The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

The Other Boleyn Girl is a historic novel by Philippa Gregory about one of the most famous women in the history of the United Kingdom, Anne Boleyn and her sister, Mary Boleyn. The Boleyn family was part of the nobility during Henry VIII’s reign that was distintically marked by his failed marriage with his older brother’s widow Catherine of Aragon due to her disability to bear a male heir. Once this situacion was publically known, every noble family presented their most beautiful daughters at court so that Henry could take them as his mistress. The Boleyn family offered Anne at first, but after some troubles Henry fell in love with Mary and Anne was sent abroad so that she could sweeten her conduct.  Logically after some time Mary became pregnant with Henry’s child but she also suffered a difficult pregnancy whose result was a babygirl, that is, a failure in Henry’s eyes.  Henry’s conduct, that of a womanizer was obviously foreseeable and she got tired of Mary. But the ambition of the Boleyn family was far away from being dead and they ordered Anne to came back in order to become Henry’s mistress. Of course, Anne was a very well-educated and wise woman that made Henry love her while she totally refused to loose her virtue before marriage. From this point on, we explore the difficult live of Anne Boleyn through Mary’s eyes til she is beheaded.

The novel did not became that famous until the film with Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman was realized in 2008, although it was expected to be much more daring (as the novel itself  is) than it really ended up being. Totally recommended to all those who like reading and most importantly, to all those ones who are interested in history since the novel provides one of the most accurate backgrounds in fictional literature.

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