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The Last Days of Anne Boleyn

Thu May 23, 9-10pm, BBC2

Some saw Anne Boleyn as a usurper, who lured the king into breaking with the Roman Catholic Church and annulling his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Others believe she was framed in one of the most contemptible conspiracies in English history. In any case, the second queen of Henry VIII had one of the most exciting tenures of his six wives and this BBC documentary plays devil’s advocate to each possible theory that led to her beheading.

Was Anne guilty of adultery? Was it her miscarriage that tipped Henry over the edge? Perhaps the king believed Anne was a witch who had cast a spell on him and was taking revenge? These are the sorts of questions debated, chuckled over and answered by a selection of historians, including the bespectacled David Starkey, and interspersed with re-enactments. It’s a simple format, but surprisingly enrapturing. Just watch you don’t lose your head over it.