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At the Mercy of the Queen: A Novel of Anne Boleyn Paperback – January 3, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
Margaret Shelton would not have chosen to go to court if she had been given the option, but she had been told to obey her uncle and do as he said so their family could advance. Anne was lucky in her father's choice of "Madge" for she came to truly love her cousin, the queen and she would put her needs above her own. She tried to keep Anne from angering the king and she warned her when the king started to wander.
Madge catches the eye of one of the king closest friends, a man with no morals who is use to having the woman he wanted. When Madge refuses his advances, Norris gets the king to allow him to marry her. At the same time, the natural son of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk falls in love with Madge and in time she returns his love, but they both know that if they disobey the king he will probably kill them. The king was already a tyrant and many had already died or been imprisoned for daring to go against him.
For Anne, Henry VIII separated from the Catholic Church and made himself head of the church in England. This enabled him with Cromwell's help to create legalisms, which allowed him to pillage the churches, kill his enemies and steal their lands.Read more ›
By my 5 star rating you can tell that I found that the book really did offer a fresh, new view. Madge Shelton was in a very unique position in the Court of Henry VIII.
Arriving from from the country as a young girl, Madge was innocent of the vagaries and morals of Court life. Her nickname at Court quickly becomes "Pretty Madge" and the reader follows her story as she rebuffs the admiring courtiers and soon becomes Anne Boleyn's closest confident and champion.
Madge becomes swept along in the story of Anne's determination to be wife of King Henry and, later of Anne's desperate attempts to fulfill her royal duty of filling the royal nursery with make heirs - as her predecessor, Katherine of Aragon had failed to do - a failure that led the Country though religious wars and the dismantling of the monasteries.
As Anne desperation for a son becomes the only focus of her life she hatches a plan to lure the King into an affair with Madge's; proffering her beauty and charms as bait in order to keep the the King from courting the King's current paramour, the milk faced Jane Seymour. Not long before Anne devises this plan to have Madge lure the King into an affair Madge herself has succumbed to lure of love - falling in love with a handsome, well placed Courtier named Charles Brandon who Madge initially called 'Sir Churlish'.Read more ›
Anne, on the other hand, is wonderfully depicted and I couldn't help but feel sympathy towards her situation. Madge witnesses the stillbirth/miscarriage of two infants and the devastating grief that Anne succumbs to. Her behaviors, moods and motives are completely reasonable in light of her husband's wandering, um, eye, and his greedy political and religious schemes. I felt she rightly defended her position and that her strong will was demonstrated in this novel.
Historically, I found it true to events, though the author obviously had to take liberties to suit her story, and those inaccuracies were easily identifiable to anyone with general knowledge of the Tudor saga. I appreciated that Thomas Wyatt was portrayed as a kind soul and Henry Norris was a loathsome miscreant.
The reason I was leaning toward downgrading my ranking to three stars was because of the eye-rolling dialogue. The author's attempt at being authentic was a bit over the top and I was a exasperated at the overuse of words like "anon" and "'tis.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a historical novel about Anne Boleyn and her maid, who is also her cousin. There isn't a lot of action -- most of the book is spent waiting ... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Elizabeth B.
I read Queen Elizabeth's Daughter and really liked that, so I decided to read this one as well. I wasn't disappointed. Read morePublished 11 months ago by catlvr14
I enjoy Tudor based novels so I couldn't resist this one. "At The Mercy of the Queen" entertained me on a rainy vacation day. Read morePublished 17 months ago by G Jackson
Good easy read that gives one an idea of court life under Henry VIII.Published 18 months ago by cecilia m. arthur
Have not read yet however - LOVE being able to download books and immediately access via my Kindle!! Great service and I never run out of things to read. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Donna
Dreadful. It was an excellent subject and I was looking forward to reading it but it was poor writing. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Melissa Lyman
This book is based on history of King Henry the 8th. It reminded me of the movie called "The other Boleyn" Very interesting as far as women are concerned, on how they... Read morePublished on May 2, 2014 by Joan Koko
An interesting view of Anne Boleyn's rise and downfall, as seen by her cousin/lady-in-waiting, Madge Shelton. Read morePublished on April 12, 2014 by kcvinweho
Author goes out of the way to get names, family relations, titles, and styles wrong in uniquely impressive fashion. Read morePublished on February 12, 2014 by Charlene Vickers