The events which led to the execution of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII?'s second queen, in 1536 have traditionally been explained by historians in terms of a factional conspiracy masterminded by Henry?'s minister Thomas Cromwell. Retha Warnicke?'s fascinating and controversial reinterpretation focuses instead on the sexual intrigues and family politics pervading the court, offering a new explanation of Anne?'s fall. The picture which emerges - placing Anne?'s life in the context of social and religious values, and superstitions about witches and the birth of deformed children - changes our perception of her role within the court, and suggests that her execution (occurring only four months after a miscarriage) was the tragic consequence of Henry?'s profound concern about the continuation of the Tudor dynasty.