Anne Boleyn & Elizabeth I: The Mother and Daughter Who Forever Changed British History Spiral-Bound | June 20, 2023

Tracy Borman

★★★★☆+ from 101 to 500 ratings

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Anne Boleyn may be best known for losing her head, but as Tudor expert Tracy Borman reveals in a book that recasts British history, her greatest legacy lies in the path-breaking reign of her daughter, Elizabeth

Much of the fascination with Britain’s legendary Tudors centers around the dramas surrounding Henry VIII and his six wives and Elizabeth I’s rumored liaisons. Yet the most fascinating relationship in that historic era may well be that between the mother and daughter who, individually and collectively, changed the course of British history.

The future Queen Elizabeth was not yet three when her mother, Anne Boleyn, was beheaded on May 19, 1536, on Henry’s order, incensed that she had not given him a son and tired of her contentious nature. Elizabeth had been raised away from court, rarely even seeing Anne; and after her death, Henry tried in every way to erase Anne’s presence and memory. At that moment in history, few could have predicted that mother and daughter would each leave enduring, and interlocked, legacies. Yet as Tracy Borman reveals in this first-ever joint portrait, both women broke the mold for British queens and for women in general at the time. Anne was instrumental in reforming and reshaping forever Britain’s religious traditions, and her years of wielding power over a male-dominated court provided an inspiring role model for Elizabeth’s glittering, groundbreaking 45-year reign. Indeed, Borman shows how much Elizabeth—most visibly by refusing to ever marry, but in many other more subtle ways that defined her court—was influenced by her mother’s legacy.

In its originality, Anne Boleyn & Elizabeth I sheds new light on two of history’s most famous women—the private desires, hopes, and fears that lay behind their dazzling public personas, and the surprising influence each had on the other during and after their lifetimes. In the process, Tracy Borman reframes our understanding of the entire Tudor era.

Publisher: Ingram Publisher Services
Original Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0802162061
Item Weight: 1.49 lbs
Dimensions: 6.0 x 0.96 x 9.0 inches
Customer Reviews: 4 out of 5 stars 101 to 500 ratings

Praise for Anne Boleyn & Elizabeth I

“A deep and compelling dive into the lives of this extraordinary mother and daughter . . . Borman, who is an amazing writer, delivers a captivating and exquisitely heart-wrenching account of the mother and daughter duo who radically changed English history forever . . . Thought-provoking and moving in its account, Borman skillfully details how Anne Boleyn’s family, intellect, and tragedy ultimately shaped Elizabeth I’s extraordinary reign. A must-read for any student of history and especially Tudor fans.”—New York Journal of Books

“Masterfully corrects the historical record . . . It’s in the details Borman shares illustrating the mother-daughter relationship that this book truly shines.”—Washington Independent Review of Books

“A seminal and groundbreaking work of meticulous, extraordinary, and detailed scholarship.”—Midwest Book Review

“Historian Tracy Borman triumphantly shows that Anne Boleyn’s love and influence guided her daughter, Queen Elizabeth I, through her tumultuous life and much glorified reign . . . Citing evidence from correspondence, material objects and the observations of witnesses during Anne’s brief reign as queen and Elizabeth’s long one, Borman recreates the relationship between the two women as loving and full of significance, even after Anne’s death . . . Anne Boleyn & Elizabeth I offers a fresh perspective on Tudor history. Set against the many volumes about Henry VIII’s rule and Elizabeth I’s influence, Borman’s book triumphantly pulls the fiery, educated Anne from the shadows and restores her to her rightful place as a reformer, patron and queenmaker.”—BookPage (starred review)

“Rewarding . . . Beautifully envisioned and full of insight, this is a must-read for Tudor history buffs.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A fascinating corrective to the historical limbo into which this crucial connection had fallen . . . Through [Borman’s] painstaking research for Anne Boleyn & Elizabeth I, even the most trivial scraps of information about Anne’s life and activities take on vivid importance, becoming pieces of a human mosaic that reveals just how similar mother and daughter were in temperament, intellect, spirituality and appearance . . . Borman argues with heartfelt credibility that, haunted by Anne’s demise, her daughter chose to remain single and childless in order to be the monarch Britain needed.”—Book Reporter

