"A Falling Man" - my first published book on Amazon!

Author: Mel Brownlee /

Please support my quest to become a successful author by purchasing my first attempt at self publishing through Amazon - "A Falling Man". Anyone familiar to my blog will know the story, it is about a young couple involved in 9/11. It is a very short story, only 38 pages and takes you through the events of that day and how it changes the future of this couple. Even if you have read it before, I would really appreciate if you could purchase a copy just to get my name out there!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00LSRIWKY?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Thank you to you all!

M
x

Made In Chelsea: S7E3 Review

Author: Mel Brownlee /


Episode 3 starts with Jamie and Spencer not so subtly lurking around fashion week in the vain hope of picking up some models. Even Victoria is smart enough to recognise this, but then again they didn’t exactly make any attempt to deny what they were up to. One has to assume they like to look like desperate perverts.

Alex meets up with Mummy Binky and she asks to meet his parents – awkward is not even the right word! Mummy Binky quickly cuts to the chase by surprisingly telling Alex that she believes he hasn’t been unfaithful to her daughter which makes her single handily the most naïve person since Louise took Spenny back for the millionth time. Rob then rocks up after Louise and Binky were conveniently chatting about him. Apparently Louise really likes him – clearly just a way of trying to make Spencer jealous: we all know your game you teeny tiny human! With this, Binky decides to phone Alex and suss out Rob’s feelings towards Louise, who nervously chews on a napkin and makes herself look like even more of a tit than she already is.

Spencer confesses that he is slightly sceptical of any relationship at the moment. I am so lost for words at this deluded statement that I can’t even comment on it for the time being. Anyone would think he was the one whose adulterous other half cheated on them in their own bed.

Binky proves she is as big of a mug as her mother by feeling sorry for Alex due to all of the rumours flying around about his philandering ways. Poor him, it must be so horrible to finally have the truth catch up with you!

Elsewhere, Jamie and Spenny have actually ventured of out SW and headed over to the City. They must be coming down with something – that or they have slept with every single woman in Chelsea and now have to find a different kind of London girl prey. Jamie once again proves that his expensive education was literally wasted on him by being unable to communicate in a coherent and respectable way. And then he says he looks like Karl Lagerfield. I am not sure who should be more insulted at this point.

Louise decides to wear a bright red cape in order to attract Spencer once again. Much like how a baboon exposes their red bottom in order to get a mate. She then proceeds to subtly slag off Emma  - I suppose we are meant to believe this means she does not care, but unfortunately for Miss Thompson it has the completely opposite effect. As always.

Why the actual fuck is Alex in a turtle neck jumper? Is it not bad enough that he always wears eyeliner, now he has to offend us with this ridiculousness?!

Proudlock and Stevie leave Louise and Rob to talk by themselves and we can see her brain ticking over wondering how much longer she has to put up with him before Spencer comes running back out of sheer fear he could lose another easy lay.

Emma proves she is as easy a conquest as Lucy Watson was by agreeing to go out with Spencer once more, even though he has just admitted he really fancied her whilst he was in a serious, long-term relationship. That’s another brainless knob Spencer can add to his bed post.

The boys struggle their way through an assault course shouting out “yeah boi” – unfortunately they all survived this test, much to my bitter disappointment.

Lucy professes that she believes Alex is innocent of all charges against him and she should know, right? Being the author of a dating book I would imagine she is the ultimate voice of wisdom on the matter. Let’s hope that opinion doesn’t blow up in her face, goodness knows what that will do to the sales of her book! Jokes. She then has a bitch fit over the fact that Jamie has brought another girl to her birthday party and awkwardly asks if he has told her he loves her yet. Because you don’t stink of bitterness or anything, do you Lucy?

I was thinking Louise and Rob’s date was one of the most awkward things I have ever seen, but then her brother Sam comes along and takes the cake as he tries to chat up a couple of ladies. Oh my god, it’s actually hilarious. There is no either way to describe what I am seeing.

I would also like to retract my earlier comment about Emma – apparently she does have more than 2 brain cells to rub together: she said NO to Spencer! Despite his best efforts, she turns him down point blank and I have never been more proud of a fellow female. Well done Emma, you have made the best decision of your life thus far (although she did still agree to go out on dates with him – I wouldn’t even dignify him with that).

