Teen Review: Had the Queen Lived / by Raven A. Nuckols PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 28 January 2013 00:00

altAnne Boleyn is remembered most for three things: being a passionate social and religious reformer, giving birth to the iconic Elizabeth I, and a fall from royalty to public execution in a matter of months. Had the Queen Lived by Raven A. Nuckols examines how history would be altered if the third aspect of her legacy had not occurred.
The book begins with the actual events that took place from 1525-1535, but Nuckols goes off the historical beaten path when Anne’s 1536 pregnancy, famously a stillbirth, is delivered as the healthy living son and heir her husband, King Henry VIII so coveted. From that point, a hypothetical history is created which transforms the events of Tudor history. Anne is secure in her throne and uses that power to promote religious reforms as well as mass education and advances in the rights of women. Henry VII, though still impulsive and spirited, is no longer the wife killing, unpredictable sadist we’ve come to know. With the security of the monarchy and reformist movement, England is able to avoid much of the religious conflict associated with the Tudors.
Along with all these positive changes, Had the Queen Lived also deals with the negative consequences of Anne’s prolonged reign. Nuckols discusses how Mary, Henry’s first child, would have been marginalized from society and may even have died young under the authority of the stepmother with whom she had so much conflict. With the addition of a brother, Elizabeth probably would not have gone on to be queen, possibly preventing England from what is known today as a “golden age.”
Whether it be foreign or domestic policy, family relationships or the legacy of historical characters, Anne Boleyn never failed to shake things up and would certainly have continued to do so had she overcome to false plot that brought about her death. Although this book is merely a guess, it reads like completely factual nonfiction, paying precise attention to primary sources and historical trends. Had the Queen Lived is a fascinating story of redemption and satisfies anyone who hears the story of Anne Boylen and wonders, what if?
Readers who enjoyed this book might also be interested in 1536: The Year that Changed Henry VIII by Suzannah Lipscomb. 

(Maya, ETHS)


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