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Brief Gaudy Hour Paperback – 1 Mar 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc; Reissue edition (1 Mar 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402211759
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402211751
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 12.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 255,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Not only is Brief Gaudy Hour a moving and life-like portrait of Anne Boleyn, it is a thoroughly delightful novel in which the author has succeeded in blending historical events and utterances with suspense in narrative and spontaneity in character. --New York Times

Despite its well-known details, the story of Anne Boleyn takes on a new excitement. This is due to the author's skill indepicting her heroine as a real woman. --Toronto Globe and Mail

About the Author

Margaret Campbell Barnes lived from 1891 to 1962. She was the youngest of ten children born into a happy, loving family in Victorian England. She grew up in the Sussex countryside, and was educated at small private schools in London and Paris. Margaret was already a published writer when she married Peter, a furniture salesman, in 1917. Over the next twenty years a steady stream of short stories and verse appeared over her name (and several noms de plume) in leading English periodicals of the time, Windsor, London, Quiver, and others. Later, Margaret's agents, Curtis Brown Ltd, encouraged her to try her hand at historical novels. Many of these were bestsellers and book club selections and were translated into foreign editions. Between World Wars I and II Margaret and Peter brought up two sons, Michael and John. In August 1944, Michael, a lieutenant in the Royal Armoured Corps, was killed in his tank, in the Allied advance from Caen to Falaise in Normandy. Margaret and Peter grieved terribly the rest of the their lives. Glimpses of Michael shine through in each of Margaret's later novels. In 1945 Margaret bought a small thatched cottage on the Isle of Wight, off England's south coast. It had at one time been a smuggler's cottage. But to Margaret it was a special place in which to recover the spirit and carry on writing. And write she did. All together, over two million copies of Margaret Campbell Barnes's historica novels have been sold worldwide.

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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Mar 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful work of historical fiction in which the author weaves gossamer threads of fact and fiction around Anne Boleyn, one of the most intriguing and enigmatic women who ever lived. She was a woman who would change the face of England by holding out for a crown that she would wear for a scant three years. Her will to be crowned a Queen would pave the way for the Reformation to take root in England.
About a third of the book is devoted to establishing Anne's relationship to her family, friends, and early admirers. It details her first love affair, that with Henry Percy, the heir to the Earl of Northumberland, said to have been the love of her life, until Cardinal Wolsey, at the behest of King Henry VIII, nipped it in the bud, causing him to incur Anne's lifelong enmity. This portion of the book sets the tone for the rest of the book, grounding the events that were to follow in the context out of which they arose.
When King Henry VIII finally made his intentions clear, Anne had no interest in ending up as the King's discarded mistress, as had Mary, her younger sister. Instead, she led King Henry VIII a merry chase for many years, refusing to become his mistress despite his ardent wooing. He became bewitched by her very being, so irresistible did he find this cultivated and intelligent young woman. Anne, however, always kept her eye on the prize, seemingly oblivious to the pain that she was causing her rival, Katharine of Aragon, Henry's wife and Queen of England.
Henry, who was desperate to secure a male heir for the throne of England, eventually set in motion a series of events that were to have great ramifications for Catholicism in England. It would cause Henry to set aside his wife of twenty years so that he could marry Anne Boleyn and have her crowned Queen of England.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 12 Feb 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful work of historical fiction in which the author weaves gossamer threads of fact and fiction around Anne Boleyn, one of the most intriguing and enigmatic women who ever lived. She was a woman who would change the face of England by holding out for a crown that she would wear for a scant three years. Her will to be crowned a Queen would pave the way for the Reformation to take root in England.
About a third of the book is devoted to establishing Anne's relationship to her family, friends, and early admirers. It details her first love affair, that with Henry Percy, the heir to the Earl of Northumberland, said to have been the love of her life, until Cardinal Wolsey, at the behest of King Henry VIII, nipped it in the bud, causing him to incur Anne's lifelong enmity. This portion of the book sets the tone for the rest of the book, grounding the events that were to follow in the context out of which they arose.
When King Henry VIII finally made his intentions clear, Anne had no interest in ending up as the King's discarded mistress, as had Mary, her younger sister. Instead, she led King Henry VIII a merry chase for many years, refusing to become his mistress despite his ardent wooing. He became bewitched by her very being, so irresistible did he find this cultivated and intelligent young woman. Anne, however, always kept her eye on the prize, seemingly oblivious to the pain that she was causing her rival, Katharine of Aragon, Henry's wife and Queen of England.
Henry, who was desperate to secure a male heir for the throne of England, eventually set in motion a series of events that were to have great ramifications for Catholicism in England. It would cause Henry to set aside his wife of twenty years so that he could marry Anne Boleyn and have her crowned Queen of England.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By laineyf TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 April 2003
Format: Paperback
Oh, I LOVE this book. I have read it so many times, and it still enthralls me! This is the story of the infamous Anne Boleyn, going right back to her childhood at Hever, through to her transformation at the court of Francis, to her triumph at the court of Henry, and then to her final humiliation and death. It is an emotional roller-coaster that never lets up. It is so well told that you feel as though you are actually there, listening and observing, as the drama of her life unfolds before you. Yes, she WAS capricious, and demanding, and selfish, and totally ambitious, BUT she was also loyal to her friends, she yearned to be loved by her subjects, she had great ideals, she was very clever and articulate, she loved her daughter, and she ultimately
paid the price of her soaring ambition. I don't think that she ever loved Henry as such, however, she was dazzled by the prospect of becoming Queen of England, and who wouldn't be? At first, when he loved her, she could do no wrong, all that she desired was hers, and unfortunately, once he fell out of love with her, she refused to recognise the fact, and tried vainly to cling on to him. Henry VIII was a complete monster in the way that he treated his women, in particular Anne, as by his say so, her name has been blackened throughout history and for all time. I do not believe that a woman as proud as Anne, or as conscious of her dignity as she undoubtedly was, would ever stoop to adultery with the musician in her own court. I do think that she was a woman who enjoyed the adulation of men,and loved to flirt, but I think that she was far too conscious of her position to ever place herself in jeopardy.
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