Hunting the Falcon
audiobook (Unabridged) ∣ Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, and the Marriage That Shook Europe
By John Guy
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"A fierce, scholarly tour-de-force. . . . Hunting the Falcon brilliantly shows how time, circumstance and politics combined to accelerate Anne's triumph and tragedy." —Tina Brown, New York Times Book Review
"A sumptuous drama of lust, intrigue, and betrayal, underpinned by the harsh reality of politics."—Amanda Foreman, author of Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire
A groundbreaking, freshly-researched examination of one of the most dramatic and consequential marriages in history: Henry VIII's long courtship, short union, and brutal execution of Anne Boleyn.
Hunting the Falcon is the story of how Henry VIII's obsessive desire for Anne Boleyn changed him and his country forever. John Guy and Julia Fox, two of the most acclaimed and distinguished historians of this period, have joined forces to present Anne and Henry in startlingly new ways. By closely examining the most recent archival discoveries, and peeling back layers of historical myth and misinterpretation and distortion, Guy and Fox are able to set Anne and Henry's tragic relationship against the major international events of the time, and integrate and reinterpret sources hidden in plain sight or simply misunderstood. Among other things, they dispel lingering and latently misogynistic assumptions about Anne which anachronistically presumed that a sixteenth-century woman, even a queen, could exert little to no influence on the politics and beliefs of a patriarchal society. They reveal how, in fact, Anne was a shrewd, if ruthless, politician in her own right, a woman who steered Henry and his policies, often against the advice he received from his male advisers—and whom Henry seriously contemplated making joint sovereign.
Hunting the Falcon sets the facts–and some completely new finds–into a far wider frame, providing an appreciation of this misunderstood and underestimated woman. It explores how Anne organized her "side" of the royal court on novel and (in male eyes) subversive lines compared to her queenly predecessors, adopting instead French protocol by which the sexes mingled freely in her private chambers. Men could share in the women's often sexually charged courtly "pastimes" and had liberal access to Anne, and she to them—encounters from which she gained much of her political intelligence and extended her authority, and which also sowed the seeds of her own downfall.
An exhilarating feat of historical research and analysis, Hunting the Falcon is also a thrilling and tragic story of a marriage that has proved of enduring fascination over the centuries. But in the hands of John Guy and Julia Fox, even the most knowledgeable reader will encounter this story as if for the first time.