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The Other Boleyn Girl

(The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels #9)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  469,480 ratings  ·  16,968 reviews
This is an alternate cover edition of ISBN 9780743227445

Two sisters competing for the greatest prize: The love of a king

When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of Henry VIII. Dazzled, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realises just how much she is a pawn in
Paperback, First Touchstone Edition 2003, 661 pages
Published May 21st 2003 by Washington Square Press (first published April 21st 2001)
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Philippa Gregory
Philippa Gregory - author, historical fiction

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Irini I read 'The Other Boleyn Girl' first and it wasn't confusing at all. However, if you wanted to read in chronological order, I would recommend 'The Con…moreI read 'The Other Boleyn Girl' first and it wasn't confusing at all. However, if you wanted to read in chronological order, I would recommend 'The Constant Princess' first, then 'The Other Boleyn Girl' and then 'The Boleyn Inheritance'. As to the second part of you question, I would say that I personally enjoyed 'The Other Boleyn Girl' the most out of the rest of the books. I felt it progressed at a much more natural pace than the others and was the most enjoyable.(less)
Hils No you don't, I started with 'The Queens Fool' and then read 'The Other Boleyn Girl' but now I will read the rest of the books in order because for me…moreNo you don't, I started with 'The Queens Fool' and then read 'The Other Boleyn Girl' but now I will read the rest of the books in order because for me personally it will make more sense. But its up to you, quite a few people choose to do so :)(less)

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Some people (read: uptight history nerds with nothing better to do) like to get their undies in knots over Philippa Gregory's writing and whine about how she takes too many liberties with history. Well, guess what? She makes it interesting, and since her books are classified as fiction, I think she can be allowed that. Also, I consider myself a history nerd, especially when it comes to the Tudors, and I think Gregory's books are great. The stories surrounding Henry VIII are already really good; ...more
May 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: Don't confuse this book with a biography of Mary Boleyn. It's fiction all the way. It's a good read when you remember that this is fiction and not a blow-by-blow account of historical events. And because it is fiction, Gregory is able to play a little fast and loose with historical fact. Mary was most likely the oldest Boleyn child, not the youngest as presented here. She had also served the French kings court, just as Anne did, but was sent home in disgrace after tales of her promis ...more
Mar 12, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this one up at work because I want to see the movie (hello, Scarlett Johansen and Natalie Portman? Yes please), and because I know I'll have thousands of people asking me about it, like with Atonement, which I never read. In short, this book sucks. It's the worst kind of historical fiction - light on the history, and not fun or well written to make up for it. The characters are one dimensional, the writing is trite and full of cliches. Complete trash, but I'm not putting it on my enjoya ...more
This was one of the first books I read by Philippa Gregory -- and out of order. How could I do that to myself... but in the end, you can read them out of order assuming you know the entire list of monarchs in order. :) Informative book. If you're a history buff, it will line up well -- and give you some things to dispute! ...more
The thing you must realize about this book is that it is, first and foremost, a novel. A novel based on actual historical events, yes, but still a work of fiction. So for those that criticize it for its historical inaccuracy, your criticism is misplaced. This is not a biography of Mary Boleyn or Anne Boleyn and it doesn't pretend to be.

I myself am a bit of a Tudor junkie and love reading both fiction and nonfiction about the family and the times, and I found this book a delight. It had all the e
Apr 07, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: read-in-2008, fiction
I love anything that has to do with English History and really am kinda fascinated by Henry VIII. After reading so many good things on here and elsewhere about this book I was looking forward to it.

At about 100 pages into it I thought I really was enjoying it. Too bad the book didn't end at page 200. Because I hated this book with a passion. I don't even know where to start with it.

First you have the writing style which is written by Mary Boylen's POV. Which is fine. But every character in thi
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Other Boleyn Girl (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #9), Philippa Gregory

The Other Boleyn Girl (2001) is a historical novel written by British author Philippa Gregory, loosely based on the life of 16th-century aristocrat Mary Boleyn (the sister of Anne Boleyn) of whom little is known.

In 1521 England, Queen Catherine of Aragon's failure to provide King Henry VIII a male heir has strained their marriage. Thomas Boleyn and his brother-in-law Thomas Howard, the Duke of Norfolk, plan to install
Jason Koivu
You've probably never heard of The Other Boleyn Girl. It's not very popular. I think a movie got made out of it, but I doubt anyone watched it.

Those are the kind of lies, mistruths and distortions that one person can perpetuate when they don't check their facts or worse, intentionally distort the facts. But more on that later.

The Other Boleyn Girl is the story of Mary Boleyn, the could've-been-queen courtier during King Henry VIII's tumultuous reign.

