Ann Boleyn was Henry VIII's 2nd wife. After annulling his marriage to Katherine of Aragon, he quickly married Ann. Ann was an extravagant queen, fond of lavish parties, elaborate clothes and jewels. She kept a lively court. Ann was also a great advocate of the Protestant church, and played a pivotal role in England's separation from Rome.
When he married Ann, Henry was desperate for a son. Ann soon gave birth to Elizabeth, who would one day be Elizabeth I, but this first child was followed by two miscarriages, both boys. By this time, Henry had already fallen for one of Ann's ladies in waiting, Jane Seymour. He was convinced that his new marriage was cursed, and rumors circulated that Ann was a witch and an adulterer. Ann was arrested, along with her brother George on the charges of incest and treason. Four other men who were friends or in service to Ann were arrested on charges of adultery with the queen. After a brief trial, presided over by Ann's own uncle, she and the other men were convicted and sentenced to death. Ann was beheaded on May 19, 1536 on the Tower Green. Henry VIII married Jane Seymour 12 days later. After Elizabeth I rose to power, new romanticized interest in Ann surfaced, and she was considered by many to be a martyr. Her ghost is said to still haunt the Tower of London.
Knitting Ann was really fun. I've always been fascinated with her tragic story. Creating a detachable head turned out to be quite a challenge. After 2 hours at Lowes Hardware, UiJin and I finally constructed a mechanism consisting of custom fit plumbing fixtures, and a system of magnets. Sometimes my husband is surprisingly useful.
Next in line on my knitting needles will of course be Jane Seymour. If I can keep up my momentum, I believe I may even knit Henry VIII himself! And for those of you wondering, I am planning to release the pattern for the basic doll, but probably not until I finish the entire series.