“My interest in Queen ann Boleyn was an initial aroused in 1917 once I to be a missionary in China,” to write Canon Pakenham-Walsh, explaining the he began with few of the background books in the expatriate library in Foochow. He returned to the uk in 1920 and, like many subsequent devotees the Anne’s, then saw the Tower of London and Hever Castle, make the efforts to pick up part feeling of she which had actually been left behind. In 1921 his sister introduced him come one mrs Clegg, a woman who claimed to it is in a tool (she was inspired to start using she gift after ~ a vision she received during the 1914-18 war: “I desire you to usage your great gift to comfort those who space in sorrow,” God told her, and the Canon assures united state that she, as an earnest Christian, would not lie around this). Throughout the next fifteen years, Pakenham-Walsh would consult through one tool after another, trying to make call with ann Boleyn and the world in she circle. The methods used were miscellaneous – visions, crystal-gazing, automatic writing, channeling voices – but the mediums in concern (one the whom, the well known Hester Dowden, would later on affirm 2 different civilization as the “real” Shakespeare) were invariably defined as ethical Christian women who knew naught of his find – the crystal gazer, because that example, to be “a clergyman’s daughter but in the great distress the the times to be obliged to seek a livelihood .” The mediums’ full ignorance may, perhaps, be doubted. However, the resulting write-up, v its mixture of artless narrative, opaque notes from séances, grim “original” poetry created by Anne, and unintentionally humourous glimpses of the Canon’s family, is surprisingly revelatory – not of the true anne Boleyn, but of what one guy at the very least wanted and also wished she to be throughout the te of the 1920s. For that reason, I want to encompass it, although the Canon would have actually protested against its being categorized through works the fiction.

Not surprisingly, due to the fact that the seances are carried out over the food of a number of years and are carried out by different people, there’s no plot to speak of, more a series of hike conversations through a propensity to take sudden and also mysterious turns (not aided by the reality that the “controls”, who have actually names prefer Narda, White Hawk, and of food Mrs Dowden’s Johannes, often tend to have a poor command the English). At first, Pakenham-Walsh desires to speak just with Anne, but as time go on the receives visits from Henry, Catherine of Aragon (described, oddly because that an Anglican clergyman, together Henry’s “true wife” and still very anxious because that his spiritual welfare), Elizabeth, Lady jane Grey, and George and also Jane Boleyn. Later on, Anne gives him a hint that the word “Send” is somehow connected with part of she life; after lot searching, he eventually unearths a little village called Send at which she might have remained at one allude while travelling; if visiting the manor there, the clairvoyante he has actually with that sees mar Boleyn, making indicators that anne was imprisoned there after she last miscarriage.

I won’t offer a complete inventory of the “revelations” due to the fact that it would be dull and also repetitive; most of the shades the the departed are really coy around giving information, and the transcripts deserve to be depressing reading. A sample from the an initial session through Mrs Clegg runs thus:

P.W. “Could she phone call me anything about her brother; could she offer me his name?”

C. “I capture the name William.”

P.W. “No.”

C. “Robert.”

P.W. “No.”

C. “Henry.”

P.W. “No, i don’t think so.” i though this was just guessing. Then in a very solid voice “George.”

P.W. “Yes, it was George.” George to be the just brother i had ever before heard of. “Can she call me anything about her daughter?”

C. “I acquire the concepts of art and literature.”

P.W. “Yes, perhaps so, she had to do with art and also literature.”

C. “I am travelling now over the sea; there room deep jungles; thick forests and also jungles; I have to imagine I have to be in India.”

P.W. No, her daughter never talked about the sea, however she was connected with those that did walk over the sea and went into jungles.”

C. “Perhaps the is it. Currently she is looking down from a good height top top a huge expanse that water; ns don’t seem to catch it very well.”

