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A Lady Raised High: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
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A Lady Raised High: A Novel of Anne Boleyn (Tudor Women Series #2)

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  1,458 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
Young Anne Boleyn entranced the most powerful man of his time, King Henry VIII. But she would not yield to him unless he offered her marriage and the Crown.

To win her, Henry would challenge the powers of Heaven--and create upheaval on Earth.
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 28th 2006 by Jove (first published January 1st 2006)
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Aug 15, 2009 Lucy rated it really liked it
A Lady Raised High is the story of Frances Pierce, Anne Boleyn’s first maid-of-honour; loyal and faithful to her until the queen’s tragic end.

Frances‘father was a baronet in Hertfordshire and her mother, a French baron’s daughter. The family pretty much ran their own estate and took care of their lands and tenants. Against the proper order of things, such as finding a husband and living off the land-Frances, a seventeen year-old girl who cared more about writing poetry than learning how to fold
This is another look at the story of Anne Boleyn, through the eyes of fictional maid Frances, who stops a crowd of local women from throwing mud at Anne. Anne decides to bring Frances to Court as one of her women, to the initial horror of her mother who supports Queen Katherine, until she realises that Court can provide her daughter with a rich husband.

Frances is not the greatest character in the world. She has a much too arrogant attitude for someone who is the lowest of Anne's personal servant
Jul 10, 2011 Lauren rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
I enjoyed this one much more than Gardner's novel on Catherine of Aragon. While Gardner chose to tell Anne Boleyn's story through the eyes of one of her maids, I felt that I empathized with Anne more than I did with Catherine. I really liked the character of Frances, even though she seemed to think that Anne could In Frances, I felt that her devotion was endearing, especially in a court where backstabbing was almost seen as a game. I felt much more sympathetic to Anne Boleyn th ...more
Marie Z. Johansen
Nov 24, 2009 Marie Z. Johansen rated it it was amazing
I just read this over this last couple of night and I have to say that I couldn't put this book. I thought that they story of AB told through the voice of her attendant (another nobody girl that AB herself had raised high)was a refreshing take on an oft told story. Well done and highly enjoyable I definitely can recommend this as a good read
Jun 02, 2012 Rachel72 rated it it was ok
The tragic story of Anne Boleyn is one which continues to fascinate people to this day; however it all too frequently defeats novelists, and "A Lady Raised High" is yet another example of a novel which doesn't reach the mark. Before you read on - I make reference to the fates of Anne and her brother, which I do not consider constitutes a spoiler since it's recorded history. However, feel free to skip the last paragraph or so if you really don't want to know.

First, the positives: it's an easy rea
Jean Marie
I know the story of Anne Boleyn far too well to still be reading historical fictions about it, but there is some comfort in this tale, this history because I'm so familiar with it. A trick that historical fiction writers do more and more nowadays is to tell the same story through the eyes of another instead on first or third person voice. This book tells it through the fictional character of a maid to Anne and cleverly and effectively intermixes her story with the ill fated queen and the real hi ...more
Athena Ninlil
Jun 09, 2014 Athena Ninlil rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, written from the point of view of a woman serving Anne, you see the events transpiring through her eyes from her mistress' rise to power to her eventual fall. There is so many fiction written about Anne, one has to be careful as some portray her as a villain and others as divine, this does neither, writing objectively about all the characters including her rivals -Which is a great achievement when it is written from the point of view of someone who is favorable to her mistress ...more
Aug 29, 2010 Redfox5 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tudors, fiction, romance
I love this part in history and I love how this book told it. The story I know and love so well of the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn but also about her lady-in-waiting, Frances. She is very likable and I wanted to know what happened in her life as much as I did with Annes. Recommened Historical fiction.

Jenn (Booksessed)
It's not secret that I love Tudor historical fiction, and I am so glad that Sarah gave me these books because they are so unique. One of the problems that I've run into reading a lot of hf from specific periods is that there's only so much you can write about and stay true to history; things can become stagnate and it's hard to find a fresh perspective. That is not the case with A Lady Raised High.

