The Boleyn Inheritance

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Overview

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 ...
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Overview

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. Katherine Howard
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. Jane Rochford
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.
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  • Philippa Gregory
    Philippa Gregory  

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Fascinating...harrowing....If only...history books were written so vividly."

Entertainment Weekly

"The queen of royal fiction."

USA Today

Publishers Weekly
Returning to the scene of The Other Boleyn Girl, historical powerhouse Gregory again brings the women of Henry VIII's court vividly to life. Among the cast, who alternately narrate: Henry's fourth wife, Bavarian-born Anne of Cleves; his fifth wife, English teenager Katherine Howard; and Lady Rochford (Jane Boleyn), the jealous spouse whose testimony helped send her husband, Thomas, and sister-in-law Anne Boleyn to their execution. Attended by Lady Rochford, 24-year-old Anne of Cleves endures a disastrous first encounter with the twice-her-age king-an occasion where Henry takes notice of Katherine Howard. Gregory beautifully explains Anne of Cleves's decision to stay in England after her divorce, and offers contemporary descriptions of Lady Rochford's madness. While Gregory renders Lady Rochford with great emotion, and Anne of Cleves with sympathy, her most captivating portrayal is Katherine, the clever yet naive 16th-century adolescent counting her gowns and trinkets. Male characters are not nearly as endearing. Gregory's accounts of events are accurate enough to be persuasive, her characterizations modern enough to be convincing. 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. (Dec. 5) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The author of The Other Boleyn Girl (2002) returns to the executed queen's doomed family in a historical novel that maps the sad demise of Henry VIII in a series of intimate personal testimonies. Gregory's tale of greed and revenge takes place against the short, unhappy tenures of Henry's fourth and fifth wives. Jockeying for position close to the throne, three powerful, ambitious women collide. The author skillfully allows each character to tell her side of the story in her own words. The first voice we hear belongs to 30-year-old Jane Boleyn, widowed sister-in-law to Anne. Jane's husband George was implicated in his sister's alleged infidelities and went with her to the scaffold in 1533; his calculating wife moved to save her inheritance rather than her husband and six years later is still scheming. Next up is Anne of Cleves, soon to be Queen Number Four, a provincial, German-speaking Protestant princess chosen by Henry's advisor, Thomas Cromwell, as a politically suitable alliance to keep Spain and France at bay. Badgered and bullied all her life by her brother and mother, 24-year-old Anne wants nothing more than to escape Cleves and have a meaningful life. The third voice belongs to Katherine Howard, a pretty, 15-year-old cousin of the dead Anne Boleyn and an incorrigible flirt who is brought to court as a lady-in-waiting by her conniving, powerful uncle, the Duke of Norfolk. Also summoned to court to attend the new queen, Jane begins plotting behind the scenes with Norfolk to assure Anne of Cleve's hasty fall and Katherine's quick ascent in Henry's favor. Gregory's knowledge of the period, combined with her novelistic skill, allows her to view this grim tale through the eyes of thethree women: wily, experienced Jane; na‹ve, 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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743272513
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 8/7/2007
  • Series: Philippa Gregory Tudor Series , #3
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 51,728
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Philippa Gregory is the author of several bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn Girl, and is a recognized authority on women’s history. Her Cousins’ War novels are the basis for the critically acclaimed Starz miniseries The White Queen. She studied history at the University of Sussex and received a PhD from the University of Edinburgh. She welcomes visitors to her website, PhilippaGregory.com.

