The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa GregoryThe Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

The Other Boleyn Girl

byPhilippa Gregory

Paperback | June 4, 2002

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The #1 New York Times bestseller from “the queen of royal fiction” (USA TODAY) Philippa Gregory is a rich, compelling novel of love, sex, ambition, and intrigue surrounding the Tudor court of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, and the infamous Boleyn family.

When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of the handsome and charming Henry VIII. Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her family’s ambitious plots as the king’s interest begins to wane, and soon she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister, Anne. With her own destiny suddenly unknown, Mary realizes that she must defy her family and take fate into her own hands.

With more than one million copies in print and adapted for the big screen, The Other Boleyn Girl is a riveting historical drama. It brings to light a woman of extraordinary determination and desire who lived at the heart of the most exciting and glamorous court in Europe, and survived a treacherous political landscape by following her heart.
Philippa Gregory is the author of fourteen books, one of which, Wideacre, was a New York Times bestseller. She holds a Ph.D. in eighteenth-century literature from the University of Edinburgh and lives in England. BookWraps: Authors talk about their books and writing. Check out the BookWrap for this title, where you can watch an a...
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Title:The Other Boleyn GirlFormat:PaperbackDimensions:672 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 1.6 inPublished:June 4, 2002Publisher:TouchstoneLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0743227441

ISBN - 13:9780743227445

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very entertaining historical fiction novel Not sure about historical accuracy but I loved it anyways!
Date published: 2017-10-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this Era I love PG's books because I love stories written around this era.
Date published: 2017-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great historical novel If you are a fan of the Tudor novels or have a fascination with Henry the 8th and Anne Bolelyn then you will love this novel. It also gives you a bit of the mind set for what happened to Mary Bolelyn as well. It was an interesting read. Great!!!
Date published: 2017-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved it! This is one of Gregory's best novel. I highly recommend it.
Date published: 2017-08-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wickedly interesting history! Too bad they don't teach history this way in school! Divas of today have nothing on the Boleyn girls! Really enjoyed it.
Date published: 2017-08-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Historical Fiction! Very detailed and easy to read depictions of the Henry VIII reign - a good coverage of what "courtly love" entails. Wish there had been more descriptions of fashion and trade industries but it was mainly about the royals, so understandable there wasn't much.
Date published: 2017-07-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic This book brought Philippa Gregory into the forefront of people's minds as the "go-to" for historical fiction and I think she did a fantastic job exploring this part of British history. An absolutely wonderful read anytime.
Date published: 2017-06-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fantastic Loved the story, the characters, it was wonderful
Date published: 2017-03-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Historical Fiction Philippa Gregory is such an amazing storyteller. Henry VIII is pretty well known, and even knowing what was going to happen I couldn't put the book down. She really makes you invested in the characters and even though you know what's going to happen in the end, you still end up guessing half the time. My first and favourite Gregory book.
Date published: 2017-03-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enjoyable This was the first novel by Phillips Gregory I have read and it is by far my favorite. It certainly took me on a journey with Anne and Mary and it piqued my interest for historical fiction.
Date published: 2017-03-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from really good My favourite Philippa Gregory novel. If you want to read any of her books, read this one.
Date published: 2017-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read I very much enjoyed reading this book. I also felt it helped be better understand the movie that was based on it #plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Loved it Love, Sex and palace drama. Was a good read
Date published: 2017-03-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Better than the movie After watching this movie a couple years back, I decided to do the opposite of what many do and read the book. I love this book! It provided so much more detail, imagination and engagement than the film did. I'm not usually one for historical-type stories but I was hooked on this. Great read!
Date published: 2017-03-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from a must read great great book. read over and over
Date published: 2017-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read for any Tudor history fan! This book sparked my interest and passion for the Tudors! As an avid fan of Philippa Gregory, I find myself always comparing her books to this one. To date, this is still my favourite book she has written. It was so compelling that I wasn't able to put it down! A must read!
Date published: 2017-03-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read! We read this for book club. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2017-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVED this book! I'm not usually a Philippa Gregory fan, but this book stands out from the rest. I've read it multiple times, lent it to others, lost it, and replaced it because it's just so good. You won't be able to put it down!