Little is known about Mary, other than that s
The Other Boleyn Girl was my last read of 2017 and also the biggest surprise. This book has been sitting on my shelf for years; so long that the spine is actually completely faded from sun damage. For whatever reason I just assumed this would be a three star read, which is something I like to avoid at all costs. I watched the movie on a plane ten years ago and even though I liked it I thought, well, there's no way the book is actually any good. Obviously I'm an idiot because it turned out to be ...more
Sara W
Sep 17, 2007 rated it did not like it
I got through 25 pages of this book and had enough! I wrote down (literally - I had a pen and paper with me after the reading the first page or two) so many historical inaccuracies that I thought my head would explode. Then I checked out reviews on Amazon and realized the book would get much, much worse. As strictly a novel, this might be a great book, and I do hope to pick it up again with the mind-set that it is strictly fiction because I might be able to enjoy it then. But as a book dealing w ...more
Jun 16, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: No-one
OK firstly, there's no doubt that Philippa Gregory can write a good story. Her prose is engaging and the content fThe Other Boleyn girl was easy to read.

However what put me off was the absolute ignorance of historical fact and total villification of Anne Boleyn - yes this is a fictional interpretation but now it has made it to the big screen, there are a few who will think this is what really happened.

Ms. Gregory describes Mary Boleyn as her personal heroine and this bias is clear through the bo
Jun 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Interesting account of the time how people, especially women, were treated....even the Queen's their politically ambitious parents and family. No one to be trusted by numerous devious characters.

Excellent book!
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“There is no room for mistakes at court.”

I have owned this book since Jesus was a toddler but never got around to reading it – mainly because every time I even come close to the “puppy squisher” bookshelf, this guy gets a little antsy . . . .

I have a vague recollection of being envious of ScarJo’s magnificent boobage in the film version . . . followed immediately by what I do best once I decide to watch a movie: fall asleep. A
Feb 13, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
Recommended to Iset by: No one - its publicity made me curious so I got it from library
The book is in outward appearances the same length as "The Constant Princess" and "The Boleyn Inheritance", but is actually a longer work, as is revealed when one realises that the font size is considerably smaller than the two aforementioned novels. The up side of this is that at least "The Other Boleyn Girl" has more of a story than the wafer thin plot of the other two. This is not however enough to make it into a good book. The writing itself is of low quality, many scenes are redundant, drag ...more
Oct 18, 2015 rated it liked it
An enjoyable read but I am afraid Wolf Hall has ruined me for historical fiction set in this period. I kept waiting for Cromwell to walk in and organise everything! There has been a lot of criticism about this book being light on historical fact but since it is fiction I did not mind that. I wondered if it limited itself by telling it through the character of Mary. She was not a very politically aware or even especially intelligent person and seeing the story unfold though her eyes alone made it ...more
Lisa Dunckley
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was not only the first Philippa Gregory book that I read, but also what made me interested in the Tudors. I have read one copy to the point of disintegration and am now onto a second copy.

Before reading this book, I had NO IDEA that Anne Boleyn had a sister. Pretty much all I knew was that Anne didn't give the king a son and got her head chopped off for it. This novel was riveting! I love books where I learn about things I had no idea about, and the icing on the cake is if it's done in an e
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was the november pick for Vaginal Fantasy Book club and I LOVED it! I have always been fond of the Tudors, as a kid I always fancied myself somewhat of an Anne Boleyn lover, she was my favorite of the poor wives, so this delving into her history, and her sister's especially, was super fascinating. It isn't a standard smutty romance, and you end up sympathizing a lot with how women were treated, how Henry the 8th behaved and WHY he did what he did. I have done some research (ie read Wikipedi ...more
Asghar Abbas
Jan 07, 2016 rated it liked it

First time I was introduced to Anne Boleyn and I have been infatuated with her ever since her cause my own and my own quite forgotten. Happily so. Recklessly so. So, Gregory gets props for that but nought for much else, see not all is forgiven not even close. Because I completely, utterly, vehemently resent Gregory's depiction of Anne in this book.


After watching Natalie Dormer perform Anne, yes perform; no other word for it, oh boy, no one else can ever be Anne Boleyn for me. Dormer animate
Feb 21, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Well, then...

Reviewing this book should be more fun than reading it, but since I'm not in the mood to deal with rabid fangirls (yes, I very consciously use a term describing only one gender), I'm not sure if I want to risk criticising such an amazingly overrated book.

