Henry VIII Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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Why did Henry VIII like Anne Boleyn?

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Anne was part of an ambitious family in an age where a woman could usually advance only through marriage. She was groomed for an advantageous marriage from an early age. She was sent abroad to Austria and then to France, where she developed the charm, wit, and love of French manners and fashions expected of her in that sophisticated environment. When she returned to England, her social skills meant she could garner much attention. Her sister, Mary, was the mistress to the king and that probably brought her to the attention of Henry VIII. After trying unsuccessfully to marry someone else, Anne attracted the attention of the king, He was frustrated with his wife, Catherine, because she had not borne him a son and Anne was a young woman who could bear many children. However, she resisted his approaches, which made her more attractive to the king, Although she was not beautiful by the standard of her day, she was intelligent, sophisticated, and vibrant in contrast to Catherine who was much more restrained. Anne began allowing Henry increasing intimacy, and by the by December, 1532, she was pregnant, thus forcing Henry's hand to hurry his divorce from Catherine and secretly marry Anne.

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