Philippa Gregory I went through a little period of obsession with King Henry VIII and his time of power. I devoured every morsel I could find on this brute and everything I read just made my obsession more acute. I mean his reign was the stuff of Fairy Tales, medieval castles, knights, princesses, jousting, extreme riches and even more extreme poverty, the whims of a pampered prince and then of a selfish king. Everything I read about King Henry and his six wives was not only history but a novel to me! I read The Other Boleyn Girl and the other King Henry books by Philippa Gregory in very quick succession and I plan on blogging about all of them but right now I am just going to focus on TOBG.
If you have watched The Tudors on Showtime or have ever studied the reign of King Henry VIII then you know the general idea of the story/history. This book focuses on Henry's relationship with the infamous Anne Boleyn, starting with her families obsession to gain power in Court and ending (no spoilers here hopefully) at the chopping block. Philippa Gregory takes historical fact and fills in the shady bits with fiction; on her website she says "By and large the fiction fills in the gaps of the known historical record and brings it to life". So the fiction part is what makes the story so interesting, spicy, and new. In TOBG you are hearing the tale of Anne through the eyes of her sister Mary. Mary is little known in history but she is said to have born one or two of Henry's bastard children (a son no less), and she was quite in love with Henry for a short time until his eyes drifted to her sister Anne. Then Mary has to play a key roll in Anne's climb to be the Queen of England and then to keep her there while Henry's ever roaming eyes wander to a multitude of other ladies at Court.
Gregory's writing is amazing. This lady has a way with words (this is why she is my most favorite author), everything that Gregory writes is a true work of art. I almost always recommend one of her works to anyone that asks me for a good read.
Book vs. Movie: I do have to say though that TOBG movie was quite disappointing (as are most books turned movie). It was fun to see the beautiful clothes and riches but the screen play fell extremely short of the actual book.The Other Boleyn Girl
By Philippa Gregory
If you enjoyed this book, please read: The Wideacre Trilogy by Philippa Gregory