The Boleyn Inheritance - Philippa Gregory
Why did I choose this book?
I've read a lot of books by Philippa Gregory, and liked them all. So whenever I see a new one I just have to read it. Besides, any book about Henry VIII or Elizabeth I grabs my attention. I love reading about that era.
About the author:
Philippa Gregory (1954, Kenya) is a writer and broadcaster for radio and television (Tudor expert for Time Team). She holds a PhD in eighteenth-century literature from the University of Edinburgh. She has written several historical novels. The Other Boleyn Girl was adapted for BBC television and a film has been made of it with Scarlett Johansson as Mary Boleyn, Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn, and Eric Bana as Henry VIII.
This book tells the story of the fourth and fifth wives of Henry VIII; Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard from their viewpoint and that of Jane Boleyn (sister in law of Anne Boleyn). How did Anne of Cleves feel about becoming the wife of Henry, and Queen of England? And why did the marriage only last six months? What reason did Henry have to marry a girl of only fifteen years old, young enough to be his granddaughter, and why did she consent to the marriage? And what happened for her to end up being executed only a year after the marriage?
Another great book by Philippa Gregory. She takes you right into the heart of all the intrigues at the court of Henry VIII.
Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard are probably the two wifes that we know least about. They were both married for only a short time to Henry. Anne came all the way from Cleves to marry a man twice her age, that she had never seen before. The marriage got of on the wrong foot when Henry came to her in disguise and she did not recognize him and made him feel old and disgusting. After only six months the marriage was annuled. Anne got away with her live and lived on her own in England for the rest of her live.
Katherine (lady in waiting to Queen Anne) was only fifteen years old when she married Henry. Young enough to be his granddaughter. He was crazy about her, but she obviously married him, not for love, but for wealth. And then she falls in love with the beautiful Thomas Culpeper.
Jane Boleyn, lady in waiting to all the queens, is still deeling with the fact that she helped her husband and sister in law, Queen Anne Boleyn, to their execution. In the end she ends up being executed as well for assisting Katherine in her liaison with Thomas.
It is nice to read the story from the viewpoint of these three women. They comment on each other and on Henry, and go through the same experiences in a different way.