It's told from the perspective of Frances Pierce and while takes place at the court of Henry VIII a
Set at the beginning of Anne's raign and the fall of Queen Kathrine, Frances is brought to court by Anne from her small farm home to royalty. She is chosen for her loyalty and love for Anne and shes holds fast to this untill Anne's death. Thinking Frances cannot play the game of court life Jack Carlisel warns her to leave constantly and finally asks her hand in marriage to keep her safe and because he secretly loves her and her the same. At first the marraige saddens her because of her infatuat ...more
Mary Campbell
Aug 12, 2009 Mary Campbell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anglophiles, readers of hist. fiction
Recommended to Mary by: found on eBay
Refreshing, after reading THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF HENRY VIII, by Margaret George, in which Henry disposes of "the Great Matter" and his queen Anne Boleyn by characterizing her, first and last, as a witch. Author Gardner is kinder to Anne than is Philippa Gregory in THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL. The first-person narrator, the fictional Frances Pierce, is devoted to Anne, though the reader is allowed to see that Frances's devotion is perhaps ill-placed or at least excessive. Even Frances arrives at that con ...more
Sep 19, 2008 Shannon rated it really liked it
Story Line:
Frances Pierce is a simple, plain country girl who enters Lady Anne Boleyn's circle after shielding her from an angry mob. Anne is beloved by King Henry VIII, and queen in all but name. And Henry is determined to cast aside his wife Catherine, marry Anne, and make her his lawful queen-no matter the consequences.

Frances delights Anne with her poetry and her forthright ways, and soon becomes a favorite. Dazzled by the glamour of the court, she pays scant attention to the intrigues that
Jul 04, 2013 Catherine rated it really liked it
A Lady Raised High by Laurien Gardner is a novel written about the years that King Henry Viii courted and was married to Anne Boleyn. It is told through the voice of Francis, one of the ladies of her court.

I am a lover of historical fiction and have read many books about the Tudor years in England, both fiction as well as non-fiction. I especially enjoyed this book because it is told from a fresh perspective, through the eyes and voice of Francis. The book starts out when Francis is young, and t
Rachel Swords
Jul 29, 2011 Rachel Swords rated it liked it
Shelves: tudors
This is one of the better fictional accounts about the Tudor era, Anne Boleyn in particular. The protagonist is Frances, a young lady who quickly rises to respectable prominence as a lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn. Frances's journey from country maiden to court poet (of sorts) is rather quick, which is better since the author's aim is to give her own take on Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, as seen through Frances's eyes. Frances is not a perfect heroine; rather, she is quite human in her actions and ...more
Dec 17, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it
I quite liked this novel about Anne Boleyn and the royal Tudor Court.

In this novel the story of Anne Boleyn is told from the point of view of one of her Ladies in Waiting, Frances Pierce. Frances is plucked from a rural English village to wait on Anne, who at the time is betrothed to King Henry VIII (but not yet married). It then follows Frances' journey as Anne becomes Queen of England and later branded a traitor.

Laurien Gardner has chosen to make her Anne Boleyn a pious yet determined woman wh
May 29, 2009 Alex rated it really liked it
Out of all the Tudor books I've read recently (which were all fantastic) I think this one was the best! Finally, a novel that showed what I believe to be the "true" side of Anne Boleyn. I could be completely wrong, and all the other books that portrayed her as a monster could be true. But I just don't believe that, and I never will. I think Henry spread such vicious rumors about Anne after he had her beheaded and it went like a simple gossip game - each person told the next person about her, and ...more
Very satisfying read. As with Gardner's other novels of the Tudor era, this novel puts you up close and personal with one of Henry the VIII's wives, this time Anne Boleyn, though it is narrated by one of her ladies, a fictional girl named Frances. Besides being a story of Anne, this is in large part a coming of age story for Frances, and the romance that unexpectedly enters her life.
Gardner does a wonderful job incorporating both stories into one, so that you never feel out of place or wonder ho
Mar 10, 2013 Kristen rated it really liked it
Shelves: really-good
I started this book years ago and quit almost immediately because the idea that this nobody kid becomes the queen's favorite was too far fetched. When I decided to give it another try I was prepared for the artistic license and enjoyed it a lot more than I expected.
It paints a much kinder story of Anne too which helps the book because I've often felt her death was the unfortunate product of her family's ambition and Henry's tyranny.
Elisha (lishie)
Aug 15, 2007 Elisha (lishie) rated it liked it
---Spoilers if you do not know Tudor history---

