The Boleyn Inheritance

The Boleyn Inheritance

by Philippa Gregory
4.3 481


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The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory

From “the queen of royal fiction” (USA TODAY) comes this New York Times bestseller featuring three very different women whose fates are each bound by a bloody curse: the legacy of the Boleyn family.

After the death of his third wife, Jane Seymour, King Henry VIII of England decides to take a new wife, but this time, not for love. The Boleyn Inheritance follows three women whose lives are forever changed because of the king’s decision, as they must balance precariously in an already shaky Tudor Court.

Anne of Cleves is to be married to Henry to form a political alliance, though the rocky relationship she has to the king does not bode well for her or for England.

Katherine Howard is the young, beautiful woman who captures Henry’s eye, even though he is set to marry Anne. Her spirit runs free and her passions run hot—though her affections may not be returned upon the King.

Jane Rochford was married to George Boleyn, and it was her testimony that sent her husband and infamous sister-in-law Anne to their deaths. Throughout the country, her name is known for malice, jealousy, and twisted lust.

The Boleyn Inheritance is a novel drawn tight as a lute string about three women whose positions brought them wealth, admirations, and power, as well as deceit, betrayal, and terror.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743272513
Publisher: Touchstone
Publication date: 08/07/2007
Series: Plantagenet and Tudor Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 82,074
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Philippa Gregory is the author of many bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn Girl, and is a recognized authority on women’s history. Her work has been adapted for the screen in The Other Boleyn Girl movie and the critically acclaimed STARZ miniseries The White Queen and The White Princess. Her most recent novel is The Last Tudor. She graduated from the University of Sussex and received a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, where she is a Regent. She holds two honorary degrees from Teesside University and the University of Sussex. She is a fellow of the Universities of Sussex and Cardiff and was awarded the 2016 Harrogate Festival Award for Contribution to Historical Fiction. She welcomes visitors to her website,


Yorkshire, England

Date of Birth:

January 9, 1954

Place of Birth:

Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa


B.A. in history, Sussex University, 1982; Ph.D., 18th-century popular fiction, Edinburgh, 1984

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The Boleyn Inheritance 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 481 reviews.
just-a-thot More than 1 year ago
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!
HasadaAmin More than 1 year ago
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.
Alle_Berry More than 1 year ago
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!
Jessi88 More than 1 year ago
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!
AnnieBM More than 1 year ago
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.
CatholicKittie More than 1 year ago
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.
saescape More than 1 year ago
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.
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Sat under a tree, her eyes closed.
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NahvilleReader More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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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HRHScarlet More than 1 year ago
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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