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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 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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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 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.

30 review for The Boleyn Inheritance

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Boleyn Inheritance (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #10), Philippa Gregory The book begins in 1539, after the death of King Henry VIII's third wife, Jane Seymour. Henry is looking for a new wife and chooses Anne of Cleves, daughter of John III, Duke of Cleves, whom he has only seen from portraits sent to him by her brother, a minor duke. Jane Rochford is summoned to court by the Duke of Norfolk to be a lady-in-waiting at the court of King Henry VIII. Jane has unpleasant memories of court, be The Boleyn Inheritance (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #10), Philippa Gregory The book begins in 1539, after the death of King Henry VIII's third wife, Jane Seymour. Henry is looking for a new wife and chooses Anne of Cleves, daughter of John III, Duke of Cleves, whom he has only seen from portraits sent to him by her brother, a minor duke. Jane Rochford is summoned to court by the Duke of Norfolk to be a lady-in-waiting at the court of King Henry VIII. Jane has unpleasant memories of court, because she is the widow of George Boleyn and sister-in-law to Henry VIII's second wife, Anne. George and Anne Boleyn were both executed in 1536 for "adultery, incest and plotting to murder the King." Katherine Howard is a fourteen-year-old girl (the cousin of Anne Boleyn) living with her grandmother at Lambeth Palace, where she has grown accustomed to a lax, licentious lifestyle. She has taken a lover, Francis Dereham, and the two have sworn to be married. Katherine's uncle informs her that she will go to court if she can behave herself and she swears to herself not to let anything, including Francis, get in her way of success of the throne. Anne, who has heard of the fates of her predecessors, is not sure about being the queen of England but is eager to leave her family, as nobody really cares for her. Her arrival in England goes well until she is surprised by a drunken man (actually Henry VIII in disguise), who plants a sloppy kiss on her; she responds with an angry shove and curses him in German. Although she tries to make amends once she is aware of his identity, the King holds a grudge for the duration of their marriage because of this. Henry is also put off by Anne's looks, since her German style of dress is bulky and unflattering, and she physically seems to appear nothing like her portrait. Despite his misgivings, Henry goes ahead with the marriage, but he is already looking for a way out. Anne is at a great disadvantage during the first months of her new life as she hardly speaks any English or Latin, the diplomatic language of the time. Due to her strict religious upbringing, she has not been taught how to play an instrument, sing or dance, and her mother has not made her aware of the facts of life. Despite this, Anne quickly befriends Jane Rochford, who is one of her ladies-in-waiting. Jane is as surprised as anyone at Anne's plain appearance and ill proficiency at English, but Anne is an honest, sweet young woman who wins over the English people, if not her husband. She makes an effort to befriend Prince Edward, and the princesses Elizabeth and Mary, even when it enrages her husband, and makes a point to learn as much English as possible. A few months after their wedding, Henry decides to rid himself of his new wife. Fearing for her life, Anne agrees to sign an annulment saying that she was previously betrothed to Francis of Lorraine and that her wedding was not consummated. She is given the title "Princess" and receives land, money, and the treatment reserved for the king's own sister. ... تاریخ خوانش روز چهاردهم ماه سپتامبر سال 2019 میلادی عنوان: وراثت بولین کتاب دهم از سری داستانهای خاندان پلانتاژنه و تودور؛ نویسنده: فیلیپا گرگوری؛ خاندان «پلانتاژنه» از تبار «فرانک‌»ها بودند، و از سده ی نهم میلادی، در «آنژه» حکومت داشتند؛ آنان از راه پیوند زناشویی، با پادشاهان «انگلستان» خویشاوندی یافتند، و از سال 1154 میلادی تا سال 1485میلادی، یعنی از زمان پادشاهی «هنری دوم» تا «هنری هفتم» بر «انگلستان» فرمان راندند.؛ در سده ی چهاردهم میلادی، آنان در «انگلستان» به دو شاخه ی خاندان «یورک» و خاندان «لنکستر» تقسیم شدند، و بر سر قدرت با یکدیگر جنگیدند، که این رویداد به جنگ «رز»ها نامور است؛ با درگذشت «ریچارد سوم» در نبرد «بازورث فیلد» در سال 1485میلادی، دوره ی سیصد ساله ی فرمانروایی این دودمان، در «انگلستان» به سر آمد آن بولین، دومین همسر، و شهبانوی «هنری هشتم» پادشاه «انگلستان» از تاریخ روز بیست و هشتم ماه می سال 1533میلادی، تا روز هفدهم ماه می سال 1536میلادی بودند، که در برج «لندن» به اتهام زنای با محارم، و خیانت به همسر خود «هنری هشتم» گردن زده شد؛ گناهی که هیچگاه صحت آن اثبات نشد؛ وی مادر «الیزابت نخست» بوده است تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 12/05/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Boers