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    1. Hometown:
      Yorkshire, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 9, 1954
    2. Place of Birth:
      Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa
    1. Education:
      B.A. in history, Sussex University, 1982; Ph.D., 18th-century popular fiction, Edinburgh, 1984
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

The Boleyn Inheritance


By Philippa Gregory

Touchstone

Copyright © 2007 Philippa Gregory
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780743272513

Jane Boleyn, Blickling Hall, Norfolk,

July 1539

It is hot today, the wind blows over the flat fields and marshes with the stink of the plague. In weather like this, if my husband were still with me, we would not be trapped in one place, watching a leaden dawn and a sunset of dull red; we would be traveling with the king's court, on progress through the weald and downland of Hampshire and Sussex, the richest and most beautiful countryside in all of England, riding high on the hilly roads and looking out for the first sight of the sea. We would be out hunting every morning, dining under the thick canopy of the trees at midday and dancing in the great hall of some country house at night in the yellow light of flickering torches. We were friends with the greatest families in the land, we were the favorites of the king, kin to the queen. We were beloved; we were the Boleyns, the most beautiful, sophisticated family at the court. Nobody knew George without desiring him, nobody could resist Anne, everyone courted me as a passport to their attention. George was dazzling -- dark-haired, dark-eyed, and handsome -- always mounted on the finest horses, always at the side of the queen. Anne was at the peak of her beauty and her wits, as alluring as dark honey. And I went everywhere with them.

The two of them used to ride together, racing, neck and neck like lovers, and I could hear their laughterover the thudding of the hooves as they went flying by. Sometimes, when I saw them together, so rich, so young, so beautiful, I couldn't tell which of them I loved more.

All the court was besotted with the two of them, those dark Boleyn flirtatious looks, their high living: such gamblers, such lovers of risk; both so fervent for their reform of the church, so quick and clever in argument, so daring in their reading and thoughts. From the king to the kitchen maid there was not one person who was not dazzled by the pair of them. Even now, three years on, I cannot believe that we will never see them again. Surely, a couple so young, so radiant with life, cannot simply die? In my mind, in my heart, they are still riding out together, still young, still beautiful. And why would I not passionately long for this to be true? It has been only three years since I last saw them; three years, two months, and nine days since his careless fingers brushed against mine, and he smiled and said, "Good day, wife, I must go, I have everything to do today," and it was a May Day morning and we were preparing for the tournament. I knew he and his sister were in trouble, but I did not know how much.

Every day in this new life of mine I walk to the crossroads in the village, where there is a dirty milestone to the London road. Picked out in mud and lichen, the carving says "London, 120 miles." It is such a long way, such a long way away. Every day I bend down and touch it, like a talisman, and then I turn back again to my father's house, which is now so small to me, who has lived in the king's greatest palaces. I live on my brother's charity, on the goodwill of his wife who cares nothing for me, on a pension from Thomas Cromwell, the upstart moneylender, who is the king's new great friend. I am a poor neighbor living in the shadow of the great house that was once my own, a Boleyn house, one of our many houses. I live quietly, cheaply, like a widow with no house of my own whom no man wants.

And this is because I am a widow with no house of my own whom no man wants. A woman of nearly thirty years old, with a face scored by disappointment, mother to an absent son, a widow without prospect of remarriage, the sole survivor of an unlucky family, heiress to scandal.

My dream is that one day this luck will change. I will see a messenger in Howard livery riding down this very road, bringing a letter for me, a letter from the Duke of Norfolk, to summon me back to court, to tell me that there is work for me to do again: a queen to serve, secrets to whisper, plots to hatch, the unending double-dealing life of a courtier, at which he is so expert, and I am his greatest pupil. My dream is that the world will change again, swing topsy-turvy until we are uppermost once more, and I am restored. I saved the duke once, when we were in the worst danger, and in return he saved me. Our great sorrow was that we could not save the two of them, the two who now ride and laugh and dance only in my dreams. I touch the milestone once more, and imagine that tomorrow the messenger will come. He will hold out a paper, sealed with the Howard crest deep and shiny in the red wax. "A message for Jane Boleyn, the Viscountess Rochford?" he will ask, looking at my plain kirtle and the dust on the hem of my gown, my hand stained with dirt from the London milestone.

"I will take it," I shall say. "I am her. I have been waiting forever." And I shall take it in my dirty hand: my inheritance.

