The Boleyn Inheritance Author:Philippa Gregory The year is 1539. Henry VIII must take another wife and the dangerous prize of the crown of England is won by Anne of Cleves. Although she is fascinated by the glamour of her new surroundings, she can sense a trap closing around her. — Katherine Howard, meanwhile, is to flirt her way to the throne. But her kinswoman Jane Boleyn is haunted by the ... more »past and the Boleyn inheritance of suspicion, betrayal, and death. In this time of upheaval and uncertainty, these three young women must try to survive the most volatile court in Europe.« less
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To read this series chronologically, read them in this order: TCP, TOBG, TBI, TQF, TVL, and TOQ (coming 9/16/08). If you want advice on the best way to read the books when you have started with TOBG (most of us seem to have done this), I recommend reading all of them chronologically after TOBG to the end, and then looping back to read TCP after you have finished the series. I heard that from folks who've read them all, and it seems to be working for me. This book reads quickly with many breaks and many chapters that are only a page or two long. It has a very intimate feel as if you are reading the diaries of the three main characters. A note to readers of historical fiction, Gregory is filled with PLENTY romance and cotton candy to make the reads seem light while informing of the period.
The Boleyn Inheritance is the story of King Henry VIII and his fourth and fifth wives. The fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, the fifth wife, teenager Katherine Howard (cousin to Anne Boleyn Henrys second queen), and Lady Rochford (Jane Boleyn) take turns narrating the story.
Gregory does a beautiful job of creating an individual and unique voice for each narrating character. The life of the court at the time is so vividly painted that it makes you feel as if you are there taking part in it yourself. Taking a rather unique approach in writing in three different first-person narratives, Gregory manages to make each character more understandable, and really brings them to life.
While little is known historically of Anne of Cleaves or Katherine Howard, Gregory did a fantastic job of bringing these characters to life, and offing us an insight into the past that is little known. A discussion at the end of the novel with the author provides further information on her research and character choices (as does the list of references).
If you have any interest in the time of King Henry VIII (and who doesnt?), then I highly recommend that you read The Boleyn Inheritance. It is a fantastic novel, and it is remarkably well written. Pick it up today! You dont even need to read The Other Boleyn Girl first. Although, it will help you better understand some of the characters: Lady Rochford, and the Duke of Norfolk, as well as King Henry VIII himself.
Another good book by Gregory. I found this one a little harder to read from the three different women's views but it added and interesting dimention to the story to see how differently the situation was precieved.
For Jane, Gregory gets to you understand if not like her character. Hemmed in by historical fact, I didn't like the way Jane's story ended.
For Anne of Cleves, I found the insight to this character plausable and I liked this strong woman.
For Katherine, Gregory developed a believable frivolous little girl . . .she was only 15!
I loved this book! It was so much better than The Other Boleyn Girl in my opinion. It is not necessary to read them in order but it was helpful to know the back story on Anne Boleyn and Jane Boleyn. This story is told from 3 different perspectives - Anne of Cleves (Henry VIII's fourth wife), Katherine Howard (his fifth wife), and Jane Boleyn (Lady Rochford), AKA George Boleyn's wife. Like other reviewers have said, Katherine is an idiot but she makes the story so much more interesting. The story details the rise and fall of the three women.
I love all of Philippa Gregory's books, but this was one of my favorites. It got off to a slow start but picked up quickly. If you are a fan of hers, or enjoy reading about the Tudor women, you will love this book.
The Boleyn Inheritance is told from three points of view: Jane Boleyn (wife to the deceased Thomas), Anne of Cleaves (Henry's fourth wife), and Katherine Howard (Henry's fifth wife). Jane is the expert maid in waiting. She is called upon by the Duke of Norfolk to keep an eye on the new queen and report back to him anything that she does. Jane owes her life to the Duke, and so she is in his pocket to survive. Jane poses as a friend to the new queen Anne and attempts to be in her confidence as the story continues. However, Jane begins to like the queen and when plots against her begin to crop up, she has doubts whether she can put another queen to death as she did to her sister-in-law Anne Boleyn. The thoughts of Anne Boleyn and her husband Thomas haunt her throughout the book. Jane poses as the wise older woman who has been through quite a lot, but her transformation towards the end shows that she still has a lot to learn.
