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The Boleyn Inheritance

by

The Boleyn Inheritance Cover

ISBN13: 9780743272513
ISBN10: 074327251x
Condition: Standard
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Excerpt

Jane Boleyn, Blickling Hall, Norfolk,

July 1539

It is hot today, the wind blows over the flat fields and marshes with the stink of the plague. In weather like this, if my husband were still with me, we would not be trapped in one place, watching a leaden dawn and a sunset of dull red; we would be traveling with the king's court, on progress through the weald and downland of Hampshire and Sussex, the richest and most beautiful countryside in all of England, riding high on the hilly roads and looking out for the first sight of the sea. We would be out hunting every morning, dining under the thick canopy of the trees at midday and dancing in the great hall of some country house at night in the yellow light of flickering torches. We were friends with the greatest families in the land, we were the favorites of the king, kin to the queen. We were beloved; we were the Boleyns, the most beautiful, sophisticated family at the court. Nobody knew George without desiring him, nobody could resist Anne, everyone courted me as a passport to their attention. George was dazzling — dark-haired, dark-eyed, and handsome — always mounted on the finest horses, always at the side of the queen. Anne was at the peak of her beauty and her wits, as alluring as dark honey. And I went everywhere with them.

The two of them used to ride together, racing, neck and neck like lovers, and I could hear their laughter over the thudding of the hooves as they went flying by. Sometimes, when I saw them together, so rich, so young, so beautiful, I couldn't tell which of them I loved more.

All the court was besotted with the two of them, those dark Boleyn flirtatious looks, their high living: such gamblers, such lovers of risk; both so fervent for their reform of the church, so quick and clever in argument, so daring in their reading and thoughts. From the king to the kitchen maid there was not one person who was not dazzled by the pair of them. Even now, three years on, I cannot believe that we will never see them again. Surely, a couple so young, so radiant with life, cannot simply die? In my mind, in my heart, they are still riding out together, still young, still beautiful. And why would I not passionately long for this to be true? It has been only three years since I last saw them; three years, two months, and nine days since his careless fingers brushed against mine, and he smiled and said, "Good day, wife, I must go, I have everything to do today," and it was a May Day morning and we were preparing for the tournament. I knew he and his sister were in trouble, but I did not know how much.

Every day in this new life of mine I walk to the crossroads in the village, where there is a dirty milestone to the London road. Picked out in mud and lichen, the carving says "London, 120 miles." It is such a long way, such a long way away. Every day I bend down and touch it, like a talisman, and then I turn back again to my father's house, which is now so small to me, who has lived in the king's greatest palaces. I live on my brother's charity, on the goodwill of his wife who cares nothing for me, on a pension from Thomas Cromwell, the upstart moneylender, who is the king's new great friend. I am a poor neighbor living in the shadow of the great house that was once my own, a Boleyn house, one of our many houses. I live quietly, cheaply, like a widow with no house of my own whom no man wants.

And this is because I am a widow with no house of my own whom no man wants. A woman of nearly thirty years old, with a face scored by disappointment, mother to an absent son, a widow without prospect of remarriage, the sole survivor of an unlucky family, heiress to scandal.

My dream is that one day this luck will change. I will see a messenger in Howard livery riding down this very road, bringing a letter for me, a letter from the Duke of Norfolk, to summon me back to court, to tell me that there is work for me to do again: a queen to serve, secrets to whisper, plots to hatch, the unending double-dealing life of a courtier, at which he is so expert, and I am his greatest pupil. My dream is that the world will change again, swing topsy-turvy until we are uppermost once more, and I am restored. I saved the duke once, when we were in the worst danger, and in return he saved me. Our great sorrow was that we could not save the two of them, the two who now ride and laugh and dance only in my dreams. I touch the milestone once more, and imagine that tomorrow the messenger will come. He will hold out a paper, sealed with the Howard crest deep and shiny in the red wax. "A message for Jane Boleyn, the Viscountess Rochford?" he will ask, looking at my plain kirtle and the dust on the hem of my gown, my hand stained with dirt from the London milestone.

"I will take it," I shall say. "I am her. I have been waiting forever." And I shall take it in my dirty hand: my inheritance.

