Week 5: Textual Analytics 1

Despite specialising in the reign of Henry VIII during my final undergraduate year, I never found Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII’s relationship particularly interesting. Or at least that was the case until last week when I used Voyant to analyse Henry VIII’s letters to Anne Boleyn.

“Voyant Tools is a web-based reading and analysis environment for digital texts” according to the website’s tagline. During our seminar, we were asked to bring a plain text source to analyse using Volant. I chose the letters to Anne Boleyn as they were an easily accessible plain text source.

I have to admit I didn’t expect to find anything new even with digital analysis. However, the patterns of “servant”, “mistress” and “God” did not follow the patterns I was expecting. So I’m going to continue exploring these patterns and matching them up with the chronology of Anne and Henry’s relationship. If nothing else, it is a chance to discover a new aspect of a period I find fascinating.



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