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The Other Boleyn Girl (The Tudor Court #2)

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  356,107 ratings  ·  14,783 reviews
Everyone knows the fate of Anne Boleyn, but not many know the story of her rise to majesty and the part played by her rival and sister, Mary, who was Henry's mistress and mother to two of his bastard children before the dazzling older Boleyn girl even caught his eye. Philippa Gregory, whose own role as the Queen of historical romance grows more secure with each new novel, ...more
Hardcover, 672 pages
Published November 9th 2004 by Touchstone (first published 2001)
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Irini I read 'The Other Boleyn Girl' first and it wasn't confusing at all. However, if you wanted to read in chronological order, I would recommend 'The…moreI read 'The Other Boleyn Girl' first and it wasn't confusing at all. However, if you wanted to read in chronological order, I would recommend 'The Constant Princess' first, then 'The Other Boleyn Girl' and then 'The Boleyn Inheritance'. As to the second part of you question, I would say that I personally enjoyed 'The Other Boleyn Girl' the most out of the rest of the books. I felt it progressed at a much more natural pace than the others and was the most enjoyable.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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
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
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
Jason Koivu
You've probably never heard of The Other Boleyn Girl. It's not very popular. I think a movie got made out of it, but I doubt anyone watched it.

Those are the kind of lies, mistruths and distortions that one person can perpetuate when they don't check their facts or worse, intentionally distort the facts. But more on that later.

The Other Boleyn Girl is the story of Mary Boleyn, the could've-been-queen courtier during King Henry VIII's tumultuous reign.

Little is known about Mary, other than that s
Jul 12, 2015 Cindy rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: fiction, read-in-2008
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
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
An enjoyable read but I am afraid Wolf Hall has ruined me for historical fiction set in this period. I kept waiting for Cromwell to walk in and organise everything! There has been a lot of criticism about this book being light on historical fact but since it is fiction I did not mind that. I wondered if it limited itself by telling it through the character of Mary. She was not a very politically aware or even especially intelligent person and seeing the story unfold though her eyes alone made it ...more
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
Amy (Foxy)
Well, this bites! I got a digital copy from my library and after 6 hours of listening to the audio it just ended.



Well, I guess, I should have paid better attention to what I check out from the library. Apparently, the library only has the abridged version. SIGH!!!

Even though I didn't get the full version of this book I was not feeling it. I felt like something was missing... what was missing? I'm not sure but I needed more.

I have not seen the movie adaption of this book but I'm interes
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
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
Feb 24, 2011 Iset rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
Recommended to Iset 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
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.
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
Nichole (Dirrty 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
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.
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
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
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
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
This book is repulsive.

I'm fine with historical re-interpretations. I'm fine with playing fast and loose with the facts for the sake of a good story. I love the idea of rescuing the forgotten ladies of history. What I am very much NOT fine with is slut-shaming and demonizing women for the sake of making their "competitors" look good by comparison. Gregory sets up a dichotomy by which Mary- our protagonist, a convenient historical blank slate on whom Gregory can project whatever she wants- become
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
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.

* 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
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
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
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
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Who was the other Boleyn girl....Mary or Anne ? 22 177 Nov 06, 2015 03:26PM  
TO´S LECTORES: Libro de Julio 1 6 Jun 29, 2015 12:03PM  
To all the critics out there! 1 32 May 07, 2015 11:22AM  
Anne Boleyn's Character 7 117 Feb 07, 2015 08:10PM  
If you were Anne, would you have stolen the King from Mary whilst she was "lying in", pregnant? 11 94 Feb 07, 2015 06:30PM  
Book or Movie; Yo...: January Genre Historical - The Other Boleyn Girl 3 6 Jan 31, 2015 10:14AM  
  • Mary, Queen of France (Tudor Saga, #9)
  • Innocent Traitor
  • Mademoiselle Boleyn
  • A Lady Raised High: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
  • By Royal Decree (Secrets of the Tudor Court, #3)
  • The Queen's Mistake (In the Court of Henry VIII, #2)
  • The Autobiography of Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers
  • A Rose for the Crown
  • The Last Great Dance on Earth (Josephine Bonaparte, #3)
  • The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette
  • The Uncrowned Queen (War of the Roses, #3)
  • The Boleyn Deceit (The Boleyn Trilogy, #2)
  • The Last Queen
  • The Last Boleyn
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...

Other Books in the Series

The Tudor Court (7 books)
  • The Constant Princess (The Tudor Court, #1)
  • The Boleyn Inheritance (The Tudor Court, #3)
  • The Taming of the Queen (The Tudor Court, #4)
  • The Queen's Fool (The Tudor Court, #5)
  • The Virgin's Lover (The Tudor Court, #6)
  • The Other Queen (The Tudor Court, #7)

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