Many people think she was a home-wrecking she-devil who ensnared Henry VIII with her womanly wiles. This is untrue. She actually fled court for over a year to get away from him. Only when it became apparent that he was going to divorce Katherina of Aragon, and that Anne would never get an offer of marriage form anyone else while the king wanted her, did Anne capitulate to a relationship. Even then, she closed the muffin shoppe until he put a ring on her finger. She made the best of an untenable situation, and has been castigated for not bearing up under her fate meekly, like a "proper woman". Although she was, as her death showed, essentially powerless compared to the king, she set her own terms for over a decade and bequeathed her strength and intelligence to her daughter, Elizabeth I of England.
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Anne Boleyn is one of the most famous queens in English history, though she ruled for just three years. The daughter of an ambitious knight and niece of the duke of Norfolk, Anne spent her adolescence in France. When she returned to England, her wit and style were her greatest charms.