Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Anne Boleyn's arrival at the Tower of London (an illustration)

Anne Boleyn arrives at The Traitors' Gate (by John Millar Watt, 1965)

This illustration by John Millar Watt (1895 - 1975) captures the high drama of Anne Boleyn's arrival at the Tower of London on May 2, 1536.

But do notice:

  • Had Anne really been standing on the ledge of the barge as she is here, the well known rhyme about the fate of Henry VIII's six wives would have gone like this instead: Divorced, drowned, died. Divorced, beheaded, survived.
  • Anne was reputed to be a fashion trendsetter, but high heeled boots?!
  • Sir William Kingston and his men standing under Traitors' Gate! In actuality, the river waters would have flowed into the arch, floating the barge in. We'll have to ignore the fact that Anne actually entered the Tower on foot via the Byward Tower after landing at the wharf.

Still, it's a handsome picture. You can actually purchase the original watercolor here.

1 comment:

  1. This looks almost like an illustration to a fairy-tale - beautiful, but more romantic than accurate


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