Saturday, October 04, 2008

Robin Maxwell: The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn

I picked up this book because I needed something fast and brainless. I didn't want to think, I didn't want to be depressed (I just finished Bret Easton Ellis- enough depression for awhile), and I thought Tudor England would be fun for a minute. No. Not fun. Poorly written, tedious, and I've read this book- or a version of it- before. Only whichever version I've read before was done better. I didn't have the energy to put this book out of my sight and start another, but I should have.

The only profound insight I gained from this book (if you can call it that) is that we are obsessed with English scandals. Why? Diana is the latest Anne, or something like that. I can't stretch the metaphor too far, because I mean the "royal we," as evidenced by how little I care about this book- I don't care much about Diana and her love for royalty, either. Maxwell tries to make some profound feminist points through Queen Elizabeth and her mother Anne, "Tomorrow I die because I lusted not for flesh, but to comand my own destiny. This is not a womanly act, I know, but I have oft thought that in this way my spirit is much the same as a man's." But I've heard it before, and much more eloquently. Please, save your head: don't read this book.

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