Later sessions develop slightly much more satisfactory results. We discover that ann is a guardian point of view for those wrongfully condemned, for youngsters (including Pakenham-Walsh’s own daughter, who passed away as a baby and whom anne brings come visit), and, as it transforms out, Pakenham-Walsh self – they have actually an “affinity that spirit” i beg your pardon prompts she to choose him her “champion,” someone who deserve to combat the lies told about her. Henry VIII, we learn, has remained in a dark place, tormented by awful dreams, separated indigenous his son, however Catherine that Aragon’s soul is do the efforts to guide him to acknowledge his crimes and also reconcile with the other spirits. Henry VIII’s an initial appearance is, incidentally, by much the most amazing of the sessions – probably since it took location under the auspices of grandm Dowden. Henry comes out swinging and also starts violation the assembled company – “I shall no listen come you.

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You space a fool. I would have had actually you enforcement in my time … A look from me would have actually withered friend up; if I had only eye I can make friend feel.” Their concerns dry up and also they end up being defensive; on being implored come look because that Anne, Henry answers “I laid mine head on she lap once it ached and also I sought her in mine vexations …. Yet she whined. How could a King bear with a puling, whey-faced creature that wept and wept?” at the finish he storms out, after being asked come pray: “I will certainly make mine orisons away from here. I will not pray here. A King prays alone.”

Good dramatic stuff, and also of food an irritated King is no going to want to provide answers to a most questions around trivia. Later on, v the auspices of Catherine and Anne, Henry move to a “sphere” the meditation and prayer, and finally meets up with shade the his boy Edward and also reconciles v Jane Seymour, against whom he organized a vague and unexplained grudge. Number of years later, he’s loosened as much as the extent that he deserve to commend Pakenham-Walsh top top his taste in films: “I to be thankful that thou didst not see me in that wretched picture,” he claims of The exclusive Life the Henry VIII, including that “Foul we may have remained in my job … but how much better are those now who gloat over the excesses, the sensualities and drunken orgies the a bygone day. Methinks thy boasted civilisation on foot no cause to vaunt itself, who didst quiet send soon thy sons to the slaughter, come a greater bloodshed than ever before stained the annals of my reign.” The an initial World War cast a long shadow.

We discover some interesting brand-new facts around other world as well: Lady Rochford appears, full of remorse, gives her account that her treason of George: when she had a child, George had declared that the was no his, as soon as in fact it was. She anger in ~ his suspicions motivated her come betray him. “Yes, yes, it to be his child, oh, oh, oh!” claims her spirit, and also later, urged by Pakenham-Walsh, she seeks out George’s spirit and also reconciles with him. (Of the child, other than gift told “it lived” no an ext is heard). She’s less forthcoming as soon as asked what she Christian name was: “I have actually soiled and also polluted mine name. I have dragged that in the dust,” she says, yet doesn’t desire to say an ext than that. Later, an additional medium will offer her name as Frances Vere – Pakenham-Walsh, oddly, sees nothing contradictory about this. (I was puzzled, however, since one book he mentions reading – Francis Hackett’s Queen ann Boleyn offers Lady Rochford’s name plainly as jane Parker. Of course, if he didn’t control to check out that far, I could hardly reprimand him). Us learn ultimately that Lady Rochford has actually been spiritually purified and is currently helping the soul of dead children.

Anne it s her is revealed together a poet, in the form of two poems dictated to two various women via automatic writing. They are long and painfully unskilled.

Ah! sore is me – pent up in ~ this sullen Tower;Bereft of love, the hope, and soon bereft of life itself;Though the were scarcely hardship – come escape native this!This death in life, this hourly drawn out agony that terrorStill come come. Yet ’tis not countless hours because I did hearThe rusty bars withdrawn, and also saw the heavy doorOf mine imprisonment flung wide, however not, alas, because that me!But to recognize the entry of part dour faced men,Governor, Janitor, that courtiers the His Majesty’s.Within castle filed, so numerous men, so plenty of swords,So many frowning looks, to challenge one poor weak woman child,And as soon as their Queen.