“Respected Tudor scholar Borman makes a case for both women’s political and cultural influence, while detailing how they were shaped by the traditions of the day.”—AARP

“Anne and Elizabeth blazed new trails in queenship, taking new power and influence, and forever altering the roles of women in government and religion. Accessible while academic, Borman’s extensively researched work dispels the notion that Elizabeth was ashamed of her mother and enhances our appreciation of England’s most extraordinary—and prolifically written-about—queen, examining the life of Queen Elizabeth I through the lens of her mother’s life, death, and legacy.”—Booklist 

“Highly recommended for readers interested in British history, royalty, and the Tudor era.”—Library Journal

Praise for Crown & Sceptre:

“Engaging and perceptive . . . Given its extensive timeframe and diverse cast of characters, Crown & Sceptre could easily have become little more than a potted history of Britain from 1066 to the present. But while Ms. Borman offers deft and thoughtful assessments of every reign . . . the chronological approach is enriched by details that help to humanize her subjects.”—Stephen Brumwell, Wall Street Journal

“Tracy Borman’s Crown & Sceptre brings us in short, vivid chapters from William the Conqueror to Elizabeth herself, much of it constituting a dark record of bumping off adversaries, rivals and spouses, confiscating vast estates and military invasions . . . Though dynastic troubles are woven into the fabric of British history, it is only one element in this lucid, character-rich book. Throughout, Borman traces the changing relationship between a weakening crown and the growing power and makeup of Parliament, the country's true ruler since the 17th century.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Tracy Borman packs nearly 1,000 years of royal history into this look at the men and women who have ruled Britain. It’s a wide-ranging crew—sometimes worthy, sometimes not so much. And yet the monarchy has endured. Borman’s deep understanding of English royalty shines.”—Amazon Book Review

“An entertaining one-volume compendium of the conquests (political and amorous), successes, failures, triumphs, skullduggeries, and follies of 41 monarchs dating from 1066 to the present . . . An effective, quick walk through the players and their times.”—Arts Fuse

“Prolific British historian Borman outdoes herself in this expansive survey. Writing with a fluidity and grace matched by her authority on the subject, the author makes the stories of each monarch, from the incompetent to the sadistic to the praiseworthy, interesting and memorable . . . Borman observes that the British monarchy has prevailed because it understands that its power is largely symbolic, shaping and supporting British culture and an enormous tourism industry. After reading this splendid book, readers may bet on its survival, at least in this century. A superb synthesis of historical analysis, politics, and top-notch royal gossip.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“[Borman] convincingly argues that the British crown survived when others did not because it adapted to changing times . . . [She] brings the royals to life in all their triumphs and tragedies using their stories to unpack complex issues of governance, succession, and geopolitics . . . Crisp, clear writing, insightful character sketches, and unifying themes keep the narrative moving along. Compact chapters organized by dynasty and reign, notes, and an extensive bibliography make it suitable for reference.”—Booklist

“An elegant and evenhanded chronicle of the British monarchy . . . Enlightening and accessible, this is a superb introduction to one of the world’s most enduring monarchies.”—Publishers Weekly

TRACY BORMAN is England’s joint Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces, Chief Executive of theHeritage Education Trust, and Chancellor of Bishop Grosseteste University,Lincoln. She is the author of many highly acclaimed books, including Crown & Sceptre: A New History of the British Monarchy from William the Conqueror to Charles III; Henry VIII and the Men Who Made Him; The Private Lives of the Tudors: Uncovering the Secrets of Britain’s Greatest Dynasty; Thomas Cromwell: The Untold Story of Henry VIII’s Most Faithful Servant; Queen of the Conqueror: The Life of Matilda, Wife of William I; Elizabeth’s Women: Friends, Rivals, and Foes Who Shaped the Virgin Queen; Witches: A Tale of Sorcery, Scandal and Seduction; as well as the trilogy of novels The King’s Witch, The Devil’s Slave, and The Fallen Angel. Borman is also a regular broadcaster and accomplished public speaker.