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.
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.
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 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.
LOVED this book. I have also recently read The Other Boleyn Girl, The Constant Princess, The Virgin's Lover and The Queens Fool. They were all excellent, but I think I liked this one the best, with The Other Boleyn Girl as a close second.
Like most Phillippa Gregory books it's a quick read filled with intrigue, deception and passion. This book can be tricky since this story looks at several different woman's stories from their persepective. It's well worth the flip back and forth!!
I absolutely loved this book, I thought it to be the best one in the series,it tells the story from three completely different women,Anne of Cleves(who I knew nothing about,)
lovely, spoiled, Katherine Howard, and then of course Jane Rochford, who sent her huband and sister-in-law to their deaths...
I was also mesmarized by the mad man King Henry the eighth...
it was a very quick read and I just wished it would continue...
Phillipa Gregory does it again with this novel. The Boleyn Inheritance is a striking tale of the least known wives of Henry the VIII, Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard. We also meet Jane Boleyn known mostly in history only for her part in seeing her husband George and her sister-in-law Anne go to the scaffolding. We follow the tale from Cleves when Anne is being selected, right on up to the scaffolding and eventually the Kings death, and the whole book will hold you spell bound.
I could hardly set this one down, and yet at parts I had to. It is so descriptive and so heart breaking you will cry for the way these women are terribly caught up in this court. Henry VIII truly was a mad man bent on his own whims, his own desires and no one ever dared tell him no, for if they did they could, and would end up dead. Watch as the body counts of those sent to the scaffold tally higher, for small crimes like simply loving a girl. And those who are the true masterminds of the plots get away from the axe man like a slippery snake in the grass.
You will shake your head at how stupid and frivolous young Katherine is as a Queen. And yet you will feel utterly horrified for her in the end she was really only a child of 16 years who could not possibly know right from wrong when she only ever did was she was told. I believe in the end the only one I did not feel sorry for was Jane Boleyn, to me she made her own bed. Through pure jealousy, ambition and self preservation, in the end she got what was coming. Though preferably no one should have died because of the whims of a selfish King, who thought he was a god. If you havent read this book yet, do. You will be emotionally grabbed and riveted to each and every page.
Really great book if you like this genre. Not totally true to history but close and interesting to read. If you like this time in England's history this is one book to read along with Georgory's, "The Other Boleyn Girl."
I am admittedly fascinated by the Gregory Tudor series in part because I am distantly related to Henry VIII's fourth wife, Anne of Cleves (you know, the one he didn't behead.)
I really enjoyed this book - it chronicles the lives of Henry's wives post-Anne Boleyn, and how his getting away with having Boleyn beheaded set a very difficult stage for any woman unlucky enough to be the next queen. It skips third wife Jane Seymour (who died shortly after childbirth), and tells the story from three women's point of view - Anne of Cleves (wife #4), Katherine Howard (wife #5), and Jane Boleyn (nee Jane Parker, wife of executed Thomas Boleyn and sister-in-law of Anne Boleyn.) You find yourself alternately astonished at the expectations placed on courtiers during the time, and almost wishing you could befriend some of the characters. Great read for lovers of historical fiction.
Wow, Henry VIII was a blood thirsty, vain brute and to be his wife was not a safe direction to take. The sceaming and positioning for favor in his court was laughable but for the deadly consequences to those out of favor. To be a woman of that time and be used and disposed of as easily is shocking and makes me thankful for the times I live in.
This book is incredible! I absolutely love Philippa Gregory and historical fiction. For anyone that read The Other Boleyn Girl they must read this book. The Boleyn Inheritance kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Also the depictions of the characters Anne of Cleves, Katharine Howard, and Jane Boleyn were fascinating and captivating!
I enjoyed this book, it is in the perspective of three women. Anne of Cleaves, Katherine Howard and Jane Boyeln, the wife of Anne Boleyn's brother. Jane's character was really expanded on from The Other Boleyn Girl. It gave her a lot more depth and presented her more sympathetically. I really enjoyed learning more about Anne of Cleaves, she reminds me of Katherine of Aragon and her character was very strong, the only survivor of Henry's reign.
I absolutely loved The Other Boleyn Girl, and I don't think any of Philippa Gregory's other works have managed to live up to that example.
This book is billed as a "direct sequel" to The Other Boleyn Girl, and while its events occur directly afterwards, it's not really necessary to enjoy or understand it.
The three viewpoints -- Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Jane Boleyn -- is a novel approach, but I've read a much better example of the technique in The Poisonwood Bible. There isn't enough variation in the "voices" used here: you have the plain, smart, oppressed woman in Anne of Cleves; the pretty, dumb, oppressed woman in Katherine Howard; and the remorseful, vindictive oppressed woman in Jane Boleyn.
Overall, it was an interesting but unsatisfying read, but just about any approach to the soap opera that was Henry VIII could have boasted that.
