Katherine Howard is confident that she can follow in the steps of Anne Boleyn and dazzle her way to the throne, but her kinswoman Jane Boleyn knows that Anne's path led to Tower Green - to an adulterer's death.
©2006 Philippa Gregory Ltd; (P)2006 RNIB
"History without tears, except for the enjoyable sort...delicious." (The Times)
"Gregory has a knack of unearthing unknown aspects of familiar history... intelligent, honest Anne, innocently silly Katherine and conniving but ghost-haunted Jane - come over with sharp reality because of the wonderfully contrasted voices of the three readers, Candida Gubbins, Emma Powell and Lucy Stott."(The Times)
I wasn't sure I was going to like this book at first. I'm not always a great fan of the letter-like use of the first tense and it took me a while to get used to the three voices and the style. I very glad I did though. The book starts when Anne of Cleaves is sitting for her portrait and hoping to be chosen to be the fourth wife of Henry VIII. She is, of course, successful, and falls in love with England as she travels to meet her husband to be. Unfortunately, her first meeting with the King goes disasterously wrong and the marriage is doomed from this point onwards. When she is divorced, part of the settlement is Boleyn land and property - one of the two forms of Boleyn Inheritance. Anne's story is interspersed with two others: that of Jane Boleyn, and Katherine Howard, Anne Boleyn's cousin. Jane's husband George was beheaded with Anne Boleyn after the two were accused by Jane herself as being lovers. Katherine, young, vain, and naive takes the eye of Henry when Anne of Cleaves and Henry first meet and later becomes his 'rose without a thorn' and the wife he hopes is his true companion. If you know your history, you know how Katherine's story ends. Philipa Gregory takes well known historical fact and creates three fascinating and interrelated stories full of hope, longing, the machiavelian and controlling Duke of Norfolk, and intense fear of Henry and the scaffold.
Read 'The Other Boleyn Girl' first (but don't bother with the recent film version!)
It took me days to get through 'The Boleyn Inheritance'(and many piles of ironing!) but it was worth it. I became immersed in the characters and it made history 'come alive'. Definately my favourite of the series!
This is by definately my favourite audiobook so far. The story is very cleverly written and I could not get enough of it.
This wonderful author was perfectly complimented by the narrator
I have admired this authors work for a long time, but listening to this book with the 3 narators was the best experience I have had of her writing. The portrayal of the 3 characters with 3 separate voices was enspired and made the book all the more interesting. I particularly liked the narator of Katherine howard and the voice of the narator personified the very young feather-brained girl to a T. My only wish is that I knew who read each character and not that there were 3 readers with no idea who read which part. The whole picture of the Kings court and everyone in it were made vivid by these 3 readers and the authors stunning writing speaks for itself.
'Voices off' can be heard in Jane Boleyn sections spoiling the pleasure of an otherwise amazing book.
Not as captivating as other Phillipa Gregory stories but still good.
French actress and young actresses voices annoying in the accents at times...Too much.
But really enjoyed the story, wasn't that in depth.
I have listened to hundreds of audio books but this one the best. Narration superb. Characters came to life. Such a refreshingly different approach to history where the characters are telling their story and opinions. I admit I shed a tear at the end as I felt I knew Katherine Howard. I literally could not stop listening to it and lost many hours of sleep but well worth it.
I have become very fond of Philippa Gregory's books . While acknowledging they are fiction they are based very solidly on fact . the characters are very complex and you become very involved with them from the start to the finish of the book both loving and desping the same character in the course of the story ... what I had failed to realise in the past was quite how are young Kitty Howard was when she marries and quite how her life was shaped and used by the men in her family to their own advantage leading ultimately to her death on the Block aged 16. the story also follows the life of Anne of Cleves and Lady Rochester the sister in-law of Anne Boleyn . beautifully written and equally well performed . the end nearly reduced me to tears
"Amazing story! characters brillantly alive"
Anyone who knows me would never believe I would enjoy a book about court intrigue in Tudor times. But I was so taken with the way Ms Gregory drew the charcters & kept the plot line moving! Katherine Howard was beautifully shown to be an innocent pawn of the Duke of Norwich. I kept hoping he would be found out and put in his place until the bitter end.
I will be listening to each book in the series and recommend you listen to at least one of Phillipa Gregory's book of the series you will get so much enjoyment that I envy you the new experience!
thank you for reading my review; I hope it helps
"I'm glad I downloaded it!"
I thoroughly enjoyed "The Boleyn Inheritance" and would highly recommend it. The three narrators do a very good job of bringing each of the main characters to life.
"Good for shattering glass"
I enjoyed The Other Boleyn Girl and was looking forward to the next chapter in the saga. But I lasted only a couple of hours with this one before my ears begged me to stop. There are three narrators here, and the one voicing Katharine Howard has such a high-pitched helium voice that I found it intolerable. When the character gets agitated, the voice rises -- I feared that the neighborhood dogs would gather and that I'd have to replace every glass in the house. Could be a good book but I'll never know.
"Engrossing & absorbing"
There are a number of books and movies that focus on the life and death of Anne Boleyn, so it's very nice to see some attention paid to some of the other doomed brides of Henry VIII.
I find that many novels of this genre can be a little dry, but I found this to be an entertaining, interesting listen. The book itself is nicely written, and the narration is absolutely excellent.
"History for the ladies"
I like the characterisations in this audio. It is like a series of diary entries from the different characters, who are of various ages and roles in the story. I have no idea if it's historically correct but it's enjoyable.
I have read many versions of the life and loves of Henry VIII and I can honestly say, I enjoyed the Boleyn Inheritance more than most. The narrators were wonderful and the girl portraying Katherine Howard was excellent. She did a marvellous job portraying just how silly and immature the poor girl was. I laughed at her many antics and couldn't help but feel sorry for her unfortunate end at such a young age.
This is the first Philippa Gregory I have read but it won't be the last. She has just joined my list of 'must reads' I can thoroughy recommend this book.
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