    The story of Henry the VIII’s less well known wives, Katherine Howard and Anne of Cleves, as told by themselves and Jane Boleyn, sister in law of the doomed Queen Anne. What Gregory does well is utilize the known history to augment her fiction. Her characters might well share the motives of the Tudors & Co, and if they don’t, well, they’re still highly plausible and enjoyably readable. Not a subtle book by any means-the phrase “the Boleyn Inheritance” is used no less than 2 million times-but tot The story of Henry the VIII’s less well known wives, Katherine Howard and Anne of Cleves, as told by themselves and Jane Boleyn, sister in law of the doomed Queen Anne. What Gregory does well is utilize the known history to augment her fiction. Her characters might well share the motives of the Tudors & Co, and if they don’t, well, they’re still highly plausible and enjoyably readable. Not a subtle book by any means-the phrase “the Boleyn Inheritance” is used no less than 2 million times-but totally immersive and admirably detailed. Recommended for: fans of female centered historical fiction, those wishing wish ‘Game of Thrones’ was more gossip/court intrigue and less high stakes violence/despondency.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    You have to hand it to Philippa Gregory — she creates a lot of suspense out of a story everyone knows the ending to. Normally I don’t much go in for historical fiction, but this was available at the library on cd and I had a road trip coming up, so, in the words of Katherine Howard, “Voilà!” I was entertained, though not enthralled. The novel spans Henry VIII’s marriages to Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard, and is narrated by three women: Anne, Katherine, and Lady Rochford (Jane Boleyn, siste You have to hand it to Philippa Gregory — she creates a lot of suspense out of a story everyone knows the ending to. Normally I don’t much go in for historical fiction, but this was available at the library on cd and I had a road trip coming up, so, in the words of Katherine Howard, “Voilà!” I was entertained, though not enthralled. The novel spans Henry VIII’s marriages to Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard, and is narrated by three women: Anne, Katherine, and Lady Rochford (Jane Boleyn, sister-in-law of beheaded Anne Boleyn). Anne of Cleves is both intelligent and honorable, and I felt for her as she slowly realizes that she’d exchanged the humiliations of her brother’s court for the life-threatening humiliations of Henry’s court. The only problem with Anne is her repetitive “realizations” of Henry’s insanity. “I think he must be mad!”; “I fear the king is mad!” “The country is ruled by a madman!” How many times can you be surprised by this? Anyway, it got a bit old, as did her droning on about her life being in danger, especially as we already know she doesn't end up beheaded. (Remember the rhyme: "Divorced, beheaded, died; divorced, beheaded, survived.") And besides, Henry VIII wasn't insane, just selfish and corrupt. The truly mad character is Lady Rochford, who yearns to return to the same court that had decimated her family a few years before. Even more unbelievably, she is shocked — shocked! — when her uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, proves as duplicitously self-serving as ever. I mean, isn’t it obvious that if a man will throw one niece under the bus, he’d throw another one? Her machinations seem doomed from the start simply because of who she's taking orders from. The real star of the show, however, is Katherine Howard, the endearingly materialistic, shallow, short-sighted teenage successor to Anne of Cleves. She’s not so much stupid as supremely unintellectual, with a genius for flirtation and blindness to danger. Surprisingly, I found myself rooting for this self-serving little hussy who didn't think twice about feigning ecstasy with a disgusting old man if it meant she'd get a new dress. There's something refreshing about a person who doesn't know you're supposed to hide your materialism. In the audiobook the women are narrated by three different actresses, which adds immeasurably to the individual voice of each character —Katherine’s portrayal was spectacular. Fun to listen to on a drive, though I wouldn't waste the time to read it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Katerina

    I truly believe Henry VIII's court should have a warning sign. I truly believe Henry VIII's court should have a warning sign.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    I read The Other Boleyn Girl first and that book should bow down to this one. The books hardly compare. This one is by far the better book. Although I greatly enjoyed both, for me this one was told in such a unique way and by women I didn't know much about that it grabbed me from the beginning. It tells the story from three different perspectives. One unexpected and extremley interesting the wife of Anne Boleyn's brother, now a widow. Lady Rochford (Jane Boleyn) is now a bitter older women wanti I read The Other Boleyn Girl first and that book should bow down to this one. The books hardly compare. This one is by far the better book. Although I greatly enjoyed both, for me this one was told in such a unique way and by women I didn't know much about that it grabbed me from the beginning. It tells the story from three different perspectives. One unexpected and extremley interesting the wife of Anne Boleyn's brother, now a widow. Lady Rochford (Jane Boleyn) is now a bitter older women wanting to be kept involved in court life and is haunted by a past mistake. It then switches to Anne of Cleves. She is sitting and being painted. This portrait will be sent to the King. There he sends for her to become his wife. When he sees her he is disgusted by her. How can she handle such a situation with a hateful brother back home and a hateful husband in England? The third person is Henry's eventual fifth wife the young teenage Katherine Howard. She is young, foolish, and loose and has no idea that her fate will lead her to the King and her mistakes to her death. This story weaves three extrelmely interesting and entertaing stories into one. It is told in an engaging way and it makes you want to keep turning the pages. It is one of the best Elizabethean historical fiction I have read and defintley my favorite by this amazing author. It will captivate you and move you.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies

    I'm a sucker for Tudor historicals. It never gets old reading about the six queens of Henry VIII, and it gives me a serious appreciation for my daily life after reading about the dangers of living in the past. Having a tendency to stick my foot in my mouth results in social ostracism these days for me, in the past, I could have been beheaded, raped, drawn, tortured, disemboweled, boiled alive. And if I'm lucky, it would have been done in that order. While it's no torture reading this book, I did f I'm a sucker for Tudor historicals. It never gets old reading about the six queens of Henry VIII, and it gives me a serious appreciation for my daily life after reading about the dangers of living in the past. Having a tendency to stick my foot in my mouth results in social ostracism these days for me, in the past, I could have been beheaded, raped, drawn, tortured, disemboweled, boiled alive. And if I'm lucky, it would have been done in that order. While it's no torture reading this book, I did find it drawn on and I am not a fan of the characterization. Besides Anne of Cleves, who is admittedly dull, the other two main characters in this book, the unfortunate Jane, Lady Boleyn and the infantile Queen Katherine, both seem like caricatures. Jane is a devious, desperate shrew unable to see the truth of her actions until the very end, and Katherine would make Cher of Clueless fame seem positively brilliant in comparison. I find it particularly grating that she keeps repeating "Now let me see, what do I have?" in the beginning of her sections. I understand that the author is trying to reinforce the fact that Katherine is empty-headed, materialistic, and vain, but there is a way of doing it correctly to gain the reader's sympathy; having her grate on the reader's nerves is not how it's done.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    This installment in the Tudor series was Philippa Gregory at her best, giving life to some of the least known or understood characters of the Tudor era. Two queens, one perpetual lady-in-waiting and the ever cunning Duke of Norfolk make this story gripping and frightening. First, there is Anne of Cleves, a twenty-four year old queen, who reigns some six months, but is savvy enough to survive being disposed of by Henry VIII, a feat that few of his wives could boast. Anyone familiar with her story This installment in the Tudor series was Philippa Gregory at her best, giving life to some of the least known or understood characters of the Tudor era. Two queens, one perpetual lady-in-waiting and the ever cunning Duke of Norfolk make this story gripping and frightening. First, there is Anne of Cleves, a twenty-four year old queen, who reigns some six months, but is savvy enough to survive being disposed of by Henry VIII, a feat that few of his wives could boast. Anyone familiar with her story must have wondered why she elected to stay in England after Henry set her aside for Katherine Howard and how she managed to become regarded as his “sister” after she had been his wife. We are mostly told by historians that he found her ugly, but Gregory’s explanations are far more believable and credible than that, and she gives this shadowy queen life. Next, there is Katherine Howard, the fifteen year old, who is beheaded like her cousin Anne Boleyn, but with much less fanfare. Little is known in actuality about Katherine, with exception of an extant letter from her to her lover, Thomas Culpepper. Gregory makes her a pretty and foolish teenager, taken with the limelight and repulsed by the fetid old man, whom no one can deny Henry VIII had become. Again, there is no doubt that this is who she might have been, as plausible a portrait as anyone could draw without having more information to draw on. The third woman we are allowed to see closely is Jane Boleyn. Ah, here much is known and even more imagined, but this is a portrait of Jane that is somehow removed from the cold and calculating portrait we normally see. Not that she is warm, or soft, or lovable, but she is, here, human and pitiable. In fact, even Henry himself is different in this account than in any of the previous ones, but this incarnation seems to be the logical outgrowth of what has come before--a madman, and in many ways a monster. How else to explain a man who would bed a fifteen year old, thinking she desires him, or behead a seventeen year old girl because she does not. I have three more installments in the Plantagenet/Tudor series and I am certain I will miss having another to look forward to when I have completed them all.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Agnes

