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Anne Tells Her Own Story - an Editorial Review of "Truth Endures, Anne Boleyn's Memoirs"

Book Blurb:

It has been almost 500 years since my beheading. And still, people talk about me.

Some of the stories are real. Others could not be more distorted. The time has come for me to tell my own tale.

This is my memoir.

I, Anne Boleyn—originally a maid from Kent and, in the end, England’s Queen anointed—will share the unfiltered version of that epic time. My story: how I met, loved, and married Henry Tudor—King Henry VIII of England—one of the most powerful men on earth. It’s surely not a tale for the faint of heart. But, if you wish, join me as I reveal the candid details of my tumultuous life. And then you, too, will at last know the truth ... and the enduring power of my legacy.

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Author Bio:

Sandra Vasoli grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. As a child, she developed an abiding interest in objects and stories from long ago: historic houses, antiques, period clothes, and tales about larger-than-life characters from the past. A passionate reader and enthusiastic writer, she also spent her formative years caring for dogs, riding horses, and wishing for a pet falcon; the love of animals factors large in her writing.

She earned degrees in biology and English from Villanova University and then pursued graduate work in organizational development during her long career in human resources. As a human resources officer for several Fortune 500 global companies, she honed her ability to observe and read the behaviors of people, which contributes to her poignant character development.

With a deep appreciation for meticulous research, Vasoli was permitted rare access to the Papal Library at the Vatican on several occasions, twice to read and study the original love letters penned in the 16th century by Henry VIII to his second wife, Anne Boleyn. She has also done extensive research in the British Library and the National Archives in England. There, among other literary artifacts, she viewed the beautiful Book of Hours in which Henry and Anne inscribed lovers' messages to each other and documents attributed to a mysterious letter purportedly written by Boleyn while she was imprisoned in the Tower before her execution. The result of that research has been published in "Anne Boleyn's Letter from the Tower - The New Edition".

Vasoli's two novels include the multi-timeline "Pursuing A Masterpiece", a story of a young researcher seeking a historic lost portrait of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, and "Truth Endures: Anne Boleyn's Memoirs", to be released in September 2023.

Sandra has several projects underway: a non-fiction study of the Henry VIII Love Letters, and a historical mystery set in the world of Newport, Rhode Island's Gilded Age. She is a co-founder of the publishing company GreyLondon Press.

Visit Sandra on her website

Editorial Review:

Simply stunning. Many books have been written about Anne Boleyn, but every once in a while a new book comes out that tells her story in a different and profound way. This book, “Truth Endures: Anne Boleyn's Memoirs” delivers a story which encompasses Anne's voice as she tells her own story. The details are familiar and yet, somehow different as Ms Vasoli manages to create a new narrative on a much-told story. This one delves deep into the love story between Anne and Henry, immersing the reader into the fine details of the luxurious lifestyle they lived, the lavishness of Henry's affection for Anne brought to the fore by bestowing her with untold jewels, gowns, and palaces, and titles. Here you see a couple deeply in love, with a promising future set before them, and the reader travels the intricate steps as Henry weaves his way into a new marriage and a new church, thus paving the way for the Church of England.

She taught me so much, but one concept, especially, proved key to the rest: Savoir, c'est pouvoir, 'knowledge is power.' With a meaningful glance she had the ability to instruct me when to keep my mouth firmly closed and my ears open. I learned by observing her, ever so carefully, as she sat with her ladies, surrounded by members of the court. I watched her decide when to speak and what to say. I witnessed her covert and intent regard towards others, by listening to the idle coversation while feigning absorption in sewing or reading. The habit of actively observing and selectively conversing I quickly adopted when I returned to England as maid of honour to Queen Katherine of Aragon.

While other stories, such as “Wolf Hall”, which speaks from the point-of-view of Cromwell, and the much loved story by Margaret George “The Autobiography of Henry VIII”, this one shows a softer, humble, and loyal side of Anne Boleyn. After years of waiting for the Pope to grant Henry's request to divorce Katherine of Aragon, Vasoli's Anne shows strength, courage, restraint, and an incredible depth of devotion, not only to Henry but to the teachings of William Tyndale. In some instances, she even comes across as naïve, even at her age and the experience she gathered while serving in the French court. To Anne, the future is bright and she imagines living out her days with the love of her life. This story does not dwell on the gossip of the day, on the secret innuendoes and political games played behind the scenes, and those that Cromwell used against Anne, or the machinations of Norfolk and Princess Mary who were determined to see Catholicism come back to England. Most of the time, the reader simply enjoys the details of who Anne is as a person, her hopes, her dreams, her inner voice, and at the last, her desperation as she watches her world fall apart. In so many instances the collapse comes upon her as much the same way you imagine it came upon Katherine, and the author does a good job in peppering the story with similarities between the two when Henry gets it into his mind to move on with a new wife.

I considered the passages for some time. It felt real to me, the notion of Henry and I being 'second selves.' We shared many of the same ideas, desires, views and opinions. We were a remarkable match in pursuits of skill and mental ingenuity, connected as if we had always known one another. It was not to be denied, we shared a passion unmatched in any pairing I had ever experienced. His joys and sufferings were mine, and mine were his. Together, we felt invincible. By virtue of this confidence, I knew we would emerge victorious in the Great Matter. Just as Henry stated so assuredly, together we would beget a son to fulfil England's hopes and dreams.

At the heart of this story is love. Love gained and love lost. While the majority of the story layers deep into detail, the ending, which everyone knows, goes quickly and without having the reader wade through the minutia of the much-maligned Queen Anne. From this point-of-view, Anne is blindsided by the accusations and the details of her trial and execution are left for other stories told about her... again, this one is about love and truth and how Anne's truth will rise like the falcon of her royal badge. The latter part of the book holds out a surprise for the reader, one that we will not disclose or spoil, and the author does a good job in weaving in some contemporary unknown facts or rather 'new' facts about Anne Boleyn. You can, without a doubt, sense the author's passion for this story, and for this Queen. Very well done.


“Truth Endures: Anne Boleyn's Memoirs” by Sandra Vasoli receives five stars and the “Highly Recommended” award of excellence from The Historical Fiction Company



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