Copyright © 2006 by Philippa Gregory Limited



Continues...


Excerpted from The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory Copyright © 2007 by Philippa Gregory. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Introduction

Reading Group Guide

The Boleyn Inheritance

Philippa Gregory

Introduction

We are players in this game, but we do not choose our own moves. The men will play us for their own desires. All we can do is try to survive whatever happens next...

In Tudor England, three women are determined to escape their circumstances and start anew in the court of King Henry VIII.

There is Jane Boleyn, who longs once again for the world of courtiers and royal intrigue even though the last scandal in which she became entangled resulted in the deaths of her husband and her sister-in-law, Queen Anne. There is fourteen-year-old Katherine Howard, who has her cousin Anne Boleyn's beauty and precociousness. When she catches the king's eye she sets in motion a dreadful political plot she is too young to understand. And there is Anne of Cleves, a duchess from a far-away country who cannot even speak the language in her new homeland. Desperate to flee her abusive mother and brother, she is willing to marry Henry and sit on England's throne under the shadow of its last three queens.

A vengeful and unpredictable king, Henry descends deeper and deeper into madness. The peril runs deep, especially for these three women, recalling the terrified days leading up to the death of Anne Boleyn five years earlier. To be a favorite of the king comes at a risk. Will one of these three women inherit the fate of the former queen and pay with her life?

Questions for Discussion

1. What reasons do Jane Boleyn, Katherine Howard, and Anne of Cleves each have for seeking a place in Henry VIII's court? Do any of them believe it might be dangerous to be a part of theroyal circle, or is it a risk they're willing to take? Does your opinion of each woman change over the course of the novel?

2. Why does Anne of Cleves believe it is a matter of need for her to escape the house of her brother and mother? How does the advice Anne's mother gives her-to be demure, to wear chaste clothing-actually work against Anne in her relationship with Henry?

3. When Anne arrives in England, the courtiers "judge her harshly for her shyness and her lack of speech. They blame her for her clothes and they laugh at her for not being able to dance or sing" (75). Why do the members of the court refuse to give Anne a chance? How significant are the language and cultural barriers that hinder Anne when she first comes to England?

4. Compare the way the court initially treats Anne to how they treat her during the Christmas festivities at Hampton Court after the dissolution of her marriage to Henry. In what ways has she re-made herself? What is the single greatest factor in Anne's transformation?

5. Discuss the encounter in which the king comes to Anne of Cleves in disguise, and she rejects his advances. Why does this incident have such an impact on Henry's mental state? How is this incident a turning point for both Anne and for Katherine?

6. Does Jane realize the implications of having given evidence against her husband, George, and sister-in-law, Anne Boleyn? Did she do it to save George and Anne, or did she do it out of spite and jealousy? Why is Jane so eager to return to Henry's court given what happened the last time she was there?

7. Jane is reluctant to give false evidence against Anne of Cleves, as she's ordered to do by the Duke of Norfolk. Why then does she go ahead with it? Does Katherine Howard, who has a friendly relationship with Anne, feel any remorse about usurping Anne's place as queen? Why or why not?

8. What are Henry's motivations for setting Anne of Cleves aside? Is his decision not to have her executed a political one or a personal one?

9. Why does Anne prefer to remain in England rather than return to Cleves? Ultimately, is she satisfied with her life as a single woman?

10. How does the Duke of Norfolk use Jane and Katherine to further his own political advancement? Is Jane a willing participant or more of a pawn in the duke's schemes? How much responsibility does Katherine, who is fourteen years old when she first goes to Henry's court, bear for her actions?

11. When Jane is locked in the Tower awaiting sentencing, she decides to act crazy in order to avoid the executioner's block. Is Jane truly mad or merely a good actress?

12. The Duke of Norfolk tells Jane that she is "a byword for malice, jealousy and twisted love" and that she is "an evil woman" (457). What empathy, if any, do you feel for Jane? Does Jane possess any positive traits? If so, what are they?

