Archive for November 19th, 2007

The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory

Monday, November 19th, 2007

The Other Boleyn Girl is interesting bit of historical fiction, with a emphasis on “fiction”. It is amazing how little we know for sure of things that happened only 500 years ago, in a country that speaks English, in a society that was mostly literate (English gentry). It makes one question how much we know, or don’t know, of things that happened much longer ago, in societies much less literate and in other languages to boot.

Overall the novel is a nice yarn that manages to stay engaging even though we know the ending. It’s worth the read, although to quote a friend it does get a bit “harlequin” towards the end.

As a side note, I did think that Ann Boleyn was quite villainized. Who is to say what her true character was like, but my inclination is to believe she was probably not quite as vicious and autocratic as this novel portrayed. I like to think she was a survivor; a smart woman who created and took advantage of an opportunity, but perhaps hadn’t read the fine print before doing so. It was a lesson well learned by her daughter and future queen, Elizabeth I.