February Book: The Boleyn Inheritance

I’m a big fan of historical fiction.  I like the way authors interweave fact with fiction to make a believable story that takes you back to whatever place they write about and help you connect with characters from the past.

Phillipa Gregory is an author of Tudor historical fiction, if not an expert.  She has a gift of bringing characters to life in a such a way that it is as if she is talking about a best friend, acquaintance or someone we can easily relate to in Tudor society.  She takes you there to their extravagant courts and allows you to experience what it must have been like to live in King Henry’s world.

I have read a lot on Tudor history and Gregory’s The Boleyn Inheritance is an exceptional view of the lives of two of Henry VIII’s wives and a Boleyn rat (!) who do their best to survive King Henry VIII.  Anne of Cleves, the German wife, the obedient, loyal foreign wife and queen.  Katherine “Kitty” Howard, a selfish, frivolous child wife and queen.  Lady Rochford, or Jane Boleyn, who did everything she was told to do to destroy others if only to save her own neck.  The book is written in first person through the eyes of each woman, in turn.  Each tells her journey in vivid detail from her struggles to her wardrobe, to her relationship with King Henry.  It’s as if you, the reader, are right there with them, taking the same steps they took, eating the same food they did, playing the same games and dancing the same masques they did, even breathing the same air, which was not always so pleasant, if not downright nasty.  I loved this book.  I couldn’t put it down.  I read it rather quickly as I knew I would because I have heard of Gregory’s genius for writing about Tudor history and it just catches you and holds on to you until you get to the very last page.

This is not a book on historical fact, rather, it is a fictional story based on historical fact about three women who lived during a time when a great king was going mad and becoming a monster.  No one was safe, not even them.  The author has cleverly made the story and these characters believable and real.  No one can know for certain what happened day-to-day or what exact conversations took place but this comes close enough.

I highly recommend this entertaining work of fiction.  Another A+!

The Boleyn Inheritance Wikipedia

Great book!

One Response to February Book: The Boleyn Inheritance

  1. Misterx says:

    Very interesting! Am I crcoert in thinking that Mary was very short, as was her mother, Katherine? This sitter looks short but she also appears to have a bust, which might imply that it’s at least a teenager. I wonder, if it is Mary, could the Spanish have commissioned it, perhaps to keep Katherine’s spirits up throughout her illness and exile from her daughter?The sitter’s expression is also very much like one I’d imagine Mary to have; somewhat serious and unhappy. I’m also fascinated by the painter’s style it’s so realistic, it looks like a photo! Brilliant find! Thanks for sharing.Karina

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