Finally, Alex decides to come clean(ish) after being put on the spot by Cheska. He admits that he has suffered from “black-outs” where he cannot remember what he did, or who he did if we are going to be technical. As much as I would like to have a huge rant at this point about cheaters, I think the best punishment for Alex was seeing how distraught his selfish and careless actions had made Binky who pretty much has always deserved happiness over anyone in the entire show. Hope you can live with yourself Alex, because no one else will now!

 

See you next week J

 

M

Made In Chelsea: S7E2 Review

Author: Mel Brownlee /


Here we go again. Round 2: 5 seconds in and I have already pressed pause to catch my breath from laughing like a loon over Spenny and Jamie + boxing gloves + the gym. They are such jokes. Spencer states that Jamie is lucky he wouldn’t be in the same weight class as him – yes he is lucky, the sheer magnitude of your enormous ego would almost certainly squash that scrawny little bugger half to death….

…and by the by – is Alex wearing left over eye liner from last week’s party or is this some kind of new fashion statement in the Sloanie circle? I am genuinely horrified.

There is a new girl on the block – so obviously she is Spencer’s love interest – a model called Emma who apparently dated Leo DiCaprio, which means she probably tried to kiss him like most of us opportunist Leo-crazed women would and he was drunk enough or Victoria’s Secret model-less enough to respond momentarily. Spencer declares he really likes her because they have not slept together yet. Caggie syndrome or what?

Alex is definitely wearing eye liner. I…I just…I just can’t even. I can’t.

Binky and Alex set up an awkward double date between Lucy and his housemate – unbeknownst to Lucy, and she quickly makes it clear that she prefers the company of her dog to most people. Well I don’t blame you, Miss Watson – from what I have been watching for the last few years it’s certainly slim pickings in the borough of Chelsea! I have no doubt in my mind that your dog is more riveting than most of your “friends”. Speaking of Lucy Watson did you know she is releasing a £12.99 book called The Dating Game? How on God’s good earth did that happen? Didn’t realise all you had to do was be a senseless Blair Waldorf wannabe in order to get a book deal these days. They must have left that out of the Writers & Artists Yearbook. And how is it possible for someone who fell for Spencer Matthew’s drivel only to be cheated on by him weeks later to write a dating advise book? She is probably the last person I would take love advise from. I’d sooner ask my cat’s opinion, and my cat we call Thicky at that…

Whilst I am on the topic of the senseless…Emma walks in on Spencer kissing another girl at the bar in a horrifically awkward encounter and yet she still agrees to go for brunch with him the next day. You can’t make this stuff up!

Meanwhile Spencer denies the fact that he is a playboy even though that it seems to be the “general consensus”. Yes it is Spenny, but only because you have tried to make it so due to the fact that you are desperate to be known as a Lothario when really you cannot play the game to save your sad little life.  Elsewhere in the land of the perpetually delusional, Jamie says that he is too creative – yes your Candy Kittens idea really proved that to the world, didn’t it biscuits?

Call the paramedics, get me a diazepam – Mark Francis is in the gym. What is this black magic?! I can only assume that it is an ultra-uber-glamorous-private gym as he cannot possibly be seen to be in a confined space with sweaty peasants – that would be positively ghastly!

In a bid to get herself more than 5 minutes of air time, Louise hosts a singles party. And I was sure she couldn’t possibly look more desperate if she tried.

I assume everyone would like to know my thoughts on Stevie’s poem: I was half expecting to be grimacing throughout the entire performance but I actually didn’t find it too painful…it was the conversation between him and Proudlock afterwards that sealed it as yet another cringe-worthy MIC scene. Do any of the men in Chelsea possess balls?! Any?! Poor Stevie, he is never going to have much going for him and is now delving into the world of poetry to lure in females. Run ladies, run for your lives!

I would, however, like to see Stevie write a poem about the exchange of words between Emma and Louise (with Lucy sulking on the side) about the 2 loves of Spencer’s life: Caggie and Emma. Louise has never heard him mention Emma. Emma doesn’t seem too phased. Lucy looks pissed off. Louise blatantly still loves Spenny. When will his power over women cease to exist? And when will Lucy realise that Andy is the one to go for? He is by far the best guy on the show and yet he is always left picking up the pieces of Jamie and Spencer’s failed relationships. What a waste. The girls of TOWIE would eat him alive – in a good way. Wit-woo.

