The Anne Boleyn's Book is justly considered one of the most beautiful books of Renaissance music in France. Beautifully written, it was made in 1540 and contains 42 sacred motets by some of Europe’s most famous composers.
As the title suggests, at one point the book was owned by Anne Boleyn's, a controversial figure of English history. Furthermore, it would appear that the manuscript contains the authentic signature of Anne Boleyn.
An inscription in an early sixteenth-century English hand reads M[ist]res A Bolleyene Nowe thus. She is referred to as “mistress” indicating that the inscription was certainly made before she became queen in 1533.
Anne may have acquired it while serving as a maid of honour in the household of Margaret of Austria, with whom she moved to live at the French court when Margaret married Louis XII.
Part of the collection of the Royal College of Music since its foundation in 1883, the manuscript has recently been disassembled, restored, and rebound, allowing far-reaching new research to be carried out.