Mary Boleyn, ‘the infamous other Boleyn girl’, began her court career as the mistress of the king of France. François I of France would later call her ‘The Great Prostitute’ and the slur stuck. Mary would emerge the sole survivor of a family torn apart by lust and ambition, and it is in Mary and her progeny that the Boleyn legacy rests.
©2013 Amberley Publishing (P)2013 Amberley Publishing
author of Lowcountry Legend's series
I enjoyed this more than Allison Weir's version of Mary's life. It was clean and not wishy-washy, The author was clear about her stance on something and why she takes that position. Considering what is known about her, this book was the right length. The narration is not the best.
"Insight into one of history's supporting cast"
It was really interesting to have the spotlight turned onto one of the supporting characters in the drama of Anne Boleyn, her sister Mary.
Mary was mistress to Henry long before he ever met Anne and was, apparently, held in some affection long after their affair was over. Sadly, there's not much evidence of what she was like as a person, but she comes out of this book as a far nicer character than her sister. Beside Mary, I also got to meet other members of the cast list whose names I had vaguely heard of but whose history is otherwise obscure (to me at least), such as Henry Fitzroy, Henry Carey and Catherine Carey, all of whom were Henry VIII's illegitimate children.
I also very much appreciated the way in which the author presents the evidence and then argues the case for various theories about what happened to Mary and her family. It's nice to be let in on the inside rather than having the 'facts' dictated.
I haven't read Josephine Wilkinson before, but I will certainly search out her work.
I'm sorry to go on about the quality of narration, but for me it can spoil the overall satisfaction of listening to an audiobook. This narrator has a good strong voice but is let down by her pronuniciation of English and frequent stumbles over emphasis. Some words were obvioulsy completely unfamilar to her, such as tryst (pronounced like Trieste) and marquess (as marquee). It's clear that the latter example was picked up by the producer and in later sections the correct pronunciation is delivered. That raises the question as to why all these very glaring faults were not corrected in the editing process?
This audiobook has also been subjected to brutal cutting, so there is hardly a pause between one chapter and the next. This only adds to the slightly frenetic mood of this listening experience.
"Great start but ending lacks Mary herself"
No I don't think I would listen to it again. There is little information on Mary Boleyn (compared to her sister Anne) and I feel that, after a good start, it moves on more to what the people around her were doing. It doesn't say much about what Mary was doing, mainly her sister Mary and her father Thomas.
Well will have to be Mary Boleyn by Alison Weir. Both have different opinions but I liked this one's opinion on Catherine and Henry Carey being the King's children.
Struggling but calming and direct
When Anne Boleyn was executed.
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