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The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
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The Other Boleyn Girl (original 2001; edition 2003)

by Philippa Gregory

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
13,331367281 (3.96)441
Member:stacys13
Title:The Other Boleyn Girl
Authors:Philippa Gregory
Info:Touchstone (2003), Edition: 1st Scribner Paperback Fiction Ed, Paperback, 672 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work details

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory (2001)

  1. 50
    Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey by Alison Weir (shamicnic, al.vick)
    shamicnic: This historical fiction book preceeds "Innocent Traitor" by telling the story of Anne Boleyn from the intriguing point of view of her sister, Mary Boleyn.
  2. 50
    Mary Boleyn: The Mistress of Kings by Alison Weir (meggyweg)
  3. 40
    The Autobiography of Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers by Margaret George (citygirl)
    citygirl: Way better.
  4. 20
    Duchess: A Novel of Sarah Churchill by Susan Holloway Scott (cataylor)
  5. 20
    The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan (legxleg)
    legxleg: Although The Twentieth Wife is set in Mughal India, not Tudor England, I think Sundaresan and Gregory write similar romance-infused history about a royal court populated by ambitious courtiers, including some scheming women.
  6. 20
    Mary Boleyn: The True Story of Henry VIII's Mistress by Josephine Wilkinson (meggyweg)
  7. 20
    The Borgia Bride by Jeanne Kalogridis (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: The Borgia Bride takes a look at another controversial historical figure - Lucrezia Borgia through the eyes of her sister-in-law. There is plenty of scandal, drama, and ambition.
  8. 20
    The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn: Family Politics at the Court of Henry VIII by Retha M. Warnicke (meggyweg)
  9. 10
    Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Vanora Bennett (PatMock)
  10. 10
    The Concubine by Norah Lofts (carport)
    carport: I enjoyed this characterization of Anne Boleyn very much. Written in the 1950s, the book contains some inaccuracies, but is an excellent portrait of Henry VIII's notorious wife.
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» See also 441 mentions

English (357)  Dutch (5)  German (2)  Danish (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (366)
Showing 1-5 of 357 (next | show all)
A fascinating book that illustrates what existed between the two sisters. I read the book in a few days because it is written amazingly and fascinatingly.

The book, at the same time fascinating, is also shocking in the sense that it describes with great colorfulness the extremely hedonistic way of life in the royal court. The brutal competition for King Henry's attention is heartbreakingly unified by any means to expel his wives and turn them into objects of his sexual desires - A male son to his kingdom. Women at the time were tools for achieving one purpose or another without any guarantee of their safety. The birth of a daughter was considered a disaster, a mistake that could be corrected in subsequent deliveries. The writer describes in great detail the nuances of the high atmosphere, gossip, and intrigue, constant fear of rumors, jealousy, quarrels and competition for senior status, property, assets, and benefits. Concepts such as Satan and magic were part of the character of the period. I followed Anne's image and watched her cruel fate as I had foreseen the outcome of Queen Catherine before her, who had unjustly deported on various pretexts. How terrible it was to live in sixteenth-century England if you could not be linked to the kingdom in one way or another. The ordinary citizen lived in poverty while those who lived in the royal court enjoyed an incredible abundance. ( )
  JantTommason | Feb 11, 2019 |
Rating: 3.75* of five

Not bad...not bad at all...fast and loose with some details, speculations presented as facts, but it's a novel. The facts being pretty well known, I don't feel the need to recap them. Anne's character is quite modern for the day, but that's likely to be accurate. Anne was a schemer and her world was a bitterly competitive one. I wasn't in any way displeased by the more, shall we say, possessed of agency Anne; I was, however, extremely irked at Mary's characterization. History doesn't know much about her. Author Gregory uses this to give us a limp, depressed, lifeless blur of a girl. She is a damned soul, caught up in plots and schemes she doesn't understand or care about. It's hard to care about her.