Date published: 2017-03-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Page turner Enjoyed reading it very much
Date published: 2017-02-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from amazing read this over and over and still love it
Date published: 2017-02-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fantastic! I loved the perspective of Mary! The history is pretty accurate compared to many other interpretations and is still woven together to form a beautiful and intriguing story!
Date published: 2017-02-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good This was a great book to read, great characters and a nice alternative view hearing from Mary Boleyn.
Date published: 2017-02-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great find! Loved this book. Philippa Gregory paints a very real picture of what it would have been like for Anne Boleyn. Love that time in history. Cant wait to read more of her books.
Date published: 2017-01-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a must read for history lovers I have read and re-read this book multiple times! loving it more and more
Date published: 2017-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVE Anne Boleyn is one of my favourite historical figures to read about because of her rise to ascension and devastating fall from grace in such a short period of time - she is infamous and left such a big mark, indirectly, in history. It's so easy to forget about Anne's family in the grand scheme of things. I love this version of Mary's story because it's a little bit fantastical, but also full of scandal and romance. Her story is emotional and paints her sister Anne to be manipulative and conniving to the very end, offering readers the other side of the story from someone very close to both Anne and Henry VIII. My heart had all these feels for Mary by the end of it! “I never thought it would end like this. I never thought he would leave me without saying goodbye.”
Date published: 2017-01-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Other Boleyn Girl Good story but a bit slow at times.
Date published: 2017-01-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING! Philippa Gregory = Brilliant. She's a fantastic writer. I don't normally read a book after I've seen the movie but I'm glad I did. The extras on the DVD said that the book was very different because a lot needed to be left out of the movie. The book was riveting from beginning to end.
Date published: 2017-01-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome Read! If you like historical fiction and have an interest in the history of Englands monarchs (specifically the Tudor era), you would enjoy this book!
Date published: 2016-12-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Historic Fiction I love the Tudor time period, but wasn't sure if I would like this book because I am so used to reading factual books on the time, rather than fiction. I ended up loving it. It is a really easy, enjoyable read, but don't mistake it for history - take it as the fiction it is.
Date published: 2016-12-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book Amazing book,worth reading again and again.
Date published: 2016-12-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Other Boleyn Girl Amazing book. Definitely a must read book.
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Other Boleyn Girl This was a good read. I don't generally enjoy historical novels but this one was really interesting.
Date published: 2016-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this! I loved this book. It was written so well with lots of intrigue and plotting by the characters at court.
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very good read *warning of spoilers* ** spoiler alert ** 4.5 stars I didn't know I'd like this book this much. My mom suggested it to me so I decided to give it a try and it turned out that whenever I picked it up I could NOT put it down. I was intrigued by all the goings on and politics of court and interested in every moment that happened. Even though some part made me scream in frustration about the Boleyn's and the things they say and/or think. It was so weird to think of Mary as only being 14 in the beginning though ... Considering she was married to William Carey and had 'relations'/ intense interest of the king who was in his early to mis thirties... :/ but either way I really did enjoy this book and nonetheless I give it a 4.5 stars And let me just say I'm happy at least Mary started becoming more independent and ended up with William Stafford, because he actually CARED about her.
Date published: 2016-11-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from AMAZING This was an amazing book! Even better than the movie since as always the film left so much out, especially with George and Mary. I would have liked to also have George's POV throughout the novel but overall, it was a really great read.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Amazing book.Deeply engrossing book.Definitely a must read book.
Date published: 2016-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must read Amazing book, captivating and intriguing. This was my first encounter with her writing and it defiinitely made me a fan. A must read. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read! This was the second book that I have read by Philippa Gregory, and it has made me want to read the rest of her novels about the Tudors. After reading The Other Tudors by Philippa Jones (non-fiction) I was greatly impressed by how Gregory has seamlessly weaved historical events and places within the story. It is easy for one to imagine oneself in that time period. It was very interesting seeing how women of that time were used more as chattel, some would say that our world hasn't changed much.
