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George Boleyn: Tudor Poet, Courtier and Diplomat

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  157 ratings  ·  31 reviews
George Boleyn has gone down in history as being the brother of the ill-fated Queen Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII, and for being executed for treason, after being found guilty of incest and of conspiring to kill the King.

This biography allows George to step out of the shadows and brings him to life as a court poet, royal favourite, keen sportsman, talented diplomat
Paperback, 386 pages
Published April 26th 2014 by MadeGlobal Publishing (first published April 25th 2014)
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Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
cross posted to blog:


Going into this, I was not especially familiar with Clare Cherry’s work. However, I was very familiar with Claire Ridgway, and as far as collective Tudor resourcing goes, her website Anne Boleyn Files is the very best. She is always very fair and balanced in her assessments, considering sources from all sides, and she doesn’t omit sources if they don’t adhere to her view– she simply explains why it is they don’t.

The Assessment:

Well, I have never read a George Bole
Nicely done short biography about Anne Boleyn's brother. Good analysis and evaluation.
Carolina Casas
Claire Cherry and Ridgway are really objective and they hit the spot on George and his family. It's not about making saints and villains but discovering who were the people behind this mysterious period and piercing through the veil of stereotypes and propaganda. They don't spare any punches, George certainly had his flaws, his contemporaries, including his friends, didn't shy away from admitting them, but he was also a very accomplished politician, poet, and scholar. Henry trusted him for impor ...more
Adrienne Dillard
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2016
Just who was George Boleyn? Was he the womanizing deviant portrayed in the Showtime series The Tudors or was he the timid fop prone to tantrums portrayed in the Other Boleyn Girl? For years, it seems like those were the only two versions ever considered for this ambitions, charming and highly accomplished courtier often overshadowed by the tragic life of his sister, Anne Boleyn. In this exciting new biography, authors Claire Ridgway and Clare Cherry, take the preconceived notions pop culture has ...more
Monica Kuhr
May 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
just finished an advance copy and loved it. what these authors were able to find in their research with little information to go on is amazing but they did it. George is outshined by both sisters so I enjoyed finding out about his many accomplishments that most aren't aware can be attributed to him. So sad he was drawn into the situation
Jul 04, 2015 rated it liked it
So much is not actually known about George Boleyn. I think this book does bring him out of the shadows of his famous family. If you are fan of the time of The Tudors reign you will enjoy this book. I myself have always felt that George and his wife Jane have always been treated as a punchline for historians who have always favored the Anne's story. Again it is an enjoyable and interesting read.
Apr 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Excellent, down-to-earth biography of Anne Boleyn's brother who was accused of incest with her and also executed by Henry VIII. The reality of historical facts and documents throw a new light on the Boleyns, historical figures much mistreated and falsely represented by historical fiction in books, films and TV. Ridgway does an excellent work and presents it in an entertaining way.
Stephen Pina
Aug 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A font of knowledge.......

Thanks for setting the record straight . Tudor history is a favorite subject of mine , I was entreged . I've hoped for years I'd live to see poor George and Anne pardoned and reburried.
This was a really insightful read! I'm so glad that George was able to get his place to shine, especially with his less then favorable portrayals in popular fiction. I feel like I was finally able to get a true, more well rounded look into his life and personality. I also especially enjoyed the new insights I gained about Anne and her relationship with her brother. It was also nice to get a more balanced look at Lady Rochford as well. Overall, I'd highly recommend this book to any fan of Anne Bo ...more
Jay Pees
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I thoroughly love Tudor history. This telling is one of the best I have read. The author used proper English in a very understandable manner, and when quoting sixteenth century documents, presented them in appropriate context. I appreciate Claire Ridgway’s style of writing.
Karen Humphreys
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
History comes alive

A very interesting read always been fascinated by Tudor history gives a insight into a bloody n interesting period of our history
Clare Shepherd
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating book, didn't know much about George Boleyn before, now I know all about Anne Boleyn's brother, and Henry VIII 's brother-in-law.
Olga Hughes
May 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The reader could be forgiven for assuming there is not enough left of George Boleyn to fill a book. After all his sister, the enigmatic Queen Anne Boleyn, has been the subject of centuries of debate, intense scrutiny and research. Even their eldest sister Mary, who left a single letter behind, is the subject of not one, but two biographies. The reader would also be forgiven for wondering what two historical researchers with a passion for Tudor history, one a first-time author, could offer us in ...more
Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, younger brother to Mary and Anne Boleyn, is a someone whose story is often told in a biography, film/tv or novel, focusing on that of his most well known sister Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII of England, and mother of Queen Elizabeth I, and- although to a far lesser extent- one focusing on his other sister Mary Boleyn. In this biography however, Claire Ridgway, creator of the successful Anne Boleyn Files site, and her friend, Clare Cherry, a solicitor who ha ...more
Georgianna Price
May 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
First of all, I need to tell you that I received an advance copy of this book for the purpose of an honest review.

Now, with that said, I am a huge fan of Claire Ridgway and have purchased all of her books and I spend a ridiculous amount of time on her website, The Anne Boleyn Files. I have had a fascination with all things Tudor since I was a kid.

