BookBrowse Reviews The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory

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The Boleyn Inheritance

by Philippa Gregory

The Boleyn Inheritance
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  • First Published:
    Dec 2006, 528 pages
    Aug 2007, 544 pages

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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. Historical Fiction

Once again, Philippa Gregory visits the courts of Tudor England. Written in the alternating voices of the three key protagonists "in an attempt to bring to life these three very contrasting young women in their attempts to survive and profit in these dangerous times", Gregory challenges the historical record that has typecast Henry VIII's fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, as sexually repellent and his fifth wife, Katherine Howard, as a "stupid slut" (in the words of one modern historian), while also exploring Jane Boleyn's role in the machinations of court life during this turbulent period.

As Gregory explains in her essay about The Boleyn Inheritance (which you'll find on the reading guide page at BookBrowse), the most likely reason Henry took so against Anne was that she inadvertently humiliated him when they first met. Henry considered himself a bit of a lad and...

Partial Bibliography
This is Gregory's fifth Tudor novel following:

  • The Other Boleyn Girl (2001), about the two Boleyn sisters, one was Henry's mistress, the other his wife.
  • The Queen's Fool (2003), focuses on the conflict between Elizabeth I and her sister Mary I.
  • The Virgin's Lover (2004), about Elizabeth I
  • The Constant Princess (2005), about Catherine of Aragon.

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