13. In what ways does the memory of Anne Boleyn haunt Jane, Anne, and Katherine? What is each woman's "Boleyn inheritance"?

14. Did reading The Boleyn Inheritance give you an understanding of the inner workings of a 16th-century royal court? How so? Discuss the social and political realities of the time-particularly the roles of women-as they apply to the circumstances of Jane, Anne, and Katherine.

15. Have you read Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl, The Queen's Fool, The Virgin's Lover, and The Constant Princess, all of which deal with Tudor-era figures? If so, how did The Boleyn Inheritance compare to these novels?

Book Club Tips

Along with The Boleyn Inheritance, read and discuss The Other Boleyn Girl, Philippa Gregory's novel about the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn as seen through the eyes of her sister, Mary.

Learn more about the Tudor monarchs (and see portraits of Henry VIII's six wives) at www.tudorhistory.org.

Set the scene by serving traditional English tea and pastries. A variety of teas is available at www.englishteastore.com, along with Norfolk Manor biscuits, Currant Scone Mix, English Clotted Cream, and other delicacies. You'll also find a selection of English Tea Party Recipes at www.joyofbaking.com/EnglishTeaParty.html.

Visit Philippa Gregory's website, www.philippagregory.com, to learn more about the author, view a Tudor family tree, and read background information on The Boleyn Inheritance.

Philippa Gregory is the New York Times bestselling author of several books, including The Other Boleyn Girl and The Boleyn Inheritance. A writer and broadcaster for radio and television, she lives in England. She welcomes visitors and messages at her website, www.philippagregory.com.

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Reading Group Guide

Reading Group Guide

The Boleyn Inheritance

Philippa Gregory

Introduction

We are players in this game, but we do not choose our own moves. The men will play us for their own desires. All we can do is try to survive whatever happens next...

In Tudor England, three women are determined to escape their circumstances and start anew in the court of King Henry VIII.

There is Jane Boleyn, who longs once again for the world of courtiers and royal intrigue even though the last scandal in which she became entangled resulted in the deaths of her husband and her sister-in-law, Queen Anne. There is fourteen-year-old Katherine Howard, who has her cousin Anne Boleyn's beauty and precociousness. When she catches the king's eye she sets in motion a dreadful political plot she is too young to understand. And there is Anne of Cleves, a duchess from a far-away country who cannot even speak the language in her new homeland. Desperate to flee her abusive mother and brother, she is willing to marry Henry and sit on England's throne under the shadow of its last three queens.

A vengeful and unpredictable king, Henry descends deeper and deeper into madness. The peril runs deep, especially for these three women, recalling the terrified days leading up to the death of Anne Boleyn five years earlier. To be a favorite of the king comes at a risk. Will one of these three women inherit the fate of the former queen and pay with her life?

Questions for Discussion

1. What reasons do Jane Boleyn, Katherine Howard, and Anne of Cleves each have for seeking a place in Henry VIII's court? Do any of them believe it might be dangerous to be a part of the royal circle, or is it a risk they're willing to take? Does your opinion of each woman change over the course of the novel?

2. Why does Anne of Cleves believe it is a matter of need for her to escape the house of her brother and mother? How does the advice Anne's mother gives her-to be demure, to wear chaste clothing-actually work against Anne in her relationship with Henry?

3. When Anne arrives in England, the courtiers "judge her harshly for her shyness and her lack of speech. They blame her for her clothes and they laugh at her for not being able to dance or sing" (75). Why do the members of the court refuse to give Anne a chance? How significant are the language and cultural barriers that hinder Anne when she first comes to England?

4. Compare the way the court initially treats Anne to how they treat her during the Christmas festivities at Hampton Court after the dissolution of her marriage to Henry. In what ways has she re-made herself? What is the single greatest factor in Anne's transformation?

