Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Anne Boleyn’s Prayer Book

 From Smithsonian:

Following Anne’s beheading, her devotional Book of Hours, which included several inscriptions in her own hand, disappeared for centuries. As Craig Simpson reports for the Telegraph, the illustrated manuscript only reemerged in the early 20th century, when wealthy businessman William Waldorf Astor purchased Anne’s childhood home of Hever Castle.

Now, a former steward at the castle thinks she knows what happened to the text for at least part of the time that it was missing. Per a statement, historian Kate McCaffrey, who studied the Book of Hours for nearly a year, found markings bearing the names of women who may have passed it along—at great personal risk—so it could be preserved for Anne’s daughter, the future Elizabeth I.

“It really comes full circle,” McCaffrey tells the Telegraph. “What makes the book so dangerous to preserve, its association with Anne, actually becomes the main reason for preserving it when Elizabeth I comes to the throne [in 1558] and wants her mother to be remembered.” (Read more.)



Hels said...

I can understand why Queen Anne’s husband, King Henry VIII would have wanted no relic of his dead queen to survive. After all he had ordered her death on b.s charges of adultery, incest, witchcraft and high treason. Since he lied about her as often as he ate meals, he could pretend after the execution that she had never existed!

And I can understand why her women being caught with the dead queen’s book could have been seen as a treasonous act. I would also have hidden the book!

But here is the important question. Anne's “Book of Hours” was very beautiful, and very valuable as well. Why didn't the murderous king-husband keep the book and simply lie about its original ownership?

elena maria vidal said...

Good question!! But I think too many people would have recognized it because they had seen it with her in church.