Talent for Intrigue

Talent for Intrigue

by marlies|dekkers

Was Jane Boleyn, aka Viscountess Rochford, a villain or a victim? One thing is certain: no other woman in the 16th century was as closely associated with as many dramatic events…

The intriguing Lady Rochford was born as Jane Parker in a wealthy, well-connected family in Norfolk around 1505. When she married George Boleyn in 1525, Jane did not suspect that her sister-in-law, beautiful and glamorous Anne, would become Queen of England. Yet soon, as one of Anne’s ladies-in-waiting, Jane would find herself dragged into maelstrom of intrigue and betrayal. She conspired with Anne against one of the king’s new mistresses, and got temporarily banished from court when Henry VIII found out. Not long afterwards, Jane became involved in an even bigger controversy when both her husband and Queen Anne were sent to the scaffold on accusations of incest and conspiracy. Did Jane provide the false testimony that got them beheaded? And did she really,
5 years later, facilitate queen Catherine Howard’s secret liaisons? There was never any proof, yet on the 13th of February 1542, it was Jane’s turn to lay her head on the executioner’s block, condemned to death for high treason. Although not even a portrait remains of the mysterious ‘Lady Rochford’, she managed to become one of history’s most controversial women. A shrewd plotter or a scapegoat? Perhaps she was merely a charismatic woman with a talent for intrigue. I like to think so.

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