    Oh, bad historical fiction, how I love thee!! I must confess that I had a hard time putting this down, much like its prequel "The Other Boleyn Girl." To be fair, the historical research is impressive, with the author using the most up-to-date resources and theories available about the reign of Henry VIII, but still...the sex scenes! The maidens! The lack of discussion of politics and historical context! Never mind, it was a great read and I'm sure I'll reread both books in a couple of years. (Ha Oh, bad historical fiction, how I love thee!! I must confess that I had a hard time putting this down, much like its prequel "The Other Boleyn Girl." To be fair, the historical research is impressive, with the author using the most up-to-date resources and theories available about the reign of Henry VIII, but still...the sex scenes! The maidens! The lack of discussion of politics and historical context! Never mind, it was a great read and I'm sure I'll reread both books in a couple of years. (Hah! I was already on the author's website yesterday to see if she is writing anything about Henry VIII's last wife, Catherine Parr.) In short, this novel tells the stories of wives 4 and 5, Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard. Read it after "The Other Boleyn Girl," otherwise the third main character and narrator, Jane Boleyn (Anne's sister-in-law) will not make as much sense. Henry VIII is presented as a uniformly disgusting monster in this volume, as opposed to "The Other Boleyn Girl," which seems consistent with his aging in reality. Romps, beheadings and talk of gowns abound, and the novel is thoroughly enjoyable for its genre with surprisingly few truly awful dialogues/passages. Seriously, I couldn't put it down.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Constantine

    Rating: Excellent Genre: Historical Fiction The Boleyn Inheritance is the tenth book in The Plantagenet and Tudor novels. It tells the story of two of King Henry VIII’s wives, Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard. In addition to the two queens, there is also Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford who was the sister-in-law of Anne Boleyn. The story is told from the three women’s perspectives. This book covers the period in which Henry’s madness was getting out of control. Like the other books in the series, the Rating: Excellent Genre: Historical Fiction The Boleyn Inheritance is the tenth book in The Plantagenet and Tudor novels. It tells the story of two of King Henry VIII’s wives, Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard. In addition to the two queens, there is also Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford who was the sister-in-law of Anne Boleyn. The story is told from the three women’s perspectives. This book covers the period in which Henry’s madness was getting out of control. Like the other books in the series, the details that Gregory puts into the Tudors’ era and into the characters are magnificent. In this book, you have three totally different protagonists. Jane Boleyn has lots of remorse about her past and what she did to her husband and his sister yet she is still thirsty for wealth and decided to plot with her uncle to push another Howard girl in Henry’s way. Young Katherine Howard on the other hand is so naive and portrayed as childish and sometimes dumb. Still, one can’t help but feel sorry for the fate she was sent to. This shows Henry’s cruelty and how he did not spare this fifteen-year-old girl whom he used. Anne of Cleves must have ended being the luckiest and the most clever one of them as she recognized Henry’s madness and understood that it was better for her to get away from him. It is said that she outlived all Henry’s wives. “I will own a cat and not fear being called a witch; I will dance and not fear being named a whore. I shall ride my horse and go where I please. I shall soar like a gyrfalcon. I shall live my own life and please myself. I shall be a free woman. It is no small thing, this, for a woman: freedom.” You have three perspectives in this book but not once I felt confused or forgot who was narrating because the author has taken great care in shaping the three characters. They are very unique and a lot different from each other. So do not fear getting intimidated by the multiple narratives. The novel is filled with all kinds of backstabbing and betrayals. Women are used by men for political reasons to gain wealth and position at court. Reading this novel after The Other Boleyn Girl makes perfect sense as the events in this one follows the events of the previous book. Once more Philippa Gregory has masterfully blended fiction with historical facts in such an amusing way. I loved it and can’t recommend it enough. “We are two women who have recognised that we cannot control the world. 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.”

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Hmm...do I recommend The Boleyn Inheritance? NO. Here's why: 1. It makes me acutely aware that if I enjoyed this series of Phillipa Gregory books in my youth, that when I get crumbly (read: old), I'll probably end up enjoying Harlequin Romance novels. 2. In The Boleyn Inheritance, as with The Other Boleyn Girl, Ms. Gregory writes with such myopic vision that I wanted to scream from the claustrophobic feeling. She writes around in circles, covering the same topic repeatedly with only slight variation Hmm...do I recommend The Boleyn Inheritance? NO. Here's why: 1. It makes me acutely aware that if I enjoyed this series of Phillipa Gregory books in my youth, that when I get crumbly (read: old), I'll probably end up enjoying Harlequin Romance novels. 2. In The Boleyn Inheritance, as with The Other Boleyn Girl, Ms. Gregory writes with such myopic vision that I wanted to scream from the claustrophobic feeling. She writes around in circles, covering the same topic repeatedly with only slight variation. Granted, that is perhaps the entire feel of living at court in King Henry VIII's time, and so she's reconstructing the aura through her writing style. The only redemption for it, though, was her use of three perspectives. In TOBG, we only got to see Mary's view with editorializing, so this new usage of three narrators was the only fresh air readers get. 3. If you are my mother-in-law or my grandmother, stop reading here. Okay, now that it's just us frivolous girls, this novel is full of intrigue, backstabbing, political gaming, greed, beheading. All of which make the perfect plot. And then there's the s-e-x. Lots of s-e-x. Ugh. It churns my stomach, quite honestly, how incredibly detailed they get, how up close and personal they get with a topic that should, imo, be only personal/private. I'm not a prude...obviously, since I finished reading it when I should have set it aside. I know, I know, it's historical fiction, and King Henry VIII was really flatulent, had a huge, open, stinking, puss-oozing wound and was impotent to boot. I get it. Really, I get it. Ms. Gregory kept hitting me in the face with it all, though, and eventually I got fed up. So, three reasons I won't recommend this to anyone. And yet, I can't help imagining that if a friend told me she read it, I'd probably grin and say, "Is it good for you?" It did wrap up nicely the loose ends she left in TOBG, like Jane's (George's wife) betrayal being totally bogus. I enjoyed seeing her get her just desserts. Now, on the other hand, if Ms. Gregory chooses to novelize Princess/Queen Mary's and Queen Elizabeth's reign, I might run headlong into those. If I remember correctly, there was NO sex there.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Marie

