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The British Library

Euston Road, London

The British Library (BL) is the national library of the United Kingdom. It is based on London’s Euston Road, and is one of the world's most significant research libraries, holding over 150 million items in all known languages and formats; books, journals, newspapers, magazines, sound and music recordings, patents, databases, maps, stamps, prints, drawings and much more. It is one of the largest collection in the world. The Library's collections include around 25 million books, along with a substantial additional collection of manuscripts and historical items dating back as far as 300 BC.

The British Library. Photo courtesy of Jim Linwood (Flickr)

Which key events feature the British Library in the book?

Spring, 2009:

  • The modern day Anne travels from Greenwich to the British Library to see an exhibition about Henry VIII. It is 500 years since the King’s accession to the English throne and the exhibition has just been opened to commemorate the occasion. Anne cannot resist being close to artefacts that she has now come to know directly from her first sojourn into Tudor England and Henry’s court.
  • On the journey there, she begins to experience strange phenomena, which unbeknownst to her, heralds the onset of the next time slip; a time slip which will draw her back into the 16th century for the second time. In the meantime, she receives a shocking text from Dan saying that he is finally, after 7 years, leaving his wife. With the backdrop of her illness influencing events, the shock causes Anne to lose consciousness, and she enters her heroine’s glittering and dangerous world, once more to find herself at the pinnacle of Anne’s power.

Anne Boleyn’s Book of Hours. Under the image of the Flayed Christ, Henry has written to Anne, ‘‘If you remember my love in your prayers as strongly as I adore you, I shall hardly be forgotten, for I am yours. Henry R. forever.’

The real events in history:

  • The British Library did hold an exhibition to celebrate the 500 years since Henry VIII’s accession to the English throne, called ‘Henry VIII: Man and Monarch’. However, all the other events surrounding this chapter are, of course, fictional.

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