Registered by LeighBCD on 1/3/2003
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16 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by LeighBCD on Friday, January 03, 2003
I BOUGHT THIS BOOK AT WH SMITH AT LIVERPOOL STREET STATION. It has been sitting on shelves in book stores for a long time, staring me in the eye, willing me to buy it. I have finally succombed!

Attached is a picture of the author holding a copy of her creation.

Journal Entry 2 by LeighBCD on Thursday, March 06, 2003
Ten stars! This was really excellent, a thoroughly gripping novel. This is the story of Mary Boleyn, the sister of the notorious Queen Anne, and she relates the story of the rise and fall of her sister while sharing her own amazing story along the way. The novel is incredibly vivid and the pace does not flag for a second. If you are looking for a long, meaty, enjoyable story, and you like history or historical novels, then you should look no further than this book.

Journal Entry 3 by BookRayGirl on Wednesday, March 12, 2003
Registered under my alter ego, BookRayGirl, for the purposes of keeping track of the bookray more easily.



AmberLee17 <------------

Released on Thursday, March 13, 2003 at Sent to a bookcrosser in Royal Mail, City of London, England United Kingdom.

The book is on its way, travelling the globe... I have no doubt everyone is going to love this book.

Journal Entry 5 by Mom-of-one from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA on Wednesday, March 19, 2003
I just received this book in the mail today! I'm so excited to start reading it! I'll post another message after I'm done to let everyone know what I thought of it! It is then being sent to the next person on the bookray list! Thanks BookRayGirl!!!!!!!

Journal Entry 6 by Mom-of-one from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA on Wednesday, March 26, 2003
I'm halfway through this book and I am just totally enthralled with it! It's like I just stepped into a time machine and was transported back to the time of Henry VIII!!! I cant put it down! I'll probably finish it sometime this week!!!!!!

Journal Entry 7 by LeighBCD on Thursday, March 27, 2003
Hey Mom-of-one! I am so glad you are enjoying the novel. I never make rash promises about books! For all those yet to read this, you have a treat in store.

Also, bookray members, keep an eye out because the BBC have dramatised this novel into a TV movie. And, fool that I am, I managed to forget it was on and did not tape it. It may be on a TV station near you soon.

Journal Entry 8 by Mom-of-one from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA on Tuesday, April 01, 2003
I just finished reading this book today. *sniff* I didn't want it to end! I feel as if I were suddenly pulled away from these fascinating characters of the 1500's to the boring reality of my exsistance in the year 2003! To say this was a great book would be an understatement!!!! This is a history lesson, a travel back in time and a peek into the private lives of royalty all rolled into one!!! I did a little research as I was reading, because, being from America, and having studied Environmental Engineering in college instead of English History...I really wasnt all that familiar with the characters. Oh, I knew about Henry VIII and all his wives, and that Anne Boleyn was beheaded...but I never knew why. I wanted to see the faces of these characters. I've seen portraits of Henry before, but I didnt know what Anne looked like, or Queen Katherine...any of the woman. So, like I said, I did a little surfing and came upon a couple websites that showed portraits of Anne, Queen Katherine, Jane Seymore and some others. Unfortunately, I could find no portraits of Mary, the one I wanted to see most.
If anyone comes across a portrait of this unforgettable woman, please let me know!
Anyhow, thank you LeighBCD for giving me the opportunity to read this wonderful story! It will now be passed onto the next person on the bookray!

Journal Entry 9 by LeighBCD on Wednesday, April 02, 2003
Mom-of-one... I am so glad you liked the book!

I have found a portrait (see picture for this journal entry) and a short bio of Mary Boleyn here:-

This picture can be seen at Hever Castle - see LaRue's journal entry below for a great picture of the castle. I have also been to Hever Castle and will shortly post the pictures on the internet so that everyone who is interested may see them.

Happy reading!

Journal Entry 10 by uofigirl from Bloomington, Indiana USA on Saturday, April 05, 2003
Received this in the mail today. Just wanted to let you know it's safe.

Journal Entry 11 by uofigirl from Bloomington, Indiana USA on Tuesday, April 15, 2003
Pretty good book... despite some minor deviations from the facts in the life of Mary Boleyn and Henry VIII (errrr.... anachronisms! English history minor in college), but most of these are forgivable thanks to a plot that is coherent, moves at a decent pace, and keeps your attention. My previous experience with these figures was always marred by my Tudor-Stuart England professor's need to refer to her as "Mary Carey, no relationship to Harry Caray" (the Chicago Cubs broadcaster). I have to agree that this is a well written book, that the characters are interesting, and despite one's knowledge of the ending, it was a fascinating read. My only hang-up on this was blatent unforgivable foreshadowing (Anne wishing that Jane Seymore will die in childbirth to a son, etc.), and a wish that the author had researched the socio-political environment of the time period a little more thoroughly (I'm picky and a killjoy when it comes to history... you may blame my Medieval English professor for this).

