The Other Boleyn Girl

by Philippa Gregory | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0743227441 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Czersk of Roscoe, Minnesota USA on 1/30/2004
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12 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Czersk from Roscoe, Minnesota USA on Friday, January 30, 2004
"Two sisters competing for the greatest prize: the love of a king."

from the back cover:

"When Mary Boleyn comes to court as as innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of Henry VIII. Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her family's ambitious plots as the kings's interest begins to wane and she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister, Anne. Then Mary knows that she must defy her family and her king, and take her fate into her own hands."

A great book on my favorite subject, the Tudors, it gave me a new perspective from the court of the great King Henry VIII. And I must say, I like Mary A LOT more than Anne, and Mary is lucky she escaped from Henry's favor- with her head.

Journal Entry 2 by shaunesay from Olathe, Kansas USA on Friday, February 20, 2004
Just received! I plan to pass it on to rslicer when I'm finished, and then back home to Czersk. I will journal again when I'm finished. Thanks Czersk!

Journal Entry 3 by shaunesay from Olathe, Kansas USA on Sunday, July 11, 2004
Wow... and again I say Wow... this was an incredibly intense book, I have to name it as one of greatest I've read, one of those that just leaves you terribly impressed by the author and the story, it has presence. I will certainly be looking for more books by Philippa Gregory in the future.

The story of Anne Boleyn as told by her sister Mary. I admit my knowledge of English history is very sketchy, and so I'd heard the name Anne Boleyn many times, and knew that she had been beheaded, but past that, I didn't know much more, for example even the existence of Mary and George. This novel really brought to life the hectic intrigue and danger of being part of the court. Anne's marathon to win Henry and then attempt to keep him just left me feeling exhausted, the lengths to which she would go were unbelievable! There is no way I would survive for 5 minutes in a court like that! Even Mary, who was the sweetest and most down to earth of them all, was forced to do things that I can't even imagine, for the purpose of furthering a family that didn't even care one bit for her except that she advance their position.

Philippa Gregory is a master at fleshing out the historical facts with fictionalized, but very probable emotions, I was very caught up in the story, and was "shocked" at the ending, even though I knew the outcome, up until the end, hoped with Mary that perhaps Anne and George would be allowed to go into exile. I was afraid for Mary, and also very happy that she was able to marry for love and stay with her children, possibly the only one of the family to find any happiness that didn't come from power and position.

Thank you so much for letting me borrow this one Czersk, and for your patience! I will be handing it off to BountifulPots at the meetup this week, and I know she will be as drawn into it as I was! I just hope she doesn't take as long as I did! *LOL* Thanks again, this was a gem!

Journal Entry 4 by wingBountifulPotswing from Olathe, Kansas USA on Tuesday, July 13, 2004
I am a Tudor history junkie, so I am REALLY excited to read this one. I will journal it again once I have read it.

Journal Entry 5 by Czersk from Roscoe, Minnesota USA on Saturday, November 27, 2004
It's home! Wow- I never realized how hefty this book was- I read it back in the time when size didn't matter because I didn't have a Mt. TBR to hurry me. I wonder what I will do with it. Ring it??? I'll think upon it.

Journal Entry 6 by Czersk from Roscoe, Minnesota USA on Thursday, January 20, 2005
A book ring it is.

List:
1. OneMorePage-- California
2. lunabjp--Missouri
3. strawdog- Nebraska
4. Lucinda--California
5. CheriePie- Massachusetts
6. Bellemorte--AlabamaSKIPPED
7. AceofHearts--Ontario, CanadaSKIPPED
8. sqdancer--Alberta, Canada
9. fushmush--Sydney, Australia
10. dospescados--New York
11. olered- Oregon

Journal Entry 7 by OneMorePage from Mission Viejo, California USA on Thursday, February 17, 2005
Just arrived in the mail. Perfect timing - I am going to finish my current book tonight ("Howard's End" by E.M. Forster - I'm on a British streak right now!) Thank you so much Czersk - can't wait to start this one and pass it on!

Journal Entry 8 by OneMorePage from Mission Viejo, California USA on Thursday, March 03, 2005
I am giving this book a high rating, not because I think it is the best written book ever, but because of the "readability" factor. The deeper you go into this book, the more reluctant you are to put it down. It is just plain good reading.

I had some very minor quibbles with the book initially - I thought some of the dialogue was very modern, and that would jolt me out of the novel. I have the book "The Wives of Henry VIII" by Antonia Fraser, and I checked that several times to confirm some facts, and they were different. For example, the ages of the Boleyn girls was completely off. Also, Fraser claims that the paternity of Mary's first 2 children was only rumored to be the King later, but that they were, in fact, Carey's children. I was a bit bugged by that for a while, which led me to really question the value of historical fiction. I understand that thoughts and motivations must be invented for the purpose of the novel, but actual events?

