Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Review: The Other Boleyn Girl

Title: The Other Boleyn Girl
Author: Philippa Gregory
Published: Simon & Schuster, 2001
Genre: Historical Fiction, 672 pages
Source: personal copy
My rating: 5/5

At the tender age of 14, Mary Boleyn is brought to the court of King Henry VIII and Queen Katherine to be a part of the Queen's ladies in waiting. Her sister Anne, only 15, is also there along with their brother, George, 21 as one of the king's companions. They are driven by their families, the Howards and the Boleyns, to gain favor with the king and to attain greatness, titles, land, and riches for the family. Mary becomes concubine to the king, but does not have the same drive as her sister Anne to keep him completely happy and smitten with her. Anne Boleyn takes over for Mary and will stop at nothing to achieve her goal - to become Queen of England. 

I read the The Constant Princess last year by the same author and knew I would continue with the author's subsequent books on the Tudors. I read this book in 2 days, only stopping when I had to do anything essential. It was an incredible read. I was completely immersed in the lives of the Boleyn family. The rivalry between the two sisters was intriguing and intense! They were in constant competition for the attention of the king, their brother George, and other family members. They were obligated by their family to do their bidding in all areas - especially in regards to whom they would marry. 

Knowing in advance how things would turn out for Anne Boleyn didn't lower my level of horror. It is amazing to me that this is how it truly was for this family, and it is shocking to me how women were regarded as just pawns for the families in the aristocratic court. What I have learned about King Henry VIII so far has been fascinating.  I will continue this journey to this time period in England with the rest of the books on this list as offered by the literatehousewife.

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