Book Review of The Boleyn Inheritance

The Boleyn Inheritance
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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.