5. Discuss the encounter in which the king comes to Anne of Cleves in disguise, and she rejects his advances. Why does this incident have such an impact on Henry's mental state? How is this incident a turning point for both Anne and for Katherine?

6. Does Jane realize the implications of having given evidence against her husband, George, and sister-in-law, Anne Boleyn? Did she do it to save George and Anne, or did she do it out of spite and jealousy? Why is Jane so eager to return to Henry's court given what happened the last time she was there?

7. Jane is reluctant to give false evidence against Anne of Cleves, as she's ordered to do by the Duke of Norfolk. Why then does she go ahead with it? Does Katherine Howard, who has a friendly relationship with Anne, feel any remorse about usurping Anne's place as queen? Why or why not?

8. What are Henry's motivations for setting Anne of Cleves aside? Is his decision not to have her executed a political one or a personal one?

9. Why does Anne prefer to remain in England rather than return to Cleves? Ultimately, is she satisfied with her life as a single woman?

10. How does the Duke of Norfolk use Jane and Katherine to further his own political advancement? Is Jane a willing participant or more of a pawn in the duke's schemes? How much responsibility does Katherine, who is fourteen years old when she first goes to Henry's court, bear for her actions?

11. When Jane is locked in the Tower awaiting sentencing, she decides to act crazy in order to avoid the executioner's block. Is Jane truly mad or merely a good actress?

12. The Duke of Norfolk tells Jane that she is "a byword for malice, jealousy and twisted love" and that she is "an evil woman" (457). What empathy, if any, do you feel for Jane? Does Jane possess any positive traits? If so, what are they?

13. In what ways does the memory of Anne Boleyn haunt Jane, Anne, and Katherine? What is each woman's "Boleyn inheritance"?

14. Did reading The Boleyn Inheritance give you an understanding of the inner workings of a 16th-century royal court? How so? Discuss the social and political realities of the time-particularly the roles of women-as they apply to the circumstances of Jane, Anne, and Katherine.

15. Have you read Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl, The Queen's Fool, The Virgin's Lover, and The Constant Princess, all of which deal with Tudor-era figures? If so, how did The Boleyn Inheritance compare to these novels?

Book Club Tips

Along with The Boleyn Inheritance, read and discuss The Other Boleyn Girl, Philippa Gregory's novel about the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn as seen through the eyes of her sister, Mary.

Learn more about the Tudor monarchs (and see portraits of Henry VIII's six wives) at www.tudorhistory.org.

Set the scene by serving traditional English tea and pastries. A variety of teas is available at www.englishteastore.com, along with Norfolk Manor biscuits, Currant Scone Mix, English Clotted Cream, and other delicacies. You'll also find a selection of English Tea Party Recipes at www.joyofbaking.com/EnglishTeaParty.html.

Visit Philippa Gregory's website, www.philippagregory.com, to learn more about the author, view a Tudor family tree, and read background information on The Boleyn Inheritance.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 482 )
Rating Distribution

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(234)

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(163)

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(70)

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(9)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 484 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 3, 2010

    Hold your head

    The 2 least known wives of the fat, old, slovenly, smelly, constipated, and unable to perform Henry VIII. What a ghastly picture of him. This book was fabulous. Doubt if you see this on "Tudors", but indeed this is a part of English History you may not have heard of, at least I didn't. Ms. Gregory is exceptional in taking you to the many castle of the King, and especially the "Tower". This is a must for anyone interested in Tudor history. The author has set up the book so that each chapter is narrated by a different woman, and tied in to each other brilliantly. Hold onto your head!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 23, 2012

