The Boleyn Inheritance by Phillipa Gregory

The year is 1539. Henry VIII must take another wife and the dangerous prize of the crown of England is won by Anne of Cleves. Although she is fascinated by the glamour of her new surroundings, she can sense a trap closing around her.

Katherine Howard, meanwhile, is to flirt her way to the throne. But her kinswoman Jane Boleyn is haunted by the past and the Boleyn inheritance of suspicion, betrayal, and death. In this time of upheaval and uncertainty, these three young women must try to survive the most volatile court in Europe.

Phillipa Gregory does it again with this novel. The Boleyn Inheritance is a striking tale of the least known wives of Henry the VIII, Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard. We also meet Jane Boleyn known mostly in history only for her part in seeing her husband George and her sister-in-law Anne go to the scaffolding. We follow the tale from Cleves when Anne is being selected, right on up to the scaffolding and eventually the Kings death, and the whole book will hold you spell bound.

I could hardly set this one down, and yet at parts I had to. It is so descriptive and so heart breaking you will cry for the way these women are terribly caught up in this court. Henry VIII truly was a mad man bent on his own whims, his own desires and no one ever dared tell him no, for if they did they could, and would end up dead. Watch as the body counts of those sent to the scaffold tally higher, for small crimes like simply loving a girl. And those who are the true masterminds of the plots get away from the axe man like a slippery snake in the grass.

You will shake your head at how stupid and frivolous young Katherine is as a Queen. And yet you will feel utterly horrified for her in the end she was really only a child of 16 years who could not possibly know right from wrong when she only ever did was she was told. I believe in the end the only one I did not feel sorry for was Jane Boleyn, to me she made her own bed. Through pure jealousy, ambition and self preservation, in the end she got what was coming. Though preferably no one should have died because of the whims of a selfish King, who thought he was a god. If you haven’t read this book yet, do. You will be emotionally grabbed and riveted to each and every page.

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