The Other Boleyn Girl (The Tudor Court, #2)
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The Other Boleyn Girl (The Tudor Court #2)

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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  313,479 ratings  ·  14,119 reviews
Librarian's Note: This is an alternate cover edition - ISBN: 0006514006 (ISBN13: 9780006514008)

Mary Boleyn catches the eye of Henry VIII when she comes to court as a girl of fourteen.
Dazzled by the golden prince, Mary's joy is cut short when she discovers that she is a pawn in the dynastic plots of her family. When the capricious king's interest wanes, Mary is ordered to p...more
Paperback, 529 pages
Published October 7th 2002 by Harper Collins Publishers (first published 2001)
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Community Reviews

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Madeline
Some people (read: uptight history nerds with nothing better to do) like to get their undies in knots over Philippa Gregory's writing and whine about how she takes too many liberties with history. Well, guess what? She makes it interesting, and since her books are classified as fiction, I think she can be allowed that. Also, I consider myself a history nerd, especially when it comes to the Tudors, and I think Gregory's books are great. The stories surrounding Henry VIII are already really good;...more
Mandy
Disclaimer: Don't confuse this book with a biography of Mary Boleyn. It's fiction all the way. It's a good read when you remember that this is fiction and not a blow-by-blow account of historical events. And because it is fiction, Gregory is able to play a little fast and loose with historical fact. Mary was most likely the oldest Boleyn child, not the youngest as presented here. She had also served the French kings court, just as Anne did, but was sent home in disgrace after tales of her promis...more
Sally
I picked this one up at work because I want to see the movie (hello, Scarlett Johansen and Natalie Portman? Yes please), and because I know I'll have thousands of people asking me about it, like with Atonement, which I never read. In short, this book sucks. It's the worst kind of historical fiction - light on the history, and not fun or well written to make up for it. The characters are one dimensional, the writing is trite and full of cliches. Complete trash, but I'm not putting it on my enjoya...more
Cindy
Jan 29, 2013 Cindy rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: fiction
I love anything that has to do with English History and really am kinda fascinated by Henry VIII. After reading so many good things on here and elsewhere about this book I was looking forward to it.

At about 100 pages into it I thought I really was enjoying it. Too bad the book didn't end at page 200. Because I hated this book with a passion. I don't even know where to start with it.

First you have the writing style which is written by Mary Boylen's POV. Which is fine. But every character in thi...more
Meaghan
The thing you must realize about this book is that it is, first and foremost, a novel. A novel based on actual historical events, yes, but still a work of fiction. So for those that criticize it for its historical inaccuracy, your criticism is misplaced. This is not a biography of Mary Boleyn or Anne Boleyn and it doesn't pretend to be.

I myself am a bit of a Tudor junkie and love reading both fiction and nonfiction about the family and the times, and I found this book a delight. It had all the e...more
Sara W
I got through 25 pages of this book and had enough! I wrote down (literally - I had a pen and paper with me after the reading the first page or two) so many historical inaccuracies that I thought my head would explode. Then I checked out reviews on Amazon and realized the book would get much, much worse. As strictly a novel, this might be a great book, and I do hope to pick it up again with the mind-set that it is strictly fiction because I might be able to enjoy it then. But as a book dealing w...more
Stella
Jun 16, 2008 Stella rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No-one
OK firstly, there's no doubt that Philippa Gregory can write a good story. Her prose is engaging and the content fThe Other Boleyn girl was easy to read.

However what put me off was the absolute ignorance of historical fact and total villification of Anne Boleyn - yes this is a fictional interpretation but now it has made it to the big screen, there are a few who will think this is what really happened.

Ms. Gregory describes Mary Boleyn as her personal heroine and this bias is clear through the bo...more
Linda
Aug 14, 2007 Linda rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who think soap operas are high art
This book is pure trash. Simple as that. I was kind of embarrassed reading it. It reads something like a Danielle Steel novel wannabe. Not to knock Danielle Steel cause I'm certainly guilty of reading a number of Danielle Steele. (Tho in truth it was when I was much younger so I really didn't know any better.)

So back to "The Other Boleyn Girl" being pure trash. It's crazy for me to make such a harsh claim cause: 1. I love historical fiction-- always have. Even since fifth grade I can remember! a...more
Edallia
Mar 05, 2008 Edallia rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people in need of brain candy
I will review this festering mound of shhh....surely quality literature, although I doubt I have anything to say about it that hasn't already been said.

