Three women share one fate: the Boleyn Inheritance
From the bestselling author of The Other Boleyn Girl comes a novel about three women whose positions brought them wealth, power, deceit, and terror in England after the death of Anne Boleyn.
Anne of Cleves must literally save her neck in a court ruled by a deadly game of politics and the terror of an unpredictable and vengeful king. Her Boleyn Inheritance: accusations and false witnesses.
Katherine Howard catches the king's eye within moments of arriving at court, setting in motion a dreadful machine of politics, intrigue, and treason that she does not understand.
Her Boleyn Inheritance: the threat of the axe. Jane Rochford's name is a byword for malice, jealousy and twisted lust throughout Europe. Her Boleyn Inheritance: a fortune and a title in exchange for her soul.
The Boleyn Inheritance is Gregory at her spellbinding best.
©2008 Philippa Gregory (P)2011 Simon & Schuster
"Fascinating...harrowing....If only...history books were written so vividly." (Entertainment Weekly)
"The queen of royal fiction." (USA Today)
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons
I love these books that are narrated by three persons! Along with 'The Help' that I rave about constantly, the 'Boleyn Inheritance' is one of those. Exquisite writing, matched with beautiful narration made this book a joy to listen to. I must say though, the only reason this book does not get 5 stars across of board is because I listened the Abridged version (by mistake of course because I normally never listen to Abridged books unless I must). The narration in the Abridged book was just plain better, the one here is great, superb, beautiful, but the other one is in fact better. Do not let that stop you from getting this book though! I would also suggest you give 'The Other Boleyn Girl' a listen too prior to this if you can because this builds so well from it.
Overall... if you like Historical Lit set in that Renaissance period... You will LOVE this book!
I know Tudor history. I have studied it my entire life. I am a fan of many of Ms. Gregory's other novels; both of the Tudor series and the newer Cousins' War series. I decided to re-listen to the Boleyn Inheritance to be fair to the author (and for lack of anything else to listen to while at endless swim meets and practices for my kids). I tried to love this book and couldn't do so.
First, let me state that I was able to re-listen to this novel without feeling as if my teeth were being set on edge as I felt about "The Red Queen." The story is not awful, but the players are terribly whiny. From a historical viewpoint, I wholeheartedly understand that women in Henry VIII's Court were often victimized. However, the constant repetition of "poor me" becomes too much by the time the listener is halfway through the novel.
The focus is on Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard (wives #4 and 5) and Jane Boleyn. The latter two women are wholly unlikeable; Katherine because she is a silly twit and Jane because... well, Jane Boleyn is one of the nastier women in English history. I love the portrayal of Anne of Cleves and she makes the story worthwhile as a whole. My biggest complaint is that Ms. Gregory simply tried to excuse too much bad behavior on the part of Katherine and Jane and to place blame on King Henry. It isn't an invalid theory, but the characters are portrayed in such a way that I simply didn't care about their inevitable fates.
On the plus side, the three voice narration is STUPENDOUS !!! It is unique. It gave life to the characters (regardless of how much I liked the characters). The book is worth a listen and the historical facts are superb. Ms. Gregory can not ever be faulted for straying too far from the facts (as Carolly Erickson so frequently chooses to do). It's good Tudor fiction -- if one can stand the whining.
Everything about this book is wonderful. It tells the story life after Anne Boleyn. Told by different characters who were all effected by the death of Anne Boleyn indirectly or directly.
It turns out to be a novel about the last 3 of Henry's wives. It also tells the story of George Boleyn's wife, Jane Boleyn, who testified and lied before the counsel at Anne's trial. Jane Boleyn gave the damning evidence that got Anne and George killed, as well as 4 other innocent men. She was allowed to inherit what was left of the "Boleyn Inheritance". But as we see, many other women suffer the burden of the Boleyn Inheritance, as well.
My favorite thing about the book is the outrageous description of Henry's transformation as he quickly aged into an obese, impotent, tyrannical old man. He was disgusting, with rotting teeth and an open wound so terribly smelly that people gagged in his presence.
The story is better than the The Other Boleyn Girl, IMO, as it has much more historic, accuracy. This book was an incredibly clever idea and I can only praise Gregory for her work on this novel.
The narration is absolutely AMAZING!!!