We see little of mary Boleyn, except to hear that she had actually a falling-out through Anne in life but they have actually been reconciled in death, but we do learn that she is firmly resident in the afterlife and no on earth. Before attending another séance, Pakenham-Walsh notifies us:

A book had simply been released which proclaimed that mary Boleyn, the sister of the Lady Anne, to be at the current time reincarnated in the lady who wrote the book. It seemed strange that I must not have actually heard such a remarkable reality if it was true, and also I knew the if I could speak come the Lady anne she would understand one means or the other.

Anne’s an answer is in the negative: “How can Mary be incarnate in a human body of flesh, when she is currently with me in spirit?” It’s pretty to view that logic isn’t entirely missing from the following world. For myself, what i really desire to understand is, what was the title of that book? Looking online all ns can find is this Tumblr site from a more modern-day reincarnation of mar Boleyn.

Intertwined throughout the publication are explanation of Pakenham-Walsh’s very own family and also their good-natured reaction to the revelations of his seances. In ~ one point, once Queen Elizabeth has bidden him tell his mam Maud the “Had ns been as good a woman together she, I had been a much better queen” his son Herbert replies, “Dad, ns should have actually told Queen Elizabeth it was stale news.” previously on, Pakenham-Walsh and Maud finished up rejecting the market of Lady woman Grey and Anne Boleyn to be guardian angels to your (living) daughter. “My wife and also I speak this over an extremely carefully, and we both felt the it was too major a duty to take. The totality question the Guardian Angelship is one around which we understand so little.”

More poignantly, world whom that knew in life likewise turn up; I recognize that in these sections I ended up being somewhat angry at the mediums. Speaking because that the long-dead anne Boleyn was one thing, however speaking because that his “little daughter Helen, who passed away in China aged just 3 months” was another thing entirely. In a strange, recursive series of events, his eldest boy Willy accompanies him come one séance, hear to ann for a while and also then chatting v the heart of his former headmaster – “Jolly great I speak to it Sir.” we learn later on that Willy “entered the Colonial business in Fiji and was act brilliantly once he was stung in the neck by a hornet and died in ~ a few days of in march 26th, 1932, aged 28.” A couple of years later, Willy reappears as a spirit, albeit the has tiny to say except to comment on the splendid garments worn by his fellow shades. By the time the seances wind down, Pakenham-Walsh is convinced that he has the true story of anne at last, and also has to be commanded through Henry VIII himself to write a play based on the true occasions of their lives. The did write a play – you don’t lightly disregard an order from Henry VIII – but I have not to be able to discover if that was ever published, or if it still exists.

SEX OR POLITICS? Not lot of either because it’s all being associated posthumously. The human being are either wandering in post-mortem darkness or trying to help others.

WHEN BORN? not stated.

THE early on LOVE: Pakenham-Walsh in ~ one allude reminds Henry (speaking with the medium Mrs. Clegg) of exactly how he had compelled Percy to offer Anne increase “thereby damaging two stays … Is there not anything to it is in ashamed of or sorry because that in every that?” Henry’s solution is that “Part of me seems to be sorry and component of me seems not come care.” However, after much prayer on Pakenham Walsh’s end and intercession through the soul of Catherine that Aragon, anne Boleyn, woman Grey, and also Elizabeth I, Henry is brought to confess the he “had wronged Percy.” Percy self does not make one appearance, and also Anne mentions him just in passing.

THE QUEEN’S BEES: Lady Rochford is only one that gets much attention, and also she tells she story that falsely accusing George because he had actually falsely accused her of cheating on him. (Jealousy of anne is not stated as a factor). Mar Wyatt shows up a couple of times, most notably providing to bless the organ which Pakenham-Walsh’s church had actually just ordered: “I will certainly make sweet music.” jane Seymour appears once or twice “shrouded in grey,” yet never speaks.

