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The Boleyn Inheritance

(The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels #10)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  82,609 ratings  ·  4,296 reviews

From the bestselling author of ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’, Philippa Gregory, comes a wonderfully atmospheric evocation of the court of Henry VIII and his final queens.

The year is 1539 and the court of Henry VIII is increasingly fearful at the moods of the ageing sick king. With only a baby in the cradle for an heir, Henry has to take another wife and the dangerous prize of th

Kindle Edition, 531 pages
Published November 11th 2011 by Harper (first published December 5th 2006)
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Emiloid If we're talking Anne of Cleves, I think her brother definitely has a weird obsession with her body. It's ambiguous whether it's sexual per se, but he…moreIf we're talking Anne of Cleves, I think her brother definitely has a weird obsession with her body. It's ambiguous whether it's sexual per se, but he definitely feels a need to possess her, and his bodily obsession is part of that. Anne was the only sister who would stand up to him when they were kids, and that always bothered him, and he always looks for some way to reign her in.(less)
Emma Edwards If you know the history of Henry VIII and his wives, then I don't think you need to read everything in order. However, if it's all completely new to y…moreIf you know the history of Henry VIII and his wives, then I don't think you need to read everything in order. However, if it's all completely new to you, then I'd recommend reading the series in a chronological order or just doing a little bit of research beforehand, just to help you understand who is who.(less)
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Ahmad Sharabiani
The Boleyn Inheritance (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #10), Philippa Gregory

The book begins in 1539, after the death of King Henry VIII's third wife, Jane Seymour. Henry is looking for a new wife and chooses Anne of Cleves, daughter of John III, Duke of Cleves, whom he has only seen from portraits sent to him by her brother, a minor duke.

Jane Rochford is summoned to court by the Duke of Norfolk to be a lady-in-waiting at the court of King Henry VIII. Jane has unpleasant memories of court, be
Kristen Boers
Aug 30, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who would have liked "The Other Boleyn Girl" if it wasn't so presumptuous.
The story of Henry the VIII’s less well known wives, Katherine Howard and Anne of Cleves, as told by themselves and Jane Boleyn, sister in law of the doomed Queen Anne. What Gregory does well is utilize the known history to augment her fiction. Her characters might well share the motives of the Tudors & Co, and if they don’t, well, they’re still highly plausible and enjoyably readable. Not a subtle book by any means-the phrase “the Boleyn Inheritance” is used no less than 2 million times-but tot ...more
Jun 12, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-seller
You have to hand it to Philippa Gregory — she creates a lot of suspense out of a story everyone knows the ending to. Normally I don’t much go in for historical fiction, but this was available at the library on cd and I had a road trip coming up, so, in the words of Katherine Howard, “Voilà!” I was entertained, though not enthralled.

The novel spans Henry VIII’s marriages to Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard, and is narrated by three women: Anne, Katherine, and Lady Rochford (Jane Boleyn, siste
I truly believe Henry VIII's court should have a warning sign.

Jun 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historical fiction lovers, Women 17 and up
Shelves: read-once, favorite
I read The Other Boleyn Girl first and that book should bow down to this one. The books hardly compare. This one is by far the better book. Although I greatly enjoyed both, for me this one was told in such a unique way and by women I didn't know much about that it grabbed me from the beginning. It tells the story from three different perspectives. One unexpected and extremley interesting the wife of Anne Boleyn's brother, now a widow. Lady Rochford (Jane Boleyn) is now a bitter older women wanti ...more
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
I'm a sucker for Tudor historicals. It never gets old reading about the six queens of Henry VIII, and it gives me a serious appreciation for my daily life after reading about the dangers of living in the past. Having a tendency to stick my foot in my mouth results in social ostracism these days for me, in the past, I could have been beheaded, raped, drawn, tortured, disemboweled, boiled alive.

And if I'm lucky, it would have been done in that order.

While it's no torture reading this book, I did f
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This installment in the Tudor series was Philippa Gregory at her best, giving life to some of the least known or understood characters of the Tudor era. Two queens, one perpetual lady-in-waiting and the ever cunning Duke of Norfolk make this story gripping and frightening.

First, there is Anne of Cleves, a twenty-four year old queen, who reigns some six months, but is savvy enough to survive being disposed of by Henry VIII, a feat that few of his wives could boast. Anyone familiar with her story
Nov 28, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy historical fiction with harlequin overtones
Oh, bad historical fiction, how I love thee!! I must confess that I had a hard time putting this down, much like its prequel "The Other Boleyn Girl." To be fair, the historical research is impressive, with the author using the most up-to-date resources and theories available about the reign of Henry VIII, but still...the sex scenes! The maidens! The lack of discussion of politics and historical context! Never mind, it was a great read and I'm sure I'll reread both books in a couple of years. (Ha ...more
Mar 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women who in the future will be that sort of crumbly old Harlequin Romance reader
Shelves: chick-lit I recommend The Boleyn Inheritance?