This puzzling led me astray for a while. Yet I eventually realized that there is no saying for sure that Fraser's history is completely "true" either. Who can be certain about the events of 500 years ago?

Despite all my questions, I could not put the book down. What a drama! Even though I knew the outcome, I was on the edge of my seat, and in the final pages, my heart was racing! I would not be a member of the court for anything in the world - there does not seem to be one ounce of glamour in it! Only deception, malice, and fear.

I am going to re-read Fraser's book, and I also have in my Mt. TBR pile, a book called "The Autobiography of Henry VIII, With NOtes by His Fool, Will Somers" by Margaret George. I think now is the time to start that book!

Thank you, Czersk, for including me in this bookring. It will be off to lunabjp by Monday. Happy reading!

Journal Entry 9 by OneMorePage at Bookring in Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Released 14 yrs ago (3/8/2005 UTC) at Bookring in Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

Mailed today! Enjoy!

Journal Entry 10 by lunabjp from Kansas City, Missouri USA on Wednesday, March 16, 2005
I'm looking forward to reading this and then>>> reading your thoughts on the book! Thank you for the tea, bookcrossers are so amazing- you made my day.

Journal Entry 11 by lunabjp from Kansas City, Missouri USA on Monday, March 21, 2005
I love this book. I couldn't put it down. It is a great story and the fact that it portrayed historical events was extrememly interesting. I'll be sending it on tomorrow!

Journal Entry 12 by strawdog from Omaha, Nebraska USA on Monday, April 11, 2005
I have it! I have it!
Thank you lunabjp for the gentle reminder to journal it. I need a compelling book to lift me from my life right now; i think i may even begin it tonight.

Journal Entry 13 by strawdog from Omaha, Nebraska USA on Sunday, May 15, 2005
What a lovely book. I couldn't put it down either!
I know some Tudor history from studying the art of the time, but this book made me look further in the history books.
Contacting Lucinda for her address to send it on down the line.

Journal Entry 14 by strawdog from Omaha, Nebraska USA on Sunday, June 26, 2005
Yes, traveling, can you believe it? Thanks Lucinda for resending your address and reading my mind. This goes out in the mail tomorrow. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 15 by Lucinda from Ventura, California USA on Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Just received. I am in the mood for a good, juicy historical novel, so will start as soon as I finish the book I am reading right now. Thanks, Czersk and Strawdog!

Journal Entry 16 by Lucinda from Ventura, California USA on Thursday, July 14, 2005
Absolutely fascinating read. I have read the story of Anne Boleyn at least a dozen times, so it was a treat to see the story from a different perspective.

Sent off to its next stop yesterday. Thanks, Czersk!

Journal Entry 17 by CheriePie from Campbell, California USA on Thursday, July 21, 2005
This one arrived with me today. I've got a few other rings and rays in my possession I need to get to first, but I was looking forward to reading this one before The Queen's Fool, another Philippa Gregory book which I've got as a ring. (I'm going to pass that one along to the next person to allow me time to finish what I've got here plus The Other Boleyn Girl first.)

Journal Entry 18 by CheriePie from Campbell, California USA on Sunday, August 14, 2005
Going in, I was unsure whether or not I'd like this book since I haven't really read much from the historical fiction genre. However, it blew me away! And I learned a great deal about Tudor England, Henry VIII, and Queen Anne Boleyn in the process.

This book is based on historical fact. At the back of the book is a Q & A with the author and she claims that the only fabricated parts are the feelings and thoughts of the individuals in the story. As she says, and I quote, "The history is the skeleton and the fiction is the breath."

Were this not a bookring book, I'd hang on to it and share it with as many people as possible. I may end up seeking out another copy of it anyway so I can do just that. :)

I've contacted BelleMorte to see if she still wants me to send this to her since her profile states that she won't be accepting any more rings until the end of August. If she doesn't want it now, I'll send it on to AceOfHearts in Ontario instead.

**UPDATE 8/24: BelleMorte did eventually get back to me to let me know she did want to pass on this. I PMed AceOfHearts yesterday and am currently awaiting a reply.

**UPDATE 8/29: AceOfHearts also requested to be skipped. So this book is now packed up and heading out in tomorrow's mail (8/30) to sqdancer in Canada. It's being sent via Air Mail since the difference between it and surface was only 70 cents. :)

Journal Entry 19 by sqdancer on Thursday, September 15, 2005
Ah great, I haven't read a "brick" for a while. I am looking forward to this as soon as I get a few shorter bookrings out the door first.

Thanks CheriePie for persevering and mailing it to me; and thanks to Czersk for sharing.