At any rate, I recommend this book. I'm mailing this out today to Kentucky.

Journal Entry 12 by sejent from Louisville, Kentucky USA on Saturday, April 19, 2003
Received in the mail today...will start reading tonight and will journal again when I finish.

Journal Entry 13 by sejent from Louisville, Kentucky USA on Monday, May 19, 2003
Excellent! This is one of the best historical novels that I have read. I love the detailed descriptions of life at court. I will send this on to the next recipient by the end of the week.

Journal Entry 14 by LaRue from Medford, New York USA on Tuesday, May 27, 2003
Just received in today's mail! I have just this morning finished a book, so I will be able to start this right away. Thanks!

Journal Entry 15 by LaRue from Medford, New York USA on Friday, May 30, 2003
I am enjoying this book immensely - I've only got about 150 pp left to go and I will be sorry to see it end. I've always been fascinated by Tudor history, and this book really takes you there, you are immediately involved in all the intrigue, there is a wonderful sense of place! And here is a photo of Hever Castle, taken on my last trip to England, in October 1997 (you can see the ivy turning red on the front of the castle). No wonder Mary always wanted to go to Hever, it's lovely (and now they have two mazes - a boxwood maze and a water maze) and there are glorious walled gardens.

Journal Entry 16 by LaRue at Home of minerswifebb in Greenwood, British Columbia Canada on Tuesday, June 03, 2003
Released on Tuesday, June 03, 2003 at Home of minerswifebb in Greenwood, British Columbia Canada.

Sending this on to minerswifebb in Canada today via USPS. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 17 by minerswifebb from Similkameen, British Columbia Canada on Monday, June 09, 2003
Received in the mail today...will read this when I finish my current book!
Thanks it looks wonderful.

Journal Entry 18 by minerswifebb from Similkameen, British Columbia Canada on Monday, June 16, 2003
I'm 3/4 through this book and enjoying it immensely! Have emailed muffin77 for her address...will mail in a day or so.

Journal Entry 19 by minerswifebb from Similkameen, British Columbia Canada on Monday, June 16, 2003
This is a wonderful historical novel...I enjoyed every page and didn't want it to end!
It is off to Germany tomorrow to continue it's journey!

Journal Entry 20 by Muffin77 from Leipzig, Sachsen Germany on Sunday, July 27, 2003
Oh jeez - finally I have it =:o)))). It must have been waiting for me here at Uni since some days now - the secretary put it in some "special" shelf and therefore took it out of MY shelf... So thanks to the facts that a friend sent me a rabbit postcard and that I scanned it this morning (it's Sunday, about 9am and I am at Uni...) I found the book.
I will start reading this today - but since I am 4 weeks before graduating I can only read in the evenings (I hope I am not causing too much trouble with that... if yes, tell me and I send it on =:o))). I don't want to upset anyone by keeping this book too long - so don't hesitate PMing me!!!
Of course I can't stop reading it!!!! I don't really work on my graduation (shame on me!!!) these days... in the evenings I read bit by bit and yesterday I did a little check up of who King Henry VIII really was, what role Anne B played in his life and so on... Very interesting - I did not know that she's the Mom of Elisabeth I... anyway, it's a really good book - although I just read the first 100 pages!

It seems like I am really enjoying the topic - I read the book until late at night, forgetting that I have to get up at 5am the next morning and also yesterday I got a book called "The reign of Queen Elizabeth" by David Hume. This edition is from 1897 - and it's in English =:o))). In the Boleyn- book I am on page 232 - so I'm getting closer to the end - slow but I move. And did anyone read "The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn"? How is the book? I think about looking for it when I am vacationing in Boston...

I am so much into the book (page 376) BUT yesterday in a minute of panic I realized that some parts are VERY WRONG in my Diploma essay... Now I have to correct that and write the last major part of it - and I have exactly 10 days left. Therefore I have to lay the book away for that time... (it's 2:30am and I got up to work some more... TG there is coffee!!!)...