Binky is still feeling sorry for herself over the rumours of Alex cheating on her, which is starting to get a little boring now – a wet blanket allegedly cheating on a soft touch does not make for good television. The outcome is predictable: he cheated, she is broken-hearted and yet they remain friends for the good of the show. Or something along those lines.

To wrap up the episode we are given a preview of next week where Louise predictably finds something about Spencer’s new love interest that she doesn’t like and Cheska once again is the bearer of bad news. How delicious!


Ciao,


M

Made In Chelsea: S7E1 Review

Author: Mel Brownlee /


Ah, Made In Chelsea, how I have missed thee. Whenever I worry that I am becoming a completely incompetent, brainless waste of space I just wait for you lot to grace my TV screen again and it makes me feel so much better about myself. I love you all dearly, I must admit, for being such a pillar of everything that is wrong with modern day society!

But anyway, now that you are back I feel like it’s time to start putting my thoughts on your ridiculously over-the-top opulent antics into words, because I just find you all so painfully amusing that I cannot convey the depth of my entertainment by any other means!

Series 7 kicked off with Lucy Watson in a superbly lavish bathroom – how fabulous. Then she walks through the streets of Chelsea in slow motion - as does her bleached and balding ex-love Jamie Laing – so that we all know they are about to meet up and shit is going to hit the fan. As if that wasn’t cringe enough, Jamie actually tries to worm his way out of the crap he is in. Does he even know Lucy? And does he know that we all know what he did as he documented every single minute of it on social media? Oh yes, that’s right I forgot – Jamie is as thick as two short planks and actually believes he can convince us he is a humble and loyal man of good ethics, principles and morals. When really we all know he is just a wannabe Spencer minus the good(ish) chat.

Anyway, as can be expected she told him where to go – but I was a little disappointed, as I find myself always being by Miss Watson these days. She really isn’t the bitch everyone gives her credit for. She tries very hard to be, I will give her that, but she always falls short of being truly cruel. I guess it’s because she isn’t actually smart enough to be that cutting because she focuses the few brain cells she has on posing for lad’s mag’s and telling us all what she gets up to in bed. Nice one, Lucy, you have officially become as desperate and brain-dead as Louise.

So she walks out leaving Jamie bewildered and dumfounded – which really isn’t anything new to be honest as he perpetually looks like that. Which I guess is part of his charm? Or part of his act but then we have to consider the possibility that he may be intelligent in real life and that is just too much to fathom. 

Obviously rumours of infidelity are flying around as you just cannot have a reality TV show without some kind of cheating going on in almost every relationship. But this time it’s from a rather unexpected place – and by unexpected place I mean the perpetrator for once is not Spencer Matthews. Hopefully the good women of the world have woken up and realised he is nothing other than a lazy, googly-eyed twit with a rather small package. Yes Spenny, we have all seen the leaked photos!

No, this time it was Alex….what’s his surname? I’m not sure, but it’s Alex with the stupidly big bouffant hair who has been dating Binky. Fran and Cheska expressed their concern during a yoga class, with Fran saying the thought of her ex-love interest cheating on one of her best friends made her “feel sick” and Cheska admitting that she believed the rumours to be true. It was almost well scripted.

Meanwhile, Victoria decides she is going to take Cheska off her black list. How lovely of her – has she finally realised that every single viewer of MIC that hadn’t already turned against her definitely had by the end of the last season after her mindless and petty attack on Cheska over what should have been a merry Christmas dinner? Mark Francis and Rosie seemed to have jumped on the bandwagon by disassociating (Rosie in particular) themselves from Victoria and her poor behaviour. They wouldn’t want to tarnish their reputation by association, after all!

Jamie and Andy came to loggerheads over his treatment of Lucy and his inability to not throw the L word around as loosely as he does. He was his typical ignorant self and refused to take responsibility for the fact that he confessed his undying love for one woman, then a week later was off shagging 
every single thing he saw with a vagina that moved. And telling them that he loved them too. Shakespeare would be proud.

And I have decided to not even dignify that Victorias friend (still haven't bothered to learn her name) and her ridiculous party with a comment.

As always Mark Francis is the voice of wisdom and sheer class, charisma and intelligence. So I am not sure why he is wasting his time and talent on MIC?

Finally, Jamie realises that it’s time to start grovelling and strolls over to Lucy’s looking surprisingly smug and vaguely like a rabbit. In a hat. She accepts his apology but makes it clear they will only ever be friends, if that. I find myself constantly thinking “It’s neeeeever gona happen mate!” – I wonder if that’s because she keeps telling him it’s never going to happen? Go figure, because he certainly can’t.