    I couldn't put this book down. The Boleyn Inheritance follows th

    I couldn't put this book down. The Boleyn Inheritance follows three very different women, two wives of Henry VIII and the widow of George Boleyn, Anne Boleyn's brother who was executed for incest and treason-on the evidence given by his own wife. Anne of Cleves is the plain but honest, brave, and kind hearted wife brought in to marry Henry on recommendation of Secretary Cromwell. She is a Lutheran and Cromwell hopes to encourage Henry further towards Protestantism. But after their disasterous meeting at Rochester, where the old and vain king foolishly presented himself in the unflattering guise of an ordinary man and was repulsed by Anne, the marriage was doomed. Henry, pride wounded, determines to hate Anne no matter what she does to please him. He then falls in lust with Anne's maid Katherine Howard, who was brought to court by none other than the nefarious schemer the Duke of Norfolk, Anne Boleyn's wicked uncle. Katherine-Anne Boleyn's cousin-is silly, beautiful, and with a vanity that rivals Henry's own but none of his shrewd intellegence. She is a pawn used by Norfolk, who seizes on the King's hatred of Anne of Cleves and pushes Katherine forward in hopes to play the Queenmaker once more. But a girl of fourteen will fall in love, and as Gregory tells us, "Never with a husband of forty-nine." With the King losing his vigor, the Duke of Norfolk next pushes the naive Katherine into the arms of a groom of the chamber, setting her on a dangerous path. Norfolk's other pawn in this is Jane Rochford, George Boleyn's widow and possible Gregory's most brilliantly created character.
    Historically, Jane Rochford is perhaps one of Europe's most despised women. Her name is "a byword for jealous and twisted lust", and Gregory depicts Jane's mental decline with skill, intriguing and horrifying the reader at once. Those who do not know Lady Rochford will meet her and think she is no more than a grieving young widow trying to make her way back into the world. But slowly, Jane's protestations of love for her husband and sister-in-law give way to excuses, and finally when pressed, the truth of what Jane did to George and Anne Boleyn-and why-comes to light. The Duke of Norfolk skillfully manipulates a deteriorating Jane into doing his dirty work with Katherine Howard, and so when yet another of Henry's Queens falls into peril, his hands are clean. Many will think that Jane gets just what she deserves!
    Philippa Gregory handles the difficult task of writing a credible and gripping novel using three seperate narrators: Jane, Anne, and Katherine. Three distinct personalities are shown, and Gregory develops each masterfully. Gregory's portrayal of Henry VIII is less than flattering, and in some cases downright disgusting. All in all, The Boleyn Inheritance is bold, brilliant, like a gossipy friend who you cannot get enough of. I highly recommend this book.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended - You'll Get Hooked!

    The Boleyn Inheritance is the second I've read of Gregory's works, after The Other Boleyn Girl. For years, I have hesitated to read any of the 'historical fiction' novels written by Gregory and other authors like her (Anne Easter Smith, Vanora Bennett, Alison Weir, etc), but I sure am kicking myself now for waiting so long to give them a chance! Gregory's writing style is effortless and addicting, and she does a fantastic job creating unique and interesting characters. This book, like most of her others, is written from the point of view of three different characters. Gregory does a great job varying her writing so that you can easily tell which character's point of view you are experiencing, even without reading the chapter title that tells which character is narrating. I appreciate that the chapters are relatively short, because it makes it so much easier to fit reading into my busy lifestyle. Overall, I very much enjoyed The Boleyn Inheritance, and I am looking forward to reading many more by this author!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Wonderful

    This book was told from the point of view of three different characters. Anne of Cleves, Jane Boleyn, and Katherine Howard. Two of these women become wives to King Henry VIII. I really enjoyed reading from the different perspectives in this book because it allows you to better understand the bigger picture of what was going on, the scandal, and the intimacy of the plot as well. One character alone could not have brought so much depth to this story. I thought Philippa Gregory did a wonderful job yet again!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Masterfully written and insightful

    This gripping novel is told from the perspective of three historical figures, Jane Boleyn, Anne of Cleves, and Katherine Howard. Gregory interweaves their stories as short pieces almost as though they had written diaries, portraying the roles and expectations of, as well as the injustices to, women. Each of these women were caught up in the court and the peculiarities of King Henry and their lives flow ever faster towards their conclusion.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Three noble women share one tragic fate...