Date published: 2011-02-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting Read! The Other Boleyn Girl was a very interesting, captivating book. It was full of detail, deceit, love, lust and thirst for power. I loved the character build up and the dirty laundry that went on behind palace walls.
Date published: 2010-08-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Engaging Read Did not read 'The constant princess' before I read this; wish I had read them in sequence. Very engaging read; hard to put away for very long. Although no one really knows the 'true behind the scenes' story of Henry VIII and his relationships with Mary and Ann Boleyn, other than what is documented fact, the story she weaves around that history is highly entertaining. If anything, it is a a commentary on the (in)value of women in this era and their struggles to survive this paternalistic and domineering environment.
Date published: 2010-08-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great for Tudor Lovers I liked this book, mostly for the fact that I'm a history lover, and I am particularly fascinated with Henry VIII. Phillipa Gregory's choice to write from Mary's perspective was wise, although Gregory's voice was a bit redundant and tiring. It was a good read, but I was a bit disappointing, because I had heard a lot of hype and watched/loved the movie.
Date published: 2009-12-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Read This Book I absolutely loved this book, it was AMAZING!!! Sure I mean not all the facts were accurate but that point aside this was very entertaining and I could not put it down. The main character was Mary Boleyn, Anne’s sister – therefore The Other Boleyn Girl. I love that it was written from her perspective; it gave a new light of life in the court of Henry VIII. Mary, who is made out to be a simple girl (though she is not simple, just lacking in some areas) is taken at the age of 13 (I think, I had a hard time of keeping track the characters ages and the years) to be the mistress of the King. She remains that way until shortly after the birth of her second child when she is ousted as the Kings favourite by her sister Anne. For me this is when the book got even more interesting because her family has it seems put her aside and no longer cares for her, we get to learn more about her. Since I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t read it I will just say that even though Mary was The Other Boleyn Girl after reading this book I believe that she was the only happy one in the family – I mean we all know how it ended for Anne. In the end Mary had it all; she had beautiful children, a loving husband, and she escaped the court of Henry VIII with her head. On a final note for anyone who hasn’t read this book: READ THIS BOOK, you will NOT regret it.
Date published: 2009-11-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A great page turner! read this book a few years ago, but it still remains my favourite of Gregory's novels. I remember when I sat down to read it, I was literally flipping the pages like a crazy person and basically did nothing for 3 whole days while I inhaled the thing. (much to my husbands extreme eye-rolling) The summary: (from the jacket) When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of Henry VIII. Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her family's ambitious plots as the king's interest begins to wane and she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister Anne. Then Mary knows that she must defy her family and her king, and take her fate into her own hands. "The Other Boleyn Girl" reads like a movie script, so it's really not all that surprising that a couple of years ago the movie, in fact, came out. I have to admit, I never did go see it. The book was such a great and fast read that I thought the movie may not do it justice. I felt a lot of sympathy for Mary in the beginning, and grew to loathe Anne. Mary is powerless against the mammoth greed her family has to gain power and riches from the King, and she desperately tries to please the king in every way. And as we begin to realize that the king's affections are turning to Anne, we see Mary wilt and then rise to the occasion as Anne's scheming partner to gain her the crown. And then there's George. He provides some levity in the book, but he is not without his faults. And the three of them form Team Anne as they do everything they can to keep Anne from going insane with her antics of trying to stay in the King's favour and eventually become his queen. They also form a trio that eventually hides a deadly secret. Having very little knowledge of King Henry VIII's history, I was rivetted by the story. Oh, I knew the basics, like he had gone through a few wives, and had a pattern of doing away with them in a brutal way, but not the rich and lavish details of the court and the politics of the time. I mentioned a couple of days ago that the mark of a good historical fiction novel is that you want to then go and research more about the subject. GOOGLE : HENRY VIII. Which I totally did. And then I went to the library and piled my arms with books about him and his wives and watched documentaries. It was awesome! So, when I heard that there was going to be a TV series called "The Tudors" I was super excited! Until I saw that they had cast Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the part. Help me, Rhonda. But I digress...... Through fantastic writing, and tight editing, The Other Boleyn Girl will have you turning its pages till the wee hours of the night, and likely thinking of the characters when you are not in the act of reading it.
