Tracy Borman

Blog · Posted August 3, 2023

Tracy Borman talking about her new book, Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth I.

We were thrilled to announce that esteemed historian and bestselling novelist Tracy Borman would be with us at Mainstreet on Friday 18th August. Her new book is the history of one of the most extraordinary mother and daughter stories of all time – Anne Boleyn and her daughter Elizabeth, the ‘Virgin Queen’.

Elizabeth was less than three years old when her mother was executed. Given that she could have held precious few memories of Anne, it is often assumed that her mother exerted little influence over her. This is both inaccurate and misleading. Elizabeth knew that she had to be discreet about Anne, but there is compelling evidence that her mother had a profound impact on her character, beliefs and reign. Even during Henry’s lifetime, Elizabeth dared to express her sympathy for her late mother by secretly wearing Anne’s famous ‘A’ pendant when she sat for a painting with her father and siblings.

Piecing together evidence from original documents and artefacts, this book tells the story of Anne Boleyn’s relationship with, and influence over, her daughter Elizabeth. In so doing, it sheds new light on two of the most famous and influential women in history.

Vicky’s Review of Anne Boleyn & Elizabeth I by Tracy Boreman

As Joint Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces, it’s safe to say that Tracy Borman knows her monarchs. But this knowledge is matched with an obvious and infectious passion for her subject. She takes history out of the stuffy classrooms and ivory towers of academia and makes it accessible to all.

Never before studied together, the relationship between the ill-fated Anne Boleyn and her triumphant daughter Elizabeth I makes for fascinating reading. Borman has scoured the historical record to great effect, drawing upon sources ranging from legal records, accounts and letters, to portraits, jewellery, architecture and more. Only 2 years old when her mother died, it is easy to assume any maternal influence on Elizabeth would have been minimal. This assumption could not be more wrong.

Written off by Henry VIII from birth due to her gender, arguably the cause of her mother’s execution, how satisfying and ironic it is that Elizabeth transpired to be Henry’s greatest legacy. More satisfying yet is to read of how Gloriana cherished her mother’s memory and took pride in her Boleyn heritage, rather than her Tudor lineage.

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