Fabulous historical novel set in the court of King Henry VIII. Mary Boleyn attracts the attention of the young king and becomes his mistress; when he tires of her, she sets out to school her sister, Anne, as a replacement. Politics and passion are inextricably bound together in this compelling drama. The Boleyn family is keen to rise through the ranks of society, and what better way to attract the attention of the most powerful in the land than to place their most beautiful young woman at court? But Mary becomes the king's mistress at a time of change. He needs his personal pleasures, but he also needs an heir. The unthinkable happens and the course of English history is irrevocably changed. For the women at the heart of the storm, they have only one weapon; and when it's no longer enough to be the mistress, Mary must groom her younger sister in the ways of the king. What happens next is common knowledge -- but here it is told in a way we've never heard it before, with all of Philippa Gregory's characteristic perceptiveness, backed by meticulous research and superb storytelling skills.
Philippa Gregory is an established writer and broadcaster whose works include historical novels, contemporary suspense and short stories. She holds a PhD in eighteenth-century literature from the University of Edinburgh. For more information please
'When it comes to writers of historical fiction, Philippa Gregory is in the very top league' DAILY MAIL 'It is a credit to Gregory that she is able to sustain interest in an epic-length tale when the ending is one of the most well-known moments in english history. The very believable dialogue and detail take you all the way into the claustrophobic privy chambers of the royal palaces!Gregory has launched herself into a popular period and produced something with that most underrated of virtues: readability.' THE TIMES 'Philippa Gregory's books are always a good read' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 'This is an intelligent variation on a familiar tale [with] witty use of metaphor' TLS Praise for EARTHLY JOYS 'Brilliantly true to the period! I was entranced' Lisa Jardine, Times Praise for VIRGIN EARTH 'A gripping story' Mail on Sunday 'Exciting and fascinating' Sunday Telegraph
How many of us long for the bygone days of chivalry, quests, knights and thier ladies? Fantasy images of courtly love, royal castles and beautiful flowing gowns. Gregory combines some of our historical longings with the historical facts - adultery, political intrigue and death. This is a compelling work of outstanding merit which follows the life of Mary Boleyn - Anne's younger sister. The superb characterisation throughout makes this a believable and heartfelt tale based on fact. Mary is a fascinating, if little heard of, character in this period of Tudor history who is drawn into many situations she would rather have escaped. King Henry VIII's obsession with a legitamate royal heir, Anne's rise to Queen and her eventual downfall are charted here with real human feeling and depth. Any woman reading this should come away thanking their lucky stars that they are not the political pawns that both Mary and Anne were. Highly recommended. (Kirkus UK)
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