Monday, April 6, 2015


Philippa Gregory

Although I generally enjoy Tudor era historical novels, I am starting to realize that I am not a big fan of Philippa Gregory. And, I think The Boleyn Inheritance is my least favorite of all the Gregory novels that I have read so far. As with her other books that I have “read”, I listened to The Boleyn Inheritance audiobook.

            In my opinion, The Boleyn Inheritance is very repetitive – to the point that it is tedious. Although I find much of Gregory’s work to be repetitive – different books telling the same story but from a different person’s point of view – this book is more repetitive than usual.

            The Boleyn Inheritance takes up the Tudor story post Anne Boleyn. The story is told through the narration of three women, Jane Boleyn, Anne of Cleves, and Katherine Howard. So, even within the book, the story is repeated, each of the three women telling it from her own perspective. But, putting aside repetition through the series and repetition by each narrator providing her own perspective, there is an even further layer of repetition. Even within the story as told by each one of the three women, I found the book to be unbearably and annoyingly repetitive.

            I am not a historian. But, in listening to The Boleyn Inheritance, I did begin to wonder if Katherine Howard was really as “young” and stupid as Gregory has her portrayed.

            Nonetheless, there is a reason why I continue reading (or, listening to) Gregory’s books, and in this, The Boleyn Inheritance did not disappoint. I learned a great deal about – and gained much respect for – Anne of Cleves. And, I walked away with an understanding as to what the Boleyn Inheritance actually referred.


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