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on 3 January 2018
PG writes in such a wonderful style that if all this hadn't happened over 400 years ago you'd swear she'd actually been there and lived through and witnessed all the events she writes so authoritatively on!

The long Christmas weekend and four days of family staying with me couldn't pass quickly enough for me to really get stuck in and again read this book in all its glory. I have all her hardbacks on the bookcases, but last year buying an Amazon Fire peaked my interest in her books all over again, so now I'm reading them all again on Kind!e - and loving them so much I object to having to put the book down to sleep!

PG's writing keeps me gripped, her research combined with her incredible intelligence weaves the most magical story around the facts of history and, as I mentioned, you'd honestly think you were reading a first hand account of where she's been and what she's seen and heard. The worst part of her books is coming unexpectedly to the last page when you're totally intrigued by events and longing for more, and then avidly download the next book of the series to see what the monstrous Henry does next - the fact that we already know what he does next is irrelevant, you just want to read on.

To live in the age of a monster with absolute power is something we none of us have to do, thank goodness. Tudor times always fascinated me as a child, then through my life, being so colourful and eventful, and PG brings them to life with zing.

Do buy this book for an enthralling story of probably our most famous king - don't hesitate, if you saw the film believe me it certainly didn't do this book justice. A completely brilliant, fantastic book from the first word to the last.
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on 27 April 2014
I have ready almost all of this authors books and I have never been disappointed. They have thrown me into an era, with fine detail of habits, smells, rules and places that I had never known about, or Philippa Gregory had opened my eyes to. I have often gone on the internet to find out further information of what I have been reading and I am amazed that Philippa has conjured up her well written sentences. Her books have sparked an inner interest in me and I not also enjoy her writing but enjoy my own research of the buildings and history. The Other Boleyn will have you hooked from the start and will keep you enthralled, you will not be able to put it down. You will not be disapointed.
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on 27 April 2017
I enjoyed the c ds they were well presented and the telling of the story was great it was good value for the money
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on 14 June 2017
Superb. Loved it. It's beautifully written and well researched. I felt like I was there and was really involved with the characters and cared what happened to them. I've read it multiple times. Fascinating plot set in a fascinating period about fascinating people!
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on 1 February 2017
Out of all of Gregory's books this by far is my most read and favourite!! Incredibly moving and have to admit, did shed a tear towards the end of the book. Not only is this a tale about a mistress and the one that became queen..it is a tale of sisters, rivalry, friendship and love. highly recommend this book to everyone.
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on 22 October 2012
This is the second Gregory novel I have read (the first being The Queen's Fool) and I find myself increasingly drawn to Gregory as a writer. She manages to tell stories spanning decades without them feeling rushed or without detail. On the contrary, Gregory evokes a rich history combined with a dramatic emotional fiction, as of course not even the most in-depth research could uncover the genuine feelings of any historical figure in a given moment.

The story is told from the perspective of Anne Boleyn's younger sister, Mary. Her narrative gives the reader a balanced insight into the sinister power games played by the Howard/Boleyn family and the refreshingly youthful and passionate resistence Mary herself shows towards those plots. Rather than a frivolous tale of two rival sisters winning the heart of Henry, the novel portrays a complex tangle of plans and counter-plans, of rivalries between dynasties, of sheer power in all its destructive pain. Indeed, to the majority of characters in this novel, love itself seems to be nothing more than a frivolous tale; an obstacle to the goal of winning the King's favour.

I found the character of Anne most interesting. I interpreted her character as not simply a one-sided machine of scheming and manipulation, but as a victim, so jaded by the unemotional response from her family and the court itself, and by being treated only as a pawn in a bewildering game, and as a Boleyn woman, dispensible in every way. Her attempts to gain power for herself are in the short term fruitful - her megalomania flourishes unguarded, even to the King, but as anyone who has heard the history of Anne Boleyn will know, this is only short lived. "The Other Boleyn Girl" is perhaps an ambigous title. I thought at first it definitely referred to Mary, but perhaps Anne the other Boleyn girl, unable to drag herself out of disaster forged both by herself and her family, or perhaps the other Boleyn girl is a reference to being dispensible, unimportant and ready to be usurped by a younger, more fertile Boleyn at any moment.
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on 10 March 2013
this is a tale of those loved and lost. The unsung story of Mary Boleyn, the one who was forgotten. Gregory explores her life, her struggles and her good times. The story of Mary Boleyn - the other Boleyn girl is not well known and historians know scarcely anything about her life, but Gregory has used the information from our time an created a truly spell-binding tale.

Mary Boleyn grew up with her older sister Anne in the French court. She returned to England young and was married to William Carey, a second son to a wealthy family when she was 12 years old. At 13, Henry V111 began to take notice of her and suddenly, she was in his bed. When her beautiful sister Ann came to England, Katherine of Aragon did not like her at all. Mary was her favourite lady in waiting. Over time, Henry is courting Mary and she is falling deeply in love with him. Her family are nothing but ambition and they forbid her from sleeping with her husband as they would rather she was winning the King's favour. she becoomes a bedfellow of her sister as she makes her way up in court.

Later on, Mary offends the King and her family banish her to Hever for the summer. this happens also to Anne later on in the book.

when she later returns to court, she is back in bed and she falls pregnant. A girl, Catherine, who was sent away shortly after to their family's castle, Hever. More love, more sex, and she is pregnant again. this time with a beautiful little boy named Henry. He too is sent away. However, Mary is ill after the birth of Henry and whilst she recovers, flirtatious, sexy anne is ordered by her uncle to make sure none of the Seymour girls end up in the Kings bed. She prevents this very well, by making the KIng fall in love with her instead. Mary is shoved aside to make space for Anne.

Their is jealousy and sptie in the sisters' relationship as their family forgets about love and aims only for the top. Mary's family are showered with land and gifts and titles until the King decides that he wants to divorce his wife and marry Anne. The long and painful ordeal comes coloser to ending....

And then sickness strikes. The sweating sickness. Anne falls ill. The King flees with Katherine and their daughter for a summer. Court is in turmoil and people are dropping like flies. And. after only a few months back in his bed, Mary's husband William Carey dies. His last wish that he has managed to make a true Carey out of Mary. Does he? read this book and find out for yourself. How does it all end?

There is hurt, jealously, spite and love in a glorious bundle. You wake up and want to read. You go to bed and want to read. It is one of those books you cant bear to put down until your eyes are drooping and it is 3 in the morning. This is a book for any girl or woman, with a nagging sensation for emotion, hate and a story brilliantly told.

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on 3 January 2018
An enjoyable beach read; lots of inaccuracies but a good romp. I find her books easy to read but not compelling they are rather formulaic. There are much better writers of historical fiction eg Margret George,Alison Weir and Elizabeth Freemantle. It is rather annoying that she claims to be a historian and presents things as fact especially as on several occasions she contradicts her own timelines between books
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on 3 February 2014
This is another fantastic read and written from the viewpoint of Mary Boleyn, sister of Anne, and provides a refreshing, modest view of the shenanigans of Henry VIII during his first divorce and re-marriage. The reason I gave it four stars instead of five was because I suppose, I found the character of Mary Boleyn terribly boring compared to Anne and George Boleyn. Maybe this was the way it was because Mary Boleyn was the only survivor after all. I really loved reading it as ever and finished it within a few days because like all the other Phillipa Gregory Tudor novels, I couldn't put it down!.
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on 14 December 2017
This was my second Philippa Gregory book (the first that I read was the Taming of the Queen which was written as though you're Katherine Parr, Henry's last wife) and that was brilliant too. I'm hooked in the history of the Tudors!
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