Thursday, 24 January 2013
The fifteenth anniversary of a very special book
The novel takes the form, unsurprisingly, of a diary that the character of Anne keeps intermittently over the span of her fifteen-year career at the English court. However, the novel also has a dual storyline about Anne's daughter, Elizabeth, who is now all grown up and queen-regnant of England and Ireland. Shortly after coming to the throne, Elizabeth is visited by an elderly gentlewoman who was once a lady-in-waiting to Queen Anne Boleyn and kept the queen's diary after she was killed. With the political environment now slightly safer, Lady Matilda thinks it's the right time to hand the diary over to Anne's next of kin - Queen Elizabeth. Elizabeth, who has very little memory of her mother, therefore reads about Anne's extraordinary journey as she is trying to navigate her own.
The great international success of The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn is a tribute to the skills of its author, Robin Maxwell, who wrote this lovely guest article about it on The Anne Boleyn Files, hosted by Claire Ridgway.
I recommend both the article and the novel.