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The Other Boleyn Girl Paperback – Feb 18 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 272 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Harper Collins (Feb. 18 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007262809
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007262809
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 x 3.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 299 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 272 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,041,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Other Boleyn Girl (TOBG) is one of the worst historical fictions I've ever read. Gregory takes every myth, stereotype, rumour, and lie about Anne Boleyn's life, and turns her into a caricature, which resulted in another bodice-ripper based on little more than conjecture. TOBG could have been so much more, if Gregory has taken the time to conduct intensive research. Instead, she takes Retha Warnicke's convoluted theory and ran with it.

None of the characters emerge as an anything but selfish, idiotic, brats, who are more interested in their sexual inclinations. George Boleyn, one of the great minds of Henrician England, is relegated to an ineffectual loser, who lacks any religious devotion, personality, or intelligent thought. He is so far removed from the real man I was reduced to banging my head on the wall. Mary Boleyn, a mistress of two kings in the real world, is made to be the virginal, good girl, who suffers from a strong moral compass. Mary must fight off her evil, sexualised, villain sister to win the King's affection. Anne is so depraved and desperate(she is the epitome of the sexual predator), she wants to commit incest with her brother. The only true fact within this nightmare is many readers believe it to be fact. Apparently, Gregory is also an historian. She's not! Check her credentials. No PhD in Tudor history to be found.

Gregory wants to sell books. I get it! But, save your money, and go read an author worthy of your time and hard earned cash. For better Boleyn/Tudor fiction, check out: Jean Plaidy, Margaret Campbell Barnes, Sandra Byrd, and Robin Maxwell.
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Format: Paperback
Gregory has written a very graphic and intriguing tale about the life and times of courtly politics during the reign of Henry VIII. Her rendition of these very hair-raising times tracks the rising fortunes of the Boleyn family as it connugles its way into the grace and favor of Henry's, a lustful, vengeful and wiley Tutor dynast. What makes the book a compelling read is that there are two Boleyn girls contending for Henry's affections, both brought to his attention by greedy and grasping relatives who are seizing the opportunity to grab power and shape their own dynasty. In this battle of wills between the Boleyns, Wolesly,and Norfolk, Gregory does a superb job in welding the elements of sexual dalliance - a constant theme of Tutor times - and political subterfuge in the spirit of Machiavelli. Anne, the oldest of the two sisters, is determined to use her French charm and wit to 'steal' Henry from Mary, her younger sister and mistress to the king, and become the Queen of England in her stead. What Anne doesn't understand in all her wheeling and dealing is that while her efforts might succeed, she will invariably make a lot of enemies along the way, and may very well end up alienating her newly acquired husband's affections because of her inability to produce the all-critical male heir. Unlike Mary, Henry's concubine of three years, Anne does not want to settle for just being the King's whore. She has other more grandiose plans that entail going for everything. It is this driven and obsessive personality of hers that will spell her eventual downfall. Into this steemy mess of courtly intrigue and subversion, throw the seedy and strange life of the brother, George, who also has designs on becoming an important magnate in the kingdom.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
"The Other Boleyn Girl," by Philippa Gregory, purports to tell the story of Mary Boleyn, Anne's sister and her predecessor as a lover of Henry VIII, albeit only at her family's behest. Mary and Anne are locked in a bitter rivalry, but Anne needs Mary both to support her in her struggles to become Queen and to provide her with the things that she cannot get for herself, including a son. Mary, on the other hand, wants only to live for love and would prefer to be in the country, away from the Tudor court and all its machinations, but her attempts to find happiness are blocked by her bolder, more ambitious sister.... I generally dislike novelists who take real historical figures and real historical events and twist or distort them for their own purposes, as Gregory does here. For example, she has Mary becoming a wife at age 12 and Henry's lover at age 14, rather than having those events occur when she's in her late teens or early 20s, thereby suggesting to modern readers that Henry (and by extension all men at his court) is a pedophile. She paints Anne as a complete shrew, utterly malicious and spiteful towards everybody, especially her (in this book, not in reality) younger sister, whereas Mary is a simple, uncomplicated woman who cannot be said to live a blameless life but who is nevertheless saintly when compared to Anne. She suggests that Anne and her brother George were engaged in an incestuous relationship which leads to a pregnancy and miscarriage of a "monster." And so on and so forth. The real story of the Tudors and the Boleyns is dramatic enough in its own right; distortions like those in Gregory's book are just cheap shots, to my mind. Competently written, but not worth your time.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of those books which I felt started off really badly - and so any other brilliance in it was very much marred by the bad start. I found the first part which is a description of an execution rather curious - although it is clearly written to shadow a scene at the end of the book - but Mary Boleyn - the narrator of the story is watching an execution and waiting for Henry to commute the sentence...which she apparently believes he will. I cannot recall a single instance where in the middle of an execution he did this - there may well be but they certainly don't seem to be well documented. So right at the start I was a bit nonplussed.
In the very next chapter Mary describes herself as 'the youngest Boleyn girl" who is waiting for her sister Anne to return from France. Now this is patently wrong. Mary was the eldest girl - she went to France first in the retinue of Henry VIII's sister who married the King of France. Anne Boleyn, her younger sister, followed later. Francois, the king of France even described Mary Boleyn as the most promiscuous woman at the French court - and this was at a time when the French court was highly promiscuous.
After that I found myself very much at odds with much of the material in the book - I found it hard to enjoy what was patently a plot device (making Mary the younger sister) to try to build up some kind of rivalry between the two sisters over Henry's affections.
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