Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Boleyn Inheritance

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So here is my promised review of the last installment of Philippa Gregory's King Henry VIII novels.  I think that I enjoyed The Boleyn Inheritance better than any of the other two books on King Henry's wives.  I thought that this book was just clever in how it depicted the repercussions of Anne Boleyn and how it effected all of the English Court, through the eyes of three women.  After Anne visited the chopping block, the King's life changed forever and there were few people in the country that weren't effected by the aftermath.  The King has now divorced his first wife, killed his second wife, and lost is third wife in childbirth.  He is lonely, ill, loosing his good looks, at odds with the Catholic Church, and at odds with his people, all these things make this part of his history very entertaining.

This book is written in the point of view of Anne of Cleves (Henry's 4th wife), Katherine Howard (Henry's 5th wife), and Jane Boleyn (George Boleyn's horrible crazy wife).  So when we open this book the king is mourning over the death of his beloved wife Jane Seymour.  He needs to find a new wife and Queen of England so he sends out his royal match makers to find him the perfect spouse.  He settles on Anne of Cleves, and when he meets her (and marries her) he realizes that this woman will just not do (surprise surprise) and he divorces her.  During this quick marriage he is occupying his time with a young somewhat slutty immature girl named Katherine Howard, cousin to the King's infamous wife Anne (and you know with that combo, this can't end well).  In the end there are accusations, treason, and heads rolling once again.

Like I said before, I really enjoyed this book.  I didn't want to go into too much detail about the plot because it would sound like a history lesson, but don't let that turn you off from reading this book.  Because out of all the families in history the Tudor's story most resembles a steamy soap opera.  King Henry and his wives invented the word drama I am sure.

Book vs. Movie: I don't know if I would watch a movie just based off this book.  And I don't think that a 2 hour movie could quite catch a glimpse of the entire reign of King Henry VIII; but, the Showtime series The Tudors is doing a VERY VERY good job.  And if you don't want to watch the show for the history then at least watch it for Jonathan Rhys Meyers... Yum...

The Boleyn Inheritance
by Philippa Gregory

If you liked this book read: The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory 


  1. Nice review. I've read almost all of her books, but not the most recent one. I keep expecting the Tudor's to live happily ever after some day, but they never do. Haha.

  2. Great review! I've read The Other Boleyn Girl and The Queen's Fool. I loved The Other Boleyn Girl but I didn't enjoy The Queen's Fool very much. This one sounds good though! I also have Gregory's The White Queen out from the library at the moment and am looking forward to reading it.

  3. I've been curious about these books for some time - many of my high school students read them. Thanks for the review!

  4. Another great review. I've never read any of Philippa Gregory's books, but you're making me think about it.

    By the way I nominated you for the Honest Scrap Award. Keep it shiny!

  5. oh forgot to post the url. Haha. Here.