The Other Boleyn Girl
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
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
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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
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