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The Boleyn Inheritance Paperback – 3 Mar 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 388 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; New Ed edition (3 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007190336
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007190331
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (388 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for ‘The Constant Princess’:

'One of Gregory's great strengths as a novelist is her ability to take familiar historical figures and flesh them into living breathing human beings. “The Constant Princess” is a worthy successor to her previous novels about the Tudors and deserves to be a bestseller.' Daily Express

'Gregory's research is impeccable which makes her imaginative fiction all the more convincing.' Daily Mail

'Gregory is great at conjuring a Tudor film-set of gorgeous gowns and golden-plattered dining.' Telegraph

From the Inside Flap

The stories of three young women, trying to survive the most volatile and dangerous court in Europe at a time of religious upheaval and political uncertainty, is Philippa Gregory's most intense and compelling novel yet. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of Philipa Gregory's novels and am also very interested in Tudor history, so I am naturally biased towards enjoying a book that brings to life those times so vividly.

This novel, like many of Gregory's, is different to the majority of historical fiction floating around. Her research is extensive and her creative license is therefore built upon a real historian's detective work. The book focuses on Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Jane Boleyn and the chapters are divided between their three voices as the story unfolds. This is where the genius of the book lies. Elsewhere, the two Queens are normally dealt with in a more perfunctory way than even Henry VIII himself did. Gregory however skilfully gives them a realistic and sustained voice as women. Katherine Howard is characterised so well that the first time I reached one of 'her chapters' I smiled and fully, finally, recognised an authentic voice for her after years of reading Tudor history.

The strength of characterisation and the choice to give a voice to women usually passed over in this story as brief 'middle' wives before Henry finally expired whilst married to Katherine Parr is what makes this novel so potent. I read it in two days.
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Format: Paperback
I find Philippa Gregory's novels a little variable, but I really enjoyed this one. It gave a new perspective on three characters about whom I knew little, despite being very well read on the Tudor period. The historical accuracy of some of it is of course questionable, and the author makes no secret of that in her Appendix, but nevertheless it was an interesting and believable account of events seen through the eyes of three very different women.

One reviewer has expresed disappointment that Katherine Howard is portrayed as a silly and vacuous 15-year-old, but I think it very likely that this was a pretty accurate portrayal. It is certainly known that she was practically illiterate, promiscuous and vain, and that her only assets were her looks. It is difficult in this account to feel much sympathy for her most of the time, but we must remember that her ignorance meant that she was manipulated by her unscrupulous uncle for political ends and paid a huge price.

Anne of Cleves comes across as an intelligent, thoughtful and discreet woman, who had a very lucky escape. One feels a certain sympathy for her, in that she was forced into exile, still only in her 20s, and never able to marry, but at least she was spared having to live with an increasingly deranged King, and she kept her head! The one aspect of this book which I didn't think rang true was the much-repeated assertion that Anne's life was at risk while the King was still alive. This seems unlikely, because once she had been divorced from the King she was no threat to him and it seems unlikely that he would have risked the consequences of getting rid of her. In fact it is generally believed that she and the King got on well after the divorce and she was very friendly with his children.
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Format: Paperback
The Boleyn Inheritance was my second Philippa Gregory book and I enjoyed it even more than the first (The Other Boleyn Girl). I loved seeing how things panned out, depending on which side of the fence the narrator was on, and I really felt like I knew the characters and their motivation by the end. The end just came too soon for me. I'd have liked it to carry on and on, especially Anne's part.

Anne's and Katherine's chapters were more entertaining than Jane's but that's probably because Jane's chapters/thoughts/narration were primarily about her own self inflicted torment and delusions over her husband's and Anne Boleyn's betrayal. Her narrative had a definite air of madness about it as the story progressed. By the end she was a broken woman and I don't doubt she was as mad as box of frogs. I don't pity her though.....well, not much anyway.

I love that I feel I know these women a little better now (albeit in a fictional way) and will look out for other fictional works which cover the Tudors.

King Henry was vividly repulsive in the pages, to the point where I swear I could smell the supporating wound on his leg every time I opened the pages. At best he was delusional, at worst he was a maniac and I wonder how anyone could bear to be around him.

All in all it's a great read, I just hope I can find a worthy bedtime read to replace it, now it's finished. That's the worst part of a good book.....it's over too soon.
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Format: Paperback
I found Philippa Gregory's sequel to 'The Other Boleyn Girl' to be much better than the original. Unlike 'The Other Boleyn Girl,' 'The Boleyn Inheritance' is much more historically accurate and it also tells the story from the point of view of three different women, rather than from only one - the pretty uninteresting Mary Boleyn, who was the narrator in 'The Other Boleyn Girl.' 'The Boleyn Inheritance' picks up three years after the end of 'The Other Boleyn Girl' and it tells the story of the years between 1539 and 1542 through the eyes of two queens and a lady-in-waiting - Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard (nicknamed Kitty in this novel) and Jane Boleyn, who readers might remember as being the wife of George Boleyn in 'The Other Boleyn Girl.' Each woman is a very different personality, with a very different agenda and I really enjoyed the contrast between their three voices - nice Anne, ditzy Kitty and manipulative Jane. 'The Boleyn Inheritance's' best bits are that it really captures how terrifying it must have been to be living in Henry VIII's court and to be a woman in the 16th century. I felt at times the author maybe overdid Kitty's stupidity and pushed the point a bit too far, which became a little bit annoying at some points. The bit where Anne of Cleves dreamed of a world without kings seemed a bit strange to me too, since it's pretty much impossible that a sixteenth century princess would be able to imagine a world like that and it pulled me right out of the novel and its setting and made me think of Philippa Gregory and the 21st century, rather than Anne of Cleves and the sixteenth. Still, overall 'The Boleyn Inheritance' was an enjoyable read and I would definitely recommend it!
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