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On one page, depicting a picture of Christ as the Man of Sorrows – which Henry evidently thought a fair image of himself – he wrote to her in French: ‘If you remember my love in your prayers as strongly as I adore you, I shall hardly be forgotten, for I am yours, Henry R[ex] forever’.
But here, on a page that depicts Mary being told that she will give birth to a son, Anne replies with the couplet: Unfortunately for Anne, although Henry broke from the Church of Rome, divorced his first wife and changed the very faith of England to be with her (it was immensely moving to visit Charterhouse in London, whose monks became victims of Henry’s marriage to Anne, which they could not accept), she could not deliver on the implicit promise of that page.
She also visited Hampton Court, where Henry built the Great Hall for his new queen, and the Tower of London, where he had her beheaded.
Dr Suzannah Lipscomb is a convenor and senior lecturer in history at New College of the Humanities.
You can follow her on Twitter @sixteenth Cgirl or visit her website listen to our March 2013 podcast, in which Suzannah Lipscomb explores the downfall of Anne Boleyn, at the Tower of London where she met her end, click here.
In what remains a compliment of the highest order, one observer later said, ‘no one would ever have taken her to be English by her manners, but a native-born Frenchwoman’.
She had acquired a certain cosmopolitan glamour, conversational wit, and the graceful epitome of courtly life – an ability to dance. It was touching to read the letters that the lovesick Henry sent to Anne in the heady days of their courtship.