Date published: 2009-10-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! A great story that intertwines fact and fiction, told from the perspective of Mary Boleyn. Fast paced, full of intrigue and suspense. It will enchant and capture you in countless ways, even if you already know the history and the inevitable ending. A great read!!!!
Date published: 2009-07-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from fantastic This book is captivating and compelling. The writing is fantastic and I didn't spot a fault in the historical context. It gave a new light onto the situation of King Henry VIII. I found myself loving the characters of Anne and George Boleyn. There was also great entertainment. It is a book that I could read over and over again.
Date published: 2009-02-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great historical fiction Phllipa Gregory really brings the ordinary and extraordinary lives of the kings and queens of England to her readers in a bright, new, and constantly intriguing light with her series of books of the Tudor Court and beyond. Once I picked up this book I could not put it down until it was done. The characters and the story were so engaging, and Gregory pays enough attention to historical detail to draw in the reader to the early years of England while still being able to play with what the history books don't say to progress her story. Wonderful historical fiction overall.
Date published: 2008-10-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Welcome to History When I heard that it was going to be a movie, I put my name down at the local library to take out the book. When I eventually got it, I finished it in one weekend, regardless of the 700+ pages. I was glued and submerged to the story. I was disappointed by the movie as it didn't do the book justice. The book maintains the necessity you need when having a book that takes place in the past. These stories can often be dry and hard to maintain, however, if this one book is any example of Philippa Gregory's other books, I am ready to buy them all before reading. I was immediately interested in the characters and wondering what would happen next. You know a book is good when it looks like it would take you a few weeks to read and you get through it in two days!
Date published: 2008-10-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Delightfully enchanting I wanted to read this book before seeing the movie, I finished it in a week, only because I have a full time job, otherwise I'm convinced I would have finished it in 2 days! Gregory's attention to detail and exquisite use of grammar made me feel as if I was a girl in waiting alongside Mary and Anne. I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it.
Date published: 2008-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An absolute-amazing read! I found this book absolutely delicious. However, I neglected this book for 3 weeks after purchasing. I finished it in 2-3 days and I regretted not reading it earlier! I would definitely plan on reading the rest of Philippa Gregory's books. She has such a way with words that creates an easily-constructed image of the characters and scenery.
Date published: 2008-06-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic authour and fabulous book A fascinating look into a world of long ago. I couldn't put this one down, and have now discovered a fabulous author. Ms. Gregory compells the reader to journey into a family where you must do as your told, no matter the cost to yourself. Fabulous, and has lead me to read many many more.
Date published: 2008-05-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Book on Earth!! This book was amazing! After reading it I didn't want to read anything but Philippa Gregory. It was very easy to understand and interesting to realize how life was back then. It is my favorite book of all times!
Date published: 2008-03-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My new favorite book! This book kept my interest right from the beginning and I couldn't put it down! It stands alone without having to have read the previous book (the Constant Princess) although I had read that one first and now I want to go back and read it through a whole new perspective. I highly recommend this series!
Date published: 2008-02-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply A Work of Art! The Other Boleyn Girl is a historical roamnce fan's dream come true! It is a gorgeous piece of work that will have you gripped to the very end. The novel is a fictional tale of King Henry VIII's court and the constant struggle to be the best and have the most power. It allows you to look into the lives of Mary Boleyn, sister to Queen Anne, as well as the lives of the other Boleyn's as they struggle to get their name on the throne in anyway possible. The novel has vivid imagery and will dazzle you. It combines truth with fiction as author Philipa Gregory uses fact to come out with amazing fiction you will believe truley happened. You will develop a great feelings towards the characters and you will just fall in love with them. Take a journey to King Henry's court today and fall in love with this beautiful piece of work!
Date published: 2008-02-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Truely Awesome The other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory was phenominal! I could not get enough of this book. The mix of history and fiction made it so interesting to read. Get a chance to read this before the feature film is released!
