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The Boleyn Inheritance Mass Market Paperback – December 30, 2008

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"The Taming of the Queen" by Philippa Gregory
By the best-selling author behind the Starz original series The White Queen, a riveting new Tudor tale featuring King Henry VIII’s sixth wife Kateryn Parr, the first English queen to publish under her own name. Learn more | See related books
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. 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... 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 naïve 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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Just when we think we have heard the last of the Boleyns, after The Other Boleyn Girl (2002), Gregory resurrects the ill-fated family in the persona of Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford. After her damning testimony results in the execution of both her husband and her sister-in-law, Anne Boleyn, Jane continues her ruthless scheming as she serves as lady-in-waiting to Anne of Cleves, Henry VIII's reviled Bavarian-born fourth wife, and naive, doomed [fifth] wife, Catherine Howard. Narrated in turn by this trio of intriguing women, this tale of court politics and treachery unfolds from three equally compelling points of view. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Reprint edition (December 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439124671
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439124673
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (659 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Kenya in 1954, Philippa Gregory moved to England with her family and was educated in Bristol and at the National Council for the Training of Journalists course in Cardiff. She worked as a senior reporter on the Portsmouth News, and as a journalist and producer for BBC Radio.

Philippa obtained a BA degree in History at the University of Sussex in Brighton and a PhD at Edinburgh University in 18th-century literature. Her first novel, Wideacre, was written as she completed her PhD and became an instant worldwide bestseller. On its publication, she became a full-time writer.

Wideacre was followed by a haunting sequel, The Favoured Child, and the delightful happy ending of the trilogy: Meridon. This novel was listed in Feminist Book Fortnight and for the Romantic Novel of the Year at the same time.

Her next book was The Wise Woman, a dazzling, disturbing novel of dark powers and desires set against the rich tapestry of the Reformation. Then came Fallen Skies, an evocative realistic story set after the First World War. Her novel A Respectable Trade took her back to the 18th century where her knowledge of the slave trade and her home town of Bristol explored the human cost of slavery. Gregory adapted her book for a highly acclaimed BBC television production which won the prize for drama from the Commission for Racial Equality and was shortlisted for a BAFTA for the screenplay.

Next came Earthly Joys and Virgin Earth, based on the true-life story of father and son both named John Tradescant working in the upheaval of the English Civil War. In these works Gregory pioneered the genre which has become her own: fictional biography, the true story of a real person brought to life with research and verve.

The jewel in the crown of this new style was undoubtedly The Other Boleyn Girl, a runaway bestseller which stormed the US market and then went worldwide telling the story of the little-known sister to Anne Boleyn. Now published globally, this classic historical novel won the Parker Pen Novel of the Year award 2002 and the Romantic Times fictional biography award. The Other Boleyn Girl was adapted for the BBC as a single television drama and by Sony as a major motion picture starring Scarlett Johansson as Mary Boleyn, Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn and Eric Bana as Henry VIII.

After adding five more novels to her Tudor Court series including The Constant Princess and The Queen's Fool, two of her best-loved works, Philippa moved back in time to write about the family that preceded the Tudors, the Plantagenets. Her bestselling six-book Cousins' War series tells the story of the bloody struggle for the throne in the Wars of the Roses from the perspective of the women behind the scenes. The White Queen, The Red Queen and The Kingmaker's Daughter were adapted by the BBC and Starz in 2013 as the hugely popular TV miniseries The White Queen.

Having completed The Cousins' War series with The King's Curse, Philippa has come full circle back to the Tudor court. Her next novel will be about Kateryn Parr, the sixth wife of Henry VIII: The Taming of the Queen. Her other work in progress is the young adult series The Order of Darkness, set in medieval Italy after the fall of Constantinople, feared at the time to be a sign of the end of the world.

A regular contributor to newspapers and magazines, with short stories, features and reviews, Philippa is also a frequent broadcaster, a regular contestant on Round Britain Quiz for BBC Radio 4 and the Tudor expert for Channel 4's Time Team. As well as her extensive array of historical novels she has written modern novels, children's books, a collection of short stories, and a non-fiction book with David Baldwin and Michael Jones: The Women of the Cousins' War.