    After reading that on the back how could I not be intrigued. The story is from three points of view: Anne of Cleves, Jane Boleyn Rochford and The young Kitty Howard.
    It's set after the executions of Anne and George Boleyn. Now I find historical fiction fascinating and this was no different. We all know the story of Henry the 8ths tyranny but Gregory writes it with a refreshing flare.

    Anne of Cleve's marriage to Henry was a disaster from their tragic first meeting. She humiliated him so from there he makes her life a living hell. And we all know that whom Henry doesn't like have a way of losing their heads. EEKS! Poor girl not only does she have to deal with the rumors of her unappealing smell, ugly homeliness, her husband's oozy wound and her husband's wandering eye and peen...Ahem! Little Miss not so virginal Kitty Howard. She has to worry about the "off with her head!" factor. Okay wrong historical figure but you get the idea.
    This book was pure courtly Gold! It spans from July 1539 through January 1547. The reign of Anne and Kitty. As well as the much deserved fall of Jane wanna-be Boleyn Rochford.

    catholickittie.blogspot.com

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 6, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Love this Book

    I was just excited to read each page and to learn what was going to happen next. Learned things I never knew or imagined about that time in our history.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2007

    Yet another poor look at some of Henry's wives, by this author...

    Phillipa Gregory is a bad writer. Period. She makes a joke of this period in time with her awful writing. By far the worst book I've read by her, or anyone else that has written anything about Tudor England. I would only recommend this book to people who favor daytime TV to reading -- because at best, that is all this shallow, not-very-historical-but-very-soap-opera, poorly written dramafest is...the written equivalent of Jerry Springer. How insulting, that she is hailed as 'The First Lady of Historical Fiction'

    1 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2014

    I am a Phillippa Gregory fan, but... this is no one of her bett

    I am a Phillippa Gregory fan, but... this is no one of her better books. While I did enjoy reading about an event from the point of view of the different women, much of the wording was very repetitious. So much so that I thought I'd lost my place on some occasions and was rereading something I'd already read. But, I was not.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2014

    A must read

    Great book! Highly recommend. Easy reading. Page turner. Tells history through the eyes of true life people. History come alive.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2014

    Excellent Reading

    I love reading this authors books she can bring history alive and make it so interesting. It is a shame she wasn't an advisor for the series The Tudors because it was so off base in so many ways. Henry Tudor was a horrible man even in his youth. Bravo! I look forward to reading more by Philippa Gregory.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2013

    Loved this book!

    Loved this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2013

    Reading History the fun way

    I like the way Philippa Gregory writes about the Royal Court and all of their antics and what they go through in their daily lives. It is reading about history.

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  • Posted April 5, 2013

    Beautifully Written!

    I love historical novels and started with the audio book of this first and then added it to my Nook library. The writing is amazing and entertaining. Three stories from Lady Jane Rochford, Lady Katherine Howard and Queen Anne of Cleves. Each page pulls you further and further into the world of Henry VIII just after the death of Queen Jane and the arrival of Anne of Cleves.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    Loved it

    Great read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2013

    Engaging

    Philipa Gregory knows how to write great historical fiction.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    Great follow up to 'The Other Boleyn Girl'

    After reading 'The Other Boleyn Girl', I was very curious as to other marriages of Henry, King of England. Although the first book was, in my opinion, the best, this is a formidable 2nd choice. Philippa Gregory creates a stunning visual of her characters, and her plot twists and turns are irresistible. A worthy read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    Once again Philippa Gregory takes us into fact and fiction with a flair like no other author I have ever read. Anyone who enjoys English history and a wonderful story to go with it will want to read this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2012

    Good

    Read the other boelyn girl first

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2012

    FUCK YOU KING HENRY THE 8

    Omg i hate him hes so horrible

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