Jane Boleyn: The True Story of the Infamous Lady Rochford

Jane Boleyn: The True Story of the Infamous Lady Rochford - Julia Fox When one hears Jane Boleyn, they think of the wife that sold out her husband and sister in law to the traitors deaths that they might or might not have deserved, and another queen who she helped to deceive her husband. Instead, in Fox's book, we find a woman who was bound by family honor, a woman who was tied to her husbands family no matter good or bad, and who while serving another queen had to decide between obeying her queen or refusing to acquiesce and lose her position at court.

Jane's entire world was the court, and after the downfall of the Boleyn family, her fortunes seemed about at the end of ruin, she could barely survive, and would not be able to maintain the fabulous lifestyle that she had enjoyed while her husband was alive and before he was charged with treason and adultery. Instead of fading into the background, and hoping for a second marriage which would give her some relative comfort and quiet somewhere in the country, Jane clawed her way back into royal favor and regained her position in the new queens quarters. After the new queen Jane Seymour dies after childbirth, Jane was fortunate to serve the next queen, and after her subsequent divorce from the King, she served the final queen she would work for and who would eventually be her own downfall. Queen Catherine Howard was a foolish queen who fell in love with one of the members of the court. Instead of remaining loyal to her husband, Catherine found ways to be alone with her lover, who was eventually found out and after severe questioning was forced to admit the scandal, and both Jane and the queen were among the few who lost their heads over the affair.

Julia Fox brings out a different side of Jane. While we do not know much of what Jane Boleyn thought about life as a Boleyn bride, there are enough pieces of evidence left behind to view what kind of life she would have had. By learning about her father and the standards that he set for himself, it is not far fetched to think that Jane would have been raised with many of the same ideals, and those helped her keep her head as long as she did. Reading through this biography of her life was quite different from much of what I had ever heard of her. She was always portrayed as one who was evil through and through and who tempted those around her into doing things that they normally would not have done. Instead we find a woman, who is trying to maintain her way at court after her husband was convicted as a traitor, and who had learned the hard way that to stay at court meant pleasing those that one served, no matter what they asked. This was a great biography of her and had many new theories that before we not fully thought out or researched.