Book Love | The Boleyn Inheritance
By Philippa Gregory
(From the Book Jacket)
Three women who share one fate:
The Boleyn Inheritance
Anne of Cleves
She runs from her tiny country, her hateful mother, and her abusive brother to a throne whose last three occupants are dead. King Henry VII, her new husband, instantly dislikes her. Without friends, family or even an understanding of the language being spoken around her, she must literally save her neck in a court ruled by a deadly game of politics and the terror of an unpredictable and vengeful king. Her Boleyn Inheritance: accusations and false witnesses.
She catches the king's eye within moments of arriving at court, setting in motion the dreadful machine of politics, intrigue, and treason that she does not understand. She only knows that she is beautiful, that men desire her, that she is young and in love--but not with the diseased old man who made her queen, beds her night after night, and killed her cousin Anne. Her Boleyn Inheritance: the threat of the axe.
She is the Boleyn girl whose testimonies sent her husband and sister-in-law to their deaths. She is the trusted friend of two threatened queens, the perfectly loyal spy for her uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, and a canny survivor in the murderous court of a most dangerous king. Throughout Europe, her name is a byword for malice, jealousy, and twisted lust. Her Boleyn Inheritance: a fortune and a title, in exchange for her soul.
The Boleyn Inheritance is a novel drawn tight as a lute string about a court ruled by the gallows and three women whose positions brought them wealth, admiration, and power as well as deceit, betrayal and terror. Once again, Philippa Gregory has brought a varnished world to life--the whisper of a silk skirt on a stone stair, the yellow glow of candlelight illuminating a hastily written note, the murmurs of the crowd gathering on the Tower Green below the newly built scaffold. In The Boleyn Inheritance Gregory is at her intelligent and page-turning best.
My Rating: ★★★★★
A few quick thoughts
Having read several other books by Philippa Gregory and about King Henry VIII and his court, I loved immersing myself back into this era and the historical characters that I've loved and enjoyed.
Philippa Gregory wrote this book almost as if it was a continuation of The Other Boleyn Girl, but included the perspective of the famed sister-in-law to Queen Anne Boleyn whose testimony sent her to the scaffold. It was interesting to see Jane Boleyn's character from a different side of speculation, as a wife who testified against her husband in hopes that--if he plead guilty--he might be spared.
While I enjoyed the book and loved the aspect from all three of the characters views, it was almost too much a few times to switch back and forth between the three of them, particularly at the beginning of the book when you're first discovering each of them.
Having also read The Constant Princess as well as The Other Boleyn Girl, it's very interesting to see Gregory's take on the changes of Henry VII as he grows older and evolves from the famed charming and handsome Prince to an obese, disgusting and spoiled madman.
A completely different side was displayed in the personality of the king that helps to give an idea as to why he may have felt justified for the high mortality rate among his wives.
Would I read it again? Definitely....in a few years.
Would I recommend it to others? Absolutely.
Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.