The episode ends with what I can only describe as the biggest evasion tactic I have ever witnessed: Alex telling Binky he loves her. What marvellous timing, what a fantastic distraction method. Well done Alex, you really have upped your game – but you haven’t fooled me and by the looks of next week’s episode, you haven’t even fooled the most dim-witted person in Chelsea!

To finish this review, here is a list of things Spencer did during the episode to annoy me:

·         He states that he was actually rooting for best friend and ex-girlfriend Lucy and Jamie. He continuously makes me wonder why he takes us all for fools?

·         He said “samesies” with Andy. Oh my Christ.

·         And then he gave Jamie love advise. Lord help us all.

·         He said “lots of love” to another man.

·         He breathed.

Until next week!


M

Why Sex Shouldn't Sell

Author: Mel Brownlee /


It’s not unrealistic to say that 2013 was the year of Miley Cyrus, of even raunchier music videos and performances, of it officially becoming acceptable to have near enough completely naked women in almost everything. Heck, I have seen more of celebrity’s tits and bums than I have of my own over the past year. The aforementioned Miley Cyrus was the leader of the pack in 2013, followed by the unquestionably creepy Robin (is) Thicke and as always, the perpetually semi-nude Rihanna.

I have seen a lot of naked women, a lot of crass and overtly sexual performances, but what I have not come across much this year is actual talent and truly fantastic music.

Beyoncé came close after surprising the world by releasing a new album – but even she, a highly talented and seemingly intelligent individual has now completely bowed to the pressure of getting as much kit off as possible, to sell as much as possible. She was always a bit of a skin-shower, but her latest music videos - and not to mention that horrific Grammys performance with Jay Z - have really sealed her status as just another woman who has given into the pressures of baring all to sell.

For most of 2013 I spent the year complaining to my fiancé about how it wasn’t just the men in the music industry trying to sell sex in their videos by use of naked, vacuous models, but it was the women as well. Since when did female artists decide that their talent and intelligence had become entirely irrelevant, and all that mattered was that they satisfied the industry and their male fans by making everything about their sex appeal? Have they just given up on themselves and their integrity?

They say “sex sells” and evidently it does – how else can you explain Miley Cyrus reaching number one? (Though I struggle to find anything sexy about a girl that looks like a sexually confused pre-pubescent boy). Her Wrecking Ball video not only highlighted her crass taste, lack of talent and originality, but also the fact that as long as a woman is showing a sufficient amount of skin, she can make money.

When did this happen and why? The last time I actually paid attention to the music scene, the likes of Adele and Florence and The Machine were laughing all the way to the bank – not because they exposed themselves all of the time and made it all about sex, but because they have raw, unequalled talent and creativity, and the ability to make millions solely because of it. Not only is their music much more impressive than Miley’s, Katy Perry’s, Robin Thicke’s and all of those other desperate, lazy and untalented “celebrities” (even that of Rihanna who has plenty of talent, but has cheapened herself to the lowest standard and has forgotten about her music), but they are also extremely likeable and respected people because they have not sold themselves cheap and have every inch of their dignity intact.

So why did this drastic swing from having to have talent to make music to just having to be naked happen? I have absolutely no idea; the music industry will have to answer for that. I am guessing it’s from the fact that we live in a rather shallow and superficial world, and music moguls believe that a beautiful, sexy woman without talent will sell more records than an average, modest women with talent in abundance. Why is that? As a woman I would certainly rather listen to someone who can actually sing and make good music, than watch another half naked girl prance around, shaking her ass (and then some) who cannot sing for toffee. And so would most of the men I know, but I can only assume there are a lot of men out there who buy records and watch music videos because of beautiful, nude women who are willing to flash it all in the name of their “art”.

To these men (or even women) I say this: stop ruining it for the truly talented women out there. Beauty is skin deep, it fades, we grow old, things start to go south but real talent, intelligence and self-respect are the things that will never go away. A woman is worth so much more than what she has beneath her clothes, and funding these so called celebrities who are only good for exposing themselves as much as possible, and only worry about their sex appeal is taking up too much room and creating a stereotype.