Journal Entry 20 by sqdancer on Thursday, October 27, 2005
Can't really add much to the other journals, but I enjoyed it very much also. I now have The Virgin's Lover on my TBR pile.

Sent out yesterday via surface mail.


Journal Entry 21 by fushmush from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Received today with a surprise RABCK. I was just saying the other day that I didn't have any bookrays to read. Of course, five arrive all at once. Shouldn't be too long before I get to this one!

Thanks sqdancer and Czersk!

Journal Entry 22 by fushmush from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, February 08, 2006
I LOVED this book. I could not put it down and flew through it.

I've already read The Queen's Fool (the next in the series) which was OK. Definitely not as good as this one. Maybe I enjoyed this one more because I find Anne Boleyn to be such an interesting character.

Update: Posted today, 17/02/2006. It's going via surface mail so it might take a while to get there.

Journal Entry 23 by dospescados on Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Thanks, I'm looking forward to this!

Journal Entry 24 by dospescados on Wednesday, March 15, 2006
I'll start this tonight and PM olered for an address.

Journal Entry 25 by dospescados on Saturday, March 18, 2006
I'm a little less than half done so far and very much enjoying it. I read The Queen's Fool a few months ago and enjoyed it enough to search out some more but this is better. The palace intrigues are much more finely crafted and everythign feels much more alive. My main beef is Anne's character, horribly horribly flat and one-sided. Anne Boleyn could not possibly have endured thru history with a character that one-dimensional. It's simply not interesting.

I always read historical fiction with a grain of salt, of course. The author's job is to craft an entertaining story around historical events, not to teach history in an interesting way. That's the job of a nonfiction author. This book, however, I'm reading with the whole damn salt shaker. No Wikipedia is not a scholarly resource but it's a good place to start for those interested in some background info, not necessarily reading entire historical documents and treatises... Mary Boleyn on Wikipedia -- the links in the article will lead you where you fancy.

That said, I am enjoying neglecting my household chores and instead getting lost in a, er, romp thru the Tudor court. =)

Journal Entry 26 by dospescados on Saturday, March 25, 2006
Just finished this afternoon. It's an excellent book to get lost in! Possible spoilers below...

I do have to wonder how two children, Henry and Catherine, raised in the lap of luxury -- in the family castle, educated with royalty and nobility, groomed for court life -- will deal with life on a little farm. Mary chose farm life but her children didn't. The court is quite obviously not the place to be at this point but how will young Henry deal with chopping wood and Catherine with milking cows? That's a bumpy road that would be pretty interesting to read about. Kind of "The Simple Life" for the 16th century... =)

This is headed out to olered as soon as I get it to the post office.

Journal Entry 27 by olered from Salem, Oregon USA on Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Well I am so embarrased! This book arrived here on April 18 -- I have had some family things come up and reading time has been sparse so I came on to say I AM still reading and apologize for my lenthy hold on this good book.....only to see that I never had acknowledged it's arrival. So sorry -- I will be thru reading in about a week. It is soooo good!

Journal Entry 28 by olered from Salem, Oregon USA on Monday, May 22, 2006
Awesome! I really did enjoy this book. Like someone else said earlier - I too am 'a Tudor junkie', so the facts were no surprise but this book was wonderful! Mary was more likeable than any of her family so it gave us a nice perspective although I found it hard to fathom that the king would let her just 'go on her way' considering her close association. I was glad the book was long as it just got better and better! What a great place to live for a few hours thank you so much for sharing Czersk.

Journal Entry 29 by Czersk from Roscoe, Minnesota USA on Wednesday, June 07, 2006
The Other Boleyn Girl is home once again! It looks well-read and well-loved. Thank you everyone for taking part in my ring and for taking good care of my book. I wish you all good reads in the future!

Journal Entry 30 by Czersk from Roscoe, Minnesota USA on Tuesday, September 19, 2006
I have just returned from the local Barnes & Noble with my signed copy of The Other Boleyn Girl in hand. That's right. I just met Philippa Gregory! What an amazing woman! So interesting- I wish I had her as a history professor. I was absolutely riveted to everything she was saying, whether it was a bit of background on Catherine of Aragon, or her writing and research processes. I'd forgotten how much I love history and how much I used to want to write historical fiction. I wish I could drop everything right now and re-read The Other Boleyn Girl (this now signed copy :D) and every other book Gregory's ever written. But alas, I must learn my Spanish. I suppose I'll have to settle for the movie (starring Scarlett Johannsen, Natalie Portman, and Eric Bana).

P.S. Since this copy now has this magnificent signature on the title page, I think I will have to make it part of my permanent collection. I am so glad it got a chance to travel so far first though!

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