Date published: 2008-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down! This is a big book - but once you start you will not be able to put it down. I love the mix of history and romance in a time that most are curious about. Phillippa Gregory looks at the story from Mary Boleyn's point of view. Awesome read!
Date published: 2008-01-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Historical Fiction at its best I just finished reading "The Other Boleyn Girl". It is quite a thick book but I read it in a week not being able to put it down. Although we all know what happened to Ann Boleyn the author weaves a great story that keeps the reader compelled. I am now onto another of Philippa Gregory's books, "The Queens Fool". Her books do hint of romance novels but the history that she revsists embelishes this genre.
Date published: 2007-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Engaging plot and intriguing characters! This book is an attempt to tell the story of the life of Henry VIII's second wife, Anne Boleyn, from the perspective of her sister, Mary Boleyn, one of Henry's mistresses. Although not all facts are accurately accounted, the story is beautifully told, the plot engaging and the characters very intriguing. It is a story about love, greed, ambition and sex - all of which make for a story that is hard to put down. I recommend it.
Date published: 2007-12-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Compelling I could not put this book down. By far, one of the best stories I've ever read. The characters drew you in and the storyline kept you guessing. I would recommend this book to anyone. I loved it!
Date published: 2007-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Great Book This is an amazing book. The writing is wonderful, the characters seem so real you feel you know them and you get a real feel for the place and time. I highly recommend this book.
Date published: 2007-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOnderfully interesting Philippa Gregory does a fantastic job of providing accurate historical fact in this book. The characters are very clearly portrayed. The story is quite fascinating. I found this book an absolute must-read for people interested in the Tudor period, and how the royals lived.
Date published: 2007-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Ambition Amazing book, great story, words cannot describe the greatness of this book! I could not put down this book, it was beautifully written, absolutely captivating. This is the first book of Philippa Gregory's that I have read and I stormed through it, and now I am hooked=) It gives you a true taste of what court life is like and how women were used by families as pawns, it definatly shows how little women were thought of. Both Anne and Mary were used by there family to get titles, more money, land, etc. It was depressing at some point just to read their misery! Having it told from Mary's perspective was an interesting spin on things, especially since we usually only get to know about Anne the more famous Boleyn! Definaly a must read!
Date published: 2006-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! I highly recommend this book, one of the best I've read in ages. It's written from the view point of Anne Boleyn's sister who was Henry V111's mistress before her. You really don't have to know the background of this story to enjoy it. It's full of intrigue,romance,history and skulduggery....this book has it all. Philippa Gregory brings each and every character to life and you just don't want the book to end. I hear it's being made into a film with Eric Bana ,I hope he gets to play William Stafford! Until then I will read this book until the pages disintergrate.
Date published: 2006-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Impossible to put down! This was the first book of Gregory's that I ever read and it got me hooked on her novels. I read it on a plane ride and after I finished it, I had to start all over again, it was so good!! The fact that the story is told from the perspective of Anne Boleyn's sister adds a flair to the novel that grips the reader and makes them wish the book would never end. The novel takes one of the most memorable beheadings in history and spins a tale around it that has readers begging for more. I would STRONGLY suggest this, or any of Gregory's other novels, to anyone wanting a great read.
Date published: 2006-06-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Interesting fun read I absolutely loved this book. It gave the story a different twist by being from the point of view from Mary Boleyn, the first sister to be Henry VIII's mistress. Great read deffinately worth it!!
Date published: 2006-06-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A very interesting way to read history! This book was chosen for the book club I belong to, and all 8 members found this book and great read. For those who are not familar with the stories behind the Boleyn family, this book retells their lives in a fun and dramatic way.
Date published: 2006-06-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Facinating read! This novel by Philippa Gregory is an exellent read for anyone who loves a great historical fiction stuffed with sex, intrigue, and scandal. Set in England during the reign of King Henry VIII, it tells the story of Mary Boleyn, sister of the infamous Queen Anne Boleyn. Mary, the younger and fairer of the sisters, becomes mistress to the king and it would seem her importance and position at court are rising. But as fast as she has risen, Mary falls. The king discards her choosing instead her sister Anne as his favorite and later his wife. This novel sheds light on the story and life of Anne Boleyn. Little was known about her and her real ambitions. Gregory constructs a fabulous story of Anne's fight to get exactly what she wants and her sister's fight to find happiness. An amazing novel. An interesting web of action, scandal and history that makes you crave more of Tudor England and the motivations of Anne that brought about her downfall.