We are not all beautiful, or skinny. We do not all like to act like glorified porn stars just to get attention and recognition. We are not all worth only what we can provide sexually. The majority of us are smart, grounded, interesting and unique people – who care more about using our brains to get us places. We care about people respecting us for our intelligence and personalities, not sexual appeal.

I would like to round this piece up by quoting a man I once worked with, just as a demonstration to how much we have regressed:

Upon looking up a woman at a rival company who had gone from Associate to Vice President in the space of year, he said: “She must have sucked a lot of cock to get there.”

To say this man is a chauvinistic, arrogant pig is obvious, but I fear that the men and particularly women in the music industry are setting a precedence and demonstrating that women have next to no value, and cannot do anything in life without the help of their bodies. That the only way they can have a successful career, make money or sell records is by exposing themselves for the gratification of fickle men who are too dumb to appreciate real talent and intellect, and only care about what a woman looks like, how big her breasts are, what she would be like in bed.

But this is simply not true. Adele is where she is because she is a sensational singer, song writer and altogether savvy businesswoman. The aforementioned woman who shot to Vice President got to where she is because she is clever, and worked her ass off as much as any man ever has. These are just a couple in millions of women who have proved that sex appeal means nothing and that the days are numbered for the women who are selling their bodies for the sake of their music - because they are boring and have nothing substantial to offer to the world, and they know it.

We need to go back to the days when it was the music, the lyrics and the voice that truly mattered and we need to go back there soon, before the next generation of girls are taught to believe that they are only worth what they can offer sexually, when really it’s our brains that make us truly beautiful.

Yours truly,

M

'Fallen in Love: The Secret Heart of Anne Boleyn' - What I said....

Author: Mel Brownlee /






Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting the Tower of London on a truly memorable day of the year - the anniversary of the execution of Queen Anne Boleyn. Anyone who knows me, or has the misfortune of reading my many posts on Facebook, knows that I am a very big Tudor history and in particular, Anne Boleyn fan, so for me, the chance to go to the Tower on the day of her death, 477 years later, was sensational. And to add to that, in the New Armouries banqueting hall was a 2-person play on the lady herself.

This play is by a lesser known theatre company called The Red Rose Chain and is titled 'Fallen in Love: The Secret Heart of Anne Boleyn'. I had been looking forward to this play with much anticipation but I was also anxious. As the play only depicted Anne and her brother George, Lord Rochford, I was a little nervous about the actors. I have watched many films, TV programs and documentaries and can only recall ever watching 2 actresses that I truly thought captured Anne in all of her charisma and glory - Natalie Dormer of The Tudors and Geneviève Bujold of Anne of the Thousand Days.

Neither may have looked very much like her, in fact when I first saw Natalie Dormer and saw her intense blue eyes I immediately wondered why on earth they had cast her for the part of Anne whose infamous brown "almost black" eyes were what made her extremely appealing to men, especially the King, despite her being "not one of the most handsomest women in the world". But she soon proved herself worthy of playing such a woman and immediately set the bar very high for that role. It also goes a long way that Natalie Dormer was already very passionate about Anne Boleyn and she endeavoured to not only act her as true to character as she could but also to insist that the script writers ceased in portraying her as a calculating and ruthless vixen, but as a woman who was just a pawn in the games and advancement of men. Bujold possessed a lot more je ne sais quoi than Dormer in the sense that she was a Frenchwoman and immediately had the accent of Anne down pat. As Anne grew up in the French court, she spoke fluent French and is said to have had quite a thick French accent, blended with her English accent, which also added to her allure and sex appeal. She was witty, temperate but whilst she may have had the same air about her as Dormer's Anne, she also portrayed her as having been a very cold and hard woman in her early courtship of Henry VIII.

Dormer showed Anne to be clever and level headed but she also showed a side to Anne that is often swept under the carpet - her love for the King. It's not hard to act as though you are falling in love with Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Henry VIII in The Tudors) but we had never seen Anne like this before, and many people think of her as an ambitious, ruthless woman who had no love for the king and above all else desired the be queen. For me, it was refreshing to see Anne as a human, as a woman, and that she was in fact susceptible to the charm of a king who, for his time, was extremely good looking and quite a catch. Bujold's Anne was the very opposite, only ever showing contempt for Henry and only ever admitting that she loved him after years of frustrating courtship. Both portrayals of Anne were excellent, but Natalie Dormer's has always been my favourite as it showed Anne in many different lights in such a way that the viewer really felt like they could relate to her.

