anne did but also the people around her. It explains primary documents and is written in an easy way so that everyone can understand.
I liked the way that each day was separated; a page for the 7th January 1536 for example. I also liked that Claire didn’t just start from May 1536 with the start of the arrest, she told the whole story back from January 1536. She also even included a bit of a background of the main people involved and that helped understand their motives once it got to Anne Boleyn’s arrest and execution. Putting what happened after May 1536 was also a nice touch. It was interesting to see how these events may have affected the people involved and even just random people/the public.
The only thing that annoyed me a little about the book was the quality. The spine and corners got creased very easily and didn’t feel like the pages were that secure. However, these are only small things and did not affect my enjoyment of the book nor my overall rating.
I would recommend this book to both historians and casual readers alike (obviously if they’re curious about Anne Boleyn and/or history) as it is written in an easy style but still states all the facts. It debates some of the myths about Anne Boleyn; where she was executed, if she saw her brother’s execution etc., and helps us understand the reasons why she was executed. You can tell that the author has a lot of passion for the subject through her writing. I will also be buying Claire Ridgway’s other books on Anne Boleyn and am looking forward to reading her book with Clare Cherry on George Boleyn.