Date published: 2006-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! This book is a must read! I have read many books on this era of time and out of all the books this gave the most realistic view of what life might actually be like. I coundn't put this book down! Every time you tell yourself you are going to stop, yuo always end up turining the page to see what will happen next. I definetly suggest you get this book. You won't be dissapointed, I promise you that.
Date published: 2006-06-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read Gregory's best book!
Date published: 2006-06-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from FORGOT THE PASSION iI haven't read a full book in a long time so when I picked this book up, I literally could not put it down. I was reading in every room of the house, at work , in the car, every where. I enjoy history very much, I found that when Philippa combined the facts and the fiction together , it made the book so fascinating. I have picked up three of her other novels and I am hoping that they will be just as enthralling. I am reading The Constant Princess and following that I hope the other two will revive my passion for reading throughout the whole summer.
Date published: 2006-05-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Queen of Historical Fiction Tudor England comes alive in all her current novels. You simply will not be able to put her books down. I loved every single one of them and look forward to reading any future novels by the undisputed queen of historical fiction.
Date published: 2006-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring Seldom can a book hold a person spellbound for several hours at a time. “The Other Boleyn Girl” has that power. Well paced so that time never lags, it carries the reader into a era totally foreign in experience, and yet, completely understandable. Ms. Gregory has captured the essence of the characters, which are sympathetically written so that you are able to identify with them. It is a history lesson, love story and a drama in one bound book. A book not to miss.
Date published: 2004-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great! As the other reviews say, this book is awesome! Most other novels about Anne Boleyn always make Mary Boleyn seem like a simpleton. In this book, we get to see how she actually was. She was not a simpleton, she was not a slave to ambition. Mary simply did what her heart urged her to do and found happiness, unlike the other Boleyns. Who is the other Boleyn girl? Well I think that the Anne is this book really is. She did whatever she could for power and just ended up dying a horrible death. Mary ended up living; really living. This is wonderful, and William Stafford sounds like a hottie!
Date published: 2004-06-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Other Boleyn Girl-All must read! I have never read such a compelling, spellbinding, and magical book in my life. Philippa Gregory evokes the magical and ruthless lives of Tudor England and the unending rivalry between Anne and Mary Boleyn so brilliantly. All must read this wonderful book, I couldn't put it down!!!
Date published: 2004-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous Book I would highly recommend this book. I didn't want it to end and was spellbound the whole time, even though history has told us what the ending will be. Entirely entertaining and addictive!
Date published: 2003-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Addictive The Other Boleyn Girl is a captivating novel that will not allow you to put it down. By combining elements of historical fact and fiction the author leaves you wondering about the actual conversations that must have taken place between the real life characters. The only disappointment with this book is that is makes similar books pale in comparison.
Date published: 2003-06-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome This was one of the best books I read in 2002. You won't put it down.
Date published: 2003-02-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The other boleyn girl Truly enjoyable and captivating story. Provides a lot of historical information in an extremely interesting manner. You will love it.
