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The Other Boleyn Girl

Updated on September 10, 2014

My Review

This is a great book by Philippa Gregory where Mary Boleyn tells her story and inevitably tells Anne's story too. I'd never heard of this sister of Anne Boleyn. Mary is Anne's younger sister and becomes Henry VIII's mistress and gives him two children, a daughter and a son. There is always great rivalry between the sisters. Anne is at the French court when Henry first notices Mary. They are both pawns in the hands of their family, who have no care for either sister but want to use them to gain power for the family in the country and at court.

Mary soon longs to live in the country at the family castle of Hever in Kent. Here she can enjoy peace with her children and watch the countryside and see the farming year progress. After many scrapes at court and seeing her sister beheaded she finds peace in the country with a good sensible man who loves her for herself.

Philippa Gregory captures all the passion and greed of the Tudor times.

The Other Boleyn Girl - One of Philippa Gregory's masterpieces

The Other Boleyn Girl
The Other Boleyn Girl

Even though we know much of the story there is suspense and drama in this book. By telling the story from Mary Boleyn's perspective Philippa Gregory has given us a new aspect on an old, well worn tale.


One woman's story showing life in the Tudor court, where every woman was a pawn to gain power

What do you think ?

What did you think?

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The best line ever:

I looked towards the two figures by the river's edge, the most selfish two people that I knew.

Henry VIII in Philippa Gregory's writing

Henry VIII comes across, in Philippa Gregory's book, as a spoiled child who grew into a spoiled man who found he could have his own way, at the drop of the executioner's axe. His main desire was to have a son to succeed him. If he could only have seen into the future he would have found that his daughter, by Anne Boleyn, was one of the greatest monarch's Britain has had, Queen Elizabeth I. All the heartache caused was so unnecessary.

Postscript of utmost importance

If you buy any of the books recommended above, this page automatically makes a donation to the incredible nonprofit, Donors Choose, which helps provide classrooms and students in need with resources that our public schools often lack.

What do you think of this review of Philippa Gregory's book?

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    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 7 years ago from La Verne, CA

      This has me very interested. The movie has two actresses I like.

    • profile image

      MikLint 7 years ago

      Interesting! A new season of The Tudors will air soon in the Netherlands (where I live). Can't wait!

    • squid-janices7 profile image

      squid-janices7 8 years ago

      Sounds like an interesting read. I watch The Tudors series on HBO so I have some background info on historical series and books. Great lens.

    • profile image

      Joan4 8 years ago

      What a great review! I do want to read this one soon!

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 8 years ago

      I do love historical novels and this looks like a good one. I like the way you've pointed to other lenses that give some background on the time.