    I must confess, I was putting off reading this for ages and ages because having three main characters each with different viewpoints felt extremely intimidating and sounded very confusing. Ha! I needn't have worried. Each of these ladies' lives is so intertwined with each other that it makes for a REALLY easy read. Add the fact that the audiobook is abridged (elsewise I would NOT have finished this in a day, still trying to wrap my head around that one anyway), and this is an absolute breeze of I must confess, I was putting off reading this for ages and ages because having three main characters each with different viewpoints felt extremely intimidating and sounded very confusing. Ha! I needn't have worried. Each of these ladies' lives is so intertwined with each other that it makes for a REALLY easy read. Add the fact that the audiobook is abridged (elsewise I would NOT have finished this in a day, still trying to wrap my head around that one anyway), and this is an absolute breeze of a novel. Not so much for our leading ladies, but you get the idea. This book picks up with Henry's fourth soon-to-be wife, Anne of Cleves, and takes us through his fourth and fifth marriages. I'm still a bit bummed Ms Gregory opted not to grace us with a novel that at least had Catherine Parr somewhat involved, but I suppose by then all the drama llamas that followed Henry VIII around had died off. Sorry, that was bad. Like, really bad. Anyway... After Katherine of Aragon, whom I ADORED reading about in The Constant Princess, I have to say Anne of Cleves is my next favorite of Henry's unfortunate wives. I do like Anne Boleyn, but she's the one with all the publicity, everyone knows her. And I feel like after reading the first three books in this series, binge-watching The Tudors on Netflix is required. And I always seem to mix the Tudors cast with the Other Boleyn Girl cast-- I like ScarJo for Mary Boleyn, but Natalie Dormer will ALWAYS be Anne and I like Jim Sturgess for George. And Jonathan for Henry, because yum. And Tamzin Merchant is perfect for Katherine Howard. I can feel myself digressing. As I said, I like Anne of Cleves and I really feel bad for her because, like Katherine of Aragon, she never did anything to warrant what she got. Granted, it could've been a hell of a lot worse *side-eyes Anne B and Katherine H* but still, this poor girl. She gets dragged out of her home country into a place where she doesn't speak the language nearly at all, gets laughed at and treated with suspicion because of that, and is still excited to meet and marry her new husband. And then as soon as Henry meets her he decides he doesn't like her. What an ass. And throughout all of this, and then dumping her so he can marry a teenager (rape culture much?), Anne is never really angry or very jaded by the whole thing-- just bewildered as all get out. I just want to give her a hug. The "Boleyn Inheritance" seems to be a whole lot of nothing, by the end of this book. Although, I suppose Anne of Cleves would beg to differ, seeing as she wound up with a nice house out of the whole deal. Other than that, both Katherine and Jane Rochford-Boleyn died, for gods' sake. Katherine I did feel a bit sorry for, because she's only a child really. She likes pretty things and would likely be far better off if this whole thing were make-believe and she could marry a handsome prince and go on like that; by the time she and Henry get together he's old enough to be her father and his leg is NASTY and (as evidenced with Anne of Cleves) he can't get it up anymore. Pity Viagra didn't exist. Jane, on the other hand, is a real piece of work. Throughout my learning about her, she just comes across as a snake. In OBG, we hear George moaning about being married to her, which gives the impression that she's not a nice person, and then she stabs both him and Anne in the back, so it's not a good outlook for her at all through the eyes of the reader. But then come this book and she's all BOOHOO I LOST MY HUSBAND, HIS AND ANNE'S GHOSTS HAUNT ME, WAHHHH. Fuck off, bitch. She tries to paint herself all like she really did love him, and I just don't buy it. I don't know how things actually were, back in the 1500s, but I really don't buy it. I was SO glad to hear she died, because it's everything she deserved. Now if only Uncle Norfolk could have gone the same way... Oh and a word about the audio-- great choice. I've loved Ruthie Henshall since she starred in Les Miserables back in the 1990s, and she plays Katherine Howard to the hilt. Very well done. Bianca Amato and Dagmara Dominczyk were also fantastic as Jane Boleyn and Anne of Cleves, respectively -- each of their voices helped keep me in touch with the story, I'll have to remember them when I reread this.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    I picked this up immediately after reading The Other Boleyn Girl, unable to slake my thirst for more of Henry VIII and his court. I was skeptical, as all should be when embarking on a sequel of any sort, but was pleasantly surprised. Divided between three narrators, the evil and half-mad Jane Boleyn, the ill-fated Katherine Howard, and the strong survivor, Anne of Cleves, the reader gets a new perspective on the fourth and fifth wives of Henry VIII. Indeed, though I always knew that Anne of Cle I picked this up immediately after reading The Other Boleyn Girl, unable to slake my thirst for more of Henry VIII and his court. I was skeptical, as all should be when embarking on a sequel of any sort, but was pleasantly surprised. Divided between three narrators, the evil and half-mad Jane Boleyn, the ill-fated Katherine Howard, and the strong survivor, Anne of Cleves, the reader gets a new perspective on the fourth and fifth wives of Henry VIII. Indeed, though I always knew that Anne of Cleves was the wife who was put aside, I never knew that she stayed on in England. Though I knew that Katherine Howard was the youngest of Henry's wives, I never thought how that might have affected her fate. Gregory has taken the perspectives of the two wives that historically we know the least about and once again has written a novel that I just couldn't put down. Though we will never know the truth about these two women, I believe that Gregory has in some way vindicated these two ill-treated wives. Definitely an enthralling read, and as I said in my review of The Other Boleyn Girl, Gregory certainly does her research. In both books she provides a bibliography.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    In this installment of the Tudor court saga Gregory has 3 different characters narrate the story from their own point of view. This has the potential to make for a very interesting story, but the book was so repetitive because each of the characters was so one dimensional. Allow me to save you the time. Jane Boleyn: I've seen it all before. Doesn't anyone else remember George and Anne. I'm going to get back the power they used to have. Anne of Cleaves: My brother is a crazy tyrant, the king is a c In this installment of the Tudor court saga Gregory has 3 different characters narrate the story from their own point of view. This has the potential to make for a very interesting story, but the book was so repetitive because each of the characters was so one dimensional. Allow me to save you the time. Jane Boleyn: I've seen it all before. Doesn't anyone else remember George and Anne. I'm going to get back the power they used to have. Anne of Cleaves: My brother is a crazy tyrant, the king is a crazy tyrant. I want to be free like a falcon. Katherine Howard: I am a vapid teenage who likes boys, dresses, and being pretty. The characters harp on these themes every time the narration shifts to them. The historical facts should have made this one of the more interesting reads as Henry grows more and more unstable, but instead this book is a tediously long read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Violet Parker