So, going into the play I had high expectations of the girl who would play Anne - but not high hopes. The scene was set around an old four-poster bed and started off with George Boleyn laying down, reciting a song to himself. After about 15 minutes I found that I was pleasantly surprised. Not only that, but I was laughing in almost every scene - both actors were enormously talented and very humorous indeed.

I had never developed much of an opinion of George Boleyn and reports of him are quite contradicting. Some say he was a closet homosexual (The Tudors heavily implies this), others say he was a great womaniser but all reports point to him being as ambitious as his father and uncles, the Duke of Norfolk, but not quite as callous. He did, however, have a very close and loving relationship with Anne - which later gave credence to the charges fabricated by Master Secretary, Thomas Cromwell, when he "thought up and plotted the death of the concubine" - and was often in her bedchambers and a rock for Anne during hard times, and there were many of those.

Given that I was unsure of how I felt about George, I was not sure what to expect from him in the play but I have to say that the actor they cast as him did a fantastic job. He was extremely funny, charismatic and seemed to have a lot more of a conscience and moral compass than his sister in the play - and most of the members of the Boleyn faction. His impressions of King Henry VIII are of particular note as you can only imagine the fun he must have made of the tyrannical, irrational and arrogant King during his sisters courtship and marriage to him. It was highly amusing to say the least.

As for Anne, the actress who played her was delightful but I did feel that she overacted quite a lot throughout the play, as though playing Anne did not come naturally to her. She seemed to put on a very deep, strong and masculine voice which made me wonder if she was trying her hardest to mimic Natalie Dormers Anne as she had quite the same manner of speaking. The play also showed her to be very hard-hearted, very cruel and very calculating which I did not appreciate at all. But other than that she was very good, also extremely amusing and it seemed like she had a passion for her role which is always nice - unlike Natalie Portman whose lack of wit, charisma and understanding of her character was one of the many great fails of The Other Boleyn Girl.

As much as I enjoyed the play and feel like it was £27 very well spent, I cannot help but agree with many critics when it comes to the incestuous undertone of the performance.

Anne and George died under trumped up charges of adultery and incest. Anne was accused of "inciting her own natural brother to violate her" and records of the trial state that she had "tempted her brother with her tongue in the said George's mouth and the said George's tongue in hers." They both suffered the highest price for these allegations and were put to death for treason and incest. Since this particular charge is so sensitive in Anne Boleyn's case - as recognised by her in her execution speech when she pleaded that "if any person will meddle of my cause, I require them to judge it the best" - many, many years have been spent trying to clear her name, and Lord Rochford's.

What we know of Anne and her brother is that they were very close, as many brothers and sisters have been and are, and that there was nothing untoward about their behaviour. They had loved and supported each other their whole lives, through unhappy marriage matches, to courting the King of England, to the miscarriages of the Queens - in a family of ambitious and ruthless adults, they only had one another. Neither of them, but especially Anne, wanted to go the way of their sister, Mary and they clung to each other throughout their trials and their celebrations. They were family after all. All of this would have gone unnoticed had it not been for the hatred both Thomas Cromwell was harbouring for the queen and for the resentment Lady Rochford (Jane Parker, George's wife) had for her husband.

Anne had always been a religious woman; she had, after all, brought about the reformation that has made our country what it is today. She may have turned her back on the corrupt doctrines of papal authority, but she never turned her back on God and held a steadfast faith until the day she died. Cromwell, who Anne had once described as "my man", was a Lutheran and a secret heretic. For quite some time he was able to help and advance Anne's cause and the "great matter" of the King - his annulment to Katherine of Aragon. But after her marriage to the King, Anne had started to resent how Cromwell, who now held a great deal of power at court, was destroying all of the monasteries and abbeys, transferring their wealth and riches straight into the Privy Purse. This would have only benefited Anne and added to her own wealth, but she was a woman of faith and did not believe that this was the correct way to use the money of the churches.

She wanted the riches to be distributed to the poor and to charities and because of their conflicting interests, she and Cromwell came to blows many times with Anne even threatening to have his head cut off. She was known to be an ill-tempered and fiery woman whose influence over the King was so great that even a man of Cromwell's power could be reduced to the scaffold had she wished it. Cromwell would have watched what had happened to Thomas More, a very close and beloved friend of the Kings who was executed for refusing the acknowledge Henry as the Supreme Head of the Church of England. Even More was not safe from Anne's overwhelming hold over the King and Cromwell knew that, even though Henry's love for his wife had waned due to her inability to provide him with a male heir, she still held a considerable amount of power over him and not even he "dared to question her".