THE FAITHFUL SERVITOR: Danahan, a maid who had actually been v Anne at Hever due to the fact that childhood, and also who, knowing just how untrue the accusations were, was eliminated by thomas Boleyn — he had actually her tossed into a rock pit and also battered come death. (Thomas to be afraid that she would speak out and endanger his own safety). Anne describes her together “done to fatality for mine sake” and desires that world remember her. Simonette the governess is very briefly referenced but not during a séance – throughout Pakenham-Walsh’s visit come Hever that imagines hearing she voice on the lawn.

THE PROPHECY No modern one is mentioned. There is the agonizingly pass out message around “Send” i m sorry Pakenham-Walsh decides to his own satisfaction, if no the reader’s, must refer come a manor in which ann was imprisoned off the record.

IT’S A GIRL! we don’t get any type of description the Elizabeth’s birth, yet during the first contact with Henry VIII’s spirit, Henry claims of Elizabeth the “She to be nothing to me,” and on being told the she ended up being a good queen, claims “I walk not mean it from her mother’s child,” therefore we have the right to assume that he wasn’t thrilled.

DO YOU have actually SIX finger ON YOUR right HAND? When an initial asked this question, Anne decreases to answer, but many year later, in a séance being hosted by a friend of Pakenham-Walsh’s, “the Lady Anne” provides an appearance come tell the girlfriend “She wishes to add a item of proof – about one of her hands. 6 fingers she says.” Anne’s all at once appearance is mentioned several time by the various mediums – castle agree that she has either brown or hazel eyes, brown hair, and a “rose-leaf” complexion; lot fairer than the typical Anne portrayal, though comparable to the pink, fair ann of Anne Boleyn (1912).

FAMILY AFFAIRS: cutting board Boleyn is mentioned as appearing but we don’t get any kind of transcribed dialogue, simply his observation that his ambitions contributed to Anne’s death. In the coda, we find out that he had her maid stoned to death, so it doesn’t sound choose we were missing too much. George Boleyn shows up several times, speaking words of generic comfort (“Perfect love casteth the end fear”) and also showing some endearingly down-to-earth interests: together Lady Rochford says later on “I to be told the you have talked to my husband and that he takes an attention in the young men’s clubs that the parish … the seems an extremely strange to me.” mary Boleyn appears once, as soon as Pakenham-Walsh is touring an old house with a clairvoyante in the hopes of finding out whether it’s the vital to the puzzle left through Anne. Mar is described as having actually been distant from her sister throughout life (after her elopement through Stafford) but now reconciled.

DID SHE OR DIDN’T SHE? No, great lord, no.

WRITERS the THE violet PAGE: i think the quotations over will suffice.

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ERRATA: N/A

WORTH A READ? If you like golden e detective fiction, with its impossibly highminded yet sweetly monomaniacal Anglican vicars, well … imagine reading a book written by among them, only this one is obsessed through Anne Boleyn rather of change-ringing or cacti. The transcripts that the seances themselves are fairly tepid analysis – they present all too plainly what man Pearce-Higgins concedes in his introduction, the Pakenham-Walsh provided too much leading information, seized top top the vaguest statements as infallible confirmations, and also may have actually been overconfident in his assertions the none the the mediums had any idea what he was looking for. Everyone who can admire “The Lament Of ann Boleyn” to be deeply in thrall come his illusion. However, the Canon’s very own narrative voice is surprisingly endearing, and the glimpses that his family present us a set of human being who to be commendable in their good humour and patience (“Oh, I challenge say that will certainly wait,” states his wife at the Canon’s inquiry regarding whether Anne must be consulted around one of your children’s future career).

It would certainly be devilish to mock Pakenham-Walsh’s longing come speak with his dead children, and also impossible not to sympathize through his desire come speak v the dead of previous centuries. Anyone who has paged through the letters and also privy purse account of long-gone the aristocracy is trying, in their very own way, to hear what they have to say. The intended to write the genuine story of ann Boleyn, and in the he did no succeed; but he did, inadvertently, create a fascinating if somewhat sad duration piece.

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