Here's why:

1. It makes me acutely aware that if I enjoyed this series of Phillipa Gregory books in my youth, that when I get crumbly (read: old), I'll probably end up enjoying Harlequin Romance novels.

2. In The Boleyn Inheritance, as with The Other Boleyn Girl, Ms. Gregory writes with such myopic vision that I wanted to scream from the claustrophobic feeling. She writes around in circles, covering the same topic repeatedly with only slight variation
Ashley Marie
I must confess, I was putting off reading this for ages and ages because having three main characters each with different viewpoints felt extremely intimidating and sounded very confusing. Ha! I needn't have worried. Each of these ladies' lives is so intertwined with each other that it makes for a REALLY easy read. Add the fact that the audiobook is abridged (elsewise I would NOT have finished this in a day, still trying to wrap my head around that one anyway), and this is an absolute breeze of ...more
Nov 09, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Tudor historical fiction
I picked this up immediately after reading The Other Boleyn Girl, unable to slake my thirst for more of Henry VIII and his court. I was skeptical, as all should be when embarking on a sequel of any sort, but was pleasantly surprised. Divided between three narrators, the evil and half-mad Jane Boleyn, the ill-fated Katherine Howard, and the strong survivor, Anne of Cleves, the reader gets a new perspective on the fourth and fifth wives of Henry VIII. Indeed, though I always knew that Anne of Cle ...more
In this installment of the Tudor court saga Gregory has 3 different characters narrate the story from their own point of view. This has the potential to make for a very interesting story, but the book was so repetitive because each of the characters was so one dimensional. Allow me to save you the time.

Jane Boleyn: I've seen it all before. Doesn't anyone else remember George and Anne. I'm going to get back the power they used to have.

Anne of Cleaves: My brother is a crazy tyrant, the king is a c
So. This is where I admit defeat and accept that this author simply isn't for me. I tried listening to The Constant Princess and abandoned it because I disagree with the author's characterization of Catherine of Aragon and couldn't suspend my belief far enough to just go with her approach; I abandoned The King's Curse after the first chapter because I disliked the writing; tried this because I liked the idea of reading about Anne of Cleves; and abandoned The Taming of the Queen after the opening ...more
B the BookAddict
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical fiction, Tudor history lovers
Shelves: hist-fiction

Anne of Cleves is one gutsy lady; wedded to Henry VIII who is overweight, foul-breathed and has a putrid leg, she barely speaks English, about to lose her crown to the 'slutty' and silly little Katherine Howard, trapped in England and deserted by her family - does she cave in? No, not Anne.

"Anne Boleyn has been a shameful secret in our family for so long, it hardly matters whether she was innocent or not... It is not as if I have to follow in her footsteps, it is not as if there is a Boleyn inhe
Bookish Ally
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 stars, rounded up to 4.

I liked the subject matter, two lesser known queens of HenryVIII, Anne of Cleve and Katharine Howard. We are given a (fictionalization) perspective from Anne, Katherine, and Jane Boleyn, and their relationships to, and with, each other. The traditional view of Howard being a tart that was not the brightest light, was given, and heck, she was executed at 16. Not that her choices or what she may or may not have done had anything to do with her death. Henry was a maniac
Sonja Arlow
Many years ago I read and enjoyed The Other Boleyn Girl and raced to the first next book by this author I could find, which was Wideacre. Oh dear, what a wrong choice that was. I HATED Wideacre , hated it with a passion, and vowed to never bother with a Phillippa Gregory book again. .

I have no great love for court dramas, all that bed hopping, backstabbing and scheming is sometimes exhausting to read so I never thought I would miss much by not continuing the Tudor Series. But a good and trusted
Jan 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic read. Really sucks you into the terrible Tudor age. Henry is brought to life as an old, smelly, fat, puss filled tyrant-deluded and feared by all, his every whim catered to.

Book is narrated by three people, Anne of Cleves who comes over as Henrys fourth bride, Katherine Howards who becomes his fifth wife and Lady Jane Rochford who is lady in waiting to both these brief queens.

