Anne Boleyn

Colin Hamer

Precious Seed

Paperback, 144pp, Day One Publishing, Ryelands Road, Leominster, HR6 8NZ, UK. Price £7.00, ISBN 978-1-84625-083-5.

It is difficult to imagine the life in medieval England that forms the background to this book. Equally, the problem of determining fact from fiction after a lapse of 500 years is immense, particularly when major forces were at work to undermine the character and work of the subject of this book. These are important factors in trying to assess why Anne Boleyn should become involved with a man who was already married and whose sister had already been the mistress of the king. But the author would stress the danger of applying the benefits of our light upon the scriptures to the moral and spiritual darkness of Boleyn’s day.

Colin Hamer’s book is an intriguing insight into the life and apparent Christian belief of the second wife of Henry VIII and the influence she is thought to have had upon the English Reformation. He charts that influence in respect to key church appointments, her support for evangelicals at home and abroad, her promotion of the trade in Bibles and evangelical books, her interests in education and the care of the poor. He draws a parallel between Esther and Anne from the statement of Mordecai, ‘who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’ Esther 4. 14. Yet, separating out the spiritual desires from the political scheming of Anne and others is not an easy task, nor is understanding the reasons why the king, and some of her supporters, should turn against Anne and see her eventually beheaded.

This may not be a standard text on the period or the person but it is an interesting book on how aspects of the Reformation in England unfolded.