Now, a retired anthropologist with the time to listen to books as I weave, quilt and crank out functional fabrics for fun :)
What did a 13 year old girl need to know to survive a life in the court of King Henry the eighth; a lot more than you might think. But in Philippa Gregory's work, the reader will discover the most intimate and visceral of necessary knowledge.
The style and flow of this book reads much like the author's other works about the Tudor court and years of war that preceded it. It is good to read all of these books of richly worded English History in the sequence of time rather than the order they were written.
The fine writing and narration of this book gives the reader not only the feel but the smell of what it took for Mary Boleyn to escape the court then ride alone to a distant hamlet. It was not only the courage it took to leave, but the courage and knowledge it took for her to ride her horse for days, negotiate for food and safe havens to sleep, then stand before her Knight, pungent with the smell of horse and unwashed woman, hoping with all her being that she would not be turned away.
I would want to go back in time to interview Mary Boleyn Stafford as a grandmother on hearing all that would happen to the many wives of her past royal lover and what she thought of the social & religious upheavals that followed the beheading of her sister. Other than that, I would not miss the chance to listen to the servants and musicians who were also first hand witnesses.
If my history classes and reading assignments had been this much fun I would have been far more attentive.
I enjoyed the novel the same way I enjoy most of this author's works. I loved the literary devices and the author's choice to tell Anne Boleyn's story from her sister's point of view. I did, however, struggle with the quantity of the racy bits. I felt like this story was a little pornographic, and while I don't shy from people writing about sex (it being a part of human life, after all) I felt like many passages could have been written more discreetly. This isn't a book I want to keep in my library or one that I'd want on my shelves.
The story is interesting enough, though overly Harlequin Romance for my taste. But given that there is an actual history here, this is way, way more fiction than historical. There's taking some liberty to fill in some blanks, and then there's just making almost the whole thing up. Why not just write fiction without the historical names? Anne Boleyn poisoned three people, maybe five, maybe more? Really?
What a fantastic take on a fascinating subject. That old King Henry was a tyrant, but I found her family to be just as bad. This novel really highlights how the women in the Boyleyn family are used as pawns to advance the family's position with the king.
Definitely worth a listen.
I read this book as a paperback many yrs ago hearing it read by someone else for the second time was even better I love laying in bed eyes closed it takes me to a whole new world.
Intriguing but because it skewed known history I was very disappointed!
Stupid question for an historical novel
Not yet but loved her
NO I want to see more realistic movies. I hate based on the real event and then all the facts are changed!!!!
So many Americans read books like this and take them for facts so WHY would you change the facts??? Why follow so much history and then skew the rest????? It could have been a GREAT book!!! It could have been looked at as "Well maybe it did go down that" but instead.........
Ms. Gregory is very good at telling a story but when it comes to historical accuracy, not so much. Never assume that any of her 'facts' reflect the general view of historians specializing in this area--not even ones as mundane as when Mary was born, whether she had any children by William Stafford or whether Anne 'adopted' (and thus 'stole') her children by Henry VIII. I guess actual history just doesn't make a good enough story, even that as intriguing as the Wars of the Roses and the Tudor family machinations. The same could be said about other works I've read by her--The White Queen, The White Princess and The Constant Princess.
This one could also use a lot of editing--no need for an over-23 hour work on this topic.