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The Boleyn Inheritance Mass Market Paperback – December 30, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
More About the Author
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 latest novel is 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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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?Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is a good read but it is sort of repetitive especially from Lady Rochford's perspective. Not my favorite of her books but definitely worth reading.Published 3 days ago by simplereviewer
This author gives the woman's perspective that I enjoy reading.Published 11 days ago by Beryl A. Oshiro
I loved how the author used three women to tell their story, rather than just one narrator. Their ambitions and different views of the Tudor court made it that much more... Read morePublished 11 days ago by Stacey Gibbons
Imagine being told that you are to marry Henry VIII--the same Henry VIII who had a wife beheaded. (Anne Boleyn.) Personally I'd be like, "Pass. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Amber Myers
I loved reading about these three ladies. As usual philippa Gregory does an outstanding job! I couldn't put the book down!Published 15 days ago by Jen
As is expected from her, Philippa Greggory again lives upto my massive expectations. The first book I ever read of hers was The Other Boleyn Girl. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Srija Sanyal
Phillipa Gregory rarely disappoints, and this time she outdoes herself. Beautifully written, historically accurate, and interesting throughout. Read morePublished 20 days ago by CJP
Phillipa Gregory brings the Tudor dynasty under Henry VIIL alive with its intrigue and fear. Where is the Masterpiece Theatre production?Published 20 days ago by Kathleen