Journal Entry 21 by Muffin77 from Leipzig, Sachsen Germany on Sunday, August 24, 2003
Definitely 10 stars! We all know that once or twice in life you have to take real important decisions - I had to do the same: should I write on my final graduation essay (Diploma) that is due Sep 3rd or do I read the book???? I read the book! I will work through many nights now to be allowed graduating from Uni but hey - I read the book! And I couldn't put it down!!! Of course I don't know how the things back then really happened. I never read anything else about this time of history, about Henry VIII or the Boleyns - and this book tells the story seen by Mary's eyes... To learn more about the "reality" I made bids on ebay for "The Six Wives Of Henry VIII" - But the price is very high already, so I wait until I'm in Boston. Maybe I can find it there on sale or so - I should bring 2 extra bags by now!
Anyway, I loved the book and will send it out tomorrow morning =:o))) Thanks for your patience and thanks for having let me read it!!!!

Released on Monday, August 25, 2003 at Postal release to fellow bookcrosser in Cologne/Köln, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany.

And off it goes to *sgscarcliff* - enjoy!!!

Journal Entry 23 by LeighBCD on Friday, August 29, 2003
Muffin, I just wanted to say that (on behalf of all the members of this bookray), your journal entries regarding this book have been almost as gripping as the novel! I hope your work has not suffered too much as a consequence... I am so glad you enjoyed the story and that after many trials and tribulations, the book eventually made its way to you and is continuing its travels.

My other piece of news to relate is that I paid a visit not so long ago to Hever Castle and stood in Anne Boleyn's bedroom - it was great to be there having read the book and the house looks just like LaRue's photo above. The best part of all was that the portrait of Mary Boleyn (also shown above) was on display in the main house. It was a fun afternoon for sure (if you are visiting England and are into visiting stately homes and are a hard-core tourist, you could visit Hever Castle and Chartwell (Winston Churchill's house) in a day trip from London).

All the best to everyone


Journal Entry 24 by Muffin77 from Leipzig, Sachsen Germany on Saturday, August 30, 2003
I know I wrote much... but I LOVED the book. I knew I should write on my thesis.... but I couldn't put the book down. We will see if it was a mistake when I know my mark in some months... but anyway, I read a great book - and I enjoyed that LOTS more than typing several hours a day!

Journal Entry 25 by wingsgscarcliffwing on Tuesday, September 02, 2003
I just received. Its timing is good. I have a book for a book club that I can not get into, so this gives me a good reason for putting off the other book.

Thanks for including the discussion questions. I like having focused thinking while reading.


Journal Entry 26 by wingsgscarcliffwing on Friday, October 03, 2003
I just finnished the book. I really enjoyed it. I am sure glad I was not a member of the court. What family members would do to each other is amazing. At the beginning, the description of King Henry did not match what we see of him in movies. I will send the book on its way either monday or Saturday

Journal Entry 27 by bookwormmom2 from Edmonton, Alberta Canada on Tuesday, October 28, 2003
I received this book in the mail today and I'm really looking forward to reading it.

Journal Entry 28 by Muffin77 from Leipzig, Sachsen Germany on Thursday, December 04, 2003
So my most up-dated journal entry. Since 2 days I have my certificate from University - I am now a legal dipl-biologist (M/S) and I graduated with a straight A (so reading the book was just fine!!!!) =:o))))

Journal Entry 29 by bookwormmom2 from Edmonton, Alberta Canada on Friday, December 05, 2003
This was an amazing book, one of the best historical fiction I've read, and I was sad to see it end.

Like other readers before me, I found myself surfing the Internet begging to know more. In my over zealous search for information, I was initially alarmed because a lot of historians portrayed Mary as the older sister, whereas Philippa Gregory portrayed her as younger. Upon further research I discovered this to be a controversial detail, since some historians do in fact believe that Mary was the younger sister. At this point I had to remind myself that I was reading fiction and this wasn't of importance anyway.

Now that I got that out of the way I was able to settle down and enjoy the story about the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn, as narrated by Mary, her rival, sister and friend. From past experience, usually when I read a book, and on those rare occasions when curiosity gets the best of me and I skip ahead to the last few pages, my interest wanes because I now know the outcome. With "The Other Boleyn Girl" this wasn't the case. Even though I knew what Anne's fate would be, I still found myself totally wrapped up in the story and I commend the author for begin able to keep my interest under those circumstances. This was a wonderful read and I must give it a ten!

Thanks LeighBCD (BookRayGirl) for sharing this book. I sent it on its way to Poohbear3 yesterday. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 30 by chronicbooker3 from Hamilton, Ontario Canada on Monday, December 08, 2003
Received this in the mail today. Im so excited, I have been waiting to read this.I will pass it on to the next person in the bookring as soon as I am finished.

Journal Entry 31 by chronicbooker3 from Hamilton, Ontario Canada on Wednesday, December 17, 2003
I have waited to read this and now that it's here I find my time very hectic. I know it would be a least a month before I got to it and with such a long list feel that I should send it on. My friend Cestmoi has the book so I can read it when I find the time.

