Posted by: gypsytales | June 4, 2009

Jane Boleyn, The Infamous Lady Rochford by Julia Fox

Jane Boleyn by Julia Fox
The Infamous Lady Rochford

Julia Fox provides a rich taste of Tudor history during a portion of Henry VIII’s reign.  The book is set in a time when the Catholic church was experiencing flux as Protestant doctrines were gaining popularity.  Well-known for his impulsive decisions around love and marriage, church and state, Henry VIII’s indomitable decrees make for a compelling read. 

Fox’s tribute of Jane Boleyn attempts to vindicate her maligned reputation.  Jane was groomed for a royal career from her early teens.  It was a prestigious ambition, one that would demand allegiance to the King’s throne, at all costs.  By way of her marriage to George Boleyn, Jane became privy to inner court proceedings which naturally elevated her status in royal society.  This new rank exposed her to imperial opulence, greed and power. 

The book outlines the sequence of events in great detail yet by the same token it is easily understood.  Passages dedicated to family hierarchies, hedonstic court entertainments and the Queens’ coronations are described with accuaracy according to the historical records available.

We must not forget that Jane married into the very cunning and crafty Boleyn family.  They were an influential family with a political agenda.  Anne’s rise to the throne as Queen, was masterminded by her father and brother’s machinations.  During this time of unscrupulous cardinals, lords, dukes, heads of state and  the church many enemies were made though suspicion, false accusations and superstitions.

Jane’s noble vocation spanned five Queens, namely Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn (her sister-in-law), Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves  and Catherine Howard.  I think the author derived enormous satisfaction out of writing this book and she must be credited for a book that has been meticulously researched.  However, I personally found there wasn’t enough historical literature and information available on the person of Jane Boleyn to support a book of this length. 

Much of the content in the book is filled with other well known characters and events at that time.  There are incidences where the author has speculated in order to make the story more complete.  Words like “may have”, “perhaps” or “probably’ are used to describe possible scenarios that Jane would have found herself in.  This should not detract one from the validity of what is being said.  But if you are an historical purist, you might be inclined to disagree with some of the author’s suppositions concerning Jane Boleyn.  But…why don’t you be the judge.




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