I loved the narrating character, Francis, a "nobody" who Anne took as her favorite lady and was an "unnamed" woman in a sketch of Boleyn's be-heading. Francis & Gardner attempt to make the reader like Anne, in my case, to no avail. I ended up feeling far more for Francis, the nobody, and preferred to read her story more than Anne Boleyn's. I read Gardner's three books out of order (this being the 2nd) but I still would have felt the same way.
Jun 25, 2008 Alexandria rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: historical fiction lovers
Recommended to Alexandria by: mother
My mother picked this up, read it and begged me to do so as well. I have always had a soft spot for the history of Henry and his wives. However, Anne Boleyn, for some strange reason that i cannot recall, was always my favorite. I enjoyed this story because it was very true to history, the character was very loveable and her romance gave this piece of historical fiction an interesting twist.
Apr 10, 2008 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of fictional Tudor England
Shelves: could-not-finish
An entertaining broadstroke of a girl, the daughter of a country baronet, who is taken into the service of Anne Boleyn and raised through the ranks. It's not exactly very well written and development from one device to the next very minimal. However, the end is okay and I enjoyed it all the same. And if you like fiction involving Tudor England, you may enjoy it too.
Sep 27, 2008 Diana rated it really liked it
This is the story of Anne Boleyn told through the eyes of one of her ladies, Frances. It was a nice quick read and had the bonus of the story about Frances and her journey at court. I would not read this if you want a lot of historical fact and every detail about Anne Boleyn, but a good read overall.
Francesca Lamb
Feb 07, 2008 Francesca Lamb rated it liked it
A fun read, a good historical fiction take on this wife of Henry VIII. I haven't read the Phillipa Gregory ones to know how different the styles are. I read this one before the Jane Seymore one, and this one is bit more energetically written...though that could be the influence of the Anne character...kinda intense, that woman.
Lois Clark-Johnston
I really liked this book. It took me a chapter or two to get into it, but I really liked Frances and her relationship with Anne Boleyn was similar. They were both ladies raised high-Anne by King Henry and Frances by Anne. I also liked that this book just focused on the years after Queen Katherine had been sent away. It really brought to mind just how brief a time Anne was queen.
Jan 01, 2010 Kosherbaker rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: anyone moderately interested in the life and times of Henry VIII
Recommended to Kosherbaker by: no one
It is written from a different perspective than other books on this subject, as it is written from the perspective of one of her attendants. Interesting perspective on loyalty and its relationship to truth, personal ambition and personal survival.
Dec 19, 2007 Jen rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed finally seeing an idea of how Anne may have felt herself, rather than reading about what Henry's other wives, and the public thought of her. I enjoyed the backstory about her assistant much more than her own story though.
Christy Williams
Interesting book

This was a really interesting book,I enjoyed reading it.
I love books of this time frame that gives the history of this particular king because he lead an interesting life.
Michelle Auer
Aug 14, 2008 Michelle Auer rated it liked it
This one was OK. It sort of reads like a romance novel in some ways where I was more interested in the history. I did enjoy it, just not as much as some of the other books I've read about this part of history. A little too flowery in the Fabio kind of way.
Jun 28, 2008 Natasha rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Natasha by: Lynn Nettesheim (My mom)
I absolutely loved this book! I love the story of Henry and Anne Boleyn, and this story is told from the viewpoint of one on Anne's ladies. I could not put this book down- it was so interesting to hear the history from the viewpoint of someone who saw it firsthand and had a personal connection.
Jennifer Jones
I really enjoyed this book. It was told from the prospective of Anne Boleyn's favorite lady in waiting. Because of the nature of the Tudors, books about them tend to be racy, but this one was not. I love reading about this time in English history.
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Laurien Gardner is the penname for the historical author Julianne Ardian Lee. Ms. Lee currently resides in Tennessee and maintains a very interesting blog (filled with wonderful thoughts and anecdotes) on livejournal. She has a website that seems to be up to date as well. Ms. Lee does not have a website for her penname.
More about Laurien Gardner...

Other Books in the Series

Tudor Women Series (3 books)
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  • Plain Jane

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