Random Reads: The Virgin's Lover and The Boleyn Inheritance

I love history and I love reading, so it should come as no surprise that I love historical fiction. I find that I really enjoy books that are based on a real person and real events with just the details filled in. I've read one other Phillipa Gregory book, The Other Boleyn Girl, a couple years ago so when I saw The Virgin's Lover and The Boleyn Inheritance at the thrift store I grabbed them. I wasn't disappointed!

The Boleyn Inheritance shifts back and forth from Henry VIII's fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, wife number five, Katherine Howard, and Jane Boleyn, Anne and Mary Bolelyn's sister-in-law. The intrigue and scandal that permeates the court is mesmerizing. Jane Boleyn sent her sister-in-law, Anne, and her own husband, Thomas, to their deaths with a damning testimony in the courtroom. She retained her title and position, at first, but refused to learn her lesson about entering into court politics and pays the price. Kitty Howard is young, vain, and pretty. She doesn't realize, until too late, how much her vanity and greed will cost her. Anne of Cleves, easily the most likable of the three, grows from a quiet, cowering Germanic princess to a troubled and unloved queen, to a noble and self-sufficient "sister" to the king. The lives of these women overlap and intertwine and make for a riveting story with lots of moral lessons to be learned.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="240"] Boleyn[/caption]

The Virgin's Lover details the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn's daughter. Taking the throne at the young age of 25, Elizabeth finds herself looking to her childhood friend, Robert Dudley, to navigate the ins and outs of court life and procedure. Elizabeth spent most of her life banished from court whereas Robert grew up at court, at the side of his father who was an adviser. Robert, his own selfish ambitions in mind, draws closer to the queen, becomes her lover, and even betroths her in secret. Only one thing stands between him and his dream of ruling England as king; his sweet, young, pretty wife, Amy. When Amy dies under suspicious circumstances, Robert sees all his hopes and dreams crumble and faces charges of murder. Gregory's version of the murder, who performed it and why, will leave your head spinning and yet feels totally plausible.




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