Thursday, October 17, 2013

Anne Boleyn in France

It wasn't what you might think. From The Anne Boleyn Files:
Some people seeking to blacken Anne Boleyn’s name say that Anne must have been influenced by the loose morals and sexuality of the French court, but we have to remember that Anne Boleyn was serving Queen Claude, a woman known for her piety and a woman who was often away from court due to her annual pregnancies. Anne was serving in a morally strict household, not one of scandal. As well as her day-to-day duties, as a maid-of-honour, Eric Ives writes that Anne may well have accompanied Claude and her mother-in-law, Louise of Savoy, on their journey to Lyons and Marseilles to welcome back Francis I in October 1515 after his victory at the Battle of Marignano in Italy. While the women were in the area, they went on a pilgrimage to Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume to see the alleged tomb of Mary Magdalene. The story behind this tomb is that on the 12th December 1279 a sarcophagus proclaimed to be that of Mary Magdalene was found in the crypt. It was said that Mary Magdalene had fled the Holy Land on a boat with neither rudder nor sail, landed at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer and then travelled to Marseilles where she converted the locals. According to legend, she retired to a cave in the mountains of Sainte-Baume later in her life and was buried in Saint-Maximin. The basilica of Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume was built in the late 13th century and early 14th century and the crypt was consecrated in 1316. (Read more.)

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