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I'll admit it. I Love TOBG.
May 11, 2012
10:53 pm
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KarleeBoleyn
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It’s my guilty pleasure. Is it inaccurate? Yes. But, I still love it. It’s a fun, fictional story. Does anyone else like it? I hope I’m not the only one ..

Le Plus Heureux ♥ ~ Anne Boleyn//Toujours la reine

May 12, 2012
3:05 am
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Bella44
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I didn’t mind the book, despite its inaccuracies. I think it was the first new novel regarding Anne that had been released in a while so i don’t hold it against Philippa Gregory for getting everyone interested in the Tudors!!! The movie adaptations on the other hand I don’t think did the book justice.
My guilty pleasure is the Tudors tv show and that’s hardly accurate either Laugh

May 12, 2012
12:08 pm
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Sophie1536
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KarleeBoleyn said

It’s my guilty pleasure. Is it inaccurate? Yes. But, I still love it. It’s a fun, fictional story. Does anyone else like it? I hope I’m not the only one ..

I loved it too as I took it for what it was pure entertainment and sometimes it’s just good to sit back and be entertained. Smile

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May 12, 2012
2:41 pm
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Olga
Australia
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Sure, but I don’t feel guilty about it Smile That and Boleyn Inheritance are my favourite books of hers so far.

May 12, 2012
6:54 pm
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Boleyn
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Ok from a fictional point of view TOBG wasn’t too bad, the only problem I really have with it, is that I thought it was purely going to be about Mary Boleyn. Yes Anne played a big part in Mary’s life, but given that there is so little know about Mary it would have nice to see the world as she saw it., Her likes and dislikes? How she felt about Anne and George? How she felt towards her Mum and Dad when they all but disowned her when she married Stafford? And of course more to the point how she felt when Anne and George were arrested and executed. Did she have any feelings towards Henry or was she just thankful to escape his wrath, when Anne and George fell?
I must admit I liked the end bit with Mary when she said that she was happy simply being a nobody, and I think she was too. Mary comes across as sort of very meek and mild and really not suited to a life at court and the intriques and battles for power there..

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

May 13, 2012
11:42 pm
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Mya Elise
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I’ll admit this: I used to love TOBG. I did. The movie is the reason I even started researching Anne and Henry VIII. After the movie I had to read the book and from there I discovered The Tudors then after that I found this site. I started hating TOBG when I started reading more about the author, PG, and how she basically claimed she knew everything and making it seem like her book was the truth to it all which really ticked me off bad.
The book IS enjoyable, it is, but I cannot stand the extreme inaccuracies and the way Phillipa sets herself up to be a historian, and i’ve said this before probably too many times but If PG wanted to be a historian then why didn’t she? I have no clue but for whatever reason she decided to be a fictional writer so it was okay for her to write the book but not to act like she knew everything afterwards. Saying that Anne was definately guilty of one murder, supporting the idea of incest and witch craft, and although I have nothing against Mary Boleyn – PG made Mary seem almost saintly.
But despite that? Yes, TOBG is an enjoyable and good book to read. And an entertaing-ish movie to watch.

• Grumble all you like, this is how it’s going to be.

May 14, 2012
2:02 am
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Bill1978
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As a work of fiction, I too love The Other Boleyn Girl. I adored the movie but as I have previously said have changed my opinion on that AFTER reading a book with a much better plot and characterisation than what was presented in the movie.

The book is a great way to escape the world and is an entertaining romp through history. BUT I do see why people have issues with it. I’m one of those people who reads something in the novel and then go and see how much of it was real. For example after reading PG’s portrayal of George as a homosexual I hopped online and ended up here which sent the record straight. I do the same for books where the author has clearly made a fictional story eg Matthew Reilly’s Seven Ancient Wonders. I view novels as a stepping stone to increasing my knowledge.

I’ve never checked out PG’s website to read her outrageous claims and I think that’s why I can enjoy her fictional books, cause I have no exposure to her ‘factual claims’ plus living in Australia I don’t get to see the historical programs that trot her out like an expert.