"Historical controvery" aside- I mean, *whatever,* Gregory totally went to the Dan Brown place, and as someone who's interested in history, I don't entirely appreciate it, but I think we intelligent people all know that this is fiction, despite what Gregory seems to be saying in the "Author's Q & A" thingy at the back of my copy.

This is the...more
Nichole (Dirty H)
I finally finished this book! Just in time to go see the movie, which was nothing like it. And neither was much like actual history. But I suppose that's not very important, is it?
This book is full of scandal and intrigue, sex and debauchery, scheming, betrayal, and maybe a little bit of love. Much like any good soap opera. This is a fairly entertaining read if you like such things. I had a hard time staying interested, and read several other books while I was trying to finish this one. I did li...more
Ana T.
I bought this book a few months back but I was hesitant to pick it up. Anne Boleyn's story is one I researched a long time ago and I wasn't too sure I wanted to revisit it. However this month I decided to read it with A. and A. so we could all discuss it and now I'm glad that I did it.

I wasn't sure I was enjoying it very much at first. Mary Boleyn seemed, at times too innocent and tongue-tied, and at other times an intelligent observer of human nature. I wasn't too convinced with her as a charac...more
Oriana
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tilbatilba
Utter rubbish. It is poorly written, particularly the embarrassing dialogue e.g. "she was hot for the King".

The author selects a particularly fascinating period of history, but those events just weren't interesting enough apparently, so she makes up various events purely for their titillation value.

There is much better historical fiction out there.
Isis
Feb 24, 2011 Isis rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
Recommended to Isis by: No one - its publicity made me curious so I got it from library
The book is in outward appearances the same length as "The Constant Princess" and "The Boleyn Inheritance", but is actually a longer work, as is revealed when one realises that the font size is considerably smaller than the two aforementioned novels. The up side of this is that at least "The Other Boleyn Girl" has more of a story than the wafer thin plot of the other two. This is not however enough to make it into a good book. The writing itself is of low quality, many scenes are redundant, drag...more
Leslie
4.5 Stars!

This was my first Philippa Gregory read and even though this book is classified as "fiction", Gregory included several historical facts and wrote an enchanting and lovely story about the life of Mary Boleyn.

I found this book hauntingly written with the many facts I do know about King Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne. The minute Mary Boleyn arrives at court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of Henry VIII. She is quite frankly dazzled by him and quickly falls in l...more
Crystal Starr Light
"You just keep on being sweetly stupid, Mary. You do it beautifully."

Mary Boleyn is one of Queen Katherine's many ladies-in-waiting. But things change when she catches King Henry VIII's eye. Her family, led by Uncle Thomas Howard, quickly push her into becoming the King's mistress, but Anne, Mary's sister, is never satisfied. Set amidst the turmoil of King Henry's early rule, we follow Mary through her affair with the King, the strife between King Henry and Queen Katherine, and the marriage of...more
Kira
I have no time for authors - nay, anyone, who shit-talks Anne Boleyn. Don't come up to me and run your mouth about my beloved unless you want a good smack in the chops. You have been warned.
Felicia
This was the november pick for Vaginal Fantasy Book club and I LOVED it! I have always been fond of the Tudors, as a kid I always fancied myself somewhat of an Anne Boleyn lover, she was my favorite of the poor wives, so this delving into her history, and her sister's especially, was super fascinating. It isn't a standard smutty romance, and you end up sympathizing a lot with how women were treated, how Henry the 8th behaved and WHY he did what he did. I have done some research (ie read Wikipedi...more
Rebecca
For the first half of the book, I was very intrigued. I thought the story to be fascinating. However, the book is too long (about 650 pages). I suppose it must be in order to cover the majority of Mary Boleyn's lifetime. Yet, I was finding myself fatigued by the end. Most of us know at least part of what happened to Mary's sister, Queen Anne, and so I knew already how the book would end. Also, I have never read a true, authentic "romance" novel. I don't know how explicit the romance novels out t...more
faeriemyst
Going into The Other Boleyn Girl I already knew that the historical details weren't very factual, but I had this laying around and needed something both light and set in the past, so I figured this would do nicely. The writing itself is perfectly fine, and mostly, I did enjoy the book. Although, for the first half, it seemed as if everyone only wore red and by the end I got so sick of hearing about Anne's "B" for Boleyn necklace I could scream.

