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A Lady Raised High: A Novel of Anne Boleyn

A Lady Raised High: A Novel of Anne Boleyn

4.3 10
by Laurien Gardner

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Young Anne Boleyn entranced the most powerful man of his time, King Henry VIII. But she would not yield to him unless he offered her marriage and the Crown.

To win her, Henry would challenge the powers of Heaven—and create upheaval on Earth.


Young Anne Boleyn entranced the most powerful man of his time, King Henry VIII. But she would not yield to him unless he offered her marriage and the Crown.

To win her, Henry would challenge the powers of Heaven—and create upheaval on Earth.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
After 2005's heavy-handed The Spanish Bride: A Novel of Catherine of Aragon, Gardner's second entry in her wives of Henry VIII eyewitness series takes a more lighthearted look at the tragic Anne Boleyn. Queen Anne's rise and fall is recounted by her maid Frances Pierce, a country girl brought to court after her impulsive leap to protect the king's paramour from a flung handful of mud. As Frances stumbles her way through the life of a royal servant, encountering court intrigue and political upheaval, she becomes Anne's closest confidante, thanks largely to her sincere devotion and na ve lack of ambition. Seeing the world through Frances's rose-colored spectacles, Gardner remains sympathetic to this controversial queen and tells her tale lovingly all the way to its sad end. Readers looking for a lower-calorie Philippa Gregory will be pleased. With nothing particularly revelatory in the historical backdrop, the novel is free to concentrate on characterization and romance, with agreeable results. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
Tudor Women Series
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Laurien Gardner is the author of a series of historical novels about the women of Tudor England: The Spanish Bride, A Lady Raised High, and Plain Jane.

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A Lady Raised High: A Novel of Anne Boleyn 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book, after the first 50 pages I didn't want to put it down. 
ZQuilts More than 1 year ago
I just read this over this last couple of night and I have to say that I couldn't put this book down. I thought that they story of AB told through the voice of her attendant (another nobody girl that AB herself had raised high)was a refreshing take on an oft told story. Well done and highly enjoyable I definitely can recommend this as a good read - especially for an Tudor history enthusiasts & historical fiction fans in general
Guest More than 1 year ago
i have read many books on the tudor genre and i found this book amazing i read through it quickly.it is a must read. this books not really about anne boleyn but fransis perice but is still a good read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although very simple, light-toned, and skims over major historical points, this is a pretty good book. It puts on no airs that it was meant to be highly detailed in facts or politics therefore, there's no expectation that can be unfulfilled. It uses just enough history, in fact, to barely pass in the genre of historical fiction. Rather, it's provided merely as the background feeling and texture for what's really a story of friends and lovers. I much prefer this simple, unpretentious book far before any overelaborate tabloid written by Phillipa Gregory.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A novel of Anne Boleyn, told from a lady-in-waiting's viewpoint? When I received this book as a gift, I wondered how well I'd like that storytelling technique applied to a period of history - and an historical figure, Anne Boleyn - of long-standing interest to me. My 'after-the-read' opinion is that having the fictional character Frances Pierce tell Anne's tale worked very well indeed. Henry VIII, King of England, wants one thing above all others: an heir for his throne. A male heir, of course, since any woman must be ruled by her husband and how can Henry leave his kingdom to a son-in-law's control? His queen, Catherine of Aragon, has in the course of eight pregnancies managed to rear only one child: Princess Mary. So when Henry's roving eye (not considered a fault, or even a cause for comment, among royals in this era) falls on a beautiful and strong-willed young noblewoman, he's able to justify making a second marriage with her in dynastic terms. What makes it different from other occasions when kings have put away one wife to marry another, though, is that the pope refuses Henry's petition for annulment of his marriage to Catherine. Anne won't bed with him unwed, and he does need a male heir. So Henry uses the era's rising movement toward religious reform for his own purposes, and divorces the English church from that of Rome before he - now considered that church's head - divorces himself from Catherine. That's the familiar background. Placed on its canvas to tell this story is Frances Pierce, an impoverished baronet's only child who gains a place at court just as Henry begins establishing Lady Anne as his future wife. Impulsive, fully as strong-willed as her patroness, the naive young girl is lucky enough to attract the immediate attention of King Henry's courtier John Carlisle - an earl's son, who understands the dangers of court intrigue. During the next few years, Jack Carlisle watches over Frances despite that young woman's resentment of his efforts. Eventually he negotiates to win her as his wife, a process that has nothing to do with gaining her consent to the marriage - indeed, Frances knows nothing about it until the deal has been concluded. Can Jack carry out his stated intention in marrying Frances, and protect her during the turmoil that results from Anne's following in Queen Catherine's footsteps by producing only a princess? Or will Frances, whose devotion to Anne blossoms over the years from girlish admiration into a friend's steadfast love, bring herself to grief at last despite his attempts to keep her safe? Author Gardner succeeded in making me care as much about Frances and her Jack as I ever have about Catherine, Anne, and Henry VIII's other unfortunate wives, through all the many books I've read about them. While this isn't deep historical reading, neither is it the kind of 'historical romance' that plays fast and loose with the facts. It was worth both my time, and the gift giver's money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MELKI More than 1 year ago
Anne Boleyn has inspired uncountable works of fiction. This is yet another example. What's good about Gardner's book: It's very easy to read. It's fast paced and quite enjoyable. The first person account told by Frances Pierce is light and uncomplicated, which makes for a perfect weekend read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was excited to start reading this book, and I had high expectations...but...I felt as if the author focused on telling us too much about Frances, Anne's favorite servant, and not enough about Anne herself. I don't recommend this book if you really want to learn about Anne Boleyn, because I thought the athor did a poor job of giving us insight into Anne's life.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1532 Frances Pierce rescues Anne Bolyn from a mud throwing mob that considered her to be the whore of King Henry VIII. Feeling obligated Anne takes the country bumpkin with her to court where she is determined to pressure the monarch to divorce his Spanish Bride, Catherine of Aragon so she can replace her on the throne. Frances¿ honesty and loyalty quickly make her a favorite confident of Anne. When Henry VIII does the unthinkable and defies Heaven by divorcing Catharine and marrying the pregnant Anne, Frances remains with her as her prime lady in waiting. She stays with her mistress over the thousand days as Anne falls from grace and she is there when the second wife is accused and convicted of incest with her brother. Finally Frances is one of the witnesses to Anne¿s execution. --- Laurien Gardner¿s Second wives of Henry VIII tale is an interesting historical look at the legendary Anne Bolyn through the eyes of a loyal somewhat naïve servant. Readers will appreciate the tidbits of history especially some of the lighter moments though nothing new surfaces perhaps because the tale has been told so often. Still this is a well written account of the relationship that changed England (not just religion as that daughter that Henry wanted male and legit was Elizabeth) so that fans of Tudor tales will want to read. --- Harriet Klausner