Copyright © 2006 by Philippa Gregory Limited

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

bookgirl94, January 13, 2011 (view all comments by bookgirl94)
I love this! Even though I knew what was going to happen (historical fiction-Henry the 8th duh) it still kept my interest and I felt like I knew the characters.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
chrislinpayne, January 18, 2009 (view all comments by chrislinpayne)
I thought this book was a huge page turner. Finished in a couple of days. The women are complex and they are mince meat for Henry.Who comes across as one big toddler.I wonder what his parents were like?
New book quest? You bet.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
mommytorres, March 26, 2008 (view all comments by mommytorres)
As a fan of historical fiction I have come to own several of Gregory's books. I believe that "The Boleyn Inheritance" may be her finest work for us readers thus far! I highly recommend this book!
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(6 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780743272513
Author:
Gregory, Philippa
Publisher:
Touchstone Books
Author:
Longshore, Katherine
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
History
Subject:
Queens
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Great Britain - History - Henry VIII, 1509-
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Love & Romance
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Phillipa; Phillippa; Boleyn Girl; Bolin; Henry VIII; the Tudors; Anne Boleyn; Anne of Cleves; Katherine Howard; Kathryn; Jane Rochford; King Henry s wives; English Reformation
Subject:
Phillipa; Phillippa; Boleyn Girl; Bolin; Henry VIII; the Tudors; Anne Boleyn; Anne of Cleves; Katherine Howard; Kathryn; Jane Rochford; King Henry s wives; English Reformation; The White Queen; Starz; The Other Boleyn Girl
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Large Print:
Y
Publication Date:
20070831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 7
Language:
English
Pages:
544
Dimensions:
8 x 5.25 in
Age Level:
from 12

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The Boleyn Inheritance Used Trade Paper
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Product details 544 pages Touchstone Books - English 9780743272513 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Returning to the scene of The Other Boleyn Girl, historical powerhouse Gregory again brings the women of Henry VIII's court vividly to life. Among the cast, who alternately narrate: Henry's fourth wife, Bavarian-born Anne of Cleves; his fifth wife, English teenager Katherine Howard; and Lady Rochford (Jane Boleyn), the jealous spouse whose testimony helped send her husband, Thomas, and sister-in-law Anne Boleyn to their execution. Attended by Lady Rochford, 24-year-old Anne of Cleves endures a disastrous first encounter with the twice-her-age king — an occasion where Henry takes notice of Katherine Howard. Gregory beautifully explains Anne of Cleves's decision to stay in England after her divorce, and offers contemporary descriptions of Lady Rochford's madness. While Gregory renders Lady Rochford with great emotion, and Anne of Cleves with sympathy, her most captivating portrayal is Katherine, the clever yet nave 16th-century adolescent counting her gowns and trinkets. Male characters are not nearly as endearing. Gregory's accounts of events are accurate enough to be persuasive, her characterizations modern enough to be convincing. Rich in intrigue and irony, this is a tale where readers will already know who was divorced, beheaded or survived, but will savor Gregory's sharp staging of how and why. (Dec. 5) " Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Fascinating...harrowing....If only...history books were written so vividly."
"Review" by , "The queen of royal fiction."
"Review" by , "Narrated in turn by this trio of intriguing women, this tale of court politics and treachery unfolds from three equally compelling points of view."
"Review" by , "Gregory's knowledge of the period, combined with her novelistic skill, allows her to view this grim tale through the eyes of the three women....Their first-person accounts are convincing and shockingly self-serving. Royal history spoon-fed in a highly digestible form."
"Review" by , "One of the best aspects of this book is its ability to make fictional sense out of historical enigmas....It provides satisfying closure to a vibrant historical and psychological story."
"Synopsis" by , From the New York Times bestselling author of The Queen's Fool, The Virgin's Lover, The Constant Princess and The Other Boleyn Girl comes a tempestuous Tudor tale about two queens, Anne of Cleves and Catherine Parr, and the woman who destroys them both.
"Synopsis" by , From the "New York Times"-bestselling author of "The Other Boleyn Girl" comesa tempestuous Tudor tale about two queens, Anne of Cleves and Catherine Parr, and the woman who destroys them both.
"Synopsis" by , From “the queen of royal fiction” (USA TODAY) comes this New York Times bestseller featuring three very different women whose fates are each bound by a bloody curse: the legacy of the Boleyn family.

After the death of his third wife, Jane Seymour, King Henry VIII of England decides to take a new wife, but this time, not for love. The Boleyn Inheritance follows three women whose lives are forever changed because of the king’s decision, as they must balance precariously in an already shaky Tudor Court.

Anne of Cleves is to be married to Henry to form a political alliance, though the rocky relationship she has to the king does not bode well for her or for England.

Katherine Howard is the young, beautiful woman who captures Henry’s eye, even though he is set to marry Anne. Her spirit runs free and her passions run hot—though her affections may not be returned upon the King.

Jane Rochford was married to George Boleyn, and it was her testimony that sent her husband and infamous sister-in-law Anne to their deaths. Throughout the country, her name is known for malice, jealousy, and twisted lust.

The Boleyn Inheritance is a novel drawn tight as a lute string about three women whose positions brought them wealth, admirations, and power, as well as deceit, betrayal, and terror.

"Synopsis" by ,
In the court of King Henry VIII, nothing is free--

and love comes at the highest price of all.

When Kitty Tylney's best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII's heart and brings Kitty to court, she's thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat's shadow, Kitty's now caught between two men--the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat's meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.

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