Jan 20/04
Sorry for the delay, its in the mail today.

Journal Entry 32 by cobaltcat from Fresno, California USA on Saturday, January 31, 2004
Received yesterday. As I've read quite a few books on Henry VIII and medieval Britain, it will be interesting to see how the situation is portrayed in this book. I've already read to the Winter of 1522.

Journal Entry 33 by cobaltcat from Fresno, California USA on Thursday, February 05, 2004
Excellent work of fiction written from a different slant than usually seen on Henry VIII.

Setting aside what I would presume to be creative license on the behalf of Gregory in order to make the characters more exciting, I thought overall it was well written and captured and maintained my interest.

I did however, find the Boleyn's wish for Jane to die in childbirth a bit of a stretch, and if I had a dime for every time Mary wished she could "marry a simple man and live on a farm" I'd be, at least, well, a couple of dollars richer.

I'm a fan of history as well as historical fiction (fictional history?) and enjoy seeing how writers manage (or not)to weave fact with fiction.

All in all, I enjoyed the book.

Off to the next bookcrosser.

(Any typos are unintentional and entirely the fault of Maggie the cat who feels it is her duty to lay across the keyboard.)

Journal Entry 34 by wingAnonymousFinderwing on Friday, February 27, 2004
Received in mail earlier this week. Can't wait to start it! Thanks!


Journal Entry 35 by baronreads from Sugar Grove, Illinois USA on Friday, February 27, 2004
Sorry about that, I forgot to log in before making the last journal entry. Now you know who I am, LOL.

Journal Entry 36 by baronreads from Sugar Grove, Illinois USA on Friday, March 26, 2004
What a wonderful story! I brought it on vacation and couldn't put it down! It was a let down when it ended. About half way through the book I had to get online and get more info on Anne and her fate. I'd remembered that one of Henry's wives was beheaded and thought it was Anne, but had to make sure. DH thought I was crazy, LOL! I find it amazing how greed and power can rule one's life. It was just horrible the way Anne treated her family once she "made it" and how they treated her on her rise to the top. Although I don't think Anne was without fault, I think Henry was the one with the problem. I'm sure in hindsight he probably wished he had stuck with Queen Katherine. She was the most stable of the ladies in this novel at least. I was happy that Mary was able to finally find love and distance herself from The Court.

I read through the previous journal entries and have made a note of other books about Henry and his wives. I was intrigued by the photo of Hever Castle. I'd imagined it as much smaller. Has anyone read any of Gregory's other books?

A business note: bookcookie39 has requested that her name be taken off of the list. I will be send this book out today to AmberLee17.

Thanks Leigh for starting this bookring!

Journal Entry 37 by AmberLee17 from Stockton, California USA on Thursday, April 01, 2004
Arrived yesterday. It came in on the heels of almost a half dozen other ring/ray books. (how is it that they always seem to arrive at once?) Will get to this as quickly as I can.

Journal Entry 38 by AmberLee17 from Stockton, California USA on Monday, April 26, 2004
Loved it, hated to see it end...

I'd forgotten how much I'd once loved reading history set in the Tudor period. Occasionally the forshadowing got a little heavy handed, although it did make me wonder enough to find out what George's widow got up to after he died. ;-) Anne's wishing Jane to die in childbirth seemed a bit over the top... Still I'm delight to have had the chance to read this book. Thanks to all in this ring, and especially LeighBCD for starting it off! PMing next in ring for her address.
Okay, she requests to be skipped, so PMing the next in line...
No response after three PMs, trying next in line...

Journal Entry 39 by alsomama from Seattle, Washington USA on Thursday, July 08, 2004
I guess I was the next in line! The book has arrived in Seattle and I'll read it shortly. I'm impressed with all the wonderful journal entries this book has inspired. I look forward to reading it soon and then sending it to the next BookRayer. Thanks, everyone!

Journal Entry 40 by alsomama from Seattle, Washington USA on Sunday, July 25, 2004
Welllll.......first of all, I have to admit that I had a hard time putting the book down. Despite knowing what will happen to Anne, it was intriguing to read the details of court life and of the limited choices available to the characters.

Still, I was disappointed in the quality of the writing. Mary always seems at a loss for words. Many scenes seem to be endlessly repeated--the three siblings meeting late at night, the family summits. I would have appreciated some reflection on the political and religious implications of what was happening during the years the story covers. And a more detailed epilogue.

The book did pique my interest in the Boleyns and the wives of Henry VIII and inspired me to do more reading on this period of English history.

I'll PM the next person in line and send it on. Thanks to everyone for keeping the book travelling and to BookRayGirl for launching it in the first place!

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