Series: The Tudor Court #2
Published by Touchstone on May 21, 2003
Genres: Historical Fiction
Two sisters competing for the greatest prize: The love of a king
When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of Henry VIII. Dazzled, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realises just how much she is a pawn in her family's ambitious plots as the king's interest begins to wane and she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister, Anne. Then Mary knows that she must defy her family and her king and take fate into her own hands.
A rich and compelling novel of love, sex, ambition, and intrigue, The Other Boleyn Girl introduces a woman of extraordinary determination and desire who lived at the heart of the most exciting and glamourous court in Europe and survived by following her heart.
Like Elizabeth Taylor’s husbands, a percentage of people can rattle off most of Henry VIII wives and like Richard Burton, Anne Boleyn is always among them. But what of her sister Mary, the King’s first choice, the other Boleyn girl?
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory writes like an autobiography. Through the eyes of an innocent girl who is played like a pawn and does what she is told. Mary comes to court when she is just 14 and very naive of the ways of the world. Soon after her appearance at court she catches the eye of the King and the Boleyn family pounces on the chance to raise their fortunes. We shadow Mary into the royal bedroom both as his lover and then as the sister-in-law and learn of the conniving, backstabbing that takes place behind the curtain. It is the soap opera of the 1500s.
Impressions While Reading
Phillipa Gregory’s work of historical fiction is soaked in detail as rich as the dresses Mary wore herself, from the descriptions of dress and scenery to the period itself. The magic about this book is that the reader knows going in that Anne will die (he still has 5 more to go) but the question is how? Yet somehow, despite this fact the author still has the reader hanging on every word.
Knowing nothing about the Tudors (or almost nothing) this book was very interesting to me and made me want to dig a little deeper into that period of time; that is one thing about historical fiction, if the story is good enough I want to learn more on the subject, separate fact from fiction so to speak. The Other Boleyn Girl kept me up late at night (10:01) and would highly recommend it.