The Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look at England’s Most Notorious Queen by Susan Bordo is a non-fiction novel that is compulsively readable. I was completely engrossed from the first word to the last and plan on listening to the audio one more time in the near future. I think what made it even more interesting for me was that I listened to the audio version which is narrated by Barbara Rosenblat. She’s a popular narrator and I love listening to her. She has a deep tone to her voice and can change her voice up to suit the occasion very well. She’s very talented!
Anne Boleyn seems to hold a fascination for people even today, hundreds of years after she existed. I know she does for me and even more so now. Pretty much everything I heard about Anne in this novel wasn’t a surprise to me but that didn’t damper my enthusiasm to keep listening. There were a few new to me facts and myths dispelled that I found interesting. It’s also interesting to see how history is portrayed today, for example in the television series The Tudors, and Bordo discusses that. Anne is portrayed now as being this beautiful, seductive woman and yet she really wasn’t. What she did seem to have though was that quality that drew people to her. And to this day it still does.
In addition Bordo takes many of the well known authors of today and talks about how they’ve imagined Anne. We do have to remember it is historical fiction when we are reading it. There was a time when I thought what I read was always true – now I know better. I appreciate the authors who add the authors note at the end of their books that state what is true and what they added to make it fiction. What Susan Bordo does in The Creation Anne Boleyn is try to weed out all the myths about her and show us who the real Anne Boleyn was.
I highly recommend The Creation of Anne Boleyn to those that have an interest in historical fiction or Anne Boleyn. While this isn’t historical fiction it reads like a story. I didn’t find it dry or overwhelmed with detail. Then again I have a great interest in Anne Boleyn so I likely wouldn’t think that even if I was reading a straight biography of her. If you have the chance to listen to the audio I recommend it highly as well. I enjoyed it a great deal!
Source: Review copy provided by Audible. No compensation was received for this review and all opinions are my own.