    I thought that the storyline was quite weak and found it a little cringeworthy in parts. The writing wasn't up to the same standard as Philippa Gregory's other books. I thought that the storyline was quite weak and found it a little cringeworthy in parts. The writing wasn't up to the same standard as Philippa Gregory's other books.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    So. This is where I admit defeat and accept that this author simply isn't for me. I tried listening to The Constant Princess and abandoned it because I disagree with the author's characterization of Catherine of Aragon and couldn't suspend my belief far enough to just go with her approach; I abandoned The King's Curse after the first chapter because I disliked the writing; tried this because I liked the idea of reading about Anne of Cleves; and abandoned The Taming of the Queen after the opening So. This is where I admit defeat and accept that this author simply isn't for me. I tried listening to The Constant Princess and abandoned it because I disagree with the author's characterization of Catherine of Aragon and couldn't suspend my belief far enough to just go with her approach; I abandoned The King's Curse after the first chapter because I disliked the writing; tried this because I liked the idea of reading about Anne of Cleves; and abandoned The Taming of the Queen after the opening chapter because, again, the writing didn't appeal to me. I think it's safe to say that the author's writing just isn't for me. And I'm all for taking creative license (hello, I watched The Tudors and actually enjoyed it sometimes, despite all the historical inaccuracies), so it's all me - not the author. I liked the beginning of the book, especially how Anne was portrayed. Lady Rochfort I never really cared for and mostly skimmed her chapters. But then, halfway through, little Katherine Howard takes over. I thought I hated the vapid, giggly little teenager on The Tudors. But then we'd need a whole new word for how I feel about this Kitty. Nine (I counted. NINE) of her chapters started with "Now, let me see, what do I have..." and then she would go on and list all the presents she got from the king. Point taken, the author wants to portray her as a materialistic little flirt who would do anything for a new trinket - even kiss a man she is so repulsed by that she has to fantasize about someone else whenever he's near. I started skipping her chapters early on. Most of them were only a few pages short, so I thought why bother with seeing what just happened through her eyes yet again. But once she became queen and her chapters got longer I just couldn't take it anymore and abandoned the book. I think that might have been my biggest problem with the book. The three women for the most part just take turns describing the exact same events from their point of view.

  16. 5 out of 5

    B the BookAddict

    Anne of Cleves is one gutsy lady; wedded to Henry VIII who is overweight, foul-breathed and has a putrid leg, she barely speaks English, about to lose her crown to the 'slutty' and silly little Katherine Howard, trapped in England and deserted by her family - does she cave in? No, not Anne. "Anne Boleyn has been a shameful secret in our family for so long, it hardly matters whether she was innocent or not... It is not as if I have to follow in her footsteps, it is not as if there is a Boleyn inhe Anne of Cleves is one gutsy lady; wedded to Henry VIII who is overweight, foul-breathed and has a putrid leg, she barely speaks English, about to lose her crown to the 'slutty' and silly little Katherine Howard, trapped in England and deserted by her family - does she cave in? No, not Anne. "Anne Boleyn has been a shameful secret in our family for so long, it hardly matters whether she was innocent or not... It is not as if I have to follow in her footsteps, it is not as if there is a Boleyn inheritance of the scaffold and I am her heir..." A moment of clarity by Katherine Howard. Does she learn to curb her actions/thoughts/deeds? She's fifteen, beautiful, she thinks life will go all her way... Jane Boleyn is, by all accounts, an evil woman; she sent both her husband and her sister-in-law to the scaffold for her own twisted reasons. Philippa Gregory, once again, weaves a story which is compelling and real. 4★. Now added to my tbr list is Anne Boleyn: Fatal Attractions by the notable British History Professor G.W. Bernard

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bookish Ally

    3.75 stars, rounded up to 4. I liked the subject matter, two lesser known queens of HenryVIII, Anne of Cleve and Katharine Howard. We are given a (fictionalization) perspective from Anne, Katherine, and Jane Boleyn, and their relationships to, and with, each other. The traditional view of Howard being a tart that was not the brightest light, was given, and heck, she was executed at 16. Not that her choices or what she may or may not have done had anything to do with her death. Henry was a maniac 3.75 stars, rounded up to 4. I liked the subject matter, two lesser known queens of HenryVIII, Anne of Cleve and Katharine Howard. We are given a (fictionalization) perspective from Anne, Katherine, and Jane Boleyn, and their relationships to, and with, each other. The traditional view of Howard being a tart that was not the brightest light, was given, and heck, she was executed at 16. Not that her choices or what she may or may not have done had anything to do with her death. Henry was a maniac. He was an obese and unpredictable maniac that had a leg with a festering wound that stunk so bad that it perfumed the air around him like a cat box. I don’t think anyone in their right mind would have run towards THAT. By the way, his father was a maniac as well. They all were. Is that why we constantly revisit this horror story? Another good read by Philippa, not her best, but worth the read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sonja Arlow

