From the bestselling author of "The Other Boleyn Girl" comes a wonderfully atmospheric evocation of the court of Henry VIII, and the one woman who destroyed two of his queens. The year is 1539 and the court of Henry VIII is increasingly fearful at the moods of the ageing sick king. With only a baby in the cradle for an heir, Henry has to take ...
From the bestselling author of "The Other Boleyn Girl" comes a wonderfully atmospheric evocation of the court of Henry VIII, and the one woman who destroyed two of his queens. The year is 1539 and the court of Henry VIII is increasingly fearful at the moods of the ageing sick king. With only a baby in the cradle for an heir, Henry has to take another wife and the dangerous prize of the crown of England is won by Anne of Cleves. She has her own good reasons for agreeing to marry a man old enough to be her father, in a country where to her both language and habits are foreign. Although fascinated by the glamour of her new surroundings, she senses a trap closing around her. Catherine is confident that she can follow in the steps of her cousin Anne Boleyn to dazzle her way to the throne but her kinswoman Jane Boleyn, haunted by the past, knows that Anne's path led to Tower Green and to an adulterer's death. The story of these three young women, trying to make their own way through the most volatile court in Europe at a time of religious upheaval and political uncertainty is Philippa Gregory's most intense novel yet.
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I thought this book was a great read.
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Sep 11, 2010
Poor Henry VIII's wives
Gregory has followed up on her gripping tale of Anne Boleyn with the fate of two other wives of Henry. The king is older, despotic, fat, and has a running sore on his leg which smells foul, not a desirable mate. He marries Anne of Cleves, a German from a small Duchy. Henry finds her unattractive, and she thinks he is disgusting. Anne is fortunate; she does not lose her head, but is banished to a remote castle.
His next bride is Katherine Howard, related to Anne Boleyn. She is a frivolous teenager who resists the marriage. But her Uncle, Thomas Howard who is power hungry, prevails. Poor Katherine bravely tries to keep the King happy, but a secret affair proves her undoing.
Jane Boleyn who has served her sister-in-law Anne, and remains at Court to tend the two present wives, is as devious as her Uncle Howard. She proves to be a menace to Henry's wives.
The story is told alternately by the three above women who tell what Henry was like from their perspective. The book is entertaining with its portrayal of life at Henry VIII's Court and the King's deterioration.
Aug 28, 2009
great supplement to the Tudors on HBO
This book was reviewed by my book club and we all agreed it was well written and we discussed the similarities between the three women and how they were affected by the times they lived in. We are going to review it once again as some of our members missed the meeting . That is how much we liked the book.
Apr 26, 2009
This was a good follow up to The Other Boleyn Girl. Tudor Fans must remember that this is pure fiction, but it was a great read for what it was; a good and quick read. The multiple first person accounts did not detract from the story.
Oct 18, 2007
This is one of Gregory's best works yet. I cant get enough of reading about the Tudors and Henry's wives. Unlike the constant princess this story details the lives of two of henry's wives and Jane Boleyn, The sister in-law of the late Anne Boleyn. I finished it quickly because I couldnt tear myself away from it. Its nail biting and teeth grinding. What I like about the way she writes, is that even though you know how history is recorded you are still wanting the outcome to be different because you are so involved with the characters. Poor little Kitty Howard. I would absolutely add this volume to my collection, along with Gregory's other books.
Publishers Weekly, 2006-08-07 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) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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