The Other Boleyn Girl

The Other Boleyn Girl

Book - 2001
Average Rating:
Rate this:
The acclaimed international bestseller of the Tudor court, during the years of Henry VIII's pursuit of Anne Boleyn - and the revolutionary sequence of events that followed. This chance for us Howards comes once in a century... 1521. Henry VIII rules over a fashionable court alive with pageant and celebration, the lack of a son his only threat. When young Mary Boleyn arrives at court, she becomes his new mistress, an unwitting pawn in the ambitions of the powerful Boleyn and Howard families. As Henry's interest begins to wane, the Boleyns scheme to put forward Mary's sister, Anne. Yet Anne Boleyn, newly returned from the French court, won't agree to be Henry's mistress - only his wife. Pitting the king's desperation for an heir against the advice of his powerful advisors, Wolsey and Cromwell, what follows will change the course of a country's history.
ISBN: 9780006514008
Characteristics: 531 pages ;,24 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Apr 09, 2018

A story of an ambitious family and a foolish king, and the women who were in the middle. A good read.

May 02, 2017

I'm a dude. Will I dig this? I'd like to read others of that time period or earlier, in the historical fiction genre. Any recs, thx.

Nov 01, 2016

Lushly written, with characters you can't help but want to get to know even more. You feel as if you've been drawn into the time of the Tudors, where love, sex, and politics are often combined into a frothy, heady mixture.

Sep 18, 2016

Did not like this book at all. There are better fiction books about Mary Boleyn than this one. There were inconsistencies in the story telling and too many "modern"feminist observations/thoughts made by women who likely didn't give that kind of thinking the time of day. Other books by this author seem to be better written.

ArapahoeSharon Aug 15, 2016

If you want to learn about the British royal monarchy in centuries past, read this. Not only is it an exciting read it will leave you feeling like you have a real insight into the lives of Henry the IV and at least 2 of his 8 wives. Wonderful writer.

kndrdsprt Aug 04, 2014

Totally absorbing. Hard to put down - I read all 661 pages in 2 days...a rare experience indeed.

TulsaTimeTraveler Feb 10, 2014

If you've ever wished for a glimpse into a royal court in medieval England, you are in for a wild ride with this book. Highlighting the scandal, betrayal, and the power struggle to stay in the king's good graces, this book will make your own family drama seem like a walk in the park compared to these twisted relationships.

JCLLeslieN Dec 24, 2013

The book is fun and you learn a ton about British monarchy - but the movie is horrible - destroys the story.

Oct 03, 2013

The basic premise: the Boleyn girls' maternal uncle Thomas Howard seeks more prestige and power for his family. So, with the full agreement of the Boleyn parents, he aims first Mary and then sister Anne at King Henry VIII to be his mistresses. The novel details the rivalry between the sisters as they take their turns enticing the king. The story is narrated by Mary from the age of 13 in 1521 to age 28 in 1536. At times, this choice of narrator works, but Mary is not present for many of the more dramatic events in Henry's life, so everything feels like a second-hand account. The first part, where Mary is the King's mistress and has his children moves along well and is entertaining. The end, where Mary does her best to help her sister when Anne's marriage is coming undone, is well-written and suspenseful. The middle, however, lasts for several years and very little happens during this long phase where Henry tries to find a way to annul his marriage to Katherine so he can marry Anne. At times, Mary's narration seems a bit too much like a history teacher, but this happens rarely. Mary-as-narrator really doesn't have the insight to describe the inner lives of the other characters, and this makes them appear less complex than they should be. In terms of historical accuracy about the relationships of Mary, Anne, and Henry, many experts apparently disagree with many of the novel's plot points. I won't detail the arguments here, but readers should keep in mind this is a work of fiction, not history. This is a decent page-turner about a fascinating period in English history. The plot may be historically inaccurate, but the general background feels authentic and the writing pulls you along.

JCLLeslieG May 07, 2013

This novel is an interesting retelling of the love story between Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII. Instead of being told in the perspective of either Anne or Henry, Philippa Gregory decides to tell the story through the eyes of Anne’s younger sister, Mary. The book begins innocently, displaying both affection and rivalry between the Boleyn siblings, and progressively becomes darker and more sinister. It is a beautiful Historical Fiction piece, and spurred me to read other Historical books about the reign of King Henry VIII and then his daughter, Queen Elizabeth.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Jan 19, 2014

jurban1983 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Apr 24, 2011

lulu_in_lala_land thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 50 and 99

Dec 21, 2009

HylaryL thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jun 13, 2008

ladytigressa thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add Notices
Dec 21, 2009

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

Jul 23, 2008

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

Jun 13, 2008

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.


Add a Summary
Jun 23, 2008

Another story of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, told from a different point of view. Much scheming and politiking


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at Library

To Top