Don't hesitate to read this thrilling book.
Outstanding narration that really puts the listeners in the period. Fabulous story that inspired me to do further research into Henry VIII. I'm hooked on Gregory! What a fabulous story-teller!
I was really pleased with this book, I highly enjoyed the three person narrative. It wasn't confusing and it gave different POVs on the same situation, which was really interesting.
I really felt for Anne of Cleves. Her home life was a shambles and she wanted out. But unfortunately she went from one mad house to another. She's the true voice in the novel. I think her lack of English made the court nervous because she could only speak the truth of what she saw.. I was really impressed with her decision to leave without a fight, and in doing so ended up with more than she would have elsewhere. Her decision to not go to court often saved her life.
Katherine Howard. My goodness...poor girl. She was never given a chance and then shoved into Court and told what to do. Then when she follows her orders they ultimately end with her death. How fair is that?! Gregory said she wanted to portray her as not as stupid as everyone else said, but only succeded sometimes. Katherine wasn't a very bright girl, sweet, but stupid. Poor thing. She does grow on you though.
Jane Parker, Boleyn, Rochford; Lady Rochford. I didn't like her in The Other Boleyn Girl at all. I found her nosy, simple and annoying. In this not so much. Most of the book she seemed sincere about being sorry for giving testimony against Anne and George Boleyn. But in her memories she stills holds on to the idea of them being lovers in a slight way. It wasn't until the end of the book when she truly showed her colours. No matter how much she may delude herself into think she's an OK person in the end she's not. She truly is a liar, schemer, malicious, evil person. I should mention she's also selfish. I truly think she has a touch of madness, but only because she brought it on herself.
This is a really good book.
Yes, I have been a fan of Phillipa Gregory, and adore how she uses actual events and merges them with fictional details that makes it hard for you to stop listening. Using different Narrators for each character made them come to life and you are able to feel what is the depths of the Queen's soul as she faces the Tyrant Henry the Eighth.
I found Anne of Cleaves to be a godly woman with unblemished reputation that Henry's Court had to find her blameless even during one of his personal inquisitions. It is evident that her life was spared by God Himself and delivered her from the hands of her brother by giving her in marriage to Henry and after by Henry's annulment because of the cruelness of her brother refusing to produce the legal documents, she was set free.
At Her Discretion...
I've been listening to these in chronological order (rather than in the order they were written). Even though this one was written 5th, it's actually 4th chronologically. The way Gregory puts personalities on these historic events and people is so entertaining. Some Tudor history experts say she's not historically accurate in some of her plot points, but it's all a fun, fast listen just the same.
I enjoyed the unexpected view points present by Anne of Cleves. I enjoyed the development of her far beyond what I have read about her to date. She is a mystery and Greggory gave her a feeling of realness not achieved by the sparse facts available.
In truth, Katherine is annoying. I was hoping I would be given some sort of insight that could endure her to me.
I will listen to the book again, in turn.
The Narrators were wonderful! You felt like you were listening to a play instead of somebody reading the book. They really put wonderful emotions into the performance, and I found myself laughing along with Kitty Howard as I listened!
I wasn't sure how I would like this book since my favorite part of Henry VIII is Anne Boelyn, but the author does it again. After I got through the first hour of the book, I couldn't stop listening. The book is not completely accurate, but it is a wonderful work of fiction! Definetly recommend this book to others!
I had just finished The Other Boleyn Girl...was thrilled to find out there was a second book. The narration was top-notch!
All Gregory's books in the Tudor series. Also, Connie Williams Oxford time travel books take you back to the 14th century.
I loved all the narrators. Anne of Cleaves ... she nailed the German accent...and the character had such an air of dignity. Kitty was equally good. Listening to Kitty speak...you just knew it was a young girl. So enjoyable!
Living in King Henry's Court...a Tale of Three Women
Phillipa Gregory has made me a Tudor fan. Ms. Gregory paints such a rich picture of life within the walls of a palace. I cannot phathom the amount of research that must have gone into these books. I read The Other Bolyen Girl first...was in tears when the book ended as I was not ready to leave court yet...only to find out there is a SERIES!!!!! I had read the Red Queen a few years back. King Henry and all his wives makes for an incredibly interesting story. I especially liked the history lesson on the church of England.
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