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The Boleyn Inheritance
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 »
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ISBN-13: 9780743272513
ISBN-10: 074327251X
Publication Date: 8/7/2007
Pages: 528
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 618 ratings
Publisher: Touchstone
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Boleyn Inheritance on
Helpful Score: 17
A sequel to The Other Boleyn Girl. You don't need to read them in order, but if you don't know anything about the reign of Henry the 8th, I would read TOBG first. I don't think that this book would be the same without a good understanding of what was going on at the time and the crazy stuff that Henry did. I also think it helps to have a sense of what Henry was like as a younger man to appreciate how messed up this period in English history was and how things progressed with Henry's growing power.

This book is from the point of view of three women, Anne of Cleves(Henry's fourth wife), Jane Boleyn (The wife of George, Anne Boleyn's brother) and Katherine Howard (Henry's fifth wife). I normally don't like it when the point of view changes from more than two characters, but it was done very well and I didn't mind at all. It did not feel segmented because when it changed POV character, the new character picked the story up from where the last character left off.

This is good historical fiction and a worth reading if you enjoy the genre and a must read for those of you who are interested in the period.

As a woman I find it utterly frightening to imagine living in Henry's court. To live in a time where you are owned by the men in your family and traded to another man, like a horse. To have little or no choice about anything in your life and your worth is judged on your ability to give birth to a boy child. To live in fear of being drug to a scaffold, kicking and screaming, to be beheaded on the whim of a madman, with no trial, or proof of a crime. It's chilling. I find it a whole lot scarier than anything Stephen King's written in the last twenty years.
reviewed The Boleyn Inheritance on + 60 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
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.
reviewed The Boleyn Inheritance on
Helpful Score: 8
I enjoyed this book, although at times I found Howard's voice rather annoying. But I had to remind myself, she was portrayed as a flighty teenager in this book and at that age, I was probably annoying as well.

Another great tale by Gregory. I haven't been disappointed with any of her Tudor books (yet). Recommended to lovers of historical fiction/romance with an interest in the Tudors.
reviewed The Boleyn Inheritance on + 37 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
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.
reviewed The Boleyn Inheritance on + 179 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
Phillipa Gregory continues to write historical fiction from interesting angles. This tale is told from the perspective of 3 women in the court of Henry VIII; Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Jane (Rochford) Boleyn, who was the sister-in-law to ill-fated Anne, and the wife of George, Anne's brother, whom she betrayed out of jealousy, sealing their fate on the scaffold. The story tells the tale of events in the same time sequence, but from the three different perspectives, A Queen, a lady in waiting, a lady in waiting who became a queen. Anne of Cleves comes off the best -- you had to pity anyone married to Henry, Catherine merely pathetic and Jane conniving and obnoxious. Told all together, the story is a complete and satisfying novel, well written and with powerful character development.
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reviewed The Boleyn Inheritance on
The court of King Henry VIII was a court ruled by fear and abject horror at the time that the German princess, Anne of Cleves arrived to become the fourth wife of the King. Having escaped living life under the thumb of her abusive brother and cold, domineering mother, Anne arrived in England, relieved but hopeful in her marriage to Henry, that she would have a much better life.

Instead of the tall, majestic personage of King Henry VIII - an image which was continually fostered abroad - Anne of Cleves encountered a man for whom she could only feel intense pity and no small measure of revulsion. This was the infamous King Henry VIII - a man whose volatile temper was legendary at court and a man whom Anne of Cleves feared above all others. A King who would eventually come to despise her when she proved unable to conceive a son and heir. Anne of Cleves bore Henry's bitter recriminations, accusations and false witness with as much quiet grace as she could - finally agreeing to grant Henry a divorce.

Katherine Howard was a woman in love - but certainly not with the diseased old man who made her his queen and bedded her night after night. In desperation, and to avoid the constant threat of the axe, Katherine Howard turns for help to Jane Rochford - otherwise known as Jane Boleyn - the Boleyn wife whose testimony sent her husband and sister-in-law to their deaths. In an effort to save their lives, a dangerous and treasonous plan is concocted, but to no avail. Throughout Europe, the name Jane Rochford is synonymous with malice, jealousy and twisted lust - however, her ultimate Boleyn inheritance was a fortune and a title, in exchange for her soul.

I absolutely loved this book. I've always been fascinated by the reign of Henry VIII, and especially the lives of his six wives. The setting of The Boleyn Inheritance really highlighted for me the fear that Henry's subjects lived with constantly and how tyrannical Henry's rule had become. I give this book an A+! Philippa Gregory is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.
reviewed The Boleyn Inheritance on + 380 more book reviews
Pub. Date: December 2006

* Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing
* Sold by: Simon & Schuster Digital Sales
* Format: eBook, 528pp
* Sales Rank: 4,580

* Series: Philippa Gregory Tudor Series, #3
* Product Browse duration in Minutes: 60
* File Size: 603 KB
* ISBN-13: 9780743298544
* ISBN: 0743298543

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.
5/5 stars
reviewed The Boleyn Inheritance on + 38 more book reviews
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.

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