Knowing all of this, and fearing for his own life, Thomas Cromwell got to work on bringing down his onetime ally. He was helped in his cause by the Lady Rochford who had become insanely jealous of the relationship between her husband and the queen. This was the perfect time for Cromwell to strike. Charges of adultery would be bad enough by themselves but a charge of incest would seal Anne's fate and prevent her from ever being able to regain her power over the King and destroy the Master Secretary.

Since we are all very aware of how malicious and and fallacious the charges against Anne and her brother were, I would have sincerely hoped that the Fallen in Love would err on the side of caution when depicting the two of them together. However, it did not. The sexual tension and chemistry was there from the start. The flirting was always very suspicious and quite often the pair would kiss on the lips. This was quite a common practice for siblings in the middle ages, but in this particular instance, the kisses were far too passionate, far too lingering and did not give help to Anne's cause at all. Unfortunately, as good as the play was, that left a rather bitter taste in my mouth and I couldn't help but feel like the director had let Anne down a little.

So, despite the very obvious incestuous undertones of the play, and the regular misplaced historical quote, I most heartily recommend unto you all this production and ask anyone who has a passion for Anne Boleyn, the Tudors, or just history in general to please go to see it – it is very worth it and certainly was a great way to commemorate the day of her execution and to remember such an amazing, courageous and strong woman who will never be forgotten.






M.


In The End: Anna Bolina, Part II

Author: Mel Brownlee /

A little story I have been working on about Anne Boleyn, her last days in the Tower and what I would like to imagine happened...

Enjoy,

M





I wondered now, how life was dealing with my Father. Uncle would not be the slightest phased by his, what had proved to be through speculation, troublesome niece, but Father had already lost Mary after forcing her in and out of the Kings bed, and now it seemed he could be losing another child. He always had George, but my brother showed more of a talent for winning over the ladies of court rather than the King and other men of noble birth and importance.

I had not heard word from any one of my family, for the first time in my life it seemed I had been spared their judgement and harsh words. Though now, under so much disgrace and worry, I never so much longed for the embrace of my brother and a few small, comforting words and perhaps a little humour to lighten these most dire of times.
It was around this time that a knock on the door broke my thoughts and forced me to push my pitiful letter to one side. One of my ladies stepped in accompanied by a guard, he spoke, "Another maid for your services, m'Lady."

"Your Majesty." I was quick to correct him and in no hurry to forsake my place and position.
He bowed ever so slightly, as if he were not bowing at all and took his leave of us.
I turned to the new lady that had been given unto me, "Speak, Kate, tell me all what you know, spare no details but please tell me you bare good news for your Queen."

"Ma'am, I wish for nothing more than to put your mind at ease and to bring forth good news, but I'm afraid the situation at present has much worsened."
"What is it? What have they said now?" I pleaded, surely, just surely it could get no worse than being locked in the Tower under charges of treason and adultery.
"It's George, your brother. He has been arrested." Kate looked to the floor in despair.
"Whatever for? What could George possibly have done wrong in all of this?"
"They say, you and Lord Rochford had an improper relationship, and that you touched each other, unnaturally, in such a way that you did so commit incest with each other and often had incestuous relations with one another, even, one occasion, after your Majesty's great loss of his Majesty's child so that you may conceive in secret your brothers own son."

I could not help but drop to floor, "Oh God help me, dear God deliver me from this. God, God, God, help me."

Kate ran to me and knelt down at my side. I looked up to meet her large, hazel eyes, full of sorrow for me, knowing that now there certainly was no hope.

"Your Majesty," she spoke softly, "you must stay calm, you must keep your most admirable dignity."
"What will become of George?"
"He has been found guilty, Ma'am, he is to be executed at dawn."

I began to weep, "My dear, sweet brother, even if the axe did not claim him, the very thought of actually committing the crimes he has been thus charged with would cause him to perish. My poor brother, how I have failed him. It is incredulous to me that any respectable man could believe such lies, such loosely based stories, no one could ever confirm them to be true and lay down any sort of evidence against us. How can this be happening, Kate?"