Anne of Cleves comes across as a very sensible, kind woman. You can understand everyones confusion and dismay
Aug 16, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"So, he is dead at last. The man who failed the promise of his youth, the king who turned tyrant, the scholar who went mad, the beloved boy who became a monster. How many did the king kill? We can start to count now that death has stilled his murderous will. Thousands. No one will ever know. Up and down the land the burnings in the marketplace for heresy, the hangings at the gallows for treason. Thousands and thousands of men and women whose only crime was that they disagreed with him. This is t ...more
- ̗̀ whoreofbookboyfriends ̖́-
Absolutely horrible what happened to these people because of Henry VIII. Poor Katherine Howard, just a child, really and to face real, actual execution. I will forever, forever hate the people that say, “I want the old days back” here! Read this if you want the old days back. Especially if you’re a minority like I am. absolutely shame on any person that would want old days back.
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
I enjoy the history of this series more than I do the fictionalization, haha. The author does give a good view into what life would have been like in this time, and in the strata of society that these women move/live in, but I will say that the three narrators of this story could come across as whiny at times, especially Jane, and repetitive at times, but this is the tenth book in the Plantagenet/Tudor novels and I guess the author was getting a bit tired of it? Eh, still a good story, and shift ...more
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three women tell us of their lives under King Henry VIII. Duchess Anne of Cleves (Henry's fourth wife), Katherine Howard (Henry's fifth wife) and Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford, sister-in-law to Queen Anne (Henry's second wife). Each would have a different Boleyn Inheritance. Anne of Cleves is 24 years old and is the only wife to escape with her head intact. (Queen Katherine of Aragon died from illness, so her head was on her shoulders too.) Young Katherine Howard is married to the King at the age o ...more
I was first introduced to Philippa Gregory when I watched movie adaptation of one of her novels. The Boleyn Inheritance is actually the third installment in her Tudor series and was preceded by The Constant Princess and The Other Boleyn Girl (The movie was adapted from this novel). I was a bit skeptical while reading the first few chapters of the book but was pleasantly surprised at how good it eventually turned out to be.

In The Boleyn Inheritance, King Henry VIII was no longer the handsome, bel
Apr 19, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I know. I know, but Gregory is writing about Anne of Cleves, and how can someone who likes historical fiction not read about Anne of Cleves?

I note with incredulity that other reviewers are impressed by Gregory's research. Look, she knows where things happened, and she probably has constructed some kind of calendar as to when things happened, but let's face it, so has Wikipedia. What I want to know is why things happened, and that means she has to get inside the head of Jane Rochford (but she's r
An unevocative retelling of Henry VIII’s doomed marriages to Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard.

First, I should note that this book contains a lot of paragraphs of the following structure:

“Could this book really be so overwritten? I couldn’t believe that this book was so overwritten. It was overwritten and yet I didn’t know why. Why was it so overwritten?”

No, really. I’m not exaggerating. I wanted to attack the thing with a red pen. I realize that the trend is for historical novels to be sweepi
This was one of my first Gregory books read and still one of my favorites. Henry VIII's wives are still a topic which capture's the imaginations of many people and the entertainment world (ie films, TV, etc). The Boleyn Inheritance is a glimpse into the world of the "other" wives after the (in)famous Anne Boleyn and her sister-in-law Jane Parker (Lady Rochford) who went to her grave for helping Catherine Howard commit adultery.

Gregory created a magnificent read which tells the stories of wives
This was good. I like the merging of the stories of Anne of Cleves, Jane Boleyn and Queen Kitty. The women have such vastly different temperaments makes for a nice balance. I expected Three Sisters, Three Queens to be more similar in format to this novel.
I appreciate the sympathetic portrait of Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford. History has not been kind to her. Jane's a small person but the author does attempt to add depth to this much maligned person.
Shirley Revill
Philippa Gregory's books are well researched and very well written. Never been disappointed as yet. Highly recommended.
Oct 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The Boleyn Inheritance places the spotlight on Henry the mad tyrant, murdering anyone on a paranoid whim. Descriptions of him are unfavorable now as the obese, limping, stinking and raging old king terrorizes everyone in his path, especially the women who must share his bed, now wives four and five, Anne of Cleves and the unfortunate Katherine Howard. His rotting teeth and resulting foul breath, the stench of the suppurating wound in his leg, the unending flatulence come together to form a chara ...more
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
Frankly this book was fascinating. I don't read historical novels so this was a new genre for me. Sure, some of it was invented of course, the author only has so much to go on, but I think she did pretty well with her own inventions blending with historical facts. Thanks to the back of the book, and if you know anything about the history of it at all, you know who will marry who and what will eventually happen. Still, it was not repetitive and the plot was well-paced. Gregory does a good job
Jan 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-09
When I realized it was this book's turn on the list (I keep about 15 or so books in my car out of the library at a time, and go by order of the list on the library's site), I really wasn't excited. I considered returning it and thinking about picking it up later. I'm glad I didn't.

I really, really enjoy Gregory's style of writing, I have to admit. It's extremely easy to read, which isn't so easy when dealing with historical fiction.

I did not sympathize even a little bit with Katherine Howard. I
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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

Other books in the series

The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • The Lady of the Rivers (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #1; Cousins War #3)
  • The White Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #2; The Cousins War #1)
  • The Red Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #3; Cousins War #2)
  • The Kingmaker's Daughter (The Cousins' War #4)
  • The White Princess (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #5; Cousins War #5)
  • The Constant Princess (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #6)
  • The King's Curse (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #7; Cousins War #6)
  • Three Sisters, Three Queens (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #8)
  • The Other Boleyn Girl (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #9)
  • The Taming of the Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #11)

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