    Many years ago I read and enjoyed The Other Boleyn Girl and raced to the first next book by this author I could find, which was Wideacre. Oh dear, what a wrong choice that was. I HATED Wideacre , hated it with a passion, and vowed to never bother with a Phillippa Gregory book again. . I have no great love for court dramas, all that bed hopping, backstabbing and scheming is sometimes exhausting to read so I never thought I would miss much by not continuing the Tudor Series. But a good and trusted Many years ago I read and enjoyed The Other Boleyn Girl and raced to the first next book by this author I could find, which was Wideacre. Oh dear, what a wrong choice that was. I HATED Wideacre , hated it with a passion, and vowed to never bother with a Phillippa Gregory book again. . I have no great love for court dramas, all that bed hopping, backstabbing and scheming is sometimes exhausting to read so I never thought I would miss much by not continuing the Tudor Series. But a good and trusted friend kept on reading the series and telling me how much she enjoys it so I finally I decided to give this series another chance. And now at the end of this audio book all I can say is WOW, what an audio production. Little vain and utterly vapid Katherine (Kitty) Howard was my favourite from a narration point of view but all 3 narrators did a brilliant job bringing this book to life. For anyone who does not know the history after Anne Boleyn’s head was chopped off herewith a quick synopsis: Anne of Cleve becomes wife nr 4 in a marriage arranged by Thomas Cromwell. This shy woman is brought to court with no understanding of English and completely unable to navigate the politics. I really felt sorry for her and was delighted as the story unfolded showing how she matured into a woman so much stronger than ever expected. Jane Boleyn – the sister in law to Anne Boleyn brought back to court by her Uncle Howard to monitor, watch and spy on the queen. Jane is a bitter woman feeling entitled to be back at court and trying her best to block out the death of her husband and sister-in-law. Katherine Howard is a pretty spoilt little slut flirt of only 14 years old. She makes social errors and cause scandal again and again with an almost childlike innocence, measuring her happiness in the one thing she does understand, material things. I actually felt sympathy for all 3 these women. Every one of them were nothing more than puppets on a mad master’s strings. This novel is full of intrigue, backstabbing, political gaming, greed and beheading. All of which make the perfect plot. I have to commend the author for presenting history in such an entertaining yet informative way for readers like me who know little about the Tudor period. The writing however is not flawless and if I had read it instead of listening to it I would probably have given it a slightly lower rating. There is quite a bit of repetition in the text. The words “He is so old he could be my Grandfather”, and “Boleyn Inheritance” were repeated a few times too many but the audio allows for more forgiveness in this regard when the narration is captivating. So my advice is that if you can get this book in audio format, go for it. It was highly entertaining!

  19. 4 out of 5

    LMKE

    "So, he is dead at last. The man who failed the promise of his youth, the king who turned tyrant, the scholar who went mad, the beloved boy who became a monster. How many did the king kill? We can start to count now that death has stilled his murderous will. Thousands. No one will ever know. Up and down the land the burnings in the marketplace for heresy, the hangings at the gallows for treason. Thousands and thousands of men and women whose only crime was that they disagreed with him. This is t "So, he is dead at last. The man who failed the promise of his youth, the king who turned tyrant, the scholar who went mad, the beloved boy who became a monster. How many did the king kill? We can start to count now that death has stilled his murderous will. Thousands. No one will ever know. Up and down the land the burnings in the marketplace for heresy, the hangings at the gallows for treason. Thousands and thousands of men and women whose only crime was that they disagreed with him. This is the man they call a great king, the greatest king that we have ever had in England." Philippa Gregory is two for two for me so far. Her books, carefully researched interpretations of English history, are like heroin for someone fascinated with Tudor England such as myself. I've stood in those rooms. I've touched those stones. I've studied those people. There are songs that chant what a strange affair Henry VIII was, but never do we stop to think what terror it must have been to live through, especially for those that actually survived. These books make it come alive. Her words open your eyes to this world, which was once as real as the room I sit in now. You can see the dancing, hear the lutes, smell the soot and taste the blood. These characters, once perceived as nothing but small paintings of strained smiles in your history books, breathe new life and weave a web as intricate as it actually was. I wholeheartedly recommend this book. It's not quite as good as its predecessor, The Other Boleyn Girl, but just as engrossing. It isn't a quick, light read. I will admit that I stopped and picked up two other novels in the middle. But Gregory rewards those that have stayed faithful through the 400-page mark, and the last 100 or so pages are the definition of "page-turner". Please, Ms. Gregory, keep 'em coming...

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lushbug

    Fantastic read. Really sucks you into the terrible Tudor age. Henry is brought to life as an old, smelly, fat, puss filled tyrant-deluded and feared by all, his every whim catered to. Book is narrated by three people, Anne of Cleves who comes over as Henrys fourth bride, Katherine Howards who becomes his fifth wife and Lady Jane Rochford who is lady in waiting to both these brief queens. Anne of Cleves comes across as a very sensible, kind woman. You can understand everyones confusion and dismay Fantastic read. Really sucks you into the terrible Tudor age. Henry is brought to life as an old, smelly, fat, puss filled tyrant-deluded and feared by all, his every whim catered to. Book is narrated by three people, Anne of Cleves who comes over as Henrys fourth bride, Katherine Howards who becomes his fifth wife and Lady Jane Rochford who is lady in waiting to both these brief queens. Anne of Cleves comes across as a very sensible, kind woman. You can understand everyones confusion and dismay when she is usurped as Queen by the silly, vain Katherine Howard simply because the King finds her more attractive. Anne handles her public casting off and humiliation well (imagine the embarrassment of knowing a fat old smelly king who repulses you has openly told the court he cant bed you as you have slack breasts and a fat belly) and being unable to defend yourself for fear of punishment and death. You can feel the fear of court-no one knows who will be caught in the trap and bedheaded on trumped up charges and everyone seems willing to turn on their friends to escape the axe. Even Katherine was quite likable-at the end of the day she had had no parental authority in her life when growing up and spent her teenage years in idleness with other young girls-who can blame her for becoming a silly wanton intent on nothing but her own pleasure. I shuddered with repulsion alongside her when she has to endure the kings public groping and when she had to lie with him in a bed and try to conceive a child ( as her future depended on it) though he is well past the ability and must have made her want to vomit (being about twenty stone, smelly, with a fuss filled leg that constantly oozed and stank) urghhhh. None of the three women get any choice in their life `We are all players in this game, but we do not choose our own moves'. One of those books that made me want to read more on the Tudor queens and even the notorious Jane Rochaford and discover more about their life and times.

