a99kitten's Musings

I blog about a WHOLE LOT of stuff :)

I finished “The Other Boleyn Girl” last night. Great book. I highly recommend it.  I saw the movie, and did like it, but the book (as usual) was much better. There is obviously a lot more detail and story than a 2 hour movie will allow.

The thing I really liked about the book, which I didn’t really expect, was that it is truly a story about Mary Boleyn. With Henry, Katherine, George, Anne and the rest of the cast in supporting roles. Very large supporting roles to be sure, but the story is concerned about sharing everything from Mary’s point of view. The movie was more of a story about Mary along with Henry and Anne. The book is a story told from the point of view of Mary. How things that went on affected her, how she felt, what she did and how her decisions affected those around her but all the while staying in the Tudor Court and their dramas.

It’s hard not to picture everyone as they were in the movie (or in The Tudors.) But Henry is described in this book how he (as per historal texts) was in reality. Started off a handsome prince with a kingdom to rule and much potential and turned into a fat, gluttonous tyrant drunk with his own power whose first desire was to fulfill his own wants first and foremost.  So not very Eric Bana or Jonathan Rhys-Meyers- like in looks :) and not very King-ly in actions.

Mary is portrayed as quite innocent and the “good” sister. Even though she is married quite young (13) but then pushed at the King to become his mistress. And bore 2 of his children. She does all this without any ill intent though so it apparently makes it OK. I can’t imagine it was as black and white as that. But she did get to keep her head.

Anne is a polarizing figure. She was religious and did believe in God and her faith. But believed that the Catholic Church should not have so much power over everything. And she was quite correct in that…in my opinion. She fought very hard to get Henry to change Church policy and he/they did. But in the end, that was her undoing. Anne made the fatal mistake that mistresses do – if he he did for you, he can do it to you. But apparently some view her as some sort of heroine figure because of her stance on the Church and what she did to change things. Not sure I’d go that far. Especially since her beliefs seemed to mostly stem from her own desires being curtailed by the Church policies.

She set out to seduce a married man and take him away from his wife and was evil in her pursuits of the King and throne. Although one could lay a lot of that blame on the male figures in her family who pushed her (and Mary) towards that singular goal for their own gain. Truly, they are the worst in my opinion. Royal flesh-peddlers.

And Anne was quite bad if you believe some of the rumored things about her (Poisoning leading to death/murder? Not impossible to believe. Incest? Yikes but not entirely out of the question. Witchcraft? Unlikely other than maybe wanting fertility spells to try anything to guarantee birthing a live male heir. Men loved to hang the ol’ witchcraft moniker on women who interfered with them.)

Who knows. It’s a story ripe with characters to write endlessly about.  No one will every truly today know since they are not around to tell us. A time machine (or better yet a time viewer so no one could change history!) would really be a fantastic invention, like in DeLorean form :)

I have 2 episodes left of the final season of The Tudors. I just ordered The Other Boleyn Girl from Amazon to watch again. The next step in my journey through 15th and 16th century England is Wolf Hall. A story of Cromwell should be interesting.  But I think I will take a quick break into present time for Michael Connelly’s “The Lincoln Lawyer” since it’s been on my Amazon list for months and the movie comes out soon!

Related-ish…how embarrassing is it that THIS is today’s Duke of York? Reading about past Dukes of York (and other English Lords) makes this seem so pathetic and wrong. Elizabeth (I in her grave and II in her palace) must just cringe….



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