Anne of Cleaves is considered an unreformed woman by her family, but she is chosen to become the new queen of England because an alliance between England and Cleaves would be helpful. She does not speak a word of English, but as she moves into her new life, she learns quickly. Because of her troubles at home, she has no idea how to please the king in bed. This leaves their marriage unconsummated. Henry also detests her after a mix-up in one of his games. Although she is a pure and strong girl, she often finds herself bending to the will of the men that she finds in charge of her. When she is dethroned, she becomes a sister to the king and finds herself much happier in the countryside. She loves England, but counts herself lucky to be one of the few that survives King Henry's marriage.
Lastly, Katherine Howard is a young, flirty girl. Her beauty catches the king's eye and he courts her while he is married to Anne and Katherine is a maid in waiting. Katherine's uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, wants to see the king and Katherine wed. He schemes and encourages the flirtations until it actually happens. Katherine is a flighty little girl and only measures things in what materials she receives. She often begins her narration with a list of what she owns. This is probably because she is only around fifteen when she marries the king. She attempts to please him in bed, but it is difficult work when he is so old, fat, and wounded. Finally, with the help of Jane, she takes on a lover. Then, as with Anne Boleyn, all hell breaks loose and the king attempts to kill everyone.
I know that I keep saying this, but I have been on a historical fiction kick. I really enjoyed The Other Boleyn Girl (book only, movie was terrible), so I decided that I would continue with this series. As time moves on, I am hoping to go through each one. Gregory has a way with characters. It's like you get to see into their souls and travel inside their heads with them. Anne of Cleaves was by far my favorite character in this story, but all three women were beautifully illustrated. As I was reading, I could feel my moods shift with the difference in narration. Katherine was always bubbly and it made me want to read her parts faster as if I was speaking them like a young girl would in a quicker, happier tone. The plot is predictable, but that shouldn't surprise anyone. It is nothing new what happened within King Henry's court. Her books are much more interesting than anything else that I have read about him though. I'm sure that she has taken liberties with parts of history to make her tales more enchanting and personable, but I would recommend it to people who want a glimpse of what he was like. Gregory's tales are definitely worth a reread and they are something that I will keep upon my shelves.
I really enjoyed this book. I have read many books on this time period and this one is one of my favorites. I found myself really feeling bad for Anne of Cleaves and I was not a big fan of the other 2 main characters, Katherine Howard and Jane Seymour, but I still enjoyed reading their parts. It is a very easy read, some of these books are complicated to keep up with but this one is not. I would highly recommend it.
A powerful story about the rise and fall of 3 pawn's in King Henry VIII's court. Each character... Anne of Cleves (Henry's 4th wife), Katherine Howard (Henry's 5th wife) and Jane Rochford Boleyn (Anne's sister-in-law) has their own "voice" and events in history are seen by each of their eyes. Wonderfully, wonderfully told.
Philippa Gregory writes great historical fiction. This is perhaps one of my favorites of hers! Her perspectives about the lesser known women associated with the aftermath of Anne Boleyn is fascinating. If you liked Gregory's other books, or historical fiction and a quick and fun read, this is a great book!
Gregory continues the saga of the women who wed Henry VIII, this time concentrating on Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard. Jane Boleyn, the sister-in-law whose testimony helped send the first Anne to her death, is also featured. The truest voice in this novel is that of Katherine, who was only 14 when she first caught the eye of the king, and who went to the block at 16, still not understanding how it had all come about
My second favorite Philippa Gregory book. Interesting story of two of the least known queens of Henry VIII. The book is told by alternating narrators: Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard, and Jane Boleyn - I found this a very clever device which allows the reader to really get a sense of the different perspectives and personalities of these women. Henry VIII was crazy and the intrigue of that court has got to be unmatched. Fascinating and even though you know how it will end, Gregory's pacing and descriptions keep you turning the pages.
Gregory's "The Other Boleyn Girl" is still my alltime favorite, but this was a very good read.
This was a very entertaining and enlightening read. I read The Other Boleyn Girl quite some time ago. Not sure which I enjoyed more. I always swore I did not like historical ficiton, but Philippa Gregory has changed my mind. Her books are fast-paced and easy to read. I definitely recommend this book!
Philippa Gregory is an excellent writer, although this story is written a bit differently than my first read, The Other Boleyn Girl. The story follows the "first-hand" accounts of three women trying to survive life with Henry VIII immediately following the death of the king's third wife. If you are as addicted as I to Gregory's art of bringing history's what-might-have-beens to life, this is an excellent follow-up to The Other Boleyn Girl, and a must read in the collection.