Loathed by the English people, Anne was soon caught in the trap of her own ambition. When she failed to produce a much-desired male heir, her political rivals closed in, wrongfully accusing her of adultery and incest. Anne found herself imprisoned in the Tower of London, at the mercy of her husband and her enemies.
©1986 Jean Plaidy; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Plaidy excels at blending history with romance and drama." (The New York Times)
I've become a sucker for Audible. I love audiobooks, to the point of addiction. Especially a good romance audiobook... :)
This was my first Jean Plaidy. (THERE ARE PITIFULLY FEW OF JEAN PLAIDY'S BOOKS IN AUDIBLE!)
I must disagree with Alison Weir, who made minor derogatory remarks about Jean Plaidy's research in Weir's own Lady in the Tower. While I adore Ms. Weir, I must admit that this is one of the finest books about Anne Boleyn to date. Jean Plaidy has a new fan!
The writing style is excellent and the author gives us more background than I've yet to find. We learn about the death of her mother and the sweet relationship she had with her step-mother; her days in France; her obsession with the design of her own clothes, etc.
Because the story is seen through the eyes of a retrospective woman going to her death, Plaidy is able to give brilliant insights and observations of her research and study. Anne is trying to understand "what went wrong?". Her hindsight is 20/20, so we are treated to a narrative that is a great deal more objective.
Also, this was a joy to listen to. I sometimes get annoyed with Flosnik's work, but she was FLAWLESS in this book. Anne Flosnik has rarely been more appropriately cast as narrator!
I enjoyed listening to this story with all the details of emotion from a six yr old being sent to a strange country after her mother dies her ship sinking and barely surviving to becoming Queen of England. Giving birth to the country's most loved Queen but she's accused and beheaded as a convinence to the King so he can be free to marry and produce an male Heir. Very good story. Very complete no holes needed to be filled.
I'm a big fan of the Tudors(TV show) and was definately excited to hear this book by Jean Plaidy. I was really glad of the fact that she spent time with Anne's earliest years in the French Court. Something the show wasn't able to do. It's also a departure from The Other Boleyn Girl in that respect also. I thought that it helped to set up the rest of the book, to explain why she acted how she did towards Henry, and the politics of the Court.
Having said that I was slightly disappointed that more attention wasn't paid to certain things like Catherine's appearance at Blackfriars. I felt that part was really rushed. I also felt that she didn't really get into how she felt being a mother to Elizabeth, until the very end. In fact the years between her telling Henry she wouldn't be his mistress to their marriage seemed rushed. But maybe one year was much like another so she felt she didn't need to spend so much time with it.
I did feel that I got a good feeling for King Henry though. I felt that Plaidy made him a bit more indepth than Gregory does. I didn't hate him as I did in The Other Boleyn Girl. But I preferred TOBG to Plaidy in regards to Anne's family. George wasn't a big figure in this, and neither was Mary. I felt that they didn't exist really in the whole book.
I would highly recommend this though for a more sympathetic look into the life of Anne Boleyn. I'm glad Plaidy took a more human approach to the woman who changed the face of English history.
As for the narrator, I liked her voice some of the time. Her Spanish accent and pronunciation left much to be desired, as did her French.
Jean Plaidy's research is brilliant, but the choice of the reader was truly inspired.
Her ability to convince you that you were listening to a child speaking at one moment and an adult the next. Her accent is spot on for historical novels. Perfect diction and believability.
I've just listened to this for the second time through. Of all the books I've read or listened to in this area of history, and I've amassed a formidable pile, I think this is one of the very best. I recommend it without hesitation to anyone with a taste for stories about royalty (the star-studded celebrities of history.) The narrator's voice is so well chosen and smoothly performed, in my mind's ear she IS Anne Boleyn. And the author balanced historical detail with first-person thoughts and feelings in a way that felt nearly seamless. One always has to accept an author's take on things that can't be known for sure. I enjoyed this completely and I know I'll listen to it again sometime.
I didn't realize this book was historical fiction, but that's OK! It was enjoyable. I was surprised it kind of made Anne Boleyn out to be a heroine. Once I got used to the idea, that was OK too. I didn't fully know what a ******* Henry was!!! (I keep forgetting this was fiction but then after the book I googled around to find more about Henry and if he really boiled that guy in oil.) Now you have to get the book to see who was boiled in oil. I would hate to have lived back then because I think Henry may have poisoned the guy and boiled the cook in oil to hide his own misdeeds. This book makes you think about what it was like to live under absolute monarchy...no thanks!!! One of the best things about the book was showing how her upbringing may have shaped how Mary turned out later. If you didn't already know some of this you would not realize from the book how Mary was going to turn out. The only reason I don't give it five stars is I think it made Anne out to be too innocent. But an enjoyable read!
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