Enjoyed this one as well. I partically liked the way she wrote this one, from three points of view of the primary characters - two of the Queens and Jane Bolyen (Rochford), the lady in waiting to them and the first two Queens. Sometimes funny, sometimes very sad, sometimes ick. (I do hope that PG got some facts wrong with this one, particularly in re the age of Katherine... otherwise huge ick there...) I really enjoyed Anne of Cleves and hope to find more about her. What an interesting person, so lucky and ahead of her time!
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
Loved this book... Philippa writes from the view of the three characters and you really start to hear the different voices... Very interesting information on how Kings and Queens lived, worked and loved...
I thought this was a great continuation of Gregory's "The Other Boleyn Girl". I have found Gregory's writing to be hit or miss for me (I didn't care for the Wideacre trilogy or Wise Woman) but this was definitely a good read. The shift in characters for each chapter took me a second to get used to, but it helped to break the story up and give you information from more than one perspective. I would definitely recommend this book to others!
After seeing "The Other Boelyn Girl" my daughter bought me this book and am I ever glad. Philippa Gregory has put King Henry VIII and his court right into my living room. I can't get enough of these stories. She brings to life each character and I feel like I am observing first hand the scandals and the secrets of the Royal Court. I would recommend this and the other "Boelyn" books by Gregory to any one who loves that historical period in time.
When I first ordered this book I wasn't sure if I would like it because of other members reviews but let me tell you I have read tons of Tudor books and this was the bets of them all! How the Duke treated women gave you quite an insight about him! When Jane confronts him I had to read it twice to go through my mind because of the powerful words behind it!This book in my opinon is worth all your time and points! Once you sit down with this book you won't be able to get up! Kathrine's view is very petty but the author really makes you remember how old (Kitty) Kathrine was. I was also very happy that the author included Anne of Cleve's in this book since not alot is known about her. It was intresting to get her insight but could be a little boring at times. But one thing I have to say is this book is very exceptional I couldn't say enough about it! Everybody should read The Bolyen Inheritance!
Now that I have read The Constant Princess, and TOBG, I have to say this one is my 2nd favorite. I love them all, but my so far fave is TOBG, then this one, then TCP. They are all terrific. I will soon read The Queens Fool, next on my list, then hopefully the Virgins Lover, then The Other Queen, then The White Queen!! I love P Gregory!!
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!
I enjoy this series a great deal. The characters are captivating and the story is woven so well that you just keep reading. I find that when i put the book down I am still thinking about the characters and plot (the testament of a great book!)
I enjoyed this book as much as "The Other Boleyn Girl"( which is my favorite book by this author). This is a must read if you like Philippa Gregory books. I read it in two days. I couldn't put it down!!!!
This is not the sort of book that I usually read but it was really good. It was very interesting. I learned a lot about Henry and his wives even though the book was fiction.
I enjoyed the way that Philippa Gregory wrote from the different perspectives throughout the book.
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!
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.
I didn't like the book as well as TOBG. The three character telling by Katharine Howard, Anne of Cleves and Jane Boleyn seemed a bit contrived, due to the amount of repetition of the plot. Although historical, this account is clearly fictionalized. The ending did come as a surprise, but the story lacked the passion and competition of TOBG.
Philippa Gregory is a wonderful author of the historical fiction genre. She clearly understands her subject and can immerse you in the time and place.
There is nothing new in The Boleyn Inheritance. Much like with her best known work, The Other Boleyn Girl, a great deal of creative license was taken with history. However, there is little or nothing that directly contradicts what is really known...simply conjectures from the behaviours of the participants.
Did Queen Elizabeth really commune with the ghost of her murdered mother? Did she really miscarry the deformed child of her step father? No one will ever know, but the ideas make good reading.
âThree women who share one fate: the Boleyn Inheritanceâ (from the back cover)
This quote really sums up what I consider to be the third book in the Tudor saga by Philippa Gregory. The Boleyn Inheritance is narrated through the voices of three narrators: Anne of Cleves (the 4th wife of Henry VIII), Katherine Howard (Henry's 5th wife), and Jane Rochford (the late Anne Boleyn's sister-in-law). Each of these women has a lot on the line because of the cloud that hovered above with the name of Boleyn. Each has earned their current place, in a sense, because of the death of Anne.
I enjoyed the parts of the book that were narrated by Anne of Cleves the best. She was only really part of the Tudor Court for a very short time and was new to the country of England as well. Her chapters brought an outside eye to the story while Jane and Katherine's brought the inside eye. One thing that I really saw in this book was how easily used Katherine Howard was. She was manipulated by all sides and didn't even have a chance to realize quite what was happening. I wasn't a huge fan of Katherine's sections for that reason â she was completely oblivious to everything that was happening â come on girl! Jane's sections were interesting to see her wrestling with the guilt over what she did to her husband and sister-in-law. It was also enlightening to see the way she rationalized everything she did.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book just as much as The Other Boleyn Girl and The Constant Princess. A unique way at looking at this short period of time and the events that quickly unfolded.