  21. 5 out of 5

    M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews

    I enjoy the history of this series more than I do the fictionalization, haha. The author does give a good view into what life would have been like in this time, and in the strata of society that these women move/live in, but I will say that the three narrators of this story could come across as whiny at times, especially Jane, and repetitive at times, but this is the tenth book in the Plantagenet/Tudor novels and I guess the author was getting a bit tired of it? Eh, still a good story, and shift I enjoy the history of this series more than I do the fictionalization, haha. The author does give a good view into what life would have been like in this time, and in the strata of society that these women move/live in, but I will say that the three narrators of this story could come across as whiny at times, especially Jane, and repetitive at times, but this is the tenth book in the Plantagenet/Tudor novels and I guess the author was getting a bit tired of it? Eh, still a good story, and shifting between the three perspectives kept things from getting too stale. 3.5/5 stars.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Candace

    Three women tell us of their lives under King Henry VIII. Duchess Anne of Cleves (Henry's fourth wife), Katherine Howard (Henry's fifth wife) and Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford, sister-in-law to Queen Anne (Henry's second wife). Each would have a different Boleyn Inheritance. Anne of Cleves is 24 years old and is the only wife to escape with her head intact. (Queen Katherine of Aragon died from illness, so her head was on her shoulders too.) Young Katherine Howard is married to the King at the age o Three women tell us of their lives under King Henry VIII. Duchess Anne of Cleves (Henry's fourth wife), Katherine Howard (Henry's fifth wife) and Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford, sister-in-law to Queen Anne (Henry's second wife). Each would have a different Boleyn Inheritance. Anne of Cleves is 24 years old and is the only wife to escape with her head intact. (Queen Katherine of Aragon died from illness, so her head was on her shoulders too.) Young Katherine Howard is married to the King at the age of fifteen and beheaded at the age of seventeen. Jane Boleyn is the oldest of the three. She will serve all five queens before her beheading. The man behind the machinations is Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk. He is the uncle of Katherine and the uncle-by-marriage of Jane. He will sacrifice both women to save his own skin and wealth. I went into this novel blind. I didn't read the blurb. I only selected this book based on its cover and the fact that it is a historical fiction novel. I'm glad I read it. The three stories kept me intrigued throughout the book. I knew Henry VIII's wives by name, mostly. I'm most familiar with the first three wives-- Katherine, Anne and Jane. It was interesting to get a perspective on wives four and five. I knew next to nothing about Jane Boleyn. She was an eye-opener on the politics of Tudor court. The plot was intricate. The description places the reader in Henry VIII's England. I look forward to reading more by Philippa Gregory. I read this novel for A Book for All Seasons challenge #2: Reading Blind

  23. 5 out of 5

    Shy

    I was first introduced to Philippa Gregory when I watched movie adaptation of one of her novels. The Boleyn Inheritance is actually the third installment in her Tudor series and was preceded by The Constant Princess and The Other Boleyn Girl (The movie was adapted from this novel). I was a bit skeptical while reading the first few chapters of the book but was pleasantly surprised at how good it eventually turned out to be. In The Boleyn Inheritance, King Henry VIII was no longer the handsome, bel I was first introduced to Philippa Gregory when I watched movie adaptation of one of her novels. The Boleyn Inheritance is actually the third installment in her Tudor series and was preceded by The Constant Princess and The Other Boleyn Girl (The movie was adapted from this novel). I was a bit skeptical while reading the first few chapters of the book but was pleasantly surprised at how good it eventually turned out to be. In The Boleyn Inheritance, King Henry VIII was no longer the handsome, beloved young man that we met in The Other Boleyn Girl. He was portrayed as a fat, stinky, mad and paranoid tyrant, who ruled his country with such cruelty. When Anne of Cleves found out that the king chose her to be his forth wife, she treated it as a way to escape herself from her obnoxious brother and mother. Little did she knows what she got herself into and the devastating mistake she made during her first acquaintance with the king caused him to hate her ever since. In the Court, she met Katherine Howards, a very young, witty, naive lady-in-waiting, who was willing to do anything for few pairs of gowns, ribbons and jewelries. There was also Jane Boleyn, head of Queen's privy chamber, who was responsible for the death of her own husband and sister-in-law and also one who never hesitate to put others' head on the block for her own personal gain. This is the story about betrayal, backstabbing and political game that creates a question of who will be sustained enough to survive it in the end? The thing that I love most in this book was the way it was narrated from three different viewpoints. Yes, some people might find it repetitive but in my opinion, it is fascinating to see the same plot being played in the mind of three different persons. It sort of acquaints us with these different personalities and make us understand further on what their personal intentions might really be. In term of character development, most of them are somewhat one dimensional but this is completely understandable because I believe it would be hard to let a historical figure evolves without deviating too far from the original fact of the story. The book was beautifully written until at some points, I feel like I can see them dancing, hear the music, feel the fear and smell the unpleasant scent of blood. Definitely a book that shouldn't be missed by any fans of historical fiction.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Shirley Revill

    Philippa Gregory's books are well researched and very well written. Never been disappointed as yet. Highly recommended. Philippa Gregory's books are well researched and very well written. Never been disappointed as yet. Highly recommended.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bunny

