Jamie Collins's Reviews > The Other Boleyn Girl

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
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Aug 30, 2007

did not like it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, tudor
Read in January, 2005

This book is well written, and I was enjoying it until the end, when Gregory's sordid portrayal of Anne Boleyn went from bad to worse. I refuse to read the rest of Gregory's Tudor fiction, and it's a shame, because she's a good writer, and I love the Tudors.
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message 1: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:17PM) (new)

Sarah Eleanor, I think you've nailed everything I hate about Philippa Gregory in two sentences. As if Anne Boylen's life wasn't dramatic enough to begin with.


Xysea I never look for historical accuracy in these books, because it's very often rather distorted to fit the author's storyline...

I thought Robin Maxwell's book was interesting, but this one was only average.


Jamie Collins I don't mind a little inaccuracy. It's the nature of this particular inaccuracy that I found objectionable. I've read three of Philippa Gregory's novels and all three story lines had the same squalid nature. I've since heard that she reserves gentler treatment for Catherine of Aragon and Mary Tudor, but I can't bring myself to find out.

The only Robin Maxwell book I've read was The Queen's Bastard, and I didn't like her writing style very much.


Xysea Well, all of them as one time or another allege things like incest, or criminality, especially in the case of Anne Boleyn.

I like Anne Boleyn as a historical person; she's always fascinated me, in that she did what few other women could do - and that's bend a king to her will.

I believe, personally, a good many of the allegations against her were out of jealousy, both romantic and political.

So, I don't tend to take them at all personally. I have done enough research on non-fictional accounts of Anne Boleyn to have a good grasp of what she was actually guilty of: an excess of power, and a tendency towards ill-temper.

Much as we have varying accounts of Richard III, it seems that the jury is still out on whether he actually killed those two princes in the Tower. Still, that didn't stop people from destroying his name, face, and body, for centuries - alleging everything from incest, to sodomy to murder...


Kate Well said Xysea, and Eleanor, she does treat Catherine of Aragon far more gently - maybe sometime when you're out of stuff in your good pile you might try it.

I have always had an affinity for Anne Boleyn, although I was actually named for Catherine of Aragon and Elizabeth I - I really enjoyed her as she was portrayed in the Tudors series on HBO - strong, ruthless, and even in the end, faced her death with dignity.


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