Book: The Other Boleyn Girl

I am determined to kickstart my reading this week.  I was thinking of reading one of the Philippa Gregory series.  I read a few of them some years ago.  Wrote a review of The Other Boleyn Girl (2009-04-17).  I may reread this book (or maybe go chronological). 

Here is my old review:

Wikipedia:  The Other Boleyn Girl

The Other Boleyn Girl is a historical fiction novel written by British author Philippa Gregory, based on the life of 16th-century aristocrat Mary Boleyn. Reviews were mixed; some said it was a brilliantly claustrophobic look at palace life in Tudor England, while others weren’t convinced. Even so, it has enjoyed phenomenal success and popularity since its publication in 2002 and has spawned five sequels”

This is the story of Anne Boleyn as told through the eyes of Mary Boleyn, Anne’s sister.  The story shows the brutal, cutthroat plotting of the Boleyn/Howard family (well, the men of the family), who attempt to achieve great power in the court of Henry VIII.

We learn of the origins of an English divorce, as Henry VIII was determined to have one from his queen, Catherine, in an attempt to marry Anne and have a son, an heir to his throne (that didn’t go so well for him).  We also learn of the formation of the Church of England, which was formed by Henry when the Church of Rome refused to acknowledge his marriage to Catherine was null and void.  We see Henry VIII as an ego-maniacal tyrant who always gets his way even if it means casting aside (or beheading) those who stood with him throughout his life.  But more so, we also see how a man of such great power could be manipulated by those in his court through gifts, none greater than the whoring out of one’s own daughter in an attempt to gain favor.

There is a back and forth by critics about the historical accuracy of the book.  However, it is noted as historical FICTION.  Which generally means time lines and names are close to accurate but there will be fluffed to make it entertainment worthy.

I enjoyed the book.  It led me to look up actual facts regarding the people involved and to figure out what was history and what was fiction.  I will be reading the other books written by Philippa Gregory (there are five others involving the various women of those times).  I find that they may be interesting and I might actually learn something….

Read it, let me know what you think.


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