George is a major popinjay and utterly lacking in any depth or redeeming qualities. He exists to scheme and preen. So, of course, he's gay BUT possessed of a pash for Anne that enables him to so much as consider incest! What? Huh? It is impossible to know, at this distance in time, the truth of the sexual nature of anyone alive then. Identity constructs like gayness didn't exist then. People did what they did and, if one knew about it, one simply ignored it.

I simply didn't want to be irked by a book, so I'm not giving it a better rating for its interpretations of historical figures as moderns in fancy dress. Because that's what it felt like she was doing.

The 2008 film made of the book was very pretty, starred beautiful actors, had lots of swell excitement in chases and rapes and suchlike. I liked it well enough. I wasn't sad about watching it but wasn't blown away. I got the urge to read the book when I found the film on Netflix; I'm pretty sure that's backwards, but it's become a strong habit for me. I'm not inclined to believe that's wrong. ( )
  richardderus | Feb 8, 2019 |
It's the court of Henry VIII, King of England, in 1521. And this king is a good-looking one, a handsome, tall, 30-year-old man married to his queen Catherine, the former Spanish princess. Catherine, 36, gave Henry only one daughter who survived, most of her other pregnancies ended in abortion, and a frail son born to them died a few months later. The king is frustrated and must obtain a male heir to secure the monarchy. The frustration of Katherine and the debauchery of the mash bring him to play and fall in love with other women. At first, he chooses Mary Bolin, a 14-year-old married to Lord Carey from the royal entourage, a respected Howard family member who serves as a servant minister in Queen Catherine's entourage. At this point, the Howard family introduces Ann Boleyn, Mary's older sister, a spinster, and a witty, witty and daring woman, to a race to hunt the king The king is already 35 years old and he must have an heir that finally drives him to marry her and marry her, Mary remains the daughter of the other Boleyn, while her sister is a tyrannical queen who does not know her But Ann finds that even after reaching the monarchy it is far from the inheritance of quiet and promise, while Mary discovers advantages in distancing herself from the life of the palace and being one of the ministering women in the Queen's entourage.

This is a lovely book to read. ( )
  Denizhorowits | Jan 14, 2019 |
A serious bodice-ripper; the way Anne Boleyn is portrayed, I was wishing for time travel so that I could go back and strangle her myself. Plus, lots and lots and lots of gratuitous to-ing and fro-ing, which I'm sure is more or less accurate, but I really stopped caring who left court and came back and was banished and was reinstated. All of this is quarreling with the book as it is designed to be, which is unfair. It's just not for me. ( )
  CatherineBurkeHines | Nov 28, 2018 |
One of the best historical fiction writers out there. This book spins a tale of Anne and Henry like no other. I couldn’t put it down and the story weaves through history and created a very realistic Anne, who you feel sad and very sorry for. ( )
  KatiaGuzzardi | Nov 6, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 357 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philippa Gregoryprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lyons, SusanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Book description
The daughters of a ruthlessly ambitious family, Mary and Anne Boleyn are sent to the court of Henry VIII to attract the attention of the king, who first takes Mary as his mistress, in which role she bears him an illegitimate son, and then Anne as his wife.
-Novelist
Haiku summary
The King wants a son.
He'd better get one or else
Heads are gonna roll.

(Carnophile)
This book teaches us
Sisters really aren't always
Best Friends Forever.

(Carnophile)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743227441, Paperback)

Two sisters competing for the greatest prize: the love of a king

When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of Henry VIII. Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her familys ambitious plots as the kings interest begins to wane and she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister, Anne. Then Mary knows that she must defy her family and her king, and take her fate into her own hands.

A rich and compelling tale of love, sex, ambition, and intrigue, The Other Boleyn Girl introduces a woman of extraordinary determination and desire who lived at the heart of the most exciting and glamorous court in Europe and survived by following her own heart.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:17 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

The daughters of a ruthlessly ambitious family, Mary and Anne Boleyn are sent to the court of Henry VIII to attract the attention of the king, who first takes Mary as his mistress, in which role she bears him an illegitimate son, and then Anne as his wife.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 13 descriptions

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