The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

*Unless you are completely unfamiliar with English Tudor history, this review holds no spoilers*

The Other Boleyn Girl tells the tale of the passionate girl that was Mary Boleyn and that of her arrogant and proud sister, Anne.
Mary wins the king and his heart, becoming his beloved mistress, and bears him children. But the court is treacherous place, and her own family thinks of nothing but their own glory and when Mary is no longer his favourite they let her sister Anne take her place, demanding Mary teach her how to ensnare him. Anne has the ambition and will to aim higher than anyone ever thought possible. She wishes to become Queen of England, whatever the cost.

It portrays the change in paradigm, when a queen could for the first time be overthrown, when women were nothing in the eyes of men, when a king became as mighty as God and noone was safe.

While reading the book, you have to put yourself in Mary's situation. Wedded and bedded at age 12 to William Carey, the King's mistress at age 13, she is a woman completely of her time. She cares not for the intrique of the Court and just wants to be with her children, but she is forced to stay and smile, as Anne rises and rises in life - ultimately rising so high, she can only fall.
Mary is a strong woman, who manages to find true love in a time where love is only for peasants, and Gregory tells her story magnificently.

Gregory portrays the Tudor era magnificently, and The Other Boleyn Girl is no exception. I'm a big fan and have read several of her other books (The Constant Princess, The Virgin's Lover, The Other Queen and The White Queen). Gregory writes in a very captivating style, and if you like historical novels, she is a must-read author.

The stories are so well thought through and though of course she takes some liberties with the story, it depicts the 'true' story. Using letters, books and old manuscripts as her sources, adding on thoughts and feelings of the characters, you feel very close to them, especially the main character (usually a first person point of view).

The Other Boleyn Girl
is quite a long story, spanning 15 years from 1521 to 1536. "Limited" to a real life story, the plot is not always action packed and it is even a bit slow at times, but mostly it manages a very fine balance of moving forwards while telling the story of Henry's Court and Anne's ambition from Mary's point of view.
The characters are almost perfectly represented, my only slight complain is that Mary is made to look a bit more innocent and sweet than she probably was, and Anne a bit more cruel. However, it was desperate times and Gregory shows the people and their actions wonderfully.

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2010

I recommend you read The Constant Princess, before The Other Boleyn Girl, as to better understand Queen Katherine's situation when the Boleyn girls steals her husband and eventually her crown. The Constant Princess tells the story of Katherine of Aragon, a Spanish Princess, married to Crown Prince Arthur, who tragically diesShe must be strong and take matters in her own hands so she can marry his younger brother, prince Henry, soon to be King Henry the 8th - a spoiled boy never taught how to rule a country. The man we know today as a tyrant and wife-killer.


  1. I haven't read a Constant Princess yet, but it's definitely on my to-read list. I'm glad you liked this book though, it's one of my favourites :)

  2. I can definitely recommend it :) It's had some more negative reviews, because it is a bit more of a slower paced book, but I still loved it and at the end of it I felt very strongly for her and her poor situation.

  3. This is one of my all time favorite books. I absolutely loved it. :)

    Thanks for the warm welcome on book blogs and I love your site and I'm now a follower.

    Have a great week!

  4. Thank you so much Danielle :D You too!

    Following you right back :)

  5. Hello, I'm a new follower, I found you on book blogs. I really loved this Tudor series (I have a bit of a Henry VIII obsession) and thought she did a great job with it, although I wish she would have written more about Elizabeth. I read an interview with her where she said she wouldn't be writing any further about her, I was so disappointed!

    If you are interested you can check out my blog

  6. hey Mummazappa :D I absolutely love the Tudor series myself, I'm a huge Elizabeth fan too ^^ I suppose besides the Virgin's Lover she hasn't really written about Elizabeth. Bit of shame, yeah, if she doesn't write more about her, on the other hand, she's been focusing a lot on the lesser known stories, and there already hundreds, if not thousands, of books about Elizabeth.

    Will check out your blog immediately :)

  7. How's "The White Queen"? It's waiting on my shelf, but I haven't gotten around to picking it up yet.

  8. The White Queen is very good :) It's every bit as engaging as most of her other books. I was very surprised reading it though, because I didn't know the history of that century/those people.


Tilføj en kommentar

Lån løs på eReolen