Virtue Betray’d: Women Writing Anne Boleyn in the Long Eighteenth Century

  • Stephanie Russo
Part of the Queenship and Power book series (QAP)


The immediate posthumous reputation of Anne Boleyn was largely inscribed by men whose religious and political interests shaped their representations of her personality, relationship with Henry VIII, and the causes of her downfall. From the Catholic propaganda of Nicholas Sander to the Protestant hagiography of John Foxe, a vision of Boleyn as either monstrous or saintly emerged. However, as women started to write about the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn, a more complex figure emerged, prefiguring contemporary representations of Anne Boleyn as a proto-feminist figure trapped and preyed upon in a rigidly patriarchal world. This chapter compares a number of accounts of Anne Boleyn’s life by women in the long eighteenth century: Madame d’Aulnoy, Sarah Fielding, and Mary Hays.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephanie Russo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

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