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15 May 2020

Book Beginnings: Anne Boleyn: 500 Years of Lies by Hayley Nolan

For Book Beginnings, Rose City Reader invites us to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

For Friday 56, Freda's Voice asks you to turn to Page 56 in your book or 56% on your e-reader and pick a sentence.

I am currently reading Anne Boleyn: 500 Years of Lies by Hayley Nolan.
Anne Boleyn: 500 Years of Lies by Hayley Nolan cover
This is not a love story. I hate to be the one to break the news, but epic love stories don't end with one partner decapitating the other.
The wonderful Kelly at This Northern Gal sent me Anne Boleyn: 500 Years of Lies by Hayley Nolan for my birthday. It was one of the books on my bookish wishlist that I was most excited about, so I used the Orange on the Dust Jacket prompt from Medievalathon as an excuse to start it first.

Straight off, I love it. I love the tone of the writing, I utterly adore historical deep dives, and especially if they're about women's history. I love the critical analysis of the bias of historical sources and the political agendas that drove them.

The cover is gorgeous and striking with the bright orange text over that famous 16th century portrait from the National Portrait Gallery.

Historians have delighted in casting Henry VIII as the ultimate one-dimensional Tudor villain almost as much as they have Anne Boleyn, simplistically explaining away his actions as those of a narcissistic pampered prince.
This is from page 56 in my finished copy.

There are the first lines of Chapter 3, so not far in at all.

I like that this isn't just wholly about Anne Boleyn and her portrayal, but of those around her too. I like the looks at contemporary and modern portrayals, and how they're picked apart.

I'm up to this part now, as I type, and I'm excited to read on.

What are you reading this week?


  1. This looks really interesting and I don't read much history. What I know about both Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn comes mostly from fiction. I hope this will be a good read for you. Happy reading and happy weekend!

    my Friday Book Memes.

  2. Hi,
    I love reading books about history...I'll be adding
    this to my TBR list...have a great day!

  3. I would love to read this book, even though I don't normally read history!
    Konna @ The Reading Armchair

  4. Love that opening!!! Happy weekend, stay safe!

  5. This seems like a fascinating read. I like the quotes too.

  6. I bet I would like this book, too. I used to be consumed by British royalty. My highlighted book's quotes

  7. I'm adding to this to my tbr. Thanks for sharing!

    Lauren @ Always Me

  8. I know someone who would love this book!

  9. This isn't my usual read but definitely sounds interesting!

  10. Oooh. This sounds intriguing.

  11. I want to read more historical books!

  12. I'm currently reading Clap When You Land :)


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