    When I realized it was this book's turn on the list (I keep about 15 or so books in my car out of the library at a time, and go by order of the list on the library's site), I really wasn't excited. I considered returning it and thinking about picking it up later. I'm glad I didn't. I really, really enjoy Gregory's style of writing, I have to admit. It's extremely easy to read, which isn't so easy when dealing with historical fiction. I did not sympathize even a little bit with Katherine Howard. I When I realized it was this book's turn on the list (I keep about 15 or so books in my car out of the library at a time, and go by order of the list on the library's site), I really wasn't excited. I considered returning it and thinking about picking it up later. I'm glad I didn't. I really, really enjoy Gregory's style of writing, I have to admit. It's extremely easy to read, which isn't so easy when dealing with historical fiction. I did not sympathize even a little bit with Katherine Howard. I did feel bad for Anne of Cleves, but since I'm a google whore, I knew she wouldn't die, so it was a little easier to read her parts. I understand that there are Jessica Simpson-esque women throughout history, but I was really under the impression that in the 1500's and such, young women weren't quite as flaky as they are now. Katherine Howard could well have been plucked from the mall of today and placed in Henry's court, for how she acted. I don't know how much of that I buy. She certainly did irritate me like the women of today. Henry's descent into madness was well played, but god, if I had to hear about the damn constipation, the rotten teeth, the fat, the pus in his leg one more time, I was going to slam the book shut. I can handle anything one time, but 25? The ending chapters, with Jane and Katherine going back and forth, were my personal favorite parts. I snuck and read them this morning at work. It wasn't like, "Oh, do they survive?! Do they survive?!" I just liked seeing their individual reactions to the axe. Jane Boleyn was a bitch, man. Her insanity was wickedly fun, though. And I don't mean just at the end.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Simon

    I know. I know, but Gregory is writing about Anne of Cleves, and how can someone who likes historical fiction not read about Anne of Cleves? I note with incredulity that other reviewers are impressed by Gregory's research. Look, she knows where things happened, and she probably has constructed some kind of calendar as to when things happened, but let's face it, so has Wikipedia. What I want to know is why things happened, and that means she has to get inside the head of Jane Rochford (but she's r I know. I know, but Gregory is writing about Anne of Cleves, and how can someone who likes historical fiction not read about Anne of Cleves? I note with incredulity that other reviewers are impressed by Gregory's research. Look, she knows where things happened, and she probably has constructed some kind of calendar as to when things happened, but let's face it, so has Wikipedia. What I want to know is why things happened, and that means she has to get inside the head of Jane Rochford (but she's really Jane Boleyn, because she is Yet Another Boleyn Girl, she is), Katherine Howard, who is portrayed as being a ninny of the first order and everybody's pawn (the Duke of Norfolk should have his own menacing background music) and finally, Anne, who as usual is depicted as the queen who gamed the system. None of the characters are remotely convincing, or operate with anything resembling human emotions. That's not completely true. Try and imagine the Mitford Girls as Tudors. There ya go. However, at the end of the book, after Jane and Katherine are, um, dispatched because, um, adultery --- don't get me started on the sex scenes --- there is still Katherine Parr wandering around. Next Up: The Queen Who Wanted to Be a Boleyn Girl

  27. 4 out of 5

    N

    An unevocative retelling of Henry VIII’s doomed marriages to Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard. First, I should note that this book contains a lot of paragraphs of the following structure: “Could this book really be so overwritten? I couldn’t believe that this book was so overwritten. It was overwritten and yet I didn’t know why. Why was it so overwritten?” No, really. I’m not exaggerating. I wanted to attack the thing with a red pen. I realize that the trend is for historical novels to be sweepi An unevocative retelling of Henry VIII’s doomed marriages to Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard. First, I should note that this book contains a lot of paragraphs of the following structure: “Could this book really be so overwritten? I couldn’t believe that this book was so overwritten. It was overwritten and yet I didn’t know why. Why was it so overwritten?” No, really. I’m not exaggerating. I wanted to attack the thing with a red pen. I realize that the trend is for historical novels to be sweeping and epic, but unfortunately, the rather slight plot of The Boleyn Inheritance did not warrant its 200,000-word heft. The three protagonists (including Anne Boleyn’s sister-in-law, Jane), each describing the events from their own POV, led to a huge amount of repetition – even apart from Gregory’s above-noted love of hammering home her points. Gregory is clearly not a skilled writer. The number of run-on sentences included in the novel demonstrates that quite obviously, but there’s also just not a lot to find interesting in the way that the story is told. The writing is so solipsistic that it squanders the potential of its setting, rarely bothering to describe the beauty and strangeness of Tudor Britain. In conclusion: dull.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Orsolya

    This was one of my first Gregory books read and still one of my favorites. Henry VIII's wives are still a topic which capture's the imaginations of many people and the entertainment world (ie films, TV, etc). The Boleyn Inheritance is a glimpse into the world of the "other" wives after the (in)famous Anne Boleyn and her sister-in-law Jane Parker (Lady Rochford) who went to her grave for helping Catherine Howard commit adultery. Gregory created a magnificent read which tells the stories of wives This was one of my first Gregory books read and still one of my favorites. Henry VIII's wives are still a topic which capture's the imaginations of many people and the entertainment world (ie films, TV, etc). The Boleyn Inheritance is a glimpse into the world of the "other" wives after the (in)famous Anne Boleyn and her sister-in-law Jane Parker (Lady Rochford) who went to her grave for helping Catherine Howard commit adultery. Gregory created a magnificent read which tells the stories of wives after Anne. Each is depicted with rather strong historical accuracy and the characters are brought to life before your eyes. Each has a strong personality which will linger with you after you finish the book and read other ones on the wives of Henry VIII. Basically, it is a strong novel. The section of Lady Rochford are a bit lacking in my opinion; being the least colorful, but to give Gregory some credit, not much information exists on her personality (no diaries, letters, etc) versus her actions as a lady-in-waiting. The world of Gregory and the Tudors is always a dramatic one and this is no exception. Fun and intelligent; a must-read for Tudor fans.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lois

    This was good. I like the merging of the stories of Anne of Cleves, Jane Boleyn and Queen Kitty. The women have such vastly different temperaments makes for a nice balance. I expected Three Sisters, Three Queens to be more similar in format to this novel. I appreciate the sympathetic portrait of Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford. History has not been kind to her. Jane's a small person but the author does attempt to add depth to this much maligned person. This was good. I like the merging of the stories of Anne of Cleves, Jane Boleyn and Queen Kitty. The women have such vastly different temperaments makes for a nice balance. I expected Three Sisters, Three Queens to be more similar in format to this novel. I appreciate the sympathetic portrait of Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford. History has not been kind to her. Jane's a small person but the author does attempt to add depth to this much maligned person.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Karen’s Library

    Another captivating novel of Tudors, this one of King Henry the VIII's wives #4 and 5. As usual with Gregory's books, I could barely put this down today until I finished. Another captivating novel of Tudors, this one of King Henry the VIII's wives #4 and 5. As usual with Gregory's books, I could barely put this down today until I finished.

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