She lives in the North of England with her family and in addition to interests that include riding, walking, skiing and gardening (an interest born from research into the Tradescant family for her novel Virgin Earth) she also runs a small charity building wells in school gardens in The Gambia.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

238 of 243 people found the following review helpful By tregatt on December 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Philippa Gregory continues to entertain and beguile with this latest entry to her Tudor-era historical novels, "The Boleyn Inheritance." This time around, she focuses on the tumultuous events that take place (1539-1542) following Jane Seymour's death in childbed, when Henry VIII decides to marry again, only this time he has decided to make a political alliance with the Protestant kingdom of Cleves in order to check the threatening Catholic alliance of France and Spain. "The Boleyn Inheritance" concentrates on what occurs because of this decision, as seen through the eyes of three of the women most effected by the events -- Anne of Cleves, the Protestant princess that Henry marries; Katherine Howard, the vivacious and lively young English beauty that Henry falls for; and Jane Boleyn, the widow of George Boleyn, whose testimony sent her husband and her infamous sister-in-law, Anne Boleyn, Henry's second wife, to the execution block. Believe me, if you're in on the lookout for a well written and absorbing page turner, "The Boleyn Inheritance" will definitely satisfy.

In 1539, Anne of Cleves, prepares herself for marriage to one of the most powerful men in Europe, Henry VIII of England, who has already been married three times -- once to Catherine of Aragon, whom he divorced and broke from the Catholic Church in order to marry the tempestuous and beguiling Anne Boleyn, whom he later beheaded on the suspicion that she was playing him false, and lastly to Jane Seymour who gave him the son he so devoutly wished for before expiring herself. It is not exactly the kind of marriage that most princesses would dream of, but then Anne's situation at home is hardly an ideal one. How was Anne to know that she had exchanged the firing pan for the fire?
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118 of 122 people found the following review helpful By kaduzy VINE VOICE on August 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Having not merely read but absolutely DEVOURED The Other Boleyn Girl, I was eager to read more from Ms. Gregory, and I decided to go in chronological order by history, rather than publication order. Thus, this book came next.

I suppose it's fair to say that I liked "The Other Boleyn Girl" so much that in all honesty, anything coming after it would have little chance of living up to my massive expectations. I wanted another book that both informed and transported me, another invigorating read that made me forget the world around me and sucked me into a world I had scarcely ever imagined. But unfortunately, that simply never happened with this second foray into Ms. Gregory's meticulously researched world. Throughout this book, I was never able to lose sight of the fact that I was reading about people Ms. Gregory never actually knew personally. I never had that feeling reading "The Other Boleyn Girl". In that book, she always made me feel as if I was reading about real, living, breathing people -- not just historical figures being recreated on a page.

In Gregory's defense, there is not a lot known about the private lives of the three women she tries so hard to bring to life here. (She explains as much in author's note at the end of the book, in a move a more cynical reader might call covering her rear end.) So she had little to draw on, and perhaps she should not be faulted if her characters come off as a little flat, simply because she was unwilling to substitute juicier details for scant facts. However, it must be said that she compounds the problem by splitting her narrative into three parts.
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75 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Susan Higginbotham on December 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I'm always up for another round with Henry VIII and his wives, so I put myself on the library waiting list for The Boleyn Inheritance.

And I'm pleased to report that I enjoyed it immensely.

The Boleyn Inheritance is told by Jane, Lady Rochford, widow of the executed George Boleyn; Anne of Cleves; and Katherine "Kitty" Howard. Jane, self-justifying and self-deceiving, is obsessed with her past yet determined to do whatever she has to do in order to restore her life to its former glamour. Anne, no stupid Flanders mare but a sensible, honorable young woman who longs for freedom and respect, finds that she has exchanged the humiliations of her brother's court for the reign of terror of Henry's. Kitty is an airheaded teenager, with an endless capacity to push aside unpleasant realities in favor of her more satisfying interests: young men, jewels, and pretty clothes. Manipulating Jane and Kitty is the sinister Duke of Norfolk, and stalking through all three women's lives is the unpredictable, increasingly tyrannical Henry VIII.

Gregory juggles the heroines' stories masterfully. Even when Anne of Cleves is relegated to the background and the machinations of the Duke of Norfolk and Jane take center stage, Anne remains to comment on what she sees around her. She, the outsider, becomes both the moral center of the novel and the narrator on which the reader can most rely for an accurate perception of events. Kitty's adolescent preoccupations and mercurial character are captured wonderfully, while Jane, morally repulsive as she is, has a normalcy about her that keeps us reading her story and wondering at her motivations.

There's a certain humor here, often quite dark, that was missing altogether in the very earnest Constant Princess.
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