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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
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 619

4 stars, based on 619 ratings
Publisher: Touchstone
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

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 + 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 + 193 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
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!
reviewed The Boleyn Inheritance on
Helpful Score: 4
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.
reviewed The Boleyn Inheritance on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
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.
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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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