Leslie's Reviews > The Other Boleyn Girl

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
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May 13, 12

bookshelves: favorites, historic

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 love with both her beloved King and her growing role as "unofficial queen." However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her family's ambitious plots and unfortunately for Mary, the king's interest begins to wane and she is forced to step aside for her sister and best friend, Anne. As devastated as Mary must have been, her decision to ultimately leave court was the best possible scenario that could have happened to her. If you know anything about King Henry VIII, you know that Mary's sister, Anne, was beheaded for basically not giving Henry a son or, "heir" to his throne. It certainly didn't help that Anne had also persuaded the King to break his relations with the Catholic church; so he could form the Church of England in order to grant himself a divorce from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, to marry her. Hense, making relations with Spain, a mostly Catholic country, and the beloved Roman Catholic Pope, extremely tense.

This was a rich and intriguing story of love, sex, ambition, and unforgiveable betrayal. Mary possesses extraordinary determination to survive and owns the true knowledge of the most horrific accusations; finding herself in a position of ultimate favor - with no one to save but herself...
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Comments (showing 1-32 of 32) (32 new)

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message 1: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Very interesting review, Leslie. You sure are tearing through the books right now and I always love your updates and reviews!


message 2: by Leslie (last edited Apr 04, 2012 03:41PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Leslie Kelly wrote: "Very interesting review, Leslie. You sure are tearing through the books right now and I always love your updates and reviews!"

Thank you, Kelly! I read this several years ago and thought I'd add my review since it remains one of my favorite books! I absolutely love this era in history!! :)


Leslie Mary Elizabeth wrote: "Philippa Gregory knows her craft ;) great review my friend !!"

Thank you, ME!! You're such a sweetie!


Leslie I'm reading Penmort Castle by Kristen Ashley and it's Loooong!! It's taking me a little more time than normal, but it's good! :) How about you??


Leslie Ahhh ha! Sounds fluffly and NICE!! Enjoy and keep posting your HILARIOUS reviews! You ALWAYS crack me up!! :)


Leslie Mary Elizabeth wrote: "LOL the worse thing is I'm dead serious and people are entertained WTH ?? LMAO :D"

I KNOW...and THAT'S what makes it BEYOND hysterical!! It's even funnier when you're being wickedly sarcastic!! ;)


Leslie Mary Elizabeth wrote: "LMAO I swear Leslie I don't do it on purpose ;)"

Okay, see??...you're making me laugh and snort again!!


Leslie I ALMOST did that...give me a little credit! ;)


Leslie Niiiccee!! Thank you, ME! Yummy!!


message 10: by Michelle (new)

Michelle [Helen Geek] Great review. Very nice.


message 11: by Karla (new)

Karla Wonderful review Leslie!


Leslie Thank you, Michelle and Karla!! Loved this book!!


Kellie is a bookwhoreasaurus Great Review as always. I have seen the movie and really enjoyed it but after this review I'm sure the book kicks the movie's ass!


Leslie Uh, that would be a huge, "hell yeah" Kellie and thank you for your kind words!! :)


Eunice Biblioceraptor Kellie wrote: "Great Review as always. I have seen the movie and really enjoyed it but after this review I'm sure the book kicks the movie's ass!"

The book is so sooo good and you find out more about Mary's two other husbands and what happens to the dude that Benedict Cumberbatch plays (William Carey?).
It's Phillipa Gregory's best book, I'd say.


Leslie I agree, Eunice. This is by far Gregory's best book!


~ Becs ~ Great review Leslie - there are 2 adaptation of this book. There's the big screen version with Eric Bana and there's a BBC TV drama that was made several years earlier.

If you enjoy this - check out Alison Weir's historical fiction. She writes a lot of non-fiction but her fiction is great - I went to see her give a talk in the city a couple of years ago. She was great.


Leslie Thank you, Becs!! Yes, I have read a couple of books by Weir, both were biography's of Henry and his children. (Fascinating, the whole lot of them!). I didn't know, however that BBC also made a drama based on Henry's life. I will so look into that and I appreciate you letting me know!! :)


Leslie Thanks, Baba!! Ox


message 21: by Kristina (new)

Kristina This is definitely one that I would enjoy reading. You certainly are plowing through books quickly! I must be a leisure reader! Thanks for call last night :)


Leslie It was great chatting last night, too! You are hilarious! Anyway, I read TOBG years ago and added a review recently. (not plowing through as quickly as it appears!!). Ha! oxo


Leslie Oh, and Kistina...you would love this book! It's really well written, although, more literature-ish than the more recent books read today. :)


message 24: by Kristina (new)

Kristina That is what I would assume. I like the idea of historical facts are woven into the plot. Though, your reviews are so detailed that I might just read your synopsis and call it a day!


Leslie You crack me up!! Seriously, it's worth a read, it's that good, in my opinion. Thanks for your kind words about my reviews. I think I like writing them as much as I like reading the books!! Call me crazy!! :)


Eunice Biblioceraptor Liz wrote: "Seriously? There are really about 5 real FACTS in this book. When I read "historical fiction" and Philippa Gregory's name next to it, I now realize that you can basically just rip the "historical" ..."

Same with watching The Tudors. Quite a bit of artistic license...


~ Becs ~ I think we all appreciate that it's historical fiction - the operative word being fiction. It's not meant to be a non-fiction account of Mary Boleyn's life - it's just intended to be read for pleasure.


Leslie Becs wrote: "I think we all appreciate that it's historical fiction - the operative word being fiction. It's not meant to be a non-fiction account of Mary Boleyn's life - it's just intended to be read for plea..."

Perfectly said, Becs! xox


message 29: by Michelle (new)

Michelle [Helen Geek] Yep. I was reading the angst and thinking ... hmm... I thought this was historical FICTION, so glad Becs and Leslie cleared this up for me. For a minute I thought I was missing something.

So, we can safely say, Leslie highly appreciated this work of historical fiction and the artistic license the author used to create this work of historical fiction -- true?


Leslie Michelle wrote: "Yep. I was reading the angst and thinking ... hmm... I thought this was historical FICTION, so glad Becs and Leslie cleared this up for me. For a minute I thought I was missing something.

So, we c..."


I enjoyed it and that's what reading a book is all about. I think I'm too lazy to make lists, but trust me, I could teach a class on King Henry VIII's life, wives, children and where he lived throughout his life ...and still absolutely loved PG's story!

Michelle, "Amen!" <3 you!


~ Becs ~ Alison Weir wrote a good Mary Boleyn non-fiction book although it has to be said a lot of her 'facts' are up for debate as there is very little actual recorded history about her. Little is truly known about her.

Mary Boleyn  The Mistress of Kings by Alison Weir

I really like Alison Weir - I've been to see her speak a few times (always in beautifully historical buildings) and she delivers a fine speech.


Leslie Becs wrote: "Alison Weir wrote a good Mary Boleyn non-fiction book although it has to be said a lot of her 'facts' are up for debate as there is very little actual recorded history about her. Little is truly k..."

Ah yes, I LOVE her books, too! How do you think I learned all about him? HEE HEE!


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