Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Parallel Life; In Memorian Anne Boleyn

She lost her life on May 19, 1536 by one quick, clean French swordsman's stroke. She was the Queen of England, and the first woman, and queen to suffer death by beheading. Two would follower her, her first cousin, Catherine Howard, and the 17 year old 9 days queen, Lady Jane Grey. Many other noblewomen would follow her, one way or another, Anne Askew by torture and the stake, by the axe, The elderly Duchess of Salisbury, Lady Jane Rochford, many years later, Mary, Queen of Scots. Her name was Anne Boleyn. She was the mother of Elizabeth I, who never quite forgot her,and who were a ring with images of her and her mother to her death. In many ways, Anne's life parallels Erzebet's, and the song Anne wrote for her lute, "Defiled is My name Full sore," could also be Erzebet's lament. A Luterhan/Calvinist would be acquainted with Anne's fate. The Lutheran German principalities broke off relations with Henry VIII after Anne's disgrace and exectution. This was why he married Anne of Cleves, a German princess, only to divorce her and keep her under house arrest, in a house that may have belonged to that other Anne. Thomas Cromwell, in a fit of poetic justice, lost his head over that fiasco. The court painter, Holbein, who also painted Anne, nearly did. Two excellent women, indeed, of noble birth, with royal blood [Anne had Plantaganet blood, and was a distant cousin of Henry. Her first cousin married his illegitimate son, made a Duke, possibly the Duke of Richmond, who died at 17 afer witnessesing her death]. He was the son of Bessie Blount. Henry had another son by Mary Boleyn, Anne's sister. Fate is cruel, and the cruelty has lasted centuries in the cases of both women.

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