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The Boleyn Inheritance

Updated on September 6, 2014

My Review

This is a delightful book even though it documents the growing tyranny of an ill fat old king. Seen from the perspective of three ladies in the court, two of them queens, one replacing the other, the action unfolds remorselessly, telling the story of the fourth and fifth queens of Henry VIII. Anne of Cleves is quickly rejected by the king but manages to avoid the block. Philippa Gregory portrays her as a strong and eminently sensible woman caught up in the political games of the men around her. By contrast Katherine Howard is flighty and silly, if not stupid, but then she is only sixteen at her death. As Anne of Cleves tells us Henry is a monster. The Duke of Norfolk is also a scheming monster and uses Jane Boleyn to wreak havoc in the lives of others just to promote his family. The story is told by each of the three women. Gradually we see what is the Boleyn Inheritance.Buy the book below.

The Boleyn Inheritance

Showing the helplessness of the women of the Tudor court, simply pawns in the men's game for power

The Boleyn Inheritance is a great book which manages to create suspense - even though we know the outcome, we still hope the women will escape the terrible veng

What did you think?

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This book portrays Tudor England in all its raw cruelty

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Telling words

We are two women who have recognised that we cannot control the world. We are players in this game but we do not choose our own moves. The men will play us for their own desires. All we can do is try to survive whatever happens next.

To sum up

The Boleyn Inheritance is easy to read. The three voices of the women involved are very distinctive giving a variety to the book as a whole. Jane Boleyn is haunted by the memories of her involvement in the deaths of her husband and sister-in-law. She tows the family line prompted by her uncle, who is forever scheming and who inevitably lets her down at the end.

Anne of Cleves is eminently sensible and keeps her head and Katherine is vain and covetous, always interested in her possessions. She has no idea of her danger and believes the king will always be charmed by his "rose without a thorn" no matter how she behaves.

What do you think of Henry VIII? - Great king or wicked tyrant?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      A wicked baby with lots of tantrums! BUT--- We will never know the whole story. God Bless you, Liz, for a wonderful book review.

    • Holley Web profile image

      Holley Web 

      9 years ago

      I have not read the book, but you have made me want to. I have always held an interest for this time period and love reading about it. You've done a wonderful job of making me want to go out and buy it! ~Blessed~ and thank you!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I love historical novels! Here in Germany we had the tv series "The Tudors", and I also read the book to the Series (in German). I did not know Philippa Gregory up to now, but now I will have a look for her novels. Thank you for sharing the book with us!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Sounds like a very good historical novel - something I would be interested in reading. Nice job!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Wicked, selfish tyrant - no doubt. No matter how many times I've tried to convince myself that he had at least political motivations for the actions he took with women, I can't make the argument. Not that I want to but sometimes the thought of what the entire Boleyn family went through is simply too much to comprehend. I love these books, by the way!

      Nice overview!

    • Laniann profile image


      9 years ago

      Don't think very highly of him.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Those were such hard and cruel times! I would like to read the book, though.


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