The Other Boleyn Girl
12 journalers for this copy...
from the back cover:
"When Mary Boleyn comes to court as as 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 family's ambitious plots as the kings's 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 great book on my favorite subject, the Tudors, it gave me a new perspective from the court of the great King Henry VIII. And I must say, I like Mary A LOT more than Anne, and Mary is lucky she escaped from Henry's favor- with her head.
The story of Anne Boleyn as told by her sister Mary. I admit my knowledge of English history is very sketchy, and so I'd heard the name Anne Boleyn many times, and knew that she had been beheaded, but past that, I didn't know much more, for example even the existence of Mary and George. This novel really brought to life the hectic intrigue and danger of being part of the court. Anne's marathon to win Henry and then attempt to keep him just left me feeling exhausted, the lengths to which she would go were unbelievable! There is no way I would survive for 5 minutes in a court like that! Even Mary, who was the sweetest and most down to earth of them all, was forced to do things that I can't even imagine, for the purpose of furthering a family that didn't even care one bit for her except that she advance their position.
Philippa Gregory is a master at fleshing out the historical facts with fictionalized, but very probable emotions, I was very caught up in the story, and was "shocked" at the ending, even though I knew the outcome, up until the end, hoped with Mary that perhaps Anne and George would be allowed to go into exile. I was afraid for Mary, and also very happy that she was able to marry for love and stay with her children, possibly the only one of the family to find any happiness that didn't come from power and position.
Thank you so much for letting me borrow this one Czersk, and for your patience! I will be handing it off to BountifulPots at the meetup this week, and I know she will be as drawn into it as I was! I just hope she doesn't take as long as I did! *LOL* Thanks again, this was a gem!
1. OneMorePage-- California
3. strawdog- Nebraska
5. CheriePie- Massachusetts
7. AceofHearts--Ontario, CanadaSKIPPED
8. sqdancer--Alberta, Canada
9. fushmush--Sydney, Australia
10. dospescados--New York
11. olered- Oregon
I had some very minor quibbles with the book initially - I thought some of the dialogue was very modern, and that would jolt me out of the novel. I have the book "The Wives of Henry VIII" by Antonia Fraser, and I checked that several times to confirm some facts, and they were different. For example, the ages of the Boleyn girls was completely off. Also, Fraser claims that the paternity of Mary's first 2 children was only rumored to be the King later, but that they were, in fact, Carey's children. I was a bit bugged by that for a while, which led me to really question the value of historical fiction. I understand that thoughts and motivations must be invented for the purpose of the novel, but actual events?
This puzzling led me astray for a while. Yet I eventually realized that there is no saying for sure that Fraser's history is completely "true" either. Who can be certain about the events of 500 years ago?
Despite all my questions, I could not put the book down. What a drama! Even though I knew the outcome, I was on the edge of my seat, and in the final pages, my heart was racing! I would not be a member of the court for anything in the world - there does not seem to be one ounce of glamour in it! Only deception, malice, and fear.
I am going to re-read Fraser's book, and I also have in my Mt. TBR pile, a book called "The Autobiography of Henry VIII, With NOtes by His Fool, Will Somers" by Margaret George. I think now is the time to start that book!
Thank you, Czersk, for including me in this bookring. It will be off to lunabjp by Monday. Happy reading!
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Mailed today! Enjoy!
Thank you lunabjp for the gentle reminder to journal it. I need a compelling book to lift me from my life right now; i think i may even begin it tonight.
I know some Tudor history from studying the art of the time, but this book made me look further in the history books.
Contacting Lucinda for her address to send it on down the line.
Sent off to its next stop yesterday. Thanks, Czersk!
This book is based on historical fact. At the back of the book is a Q & A with the author and she claims that the only fabricated parts are the feelings and thoughts of the individuals in the story. As she says, and I quote, "The history is the skeleton and the fiction is the breath."
Were this not a bookring book, I'd hang on to it and share it with as many people as possible. I may end up seeking out another copy of it anyway so I can do just that. :)
I've contacted BelleMorte to see if she still wants me to send this to her since her profile states that she won't be accepting any more rings until the end of August. If she doesn't want it now, I'll send it on to AceOfHearts in Ontario instead.
**UPDATE 8/24: BelleMorte did eventually get back to me to let me know she did want to pass on this. I PMed AceOfHearts yesterday and am currently awaiting a reply.
**UPDATE 8/29: AceOfHearts also requested to be skipped. So this book is now packed up and heading out in tomorrow's mail (8/30) to sqdancer in Canada. It's being sent via Air Mail since the difference between it and surface was only 70 cents. :)
Thanks CheriePie for persevering and mailing it to me; and thanks to Czersk for sharing.
Sent out yesterday via surface mail.
Thanks sqdancer and Czersk!
I've already read The Queen's Fool (the next in the series) which was OK. Definitely not as good as this one. Maybe I enjoyed this one more because I find Anne Boleyn to be such an interesting character.
Update: Posted today, 17/02/2006. It's going via surface mail so it might take a while to get there.
I always read historical fiction with a grain of salt, of course. The author's job is to craft an entertaining story around historical events, not to teach history in an interesting way. That's the job of a nonfiction author. This book, however, I'm reading with the whole damn salt shaker. No Wikipedia is not a scholarly resource but it's a good place to start for those interested in some background info, not necessarily reading entire historical documents and treatises... Mary Boleyn on Wikipedia -- the links in the article will lead you where you fancy.
That said, I am enjoying neglecting my household chores and instead getting lost in a, er, romp thru the Tudor court. =)
I do have to wonder how two children, Henry and Catherine, raised in the lap of luxury -- in the family castle, educated with royalty and nobility, groomed for court life -- will deal with life on a little farm. Mary chose farm life but her children didn't. The court is quite obviously not the place to be at this point but how will young Henry deal with chopping wood and Catherine with milking cows? That's a bumpy road that would be pretty interesting to read about. Kind of "The Simple Life" for the 16th century... =)
This is headed out to olered as soon as I get it to the post office.
P.S. Since this copy now has this magnificent signature on the title page, I think I will have to make it part of my permanent collection. I am so glad it got a chance to travel so far first though!