"It was the Lady Rochford."
"That snake of a girl? What could she possibly have to do with all of this apart from being the unfortunate widow of my beloved brother?"
"She was the eye-witness, she told Cromwell she saw the two of you, in bed, touching one another and - "
"That's enough, I cannot bare to hear anymore. Jane Parker ought to hope that my brother and I do not somehow get pardoned, it will be her head on a stick before she even has the chance to beg for our forgiveness."

I could not fathom it, I so wanted to fall asleep, hoping that I would wake up in the Kings arms with the rest of our lives ahead of us. Me, the Queen, unchallenged for Henry's affections and Elizabeth, surrounded by her brothers and all the love in the world.

“Your Majesty,” Kate implored after quite some time had passed in silence, “what will you do?”

I fixed my gaze on her but didn’t see her; I did not see a thing, “What can be done? I can write to the King, but I cannot see what good that will do me. I fear things are already too far gone.”

“Would you like a confessor?”

She did not ask me in a way as to say that I had to confess my sins, confess the crimes I had been charged with, but to say that it might be one small thing left that may help my cause or, failing that, put my mind and my conscience at ease.

“I think that may be my last hope, Kate. Fetch Cranmer, make haste and make clear the urgent nature of my matter.”

One hour later, still having not finished my letter to Henry, Archbishop Cranmer arrived at my cell, carrying with him nothing but a morbid expression and eyes full of sorrow.

Before I even had the chance to stand, he was at my feet.

“My Lady, my good and gracious Lady. How is it that you do?”
“Considering my situation, I am quite well. Never before have I so longed for sleep, to sleep eternally, even.”
“Oh,” he sighed heavily, “do not say such things, to see you so defeated is a thing that breaks my heart.”
“It should not! Besides, I am in no way defeated, I am just tired – the end is in sight and it comes as a relief to me. Please do not fear for me, or ache for me for I do not fear for myself.”

He nodded gingerly, “Yes my child. Now, tell me all you have to say. Spare nothing.”

“I shall not”.

I let him take a seat next to me and he started at me intently.

“I must confess that not only did I fail to commit the crimes I have been unlawfully charged with in deed but also in thought. My eyes never touched another man, nor did my hands and sir, I most ardently must tell you that I never had relations with my brother, George. My supposed sins are so disgusting and vile to me that you must know I would never even think such things, let alone do them.
The pain I feel at my brothers’ imminent execution is such that I cannot speak of. He is an innocent man and I an innocent woman. The love I bear for his Majesty is so great that no other man exists in my eyes; he is the moon and the sun, the sunrise and sunset. I cannot express enough the ways in which I love him and that I would never betray him or forsake his princely love.
But it is my understanding that I am to die because of such misgivings and in truth, I am willing to accept this as my fate.”

My Chaplin already had tears in his eyes, but he knew as well as I that now was no time for weeping.

“My lady,” he began, “is there anything else you wish to say?”
“Yes, I want you to tell the King that he knows the truth and my blood is on his hands, my death hangs over his head. I am his wife and no other and he should be in no hurry to forget this.”

He nodded, “I shall do my best to get this message to his Majesty.”

“No, you must. Whether it is before my death or not, you must tell him what I have said.”
“Ma’am, how are you so certain that you will die? You doubt the Kings good graces and mercy.”
“I do not doubt the Kings mercy, I just know Henry. He knows there is no other way to lawfully leave me and marry another, to which he would hope to father sons with, and that is what is most important to him. After years of knowing and loving the King, all I have learnt is that a Queen must keep quiet and endure, she must never question the King and above all, she must provide a male heir. I have not done any these things and so I fear mercy is not a quality Henry will bear towards me now.”
“Very well, I shall take my leave of you now, having heard your final and most honest confession and will pass on your message to his Majesty.”

He took my hand, gently pressing his cold lips against it, “God bless you, Anne.”

As he reached the door to leave, I called to him, “Do you think it will hurt?” Holding my neck, I needn’t have said what I was referring to.

“I think not, Ma’am, it will all be over very quickly.” He tried to smile but I could see in his eyes he was forcing it, after all, there was not much to smile about and he was not one for pretending.

I bowed my head and he left. I watched him walk down the hall through the bars in the door, knowing that this was the last I would see of him, thinking maybe I should have said more, or perhaps less?

That night I had a mind to finish off my letter, but exhaustion crept over me and I lay in my bed, hoping that when I woke things would be as there were, but, being no fool, I did not keep my hopes up for long.

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