#11 ~ The Other Boleyn Girl

March 12, 2007 at 1:44 am | Posted in Books, Culture, Henry VIII, Historical Fiction, Philippa Gregory, Reading, Secrets and Lies | 16 Comments
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The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

When I picked up this book to begin reading, I thought I would never finish it. 650+ pages? I have been keeping pace with my book a week goal. I was certain that this would take much longer to read. I was completely wrong. I finished it in less than three days. I couldn’t bear to put it down. It was an interesting and fast paced book. It was not at all what I had expected.

This book tells the story of Mary Boleyn, Anne‘s younger sister and the first of the Boleyn girls to become Henry the VIII‘s lover. Mary’s family, caring only for the advancement of the family and nothing for what Mary wants, pushes her to Henry’s bed. She eventually bares him a daughter and a son. Unfortunately for the Howard family, Mary was much more interested in her children than in the royal court. Her depression after they took her son Henry from her put an end to her affair with the king. While she was “unclean,” Anne stepped in and caught the Henry’s interest. From there, she connives to rid him of his first wife, Katherine, so that he can marry her. Only after her own marriage to the king does Anne understand the bed she had made for herself. Despite being treated harshly by Anne, Mary remains by her side until she marries a commoner. Mary’s marriage to William Stafford makes Anne even more spiteful because her sister has the happiness she can never have. The rest is history. Anne bore a daughter named Elizabeth, but she never carried another child to term. The last pregnancy resulted in a still birth to a child full of birth defects. That was all the ammunition that Henry needed to rid himself of Anne forever.

Knowing what ultimately happened to Anne did not in any way affect the enjoyment of this book. If anything, it enhanced it. Mary struggled with what her family wanted and finally found happiness. Anne did everything she could to obtain a powerful position for herself foremost and the reader knows all along that she will regret where her ambition brought her in the end.

I cannot wait to read another of Ms. Gregory’s books. I immediately ordered 6 more from half.com. I will be waiting anxiously for my packages to arrive.

Links to my reviews of other Philippa Gregory Novels

The Constant Princess

The Boleyn Inheritance

The Queen’s Fool

The Virgin’s Lover


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  1. There’s a movie based on this book releasing in January, no? I love watching movie adaptations of books – I can’t wait to see what they do with it.

  2. In the States this movie is slated to open on 2/29 and I can’t wait!!!! I’m taking a half day off so that I can see this movie while the girls are at daycare. 🙂

  3. […] was so excited to begin reading this book. I loved The Other Boleyn Girl so much that I had to force myself to read other types of books before buying this one. The Boleyn […]

  4. I only hope everyone knows this book – if you can call it that – is literally fiction, in that almost everything this vile “author” has written is false.

    Does Mary sleep with the king? Yes. Does Anne marry Henry? Yes, and she does have Elizabeth, and she does get beheaded.

    Is just about everything else false? You betcha.

    If you want to be considered a “literate housewife,” please, read something that remotely resembles actual literature, vs. this tabloid-style, insanity-inducing repetitive trash.

  5. Sally,

    To each her own. The one great thing about being literate is that I can choose to read anything I want as I have the time and desire.


  6. Hey I am new to looking at this site but anyhow I have a aunt who is doing Research on ancestory, and just a couple weeks ago she found out that my sisters and I are decendents of Mary Boleyn, and also I saw the movie it was real interesting except the parts of the movie when Henry The 8th gets so out of control and does offul things, its so sad to think how wicked he was, he is quite a scarry person, but yep I am a decendent of Mary Boleyn and also I have been talking to people on Emmy Rossums website and one person wrote me and said shes a decendent of Mary Queen of Scots, witch is so cool, anyhow take care everyone

  7. […] be seeing and perhaps meeting Philippa Gregory.  I’ve loved her ever since I started reading The Other Boleyn Girl.  That book single-handedly redirected my reading habits and I couldn’t be more thankful […]

  8. […] The Other Boleyn Girl 2) The Boleyn Inheritance 3) The Queen’s Fool 4) The Other Queen 5) The Constant Princess 6) […]

  9. […] of the fact that I read it while at the beach. I would heartily recommend it to anyone who has read The Other Boleyn Girl and/or The Boleyn Inheritance. You will not be […]

  10. […] was so excited to begin reading this book. I loved The Other Boleyn Girl so much that I had to force myself to read other types of books before buying this one. The Boleyn […]

  11. […] particularly as it relates to Henry the 8th and his clan. This all began with a single book: The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory. Since then, it’s been difficult for me to keep myself away from her novels […]

  12. […] The Other Boleyn Girl was my introduction to modern historical fiction, Philippa Gregory, and my beloved Tudors.  When I heard the news that a film based on TOBG was in the works, I was thrilled.  It was a such a powerful read and I was hopeful that it would make a wonderful movie. […]

  13. […] Philippa Gregory wrote about writing and reading historical fiction and the differences between her novel and the upcoming film rendition of The Other Boleyn Girl.  If I gain nothing else from seeing the […]

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