How Did She Keep Henry Enraptured for Six Long Years Before Marriage?
Like so many of you, I have a long-standing love affair with the mysterious, the beautiful, the oh-so-intriguing…Anne Boleyn. Why? Pondering that question, we begin to have an insight into how Henry became simply obsessed with her.
Mostly all of the portraits presumed to be Anne show her to be magnetic. My personal favourite, by Hoskins, seduces us with her eyes; eyes which follow our every move.
I find it to be so curious that most written representations of Anne suggest she was cool and aloof with Henry, and in this provocative way, encouraged him to chase her relentlessly. In reality, though, does it make sense? After all, he was widely acknowledged as stunningly handsome, manly and accomplished, and most likely reeked of testosterone! He was the undisputed film idol, rock star, a gorgeous hunk of an athlete of his day.
Why on earth would he have tolerated over 6 years pining over an unrequited love? More pressingly, would he have existed all that time with no nookie??
This was no fleeting fancy, but the ultimate obsession of a man totally possessed by love
While there is precious little accountable evidence of what they did when in each other’s company, especially privately, we can find some pretty strong hints in Henry’s own love letters to Anne.
These letters, which I have seen with my own eyes, are so charming, so charismatic – so heart-rendingly touching, that it is impossible to doubt how in love Anne and Henry were as their time together progressed. One can easily see how the evolution of Henry’s handwriting in the letters indicates his growing closeness with her.
His greetings progress from the slightly formal, and courteous Mistress to a more romantic Sweetheart to the much more intimate Darling: and methinks not without good cause! I believe that fairly early on in their love affair, she employed the physical seductions she would have learned about in the French Court, offering creative alternatives to intercourse which would have pleased Henry greatly.
In one letter he refers to his longing for her in the evening, and the passage tells us explicitly why! …wishing myself (especially an evening) in my sweetheart’s arms, whose pretty dukkys I trust shortly to kiss. I can only assume they had been kissed by him before!
He drew hearts for her- around her initials, and his. I have seen them in the original, and they are long narrow hearts, a little misshapen, and so tender! It is the artwork of a man totally infatuated, and not for someone who kept him at arm’s length!
In 16thc. France, a dressmaker’s technique which was employed at a lady’s behest was designed to keep a gentleman enthralled. The titillating style had a secret slit sewn into the folds of the gown, in a strategic location, which would allow a certain hand to access that which was hidden beneath. How I can imagine Anne – that clever fashionista – making good use of this sexy tease for Henry!
My favorite naughty quote of Henry’s is in one of his later letters to Anne:
The cause why the bearer stays so long, is the business I have had to dress up gear for you; and which I trust, ere long to cause you occupy: then I trust to occupy yours, which shall be recompense enough to me for all my pains and labour.
He has had a gorgeous outfit made for her, only to picture her disrobing from it to his great delight! Either that or he planned to climb inside the gown with her still in it.
Henry was nothing if not a smart man, and I don’t think he would have patiently waited for someone who didn’t ardently return his love, of whose narcissistic ulterior motives were what prompted her actions and reactions toward him.
No; the seductive eyes in the portraits tell the truth: Anne loved Henry passionately, and she used her own special expertise to allow him Royal Access!