even the Queen s themselves.
by their politically ambitious parents and family No one to be trusted by numerous devious characters Excellent book The thing you must realize about this book is that it is, first and foremost, a novel A novel based on actual historical events, yes, but still a work of fiction So for those that criticize it for its historical inaccuracy, your criticism is misplaced This is not a biography of Mary Boleyn or Anne Boleyn and it doesn t pretend to be.
I myself am a bit of a Tudor junkie and love reading both fiction and nonfiction about the family and the times, and I found this book a delight It had all the elements of a good story sex, love, violence, suspense, complicated characters, and comic relief My favorite character was George Boleyn, due to his wit, probably the funniest one in the story Catherine of Aragon I think was the most true to life.
My only complaints about the story historical inaccuracy aside, as I said above that doesn t have to be an issue here are that sometimes it sounds like a Harlequin romance novel, and also it s very slow moving But if you are willing to wait through the long beginning I think you will find yourself well rewarded.
A word of advice, though skip the movie It was dreadful.
Two Sisters Competing For The Greatest Prize The Love Of A KingWhen 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 HandsA 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 This was one of the first books I read by Philippa Gregory and out of order How could I do that to myself but in the end, you can read them out of order assuming you know the entire list of monarchs in order Informative book If you re a history buff, it will line up well and give you some things to dispute You ve probably never heard of The Other Boleyn Girl It s not very popular I think a movie got made out of it, but I doubt anyone watched it.
Those are the kind of lies, mistruths and distortions that one person can perpetuate when they don t check their facts or worse, intentionally distort the facts But on that later The Other Boleyn Girl is the story of Mary Boleyn, the could ve been queen courtier during King Henry VIII s tumultuous reign Little is known about Mary, other than that she was the sister of one of the most well known women in all of history This is a historical fiction writer s DREAM She is a malleable, yet important figure orbiting world changing events A crafty author can do a lot with just such a character.
Philippa Gregory decided to turn her into the tool of the Boleyns Mary is offered up by her parents and pushed ahead like a pawn by her ambitious uncle in the Boleyn Howard campaign for power She is assisted by her brother and sister, who later set her aside after the king s done with her, in order to put Anne on the throne Mary s portrait as painted by Gregory is a sympathetic one indeed.
Did Gregory charge her palette with true colors It s said that she likes to do historical research Me, I like historical fiction that s well researched I don t like it when a writer does a little research, latches on to something like an archaic term or whatever, and then proceeds to use that thing in their novel like it s going out of bloody style If I ever hear the word stomacher again, it ll be too damn soon Simply adding the occasional period piece decor and nothing does not make a good read in this genre.
I doubt that much historical accuracy was attended to in the making of this book There are notable inaccuracies I ll give you one Mary was not the baby of the family as Gregory asserts, but rather the eldest of the three siblings But we ve got to be honest with ourselves as readers Factual history must sometimes be set aside, because that s not what s important in this genre The Other Boleyn Girl isn t a textbook, it s a novel It s meant to entice and titillate Dramatic effect and setting the mood is important than getting it right Taken for what it is, this book excels At times, it s exciting and tense At times, it pulls at the heart There are moments when this is drama at its best.
However, taken as a whole, this is not Gregory s best work The occasionally amateurish writing made me think it was her first published work, but it s not I read something by her published ten years after this and her writing showed marked improvement, the nuggets from her historical research were inserted smoothly and everything felt a good deal tighter This mammoth book on the other hand feels ponderous At one point I thought to myself, I bet she wishes she could have a redo on this one, but that ain t gonna happen since everybody and their grandma has read it.
I love anything that has to do with English History and really am kinda fascinated by Henry VIII After reading so many good things on here and elsewhere about this book I was looking forward to it At about 100 pages into it I thought I really was enjoying it Too bad the book didn t end at page 200 Because I hated this book with a passion I don t even know where to start with it First you have the writing style which is written by Mary Boylen s POV Which is fine But every character in this book is one sided Mary hasn t a brain for herself, Henry is a lustfilled king that may be true , the Queen is soooooo smart but doesn t know what is going on And Anne Boleyn is this hateful person that makes the reader want to kill her before she even is sent to the axe There was also the same use of phrases over and over again You re just the other Bolyn Girl, we don t like you I am Queen , You are a whore it s almost like the author has a limited vocabulary and wanted us to know it Second thing I hated was that there wasn t one ounce of family love, or loyalty about anyone I know there is the family games going on in England, but not one guy thought about his daughter as anything then a piece of old meat That really really bothered me Third, this book had details about sex then porn I really wanted to hope the movie would be good and people have complained the movie is nothing like the book, which is obvious because if it was like the book it would be in the XXX section of the video stores Fourth, There were parts that focused on things that didn t matter 5 pages about a tennis tournament that made you say Why do I care about this It s like the author had a goal page amount and she was going to go above and beyond it Lastly, the topic of Homosexuality and incest Yes this is a theory out there about Anne but did the WHOLE book have to focus on it Anne s brother was this neck kissing, french kissing sister lover the whole entire book Anne was this girl that was always hot for her brother regardless of anything Great way to branch out there Overall I hated this book.
