January 22, 2013

The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn by Robin Maxwell

Title: The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn
Author: Robin Maxwell
Genre: Historical Fiction
Type: Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780684849690
Source: Bought
Published: May 28, 1998 (Touchstone)
Synopsis: In this "energetic" (Kirkus Reviews) re-creation of Anne Boleyn's tragic life — and death — Robin Maxwell offers a pitch-perfect version of a bawdy and exuberant time filled with lust, betrayal, love, and murder.
When the young Queen Elizabeth I is entrusted with Anne Boleyn's secret diary, she discovers a great deal about the much-maligned mother she never knew. And on learning the truth about her lascivious and despotic father, Henry VIII, she vows never to relinquish control to any man. But this avowal doesn't prevent Elizabeth from pursuing a torrid love affair with her horsemaster, Robin Dudley — described with near-shocking candor — as too are Anne's graphic trysts with a very persistent and lustful Henry. Blending a historian's attention to accuracy with a novelist's artful rendering, Maxwell weaves compelling descriptions of court life and devastating portraits of actual people into her naughty, page-turning tale. The result is a masterpiece of historical fiction — so prophetic of our time that one would think it were ripped from today's headlines.
What I didn't like: This book started out a little slow for me and in parts a little dry. I think this was somewhat me and not used to reading something actually written in the time period it took place. This was not a bad thing as the author did such a good job of portraying Anne and writing as she would have written the journal that you felt like you were reading a true journal by Anne Boleyn.
What I liked: I loved the subject of this book. Anne Boleyn is one of my favorite historical figures to read and learn more about. There are many things I did like and will touch on them in the whole review. 
Overall Impression: I enjoyed this book. The way Robin Maxwell brought together the memory of Anne to Elizabeth was very good. I also enjoyed the way that it switched back and forth between Elizabeth and Anne. There were many times I felt sorry for Elizabeth in her life and after reading this book I felt sorry for Anne as well. To me it seems she was actually a lonely person. This book actually taught me a few things I had not realized before which to me was a plus. I looked everywhere to find this version of the book because for one the cover appealed to me (yes I do pick some of my books by covers) and I wanted the extra things at the end of the book. The author's notes at the end of the book added a lot for me and made me want to look for more books by this author to learn more. I liked how she told how she came to write the book. Also the discussion questions at the end were nice even if you don't have anyone to share your answers with. If you are wanting to read a good book about Anne Boleyn this would be for you. I actually have two more books on my shelf by this author and can't wait to get to them. 4 Stars for me. 

If you would like to know more about the author check out her website: Robin Maxwell's Website


  1. Replies
    1. It was good, I felt so bad for Anne and Elizabeth. I just can't imagine the things they went through. They were both amazing, strong women.

  2. I'm going to have to add this to my TBR. I love reading about Anne Boleyn. I've read a number of non-fiction books about her, especially by Alison Weir and Antonia Fraser. Found you through the Friendship Friday blog hop http://georgielee.blogspot.com