A Witch With Six Fingers? Errr, no

“Anne Boleyn was the evil one wasn’t she? The witch with 6 fingers?”

This very question was asked to me today during a conversation at work. I was horrified, and I ended up facepalming very much in the same style of Rodrigo Borgia
Cue a long and lengthy history lesson from me. No, Anne was not a witch. No she did not have six fingers (because let’s use some logic here, would Henry VIII really have married her if she had such a deformity?), no she was not involved in an incestuous relationship with her brother and no she most definitely was (at least in my humble opinion, and I’m sure the opinion of many others) NOT GUILTY. The amount of times I heard, “well she must have been guilty because she was found guilty at her trial” no, no, no and no!
It amazes me every time I read something online that says about how Anne Boleyn was guilty of incest and gave birth to a deformed foetus, that she was a witch with six fingers. And it amazes me even more when I hear someone talking about it. Especially in this day and age where there is such a wealth of knowledge out there and Anne’s story has been told over and over by historians through the ages. All these people have to do is pick up a history book. But of course, so many would rather believe tripe like The Other Boleyn Girl and not give real history a chance, or indeed even well written historical fiction (Wolf Hall for example is particularly excellent).

2 thoughts on “A Witch With Six Fingers? Errr, no

  1. Well all I can say is the Tudors had a great publicity department and hey, when you control the media releases-
    Look at what a great political smear job they did on poor Richard III. (-;

    Unless one works in the academic world, there will always be the co-workers that make you do bad things to your dental work as you gnash your teeth. I'm amazed sometimes at the things that are thought to be true or untrue based on nothing more than a TV program or a fictional read that never claimed accuracy.

    Love the Borgia clip!

  2. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out…contemplate the ceiling…

    (Yes, I'm laughing very hard…)

    The thing is I don't know how people can be so gullible as to believe any of the anti-Boelyn tripe. (Well, I'm afraid I do know, but I'd rather not think about it…) Because none of it is credible. It's like there was some historical mix-up and they got I, Claudius mixed up with Tudor history and one doesn't have to really know very much at all about Christianity to see that none of the stuff in TOBG could possibly be true. Because they're NOT ROMAN and they WERE CHRISTIAN! And they really truly believed if they did anything even remotely like incest, they'd really, really knew they'd go to hell and they knew what that looked like because they'd read Dante!!!!

    (Okay, and now I'm getting as worked up as you about it and the Tudors aren't even my period…)

    Excellent post! Perhaps we should do a blog somewhere with everybody picking or ranting about their ten most dreaded bits of disinformation/propaganda or historical fallacies?

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