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From the bestselling author of The Other Boleyn Girl, Philippa Gregory, comes a wonderfully atmospheric evocation of the court of Henry VIII and his final queens. The king will decide who will live and who will die; he has the power of God now. 1539. Henry VIII must take his fourth wife and the dangerous prize is won by Anne of Cleves. A German princess by birth, Anne is to be Henry's pawn in the Protestant alliance against Rome, but the marriage falters from the start. Henry finds nothing to admire in his new queen, setting himself against his advisors and nobles to pay court to young Katherine Howard. The new queen begins to sense a trap closing around her. And Jane Boleyn, summoned to the inner circle once more by her uncle the Duke of Norfolk, finds a fractious court haunted by the Boleyn legacy of death and deceit. Nothing is certain in a kingdom ruled by an increasingly tyrannical king.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780007190331
ISBN-10: 0007190336
Format: Paperback
(197mm x 130mm x 34mm)
Pages: 528
Imprint: Harper
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publish Date: 1-May-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Reviews

US Kirkus Review » The author of The Other Boleyn Girl (2002) returns to the executed queen's doomed family in a historical novel that maps the sad demise of Henry VIII in a series of intimate personal testimonies.Gregory's tale of greed and revenge takes place against the short, unhappy tenures of Henry's fourth and fifth wives. Jockeying for position close to the throne, three powerful, ambitious women collide. The author skillfully allows each character to tell her side of the story in her own words. The first voice we hear belongs to 30-year-old Jane Boleyn, widowed sister-in-law to Anne. Jane's husband George was implicated in his sister's alleged infidelities and went with her to the scaffold in 1533; his calculating wife moved to save her inheritance rather than her husband and six years later is still scheming. Next up is Anne of Cleves, soon to be Queen Number Four, a provincial, German-speaking Protestant princess chosen by Henry's advisor, Thomas Cromwell, as a politically suitable alliance to keep Spain and France at bay. Badgered and bullied all her life by her brother and mother, 24-year-old Anne wants nothing more than to escape Cleves and have a meaningful life. The third voice belongs to Katherine Howard, a pretty, 15-year-old cousin of the dead Anne Boleyn and an incorrigible flirt who is brought to court as a lady-in-waiting by her conniving, powerful uncle, the Duke of Norfolk. Also summoned to court to attend the new queen, Jane begins plotting behind the scenes with Norfolk to assure Anne of Cleve's hasty fall and Katherine's quick ascent in Henry's favor. 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: wily, experienced Jane; naive, sensible Anne; and vain, greedy young Kitty. Their first-person accounts are convincing and shockingly self-serving.Royal history spoon-fed in a highly digestible form. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Philippa Gregory

Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the internationally bestselling novel The Other Boleyn Girl, which became a major film starring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson. Her Cousins' War novels were the basis for the highly successful BBC series, The White Queen. Philippa's other great interest is the charity that she founded twenty years ago: Gardens for The Gambia. She has raised funds and paid for over 200 wells in the primary schools of this poor African country. Philippa is a former student of Sussex University and a PhD and Alumna of the Year 2009 of Edinburgh University. In 2016, she was presented with the Outstanding Contribution to Historical Fiction Award by the Historical Writers' Association. Her love for history and commitment to historical accuracy are the hallmarks of her writing. Philippa lives with her family on a small farm in Yorkshire and welcomes visitors to her site www.PhilippaGregory.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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