Date published: 2003-01-25

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Spring 1521 I could hear a roll of muffled drums. But I could see nothing but the lacing on the bodice of the lady standing in front of me, blocking my view of the scaffold. I had been at this court for more than a year and attended hundreds of festivities; but never before one like this. By stepping to one side a little and craning my neck, I could see the condemned man, accompanied by his priest, walk slowly from the Tower toward the green where the wooden platform was waiting, the block of wood placed center stage, the executioner dressed all ready for work in his shirtsleeves with a black hood over his head. It looked more like a masque than a real event, and I watched it as if it were a court entertainment. The king, seated on his throne, looked distracted, as if he was running through his speech of forgiveness in his head. Behind him stood my husband of one year, William Carey, my brother, George, and my father, Sir Thomas Boleyn, all looking grave. I wriggled my toes inside my silk slippers and wished the king would hurry up and grant clemency so that we could all go to breakfast. I was only thirteen years old, I was always hungry. The Duke of Buckinghamshire, far away on the scaffold, put off his thick coat. He was close enough kin for me to call him uncle. He had come to my wedding and given me a gilt bracelet. My father told me that he had offended the king a dozen ways: he had royal blood in his veins and he kept too large a retinue of armed men for the comfort of a king not yet wholly secure on his throne; worst of all he was supposed to have said that the king had no son and heir now, could get no son and heir, and that he would likely die without a son to succeed him to the throne. Such a thought must not be said out loud. The king, the court, the whole country knew that a boy must be born to the queen, and born soon. To suggest otherwise was to take the first step on the path that led to the wooden steps of the scaffold which the duke, my uncle, now climbed, firmly and without fear. A good courtier never refers to any unpalatable truths. The life of a court should always be merry. Uncle Stafford came to the front of the stage to say his final words. I was too far from him to hear, and in any case I was watching the king, waiting for his cue to step forward and offer the royal pardon. This man standing on the scaffold, in the sunlight of the early morning, had been the king's partner at tennis, his rival on the jousting field, his friend at a hundred bouts of drinking and gambling, they had been comrades since the king was a boy. The king was teaching him a lesson, a powerful public lesson, and then he would forgive him and we could all go to breakfast. The little faraway figure turned to his confessor. He bowed his head for a blessing and kissed the rosary. He knelt before the block and clasped it in both hands. I wondered what it must be like, to put one's cheek to the smooth waxed wood, to smell the warm wind coming off the river, to hear, overhead, the cry of seagulls. Even knowing as he did that this was a masque and not the real thing, it must be odd for Uncle to put his head down and know that the executioner was standing behind. The executioner raised his ax. I looked toward the king. He was leaving his intervention very late. I glanced back at the stage. My uncle, head down, flung wide his arms, a sign of his consent, the signal that the ax could fall. I looked back to the king, he must rise to his feet now. But he still sat, his handsome face grim. And while I was still looking toward him there was another roll of drums, suddenly silenced, and then the thud of the ax, first once, then again and a third time: a sound as domestic as chopping wood. Disbelievingly, I saw the head of my uncle bounce into the straw and a scarlet gush of blood from the strangely stumpy neck. The black-hooded axman put the great stained ax to one side and lifted the head by the thick curly hair, so that we could all see the strange mask-like thing: black with the blindfold from forehead to nose, and the teeth bared in a last defiant grin. The king rose slowly from his seat and I thought, childishly, "Dear God, how awfully embarrassing this is going to be. He has left it too late. It has all gone wrong. He forgot to speak in time." But I was wrong. He did not leave it too late, he did not forget. He wanted my uncle to die before the court so that everybody might know that there was only one king, and that was Henry. There could be only one king, and that was Henry. And there would be a son born to this king -- and even to suggest otherwise meant a shameful death. The court returned quietly to Westminster Palace in three barges, rowed up the river. The men on the riverbank pulled off their hats and kneeled as the royal barge went swiftly past with a flurry of pennants and a glimpse of rich cloth. I was in the second barge with the ladies of the court, the queen's barge. My mother was seated near me. In a rare moment of interest she glanced at me and remarked, "You're very pale, Mary, are you feeling sick?" "I didn't think he would be executed," I said. "I thought the king would forgive him." My mother leaned forward so that her mouth was at my ear and no one could have heard us over the creaking of the boat and the beat of the rowers' drum. "Then you are a fool," she said shortly. "And a fool to remark it. Watch and learn, Mary. There is no room for mistakes at court." Copyright © 2001 by Philippa Gregory Ltd.