The Other Boleyn Girl was my last read of 2017 and also the biggest surprise This book has been sitting on my shelf for yearsso long that the spine is actually completely faded from sun damage For whatever reason I just assumed this would be a three star read, which is something I like to avoid at all costs I watched the movie on a plane ten years ago and even though I liked it I thought, well, there s no way the book is actually any good Obviously I m an idiot because it turned out to be one of four out of fifty count em, four of my 5 star reads this year.
I loved this from beginning to end This baby is 661 pages, okay, and I actually read the majority of it in one day My reading progress will tell you differently but that s only because I abandoned it after the first few chapters to read A Court of Mist and Fury.
I didn t really return to it until after Christmas, and then I read about 450 pages in one sitting while ingesting copious amount of alcohol and chocolate It s so bloody entertaining There is never a moment of tedium despite its length, and I constantly wanted to know what would happen next.
A lot of people appear to be unhappy with Anne being portrayed as the villain, but I wholeheartedly disagree with that I saw her as a protagonist of sorts a feminist gone mad She wanted so badly to be treated like a man, respected by men, and then eventually served by men She knew her sister Mary didn t have the guts, and she knew her father and uncle intended to use her for the rest of her life She nearly killed herself trying to obtain the crown, and within moments it was all ripped away from her, purely because she couldn t produce a male heir for the king and therefore, as a woman, she was useless I loved her character despite how brutal she could be She was selfish, certainly, but honestly so was everyone else I didn t think she was any ruthless than her uncle, her parents, or the King She was certainly clever though, and I found her fascinating After everything that s happened this year I found her refreshingly relatable there are a lot of people I d like to poison right about now On the other hand I thought it was brilliant to have the story narrated by Mary I preferred seeing Anne from Mary s eyes If anything it made me sympathetic towards Anne, the way Mary was, regardless of all that Anne put her through If you don t have a sister you ll probably never understand what it s like to love someone unconditionally even while you hate them passionately I would recommend this to all historical fiction lovers people who have had this on their TBR shelf for a long time It s guuuuud I technically finished this on January 1st but I had SO LITTLE LEFT it wouldn t make sense for me to include it in my 2018 reads Also my original 2017 reading goal was about 20 and I kept bumping it up so I really have completed it at least twice over now.
I got through 25 pages of this book and had enough I wrote down literally I had a pen and paper with me after the reading the first page or two so many historical inaccuracies that I thought my head would explode Then I checked out reviews on and realized the book would get much, much worse As strictly a novel, this might be a great book, and I do hope to pick it up again with the mind set that it is strictly fiction because I might be able to enjoy it then But as a book dealing with Mary and Anne and George Boleyn, it is awful Why did Philippa Gregory feel the need to use historical figures if she was just going to make up the story I might have enjoyed this book if it was two fictional sisters What s frustrating is that people think this book is historically accurate, and it doesn t come close I was a history major, and I ve read tons of non fiction books about Anne and Henry and the Tudors, and I hate it when people quote this book as fact which many, many people do By all means, if you want to read this book, do so, because it is wildly popular a lot of my friends love it and I m sorry if you hate this review , but PLEASE read a reputable non fiction book about these people as well or at least a better researched novel about them November 2010 Update I ve gotten through half this book and stand by what I wrote in 2008 I plan on finishing it, but at a later time.
Disclaimer Don t confuse this book with a biography of Mary Boleyn It s fiction all the way It s a good read when you remember that this is fiction and not a blow by blow account of historical events And because it is fiction, Gregory is able to play a little fast and loose with historical fact Mary was most likely the oldest Boleyn child, not the youngest as presented here She had also served the French kings court, just as Anne did, but was sent home in disgrace after tales of her promiscuity got out, including the fact that she was probably also that king s mistress She was probably not the young, inexperienced girl Gregory chooses to portray her as Gregory also depends heavily on Retha Warnicke s thesis that a homosexual ring surrounded Anne and included her brother George This has been widely discredited by historians, since both Anne and George were very religious, and George was also a renowned womanizer Otherwise, it was a decent book There were parts I thought went a little far, especially with Mary and George teaching Anne whore s tricks to woo the king without actually having sex with him Granted, activity like this may have happened, but I don t necessarily want to read about it I loved the love story between Mary and William Stafford, and would have liked to seen of the relationship between Anne and Henry, when they were younger, seemingly in love, and she was as much a partner and advisor in his affairs as king especially in religious thinking and such as any man at court Somehow though, this book has tarnished my romanticized concept of courtly behavior It s horrifying to consider that some of the political wrangling and the use of women as temptations, mistresses, and pawns to rise in society, titles, and the court probably happened, at least to some extent If this was the way life was in those days, I would hope that I was a commoner Because being in the court and used as someone s chattel to get what they wanted with no regard for my desires or who I loved would have been awful.
In the Author s note Gregory cites Retha Warnicke s The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn as one of her main sources, which according to Wikipedia I know, Wikipedia, but still , is generally considered to be unsubstantiated which explains some of this She also expresses admiration for Queen Elizabeth I, which I found rather ironic considering she is Anne s daughter and Anne and Elizabeth seem to me to have been very similar in character as well as ability.