One of the figures that we literally don't have all that much direct information on is Anne Boleyn's brother George, Lord Rochford. History has told u
Olivia Longueville
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Allow me to join many other readers and say that I absolutely loved this book! Although I love Anne Boleyn and I am wrapped in the Tudor history in my free time, I have to confess that I read only one historical biography about Lord Rochford before this book caught my eye. That’s why this masterpiece took me through a principally new and captivating journey through George Boleyn’s life, starting from his childhood and youth and ending with his tragic death in May 1536.

The best thing about this b
May 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received an advanced copy of this book for the purpose of reviewing.
I have thoroughly enjoyed all of Claire Ridgway's books so far and follow her website the Anne Boleyn Files. I found this book a very informative and enjoyable read- it's not as heavy as some history biographies can be so much easier to follow.
I have read a lot about the Tudor period but George is always treated as a side story to Anne so it was good to see him treated as the centre role for once. Unfortunately there is still
Danielle Marchant
Nov 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you are interested in the Boleyn Family, you should definitely read this book that charts the rise and fall of Anne’s brother, George Boleyn.
In dramas and historical fiction, the George Boleyn we see is usually portrayed as a murderer, a rapist, behaving absolutely awful to his wife Jane Boleyn Lady Rochford and/or had possibly slept with his own sister. George is also often portrayed as gay, another common idea which is not based on any historical evidence. However, the book helps to find
Miss Sarah
May 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received an advance copy of this book, and I found it was quite insightful in regards to the life and times that George lived.

I think it draws on a lot of source material (much of which is found in the appendices - an enjoyable read for those of that persuasion). The information provided does weigh heavily upon interpretation of what few accounts we have for this man - but I feel that the interpretations were done in a smart way. The era and cultural settings for sixteenth century England play
Caidyn (BW Reviews; he/him/his)
It kept very well on its mark about George. Didn't really waver off track like a lot of history novels do when they don't have a lot of source material on the person. Overall, this was an interesting biography. Thanks to The Tudors, I don't really like George -- you'd understand if you've seen it -- but reading this makes me realize how little is known about him and what he did, let alone his relationship with his wife or anyone else. Really, it makes me wish that historical fiction would keep t ...more
May 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

A very in-depth book about George Boleyn which was very enjoyable and informative. Not a lot is known about his family of origin and actually not a lot about his marital relationship. The research was very well done and referenced.

Claire Ridgeway has done tremendous research and presented it in a very readable fashion. Especially well put together were the appendices.

The Boleyns are my favorite family of this era, Mary especially but her children and her brother make important characters. I reco
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another historical perspective

This book delves into the life of George Boleyn. He was an accomplished diplomat, spending quite a bit of time in France on behalf of Henry III and it appears that he was also a poet. He was hard-working and diligent. He was not hanging onto his sister's coattails for advancement. He was the envy of many and a favorite of the king. It would also appear that his relationship with his wife Jane was not as awful as portrayed through works of fiction.

Gina Basham
Sep 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Well researched and written account of an historical figure that is often overlooked. I thought the authors handled him well and did not try to portray him as villain or hero. Excellent use of the limited amount of historical data. I appreciated that they did not re-hash all of the details of Anne's relationship and just referred to it as needed. What I didn't want was a book about Anne with a dash of George thrown in and this book succeeded. I love reading about this era and this book did not d ...more
May 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was interesting. I'm usually only a fan of Anne as there is barely anything about her brother George. After reading this I feel I know a little bit more about him but he is still shrouded in mystery so it will be interesting to see if one day there will be more about him discovered somewhere.
G. Lawrence
Apr 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book. Well written, well researched, and combines zesty storytelling with solid factual evidence. The books asks questions of previously established ideology, and challenges assumptions made by previous historians and social-historical myths. Thoroughly enjoyable and an absolute must for every Tudor or history addict.
Lael Martin
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well researched

Enjoyed finally hearing more about George. So little history has been looked into about his career as a poet ,diplomat and the positions he held at court. Thank you also for including his and the poetry of Thomson Wyatt.
Anne Holmes
Aug 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great book.

This book dispenses with the myths and fictions which have so skewed a clear view of Tudor times and uses contemporary sources accurately. I have already enjoyed the Anne Boleyn files.
Aug 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tudor-history
Well researched biography refuting all the nonsense written about its subject since 1536. Highly recommended.
Oct 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading the details that seemed to follow along with true history. Moth authors gave details according to known fact. It was a great read.
May 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
beautiful book absolute loved this book, it gave me a new view of who George Boleyn was a really fascinating read, so happy I bought this book
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Claire Ridgway is the author of the best-selling books On This Day in Tudor History(October 2012), The Anne Boleyn Collection (Feb 2012), The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown (April 2012), The Anne Boleyn Collection II (September 2013) George Boleyn: Tudor Poet, Courtier and Diplomat (April 2014), Sweating Sickness: In an Nutshell (August 2014), Illustrated Kings and Queens of England (November 20 ...more

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