The book does have some redeeming qualities, and luckily I feel that most of my disappointment lies with this book specifically and not with Philippa Gregory as an author, so I'll happily read more by her.
Richard Derus
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: returned, borrowed, owned
Real Rating: 3.75* of five

Not bad...not bad at and loose with some details, speculations presented as facts, but it's a novel. The facts being pretty well known, I don't feel the need to recap them. Anne's character is quite modern for the day, but that's likely to be accurate. Anne was a schemer and her world was a bitterly competitive one. I wasn't in any way displeased by the more, shall we say, possessed of agency Anne; I was, however, extremely irked at Mary's characterization. H
Aug 14, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: People who think soap operas are high art
This book is pure trash. Simple as that. I was kind of embarrassed reading it. It reads something like a Danielle Steel novel wannabe. Not to knock Danielle Steel cause I'm certainly guilty of reading a number of Danielle Steele. (Tho in truth it was when I was much younger so I really didn't know any better.)

So back to "The Other Boleyn Girl" being pure trash. It's crazy for me to make such a harsh claim cause: 1. I love historical fiction-- always have. Even since fifth grade I can remember! a
Feb 25, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people in need of brain candy
I will review this festering mound of shhh....surely quality literature, although I doubt I have anything to say about it that hasn't already been said.

"Historical controvery" aside- I mean, *whatever,* Gregory totally went to the Dan Brown place, and as someone who's interested in history, I don't entirely appreciate it, but I think we intelligent people all know that this is fiction, despite what Gregory seems to be saying in the "Author's Q & A" thingy at the back of my copy.

This is the stor
Amy | Foxy Blogs
Well, this bites! I got a digital copy from my library and after 6 hours of listening to the audio it just ended.



Well, I guess, I should have paid better attention to what I check out from the library. Apparently, the library only has the abridged version. SIGH!!!

Even though I didn't get the full version of this book I was not feeling it. I felt like something was missing... what was missing? I'm not sure but I needed more.

I have not seen the movie adaption of this book but I'm
Nov 27, 2008 rated it did not like it
Utter rubbish. It is poorly written, particularly the embarrassing dialogue e.g. "she was hot for the King".

The author selects a particularly fascinating period of history, but those events just weren't interesting enough apparently, so she makes up various events purely for their titillation value.

There is much better historical fiction out there.
Dec 09, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book a few months back but I was hesitant to pick it up. Anne Boleyn's story is one I researched a long time ago and I wasn't too sure I wanted to revisit it. However this month I decided to read it with A. and A. so we could all discuss it and now I'm glad that I did it.

I wasn't sure I was enjoying it very much at first. Mary Boleyn seemed, at times too innocent and tongue-tied, and at other times an intelligent observer of human nature. I wasn't too convinced with her as a charac
Lori C
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was painful and viscerally detailed! It brought a world that was previously just a few facts from history class into startling color! And yes, I know that a lot of that color is embellished, but this is fiction. Without those embellishments, I just don’t think it could have gotten to the emotional depth that it did. Who are we to know what actually happened in the court of Henry the 8th anyway? That’s what makes it such a fascinating subject.
Nichole (DirrtyH)
I finally finished this book! Just in time to go see the movie, which was nothing like it. And neither was much like actual history. But I suppose that's not very important, is it?
This book is full of scandal and intrigue, sex and debauchery, scheming, betrayal, and maybe a little bit of love. Much like any good soap opera. This is a fairly entertaining read if you like such things. I had a hard time staying interested, and read several other books while I was trying to finish this one. I did li
Dannii Elle
It is an odd experience reading a novelisation of one of history's most infamous of kings. Whilst not being well-versed in the intricacies of court politics and the individuals who everyday walked this dance of intrigue and lies, I knew enough to understand what the outcome of this novel would undoubtedly be. This did not, however, deter from the skilful execution of each scene, the emotions extracted from me despite my familiarity with the ending, and my overall enjoyment of this novel. Also, d ...more
Crystal Starr Light
"You just keep on being sweetly stupid, Mary. You do it beautifully."

Mary Boleyn is one of Queen Katherine's many ladies-in-waiting. But things change when she catches King Henry VIII's eye. Her family, led by Uncle Thomas Howard, quickly push her into becoming the King's mistress, but Anne, Mary's sister, is never satisfied. Set amidst the turmoil of King Henry's early rule, we follow Mary through her affair with the King, the strife between King Henry and Queen Katherine, and the marriage of
May 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historic, favorites
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 l
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Philippa Gregory is one of the world’s foremost historical novelists. She wrote her first ever novel, Wideacre, when she was completing her PhD in eighteenth-century literature and it sold worldwide, heralding a new era for historical fiction.

Her flair for blending history and imagination developed into a signature style and Philippa went on to write many bestselling novels, including The Other Bo

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 Red Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #3; Cousins War #2)
  • The Kingmaker's Daughter (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels #4; 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 Boleyn Inheritance (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #10)
  • The Taming of the Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #11)

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