BIOGRAPHICAL: But, one must consider what "pretty" was in the 16th century. Anne was the opposite of the pale, blonde-haired, blue-eyed image of beauty. She had dark, olive-colored skin, thick dark brown hair and dark brown eyes which often appeared black. Those large dark eyes were often singled out in descriptions of Anne. She clearly used them, and the fascination they aroused, to her advantage whenever possible. She was of average height, had small breasts and a long, elegant neck. The argument continues as to whether or not she really had an extra finger on her left hand.
BIOGRAPHICAL: After spending the years 1519 to 1521 at the French court, Anne returned to England and was courted by the heir to the earldom of Northumberland and by the king himself. Henry married Anne secretly in January 1533, some months before Thomas Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury, pronounced Henry's divorce from his first wife, Catherine of Aragón. Anne was crowned in June and in September gave birth to the future queen Elizabeth I.
On May 2, 1536, Anne was imprisoned in the Tower of London on charges of adultery with her brother, three gentlemen of the privy chamber, and a musician of the court and of conspiring with these men against the king's life. The four commoners were tried on May 12, and Anne and her brother on May 15; all were convicted of high treason. Whether Anne was guilty of these crimes has never been determined. It is known that Henry wanted to remarry. Anne's uncle, Thomas Howard, 3d duke of Norfolk, presided over the judges who condemned her to death. No record of the evidence remains. On May 17, the musician was hanged, and the other four beheaded. Two days later, Anne was also beheaded. King Henry was betrothed to Jane Seymour the next day.