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Mary Boleyn: The Mistress of Kings

– tekijä: Alison Weir

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut / Maininnat
5934729,899 (3.62)1 / 29
Presents a historical profile of Henry VIII's mistress and the sister of Anne Boleyn, examining her affair with Francis I of France, rise and fall in the Tudor court, and obscure later years after she married for love.
  1. 10
    The Other Boleyn Girl (tekijä: Philippa Gregory) (meggyweg)
  2. 10
    A Famine of Horses (tekijä: P.F. Chisholm) (PuddinTame)
    PuddinTame: Robert Carey, hero of the swashbuckling series of mysteries by P. F. Chisholm, was grandson of Mary Boleyn
  3. 00
    The Six Wives of Henry VIII (tekijä: Alison Weir) (amerynth)
  4. 00
    The Princes in the Tower (tekijä: Alison Weir) (amerynth)
  5. 00
    Mary Boleyn: The True Story of Henry VIII's Mistress (tekijä: Josephine Wilkinson) (meggyweg)
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 48) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Anyone with a passing knowledge of British history knows about Anne Boleyn, her marriage to Henry VIII and subsequent execution (not to mention her brilliant daughter Elizabeth I), but fewer have heard of her elder sister Mary. And no wonder: Mary Boleyn was less colourful than Anne, but managed to get into a lot of trouble by first, having a brief affair with Francois I of France when she was probably a teenager and then having a longer affair with Henry VIII himself, during his first marriage (to Katherine of Aragon) and before he began courting Anne. These affairs were very discreet and were also covered up, particularly the latter one, especially because Henry’s argument for divorcing Katherine was that she had previously been the wife of his older brother, which in those times meant his marriage to her was incestuous. Well, clearly if that was true, then Henry’s affair with Mary rendered his later marriage to Anne equally incestuous, and that was something he definitely didn’t want to be known publicly. Alison Weir is a first-rate historian, and she uses extensive primary sources to document exactly what happened to Mary, in addition to debunking various incorrect assertions about her (for example, that Mary was the younger daughter rather than the elder). The time of Henry’s reign was a tumultuous and fascinating one, but Weir manages to keep everything lucid and clear. It’s been a while since I’ve read any history, but this book makes me want to return to that subject again and again; recommended. ( )
  thefirstalicat | Sep 19, 2020 |
I really liked this book. It's a new angle on the well-covered area of Tudor history, and I really enjoyed Weir's explanations of how she reconstructed Mary's life, and where and why she disagreed with other historians. I also was happy that Weir was very clear when she was speculating about unknown facts. If you like this time period, and you have a high tolerance for reading about the historical process, you will most likely enjoy this book. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
This is really a treatise of what can or cannot be verified in Mary Boleyn's life. It was tedious; a big disappointment from a talented writer like Weir. ( )
  VivienneR | Feb 14, 2018 |
Alison Weir is one of my favourite authors, though she wouldn’t be if all her books were as off-topic and tedious as this one.

Having had similar experiences with this author’s “biographies” on Eleanor of Aquitaine, Isaballa of France, and – most notably – Katherine Swynford, I did wonder in advance if this volume on Mary Boleyn would be in the same mould.

It is, with only the off-topic account of Katherine Swynford being a bigger disappointment. I got the impression early on the the author wanted to use this book as a way to debunk myths about Mary. I wish she could've found a more engaging way of doing it.

Mary Boleyn is another historical woman of whom little details are known today. As a result, the reader is subjected to a book featuring repeated phrases like, “we do not know”, “can’t be sure”, “there is no evidence”, “there is no record”, “this is unlikely”, “Mary may have been there”, “probably was not”, “possibly was”, etc.

This produces a tedious read, telling the reader everything that Mary didn’t – or *probably* didn’t – do, while revealing little of what she did – or *possibly* did – do.

As I predicted – after reading those other “biographies” mentioned above – much of the narrative is about the more well-known people of Mary’s time, particularly Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII. This means pages often go by without Mary being mentioned, and often when she is, it is just that – a mention.

I don’t see why such space should be devoted to Henry VIII’s affairs with other women. I realise the author is trying to draw comparisons, but to me, it feels needlessly off-topic, or a way to fill the pages up in the absence of info on Mary.

The first chapter proved especially tedious, dragging on and on about whether or not Mary was born before Anne. Some may argue that it shows how thorough the author was being, but for me it’s just boring to read. It’s like filler material, as are the two appendixes at the end.

The first appendix is among the most interesting parts of the book, despite it being off-topic again. It follows what happened to Mary’s family after she died, and names some of her ancestors. I was surprised to learn that P. G. Wodehouse and Winston Churchill are among her descendants.

I didn’t bother to read the second appendix, as descriptions of portraits aren’t of interest to me.

Overall, this misleadingly-named book is a huge let down by a talented author. ( )
  PhilSyphe | Jan 6, 2018 |
I really liked this book. It's a new angle on the well-covered area of Tudor history, and I really enjoyed Weir's explanations of how she reconstructed Mary's life, and where and why she disagreed with other historians. I also was happy that Weir was very clear when she was speculating about unknown facts. If you like this time period, and you have a high tolerance for reading about the historical process, you will most likely enjoy this book. ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 48) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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This book is gratefully dedicated to

my editor, Anthony Whittome,

to mark his retirement
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Introduction
Mary Boleyn has gone down in history as a "great and infamous whore."
Chapter 1
Blickling Hall, one of England's greatest Jacobean showpiece mansions, lies not two miles northwest of Aylsham in Norfolk.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (5)

Presents a historical profile of Henry VIII's mistress and the sister of Anne Boleyn, examining her affair with Francis I of France, rise and fall in the Tudor court, and obscure later years after she married for love.

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