Mary Boleyn, the narrator, is a strange character: s...more
Kristen
Okay, it took me maybe 100 pages to really get into this one, but once I did, I simply could NOT put it down. This was the first book by Philippa Gregory that I'd read. I found her writing style to be academic and intelligent without being at all dry or pedantic. Her research seems to be accurate enough to create a realistic story, and her understanding of the time allows her to write the thoughts and motivations of her characters in a believable manner. Telling the story of the rise and fall of...more
Beth F.
When I started this book I could hardly put it down. It was easy to read. It was fast. And Philippa Gregory is a wonderful story-teller. But by the middle of the book, I started to lose my momentum because the repetition began to wear on me and I realized that any sort of real character development was decidedly lacking. It gave me flashbacks to reading Twilight.

That being said, I have given the book an extra star because the story was quite enjoyable, and even though I struggled to recognize t...more
Nermin
Once you get past the first 100 pages or so and learn to ignore the huge historical inaccuracies, you realize that this is actually a perfectly enjoyable novel. TOBG had some parts that made my heart ache and theend of the story left me teary eyed for some hours. It was not very easy for me to read the difficult lives of the female characters in the book, even those who were born into relatively wealthy and priviliged families, to see that they were nothing but a pawn in their families' schemes...more
Lisa
I can't imagine that anyone who picks this book up is not at least somewhat familiar with the historical story of Henry VIII and his unfortunate marital history so the plot is no mystery. I was only vaguely aware of the rumors of his relationship with Anne's sister, Mary Boleyn, and Mary is the narrator and witness to the story.

The marked physical and temperment differences between Mary and Anne were contrived and hard to believe. Truly I think it was just a lazy way for the author to get the r...more
Ebookwormy
After reading the entire book, I’m somewhat surprised at it’s popularity. While a couple of writing techniques were used very successfully, in general, I found it to be just okay, and a bit dragging in the middle. It's an acceptable effort, but I have to believe there is better stuff out there.

Positives:
* I liked the inclusion of a bibliography at the end of the book for those (like me) who want to further explore the history.

* Gregory weaves the title into her character development to illustra...more
Annalisa
Apr 30, 2008 Annalisa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Annalisa by: Melinda
Despite this being distorted history, I found myself engrossed in the characters. I know what happens to them, history is set in stone, but I still was anxious for it to turn out differently. It is a fascinating time and I loved following the political plotting that shifted constantly as well as reading up on the ideals of the time (especially about women and childbirth).

Although overly exaggerated and repetitive with an overdone flair for medieval misconduct, the book moves quickly until surpr...more
Amanda Nelson
Number of times the word "desire" was used: 4,503 (this is an approximation)

Number of times characters gazed with longing/desire (usually desire) whilst other characters stood around and pretended not to notice: 56,467. In chapter one.

Number of times you will throw the book across the room because of the gross, gross historical inaccuracies, and then have to defend yourself from fans because "it's fiction so IT'S OK:" 254, 346, 432.

Finally finishing a book you only trudged through for the chance...more
Melissa
Although I admit that I was dubious of this at first, I ended up not being able to put this book down. In many ways, it reminds me of Ron Rash’s Serena, not because I’m trying to make any undue comparisons between Serena Pemberton & Anne Boleyn (no spoilers guys, but things work out quite a bit better for Serena in the whole not-being-beheaded department), but because that was the last book I’ve read this year that’s been so heavily atmospheric that I continued to live in that world days aft...more
Lucinda
This compelling, mesmerizing account brings the Tudors to life with such authenticity and acute perception.

Compulsively readable and unputdownable, Philippa Gregory’s “The Other Boleyn Girl” has to be her most striking work (recently made into a film adaptation). An exquisite historical masterpiece that professes such poignancy, this is a tale that shall never be forgotten for it remains firmly etched within your memory. Established and accomplished author, Philippa Gregory holds a deep underst...more
Hetty
Oh, I was so sorry that this book was a disappointment. It has been a few months now and I immediately donated the book after reading, so I can't look at the book again. But my recall of my impression of this book was that, while there was a potentially interesting story here, the writing did not hold my attention. Written from the perspective and in the voice of the sister of Ann Boleyn, the style just felt flat and dull to me.

Also, perhaps a fault of my own lack of imagination, the world port...more
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Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the novel The Other Boleyn Girl, which was made into a TV drama and a major film. Published in 2009, the bestselling The White Queen, the story of Elizabeth Woodville, ushered in a new series involving The Cousins’ War (now known as The War of the Roses) and a new era for the acc...more
More about Philippa Gregory...
The Constant Princess (The Tudor Court, #1) The White Queen (The Cousins' War, #1) The Queen's Fool (The Tudor Court, #4) The Boleyn Inheritance (The Tudor Court, #3) The Virgin's Lover (The Tudor Court, #5)

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