Bookclub Guide

Reading Group Guide for The Other Boleyn Girl Discussion Points 1. Why does Philippa Gregory choose Mary to narrate the story? Keeping in mind the relationship between the observer and those observed, is Mary a good, trustworthy, narrator? As Mary ages, how is her loss of innocence reflected in her telling of the story? 2. Look at the exchange between Mary and her mother at the end of the first chapter. How does the author foreshadow what is to come? How do the events of the first chapter frame the entire story? 3. Discuss the Boleyn family's scheming and jockeying for favor in the court. In light of these politics, discuss the significance of Mary's explanation that she had "a talent for loving [the king]" (page 119). Is this simply a girl's fantasy? Why does Mary call herself and George "a pair of pleasant snakes" (page 131)? 4. On page 29, Mary professes her love and admiration for Queen Katherine and feels she can't betray her. In what ways are her honorable ideals compromised as she embarks on her adulterous affair with the king? Recount the whirlwind of events preceding Anne's becoming queen. Reading page 352, do you agree that "from start to finish" Mary "had no choice" but to betray Queen Katherine by taking the queen's letter to her uncle? 5. Consider pages 38 and 82. How does the author create sexual tension? How do the narrator's thoughts and feelings communicate the attraction between her and the king? Why is this important to the story of The Other Boleyn Girl? 6. On page 85, Anne tells Mary, "I am happy for the family. I hardly ever think about you." Do you think she's telling the truth? Later, Anne says to her sister, "We'll always be nothing to our family" (page 310). Do you think she believes this, especially given her overwhelming desire to advance her own status? 7. Why does Mary say, "I felt like a parcel..." (page 60)? What happens later to make Mary think she's no longer a "pawn" of the family, but "at the very least, a castle, a player in the game" (page 173)? 8. Look at the exchange between Mary and Anne about the king on page 72. Do you agree with Anne when she tells Mary that "you can't desire [the king] like an ordinary man and forget the crown on his head." What does this statement reveal about Anne's nature? And what does it reveal about Mary's? 9. In general, what are your impressions of the sisters? Keep in mind Anne and Mary's discussion on page 104: "So who would come after me?...I could make my own way." Also look at page 123, when Anne says, "Hear this, Mary...I will kill you." Why are these statements significant, particularly given their timing? 10. Share some of the characteristics that you like about historical fiction. For you, what aspect of The Other Boleyn Girl stands out the most? How does the book change your impressions of life in King Henry VIII's court? Looking at the letter on page 275, discuss the level of corruption in the court. Does it surprise you? Were you aware of Anne's dogged and exhausting pursuit of the king? Did the way Anne became queen shock you? 11. How do you feel about the idea that a woman had to be married before she could bed the king? What do you think about the king changing the laws to suit his needs? When Anne states that "Nothing will ever be the same for any woman in this country again," examine why she could believe she would be exempt from the same treatment. In other words, why didn't she realize that "when she overthrew a queen that thereafter all queens would be unsteady" (page 519)? Do you think the family realized this but persevered anyway? 12. Discuss Mary's evolution of thinking from when she realizes that after Queen Katherine's departure, "from this time onward no wife...would be safe" with her later thought (on page 468) that "the triumph of Anne, the mistress who had become a wife, was an inspiration to every loose girl in the country." What does this say about Mary's state of mind? Is she being a reliable narrator here? 13. On page 303, George exclaims to Mary, "You cannot really want to be a nobody." Why is this such a revolutionary idea in Henry's court, and for the Boleyns in particular? What should the response have been to Mary's question to Anne (page 330) about the rewards of Anne's impending marriage to the king: "What is there for me?" 14. In King Henry's court, homosexuality was a crime. Why do you think George essentially flaunted his preference? What do you make of the intimate kiss between George and Anne that Mary witnessed? What is the impetus behind George and Anne's relationship? Discuss whether or not you believe that George slept with Anne so that she might have a son, and why. 15. Why do you think George declares that Anne is "the only Boleyn anyone will ever know or remember" (page 410)? Was that true for you before you read The Other Boleyn Girl? What about now? 16. After Anne is arrested, Mary pleads for her by saying, "We did nothing more than that was ordered. We only ever did as we were commanded. Is she to die for being an obedient daughter?" (page 650). What is your reaction to these arguments? Did Henry have no choice but to sentence her to death?

Editorial Reviews

"You want a real page-turner, but you don't want to tarnish your reputation for literary taste. The Other Boleyn Girl is your kind of...book."

-- Janice Numura, Newsday