The Anne Boleyn Collection – Claire Ridgeway


I picked this up on my Kindle for a pound or two one night. It seemed interesting – a collection of posts from Ridgeway’s blog on Anne Boleyn. Why not?

It was an easy read but it was extremely repetitive. I really think if you are going to publish a book with a collection of your blog posts you should edit them and make sure you are not repeating the same point over and over.

It is informative but in a basic way. If you know a lot about the period you do not need to read this book. There is a very amateurish feel to the book. It doesn’t read as an academic text and the posts read a bit like school essays.

Ridgeway spends a lot of time ranting. It is clear she absolutely hates Philippa Gregory, especially her novel, The Other Boleyn Girl. I think it’s obvious when you read Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl that some of the content is questionable but Ridgeway seems to have really let it get to her. At some points she seemed really bitchy. It’s a fictional book. Get over it. I am a firm believer that if you are going to read historical fiction you have to accept that it might not be completely accurate. That’s why it’s in the fiction section. She also seems to rant about people’s opinions but seems to be committing the same crimes as them but from the opposite side of the argument. We know that Anne Boleyn didn’t commit the crimes she died for, it’s pretty much universally accepted now but we also know that she wasn’t a saint.

I don’t know how many times I read about Ridgeway’s dream about Anne from which she woke demanding that her husband create a website for her so she could devote her life to clearing Anne’s name. It was certainly too many. By the end I couldn’t even be bothered reading the posts, I was just scanning them to see if there was anything she hadn’t already said. The posts may work as a blog but to work as a book they need serious editing. The blog posts should have been selected in a better way instead of using everything she had written in the order she wrote it. I certainly would not pay full price for it.


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