Monday 15 October 2012

Defending George Boleyn

A highly dramatized version of George Boleyn in The Other Boleyn Girl, played here by the excellent Jim Sturgess.
Claire Ridgway and Clare Cherry take a fascinating point-by-point look at the reputation of Anne Boleyn's brother, Lord Rochford, and asks if he really does deserve his negative historical reputation. 

"Having researched George’s life in depth, we are both bewildered by George Boleyn’s treatment at the hands of fiction and some non-fiction. Too often, he is portrayed as, amongst other things, a rapist and wife abuser, a man who would have sex with anything that moved, a coward, a weakling, a pathetic smirking fool, a layabout, and/or pompous ass. Yet there is nothing that we know about George which shows him as any of these things. So where on earth did all this come from? Perhaps the fevered imagination of those who need a villain, and why not choose a man who was found guilty of incest? It makes him an easy target, despite the fact he was innocent. The mere charge muddies the water, and makes him fair game."

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