What is the real story of Anne Boleyn?I am doing a project on Anne Boleyn, and I want to know the whole story of her. I also want to know why she was beheaded...

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linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Anne Boleyn was the daughter of Sir Thomas Boleyn and Lady Elizabeth Howard Boleyn, who was the daughter of the powerful Duke of Norfolk.

When Mary Tudor, the sister of Henry VIII, married the king of France, Anne was one of her ladies in waiting. She returned to England after the French king's death and soon caught Henry's eye. At the time he was having an affair with Anne's sister, Mary. But he fell madly in love (lust) with her. But Anne would not give in and sleep with him. 

Henry had been married to Katherine of Aragon more than 20 years and had only one child: a girl named Mary. Remembering the wars for succession that made his own father king, Henry was determined to get a son. Katherine was past child-bearing age, so Henry needed a new wife.

To make a long story short, through political intrigue and a break from the Roman Catholic Church, Henry was able to divorce Katherine and marry Anne. And he was able to have a child with her: another daughter, named Elizabeth. Another pregnancy ended in a stillbirth.

Afraid that he'd never have his son, Henry looked for any reason to get rid of Anne. He knew the divorce ploy would not work again, so his advisers devised a scheme to make Anne look guilty of adultery, which was considered treason and punishable by death. They tortured even her brother until he confessed to having an affair with her. Anne was found guilty and was beheaded on May 19, 1536.

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