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Mary Boleyn: The Mistress of Kings by Alison…

Mary Boleyn: The Mistress of Kings

by Alison Weir

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3673629,545 (3.6)1 / 29

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The subtitle is in quotation marks for a good reason: much of what Weir does is in this book is to take a look at the actual evidence on aspect of Mary Boleyn's life that has come down to us, which more of than not reveals that what has become accepted fact is in fact fiction to a large extent. What we can know is rather less showy and dramatic than statements such as the subtitle would suggest, and there are large gaps in her life where we simply don't know much at all.

I enjoyed the critical take on the historical record and found this book well written and coherently argued. ( )
  queen_ypolita | Jul 5, 2015 |
Alison Weir attempts to present the facts and then gives us the probable conclusions as to what really happened. She is not afraid to bring up differing points of view and lists the source where it generated. I did well with the book until the end and then I have to admit I skimmed through summary of what happened to all the people mentioned. I was really only interested in the info on Mary and the end was getting tedious. I give this book a 4 out 5 stars. ( )
  Pattymclpn | Nov 25, 2014 |
Alison Weir never writes a bad book, as far as I can tell. This one suffers a little from the lack of available information about Mary Boleyn, but Weir still tells a good (true) story. If only more history were this well-written and accessible. ( )
  rainidontmind | Mar 14, 2014 |
An analysis of the life and times of Mary Boleyn told through examination of contemporary documents, including diaries, government documents, letters, and paintings. Alison Weir has the ability to take a subject, thoroughly research it, and write about it so it comes across as a story and not a dry historical thesis. With Mary Boleyn, Weir definitely worked hard on compiling a life story from what little factual information is available; her hard work resulted in this book - one of the first factual based and complete stories of "the other Boleyn" girl. In this book Mary's story is told through established facts about her more famous sister, Anne and Henry VIII. Weir uses contemporary accounts to establish a basic timeline for Mary's life and fills in the blanks using Mary's remaining 2 handwritten letters and other diary accounts contemporary to the time; resulting in this biography of a woman thought to be one of Britain's most notorious woman. In reality, Mary was an older sister who lived her life in her charming younger sister's shadow and was fortunate enough to find love, be happily married, and outlive all her other siblings to die a natural death.

A compelling biography, Alison Weir outdid herself and has maintained her reputation as a one of the best British history writers of this age. ( )
  JEB5 | Oct 30, 2013 |
Slightly disapointed. Well written and entertaining, the only problem would seem to be that mary Boleyn did not have an exciting enough life to actually warrent this treatment. Theie weemed to be alot of what other people had said and how this was not true.
while I will read more alison weir - I will not bother about Mary Boleyn
  jessicariddoch | Oct 1, 2013 |
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This book is gratefully dedicated to

my editor, Anthony Whittome,

to mark his retirement
First words
Mary Boleyn has gone down in history as a "great and infamous whore."
Chapter 1
Blickling Hall, one of England's greatest Jacobean showpiece mansions, lies not two miles northwest of Aylsham in Norfolk.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Alison Weir built her reputation as an acclaimed, trusted historian with her nonfiction books, and this latest offering about the life of Mary Boleyn continues this esteemed tradition.

Bestselling British historian and novelist Alison Weir reconstructs the real story of the much-misrepresented Mary Boleyn. The mistress of kings, Mary was the lover of both Francis I of France and Henry VIII of England; sister to the infamous Anne, she has alternatively been labeled as a victim and a whore, a woman whose star rose and fell in the glittering Tudor court, whose life ended in banishment and relative obscurity when she dared to marry for love. Through Alison Weir's gripping exploration of Mary's life, a nuanced and accurate portrait of this fascinating woman emerges for the first time.
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Presents a historical profile of Henry VIII's mistress and the sister of Anne Boleyn, examining her affair with Francis I of France, rise and fall in the Tudor court, and obscure later years after she married for love.

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