On 19 May 1536, Anne Boleyn was executed on charges of adultery, incest and conspiring King Henry VIII’s death.
But what happened in those last days before her death? Why did Anne, and the five men accused with her, have to die?
A new in-depth drama-documentary on BBC 2 will explore the continuing controversy among historians. Rather wonderfully, rather than giving a single linear account, it recreates the historical debate that rages on. It makes for history at its most contentious and exciting.
It features seven historians and historical novelists: Dr David Starkey, Hilary Mantel, Philippa Gregory, Alison Weir, Prof. George Bernard, Prof. Greg Walker and me.
For anyone interested in Tudor history and in the extraordinary character of Anne Boleyn, this is unmissable.
It will air on 23 May 2013 at 9pm on BBC 2.
And if you want to know more, in progressively greater depth, do consult the following:
- I’ve written a blog post for the BBC which you can read and comment on here
- You can read more in my article about the disputed theories concerning Anne’s death in the April 2013 edition of BBC History Magazine
- In Henry VIII and the Court: Art, Politics and Performance, edited by me and Thomas Betteridge, I wrote a more academic article on this called ‘The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Crisis of Gender Relations?’
- And if you’re really keen, I’ve also written a book on the year of Anne’s death that examines the matter forensically, and I hope, with some clarity: 1536: The Year that Changed Henry VIII