Giveaway Winner, What I’m Reading, And More…

My Stylish French Box, a subscription box filled with French lifestyle items

And The Winner Of My Stylish French Box For August Is….

Kristian Olson!

Congratulations, Kristian! Enjoy your “Holidays In Provence” box. Thanks to everyone for participating; I really enjoyed reading your comments! There’s still time to subscribe and receive My Stylish French Box for August, and be sure to sign up for the newsletter to stay abreast of updates and offers.

Many thanks to Sharon Santoni and My Stylish French Box for providing the prize.

Anne, A Cultural Perspective

Cover of the book "The Creation Of Anne Boleyn" by Susan Bordo

Back in my twenties and early thirties I used to work and perform at Renaissance Faires throughout California, and became fascinated with Tudor and Elizabethan history. A librarian friend who was also part of our “merrye band of mischief makers” recommended this book, The Creation Of Anne Boleyn. I’m a fan of Susan Bordo’s work (she’s done some very insightful writing on culture from a feminist perspective) so was very interested to see her take on this often polarizing historical figure. I’m about 2/3 through the book and am enjoying it immensely.

Bordo has approached her subject with an open mind, and seems to have done some thorough research. Because Henry VIII was intent on erasing Anne from history, much personal documentation (such as her letters) was destroyed, so she remains an enigmatic, if fascinating figure. The writing is not at all polemic; rather Bordo tries to flesh out the circumstances and motivations of a complex young woman in complicated and treacherous times. She also looks at the cultural attitudes that influenced previous biographers and historians throughout the ages, and how portrayals of Anne shifted with the mores of the time.

It’s engaging reading, though some basic knowledge of the “players” in the court of Henry VIII is helpful. It’s not a light “beach read” but isn’t so dense that it’s inaccessible.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Update

Lifestyle blogger Susan B. shares her Beauty products picks from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

I’ve updated my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale picks page with a few more items, and have grouped items by type: Shoes, Wardrobe Basics, Outerwear and Beauty. Full access starts tomorrow. I’ve been told that many items are re-stocked for general access, so if there’s something you’ve had your eye on that’s been unavailable, keep checking back.

Is there a historical period or character that holds particular interest for you?

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  1. Have you read The Other Boleyn Sister? It is fictional but helps to understand the pressures of women in that era and also helps us understand Anne better. A good read!

  2. Medieval history fascinates me. Last summer, I was thrilled to see some of Anne Boleyn’s handwork and wondered what might have passed through her mind as she stitched so beautifully. Thanks for the book recommendation. I would not have wanted to be a woman in that era.

  3. I dove into the history of Eleanor of Aquitaine, as The Lion in Winter is my favorite movie. I got a used copy of a book about her and enjoyed reading about her life and effect on history.

  4. Thank you for the book recommendation. I became fascinated with Henry VIII and his wives as a child, likely due to a PBS series. If you haven’t read Hilary Mantel’s books, “Wolf Hall” and “Bring up the Bodies”, you should do so.

  5. Also love Tudor English history – my love started in childhood when I stole my dad’s copy of The Autobiography of Henry VIII (obv fiction 😉 Right now I’m reading 2nd in a series by Laura Andersen – Boleyn Deceit – fictional revision of history where Anne Boleyn’s son wasn’t stillborn and rules after Henry VIII dies. I’ve read most fiction & non-fiction popular versions of the Tudors – will add the Borda book to my reading list!

  6. I was fascinated by Tudor history as a kid ( I was a bit of an odd duck…) so thanks for hte book recommendation, and, of course, for holding the giveaway!

  7. I have been enjoying Bernard Cornwell’s “The Saxon Tales”, upon which the BBC tv series “The Last Kingdom” was based. The books are a bit repetitive, but I have enjoyed getting a historical fiction look at 10th century pre-England.

  8. I always enjoy your blog. Just wanted to mention two things. 1) Garnet Hill has some Eileen Fisher pieces on a heavy discount right now. 2) Last time I was at the Shiseido counter they showed me a mirror that’s similar to the Nordstrom sale rose gold plug in. Their’s was gold, and travel worthy because it didn’t need plugging in, and folds. Has both a normal side and flips to a very close magnification (don’t recall the magnification number sorry). I think it ran slightly cheaper and the face may have been slightly smaller.