THREE WOMEN WHO SHARE ONE FATE: THE BOLEYN INHERITANCE
ANNE OF CLEVES
She runs from her tiny country, her hateful mother, and her abusive brother to a throne whose last three occupants are dead. King Henry VIII, her new husband, instantly dislikes her. Without friends, family, or even an understanding of the language being spoken around her, she 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.
She catches the king's eye within moments of arriving at court, setting in motion the dreadful machine of politics, intrigue, and treason that she does not understand. She only knows that she is beautiful, that men desire her, that she is young and in love -- but not with the diseased old man who made her queen, beds her night after night, and killed her cousin Anne. Her Boleyn Inheritance: the threat of the axe.
She is the Boleyn girl whose testimony sent her husband and sister-in-law to their deaths. She is the trusted friend of two threatened queens, the perfectly loyal spy for her uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, and a canny survivor in the murderous court of a most dangerous king. Throughout Europe, her name is a byword for malice, jealousy, and twisted lust. Her Boleyn Inheritance: a fortune and a title, in exchange for her soul.
The Boleyn Inheritance is a novel drawn tight as a lute string about a court ruled by the gallows and three women whose positions brought them wealth, admiration, and power as well as deceit, betrayal, and terror. Once again, Philippa Gregory has brought a vanished world to life -- the whisper of a silk skirt on a stone stair, the yellow glow of candlelight illuminating a hastily written note, the murmurs of the crowd gathering on Tower Green below the newly built scaffold. In The Boleyn Inheritance Gregory is at her intelligent and page-turning best.
Gregory describes The Boleyn Inheritance as her current favorite book out of all that she's written. Many of her loyal readers will likely agree. If you enjoy well researched historical fiction and have yet to discover Philippa Gregory a good place to start would be with The Boleyn Inheritance or any other of her Tudor series (such as The Constant Princess also featured at BookBrowse); all, except The Boleyn Inheritance, are available in paperback. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Gregory's knowledge of the period, combined with her novelistic skill, allows her to view this grim tale through the eyes of the three women: wily, experienced Jane; naive, sensible Anne; and vain, greedy young Kitty. Their first-person accounts are convincing and shockingly self-serving. Royal history spoon-fed in a highly digestible form.
Booklist - Margaret Flanagan
Narrated in turn by this trio of intriguing women, this tale of court politics and treachery unfolds from three equally compelling points of view.
Starred Review. Rich in intrigue and irony, this is a tale where readers will already know who was divorced, beheaded or survived, but will savor Gregory's sharp staging of how and why.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Cariola Gregory's Best This is by far Philippa Gregory's best historical novel. I love the way she interweaves the voices of three characters--none of which have been given much voice in previous novels by other authors. I've always wondered what motivated Lady... Read More
Philippa Gregory was born in Kenya in 1954, and educated in England
gaining a BA degree in history from the University of Sussex and a PhD in 18th
century literature from Edinburgh University. For a time she worked as a
journalist but took to full time writing after the success of her first novel
Wideacre, which was written as she completed her PhD. It was the first of a
trilogy (1987-1990) including The Favored Child and Meridon. This
trilogy was followed by Earthly Joys (1998) and Virgin Earth
(1990) set in the English civil war.After this she wrote a number of
stand-alone novels dipping into a variety of genres leaning to romance before
truly hitting her stride in 2001 with the publication of The Other Boleyn
Girl, since then she has focused exclusively on the Tudor period.
She lives in the North of England with her family and, in her spare time, runs a
charity that digs wells for schools in The Gambia, enabling the children to grow
food to eat while at school, with any surplus sold by...
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