John's Reviews > Jane Boleyn: The True Story of the Infamous Lady Rochford

Jane Boleyn by Julia Fox
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's review
Jul 09, 15

bookshelves: audiobook, bio-and-memoir, history, audible
Recommended for: historical fiction and Tudor-era buffs
Read in May, 2008

This one might beget a new sub-genre: historical extrapolation. Fox starts with the (somewhat scant) factual historical record mentioning Jane directly, and proceeds to fill out the narrative with Tudor doings of which Jane was "likely" to have been a part. This is a case where listening to the audio may have been a different experience - Fox goes "into Jane's head" (to use a writing term) often enough that the book straddles a gray area between well-researched non-fiction, and outright "historical fiction" genres. Landor's breathy, suspenseful tone edges the listener even more towards the latter I'd say.
Frankly, I'm surprised that Jane was able to "come back" from being the wife of a traitor, but it's not inconceivable that Henry gave her a "second chance", realizing (at least sub-consciously) that she took a fall for him to be able to get another chance with a more docile wife.
Fox is a tremendous researcher; her extrapolations are probably valid assumptions in most cases.
P. S . I had never previously heard the term "cloth of gold", and by the time the book was halfway through, I'd heard it uttered enough to last a lifetime!
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message 1: by Lynne (new)

Lynne I may just have to start a shelf for "historical extrapolation". What a great term. Stephen Greenblatt's Will in the World is a classic example. I listened to it on CD and was ready to scream each time a sentence began with "Shakespeare might have..." Nonetheless, I gave the book three stars.


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