To borrow a little more from the back cover to wrap this up nicely âAnne of Cleves â Her Boleyn Inheritance: accusations and false witness. Katherine Howard â Her Boleyn Inheritance: the threat of the axe. Jane Rochford â Her Boleyn Inheritance: a fortune and a title, in exchange for her soul.â
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 find all of Phillipa Gregory's books interesting. She bases her stories on true events that happened in history. Although her books are fiction, she tells a tale of how she thinks history took place. She portrays King Henry as this horrible crazy person. It was a fascinating book, but not as good as the other Boleyn girl. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in this period in history.
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.
I really enjoy Philippa Gregory's writing, but this book was a bit disappointing. For those wanting to read the entire Tudor's series, its worth reading, but definitely start with the other boleyn girl. Perhaps its the material she had to work with, but the story here goes from bad to worse. Unlike other boleyn, nothing ever goes right for any of the characters... Bottom line, only read this if you are interested in the series as a whole, and definitely dont start here.
I found this book slow going and did not enjoy it nearly as much as The Constant Princess. I felt that the author has particular trouble getting into the character of th 14-year-old queen. However, I will try reading another book or two by the author to see how I like her writing. REK (bigstone)
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.
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.
I loved this book, a great follow-up to "The Other Boleyn Girl." The fact that it came from 3 points of view was a plus, in my opinion. Each character was well presented and the ending left me with goosebumps, even though I half-knew what to expect, based on history. I would recommend this one, after you read "The Other Boleyn Girl"!
Not as good as her other Tudor books, I didn't like a single character in this book - maybe Anne a little in her later years. I found this really disappointing, and Katherine was just too stupid to live.
I thought this was a good book, only second of PG that I have read ( other was Other Boleyn Girl) it was good reading about the less known of Henrys wives and Jane Boleyn also. A little confusing with the 3 characters alternating short chapters but overall pretty good, will read the queens fool next and then the virgin queen, never thought I would enjoy historical fiction this much.
After the death of Jane Seymour the Tudor dynasty is once again in need of a queen to give the country an heir and Henry VIII decides to marry Anne of Cleves. Soon after her arrival however it becomes obvious that there would be no heir and that the king is infatuated with the young Katherine Howard, his "rose without a thorn". With Anne's future more uncertain than ever she almost believes that death would be better than going back to Cleves and hopes for a solution that would save her from both her brother and her husband.
This is a story about Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Jane Boleyn, three women tangled up in the events of Henry VIII's fourth and fifth marriages, three women having to deal with the consequences of Henry's marriage to Anne Boleyn because it affected all their lives in one way or another. It is unusual in that these women take turns talking about the same events as history progresses and takes them from their ordinary lives and to the royal chambers. This was the first book I've read that was written in the first person but still had the effect of 3rd person omniscient perspective and I thought that having three separate narrators was a simple but ingenious solution. The only downside was that with the narrators changing every chapter and the chapters being rather short it took several cycles to get used to the switches but the voices are very distinctive once the switching wasn't confusing any more I enjoyed seeing what the different narrators thought about how their lives unfolded and I actually looked forward to Anne's chapters - she was the one I could relate to the most.
Creating surprising plot developments in a story where the outcome is as common knowledge as it is here is challenging and I didn't expect any. It was interesting however to discover how Phillippa Gregory envisioned the people who lived in those tragic times and who either shaped history or fell victim to those who did. I sympathized with Anne, felt sorry for Katherine and couldn't help but find Jane disturbing throughout the book. The men such as Henry and the Duke of Norfolk mainly left me feeling incredulous at how they manipulated or bullied those around them, how what they wanted mattered most regardless of how many lives were sacrificed for either their whim or power lust and how nobody could stop them because they were either too clever and careful or because there simply wasn't anyone to reign them in.
I've come to expect superb writing from Gregory and this book does not disappoint. I look forward to reading the other installments in her Tudor series, especially since historical fiction from authors who don't take excessive liberties with the facts is my favorite way to learn about history. If you enjoy historical fiction in general and tales of Henry and his six wives in particular I would recommend this book to you.
You can find more of my reviews at bibliophilescorner.blogspot.com
Not as good as the others in this series, but definately worthwhile. It is a little distracting in the beginning being written from 3 points of view. Once the viewpoints start to weave it is easy to find a rhythm and really enjoy this book.
I particularly enjoyed listening to this book, as opposed to reading it. As the story was told from three decidedly different points of view (two Queens and a Boleyn), it was narrated by three different people - making it realistic. and absolutely spellbinding.