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Anne Boleyn’s Changing Reputation

Who was Anne Boleyn, exactly? Whoever she was, she is portrayed differently according to the time period, writes University of Kentucky professor Susan Bordo in the Chronicle Review. Back in the early 20th century, Bordo says that Anne was depicted as a martyr to Henry and his quest for a male heir. These days, in this “post-feminist” era, Anne can be depicted not as a victim, but as a sly, sexual woman. That’s why in both The Tudors on Showtime and The Other Boleyn Girl, Anne is portrayed as a seductress. She wears dresses “designed more for a Pussycat Doll than a Tudor queen,” Susan writes. (We’re not sure the Pussycat Dolls would wear anything made with that much fabric, but we get your point, Susan.) Apparently, this rendition isn’t too far from what people in her own time period thought of her, because her enemies called her “the Great Whore.” [Newswise] Keep reading »

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