Having said all that I have seen how PG has the ability to warp the monds of casual readers or those too lazy to think for themselves. I had a student who for another subject was doing a dissatation on who killed The Princes In The Tower. Now their inspiration was reading the War Of The Roses books of PG. I had no problem with that, my problem arose when I offered them Alison Weir’s book on the subject for an alternate view to PG and they pretty much dismissed Weir’s book as rubbish and inaccurate. Sure Alison may have some negatives to her work but at least her book is a historical biography and not a fiction book. So this person was choosing a fictional account as being mroe factual than Weir’s work. So I can see the damage TOBG is capable of for those people who decided to take it as gospel.

May 14, 2012
12:39 pm
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Louise
Hampshire, England
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Historical fiction has got to be the strangest of all fictional headings. Fiction speaks for itself. It’s not based on fact. Historical also speaks for itself. It is, or should be, based on fact.
So what happens when they meet? It’s like a kind of entertaining car crash, where fact and fiction collide head on and cause carnage. More often than not the more successful the fiction is then the greater the carnage for the reputations of the poor people being written about. Because for every one person who goes to the trouble of finding more out about history, like our Bill, there are thousands who take it at face value. For a lover of George Boleyn, The Tudors was like watching a multi car pile up!

May 14, 2012
3:48 pm
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Elliemarianna
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I didn’t like it, I haven’t read the book so I can’t comment on that… But I found the story a bit stupid to be honest, and disrespectful. These characters were real people and it seemed to me that the story just crapped all over their memory and served as a large insult, especially to Anne. I’ve always thought you should respect the dead somewhat…

"It is however but Justice, & my Duty to declre that this amiable Woman was entirely innocent of the Crimes with which she was accused, of which her Beauty, her Elegance, & her Sprightliness were sufficient proofs..." Jane Austen.

May 14, 2012
4:03 pm
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Boleyn
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SWMNBN gets right up my bugle She claims to be an historian and yet it seems to me that she invents things fill in the bits she can’t be bothered to research. As for the book well it good enough to read in the bath, although I do find the she uses words that I feel were not used in polite sociaty at this time.
The film I found a little annoying as I think portraying George, as either Bi or homosexual was going a little too far, just because he had no love or any feelings what so ever for his wife doesn’t mean that he was homosexual. Many marriages that were arranged were like this, where there was no love lost between the pair. It doesn’t mean that half the men were gay and the woman lesbian.
Marriages back then were purely for position, status and wealth, if the couple happened to fall in love ok, fine and dandy but very few did. I mean you look at Norfolk’s marriage it was a joke he was more or less living with Bess Holland who has been described as a washer woman or seamstress, whilst Norfolk’s wife was only brought out and given an airing when there was so official court do, that he couldn’t take his mistress to, but you can guarentee she would be there somehow.
Anyway back to George, the more I read about him the more I can begin to understand just how tragic his story ended. A gifted and talented young man, well on his way to being every bit as good as his father as a court diplomat. A sportsman and an all round good egg.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

May 14, 2012
5:18 pm
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Louise
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Hello Boleyn,
I wrote an article on George and Jane’s marriage a few weeks ago. There is no evidence to say their marriage was unhappy or that there was no love lost between them.

May 14, 2012
6:21 pm
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Boleyn
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Louise said

Hello Boleyn,
I wrote an article on George and Jane’s marriage a few weeks ago. There is no evidence to say their marriage was unhappy or that there was no love lost between them.

That you Louise I guess I must have missed that one. I agree with you as their marriage is concerned, it quite possible they simply tolerated one another, I do feel though that Jane was perhaps a little jealous of Anne. I said in one of my postings some time back, that I felt that Cromwell had offered her a bribe of somesorts to get her to testify against Anne. Is it just possible that Cromwell had promised to spare George’s life in exchange for her testamony against Anne?

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

May 14, 2012
6:46 pm
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Louise
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For all we know they may have been passionately in love or they may have been at loggerheads. There’s not much evidence either way. Boleyn, please indulge my ego and read the article, because I’m a fragile soul and I’ve had a large whiskey!!

May 14, 2012
7:11 pm
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Sharon
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Although George and Jane may not have had that ‘great love of the ages’, they had a marriage that worked for the both of them. One served a king and other served a queen. Life was good. Then Henry decides his ‘great love of the ages’ wasn’t so great. He ruined all their lives. Yes, it always comes back to Henry.

May 14, 2012
7:23 pm
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Louise
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Sharon said

Although George and Jane may not have had that ‘great love of the ages’, they had a marriage that worked for the both of them. One served a king and other served a queen. Life was good. Then Henry decides his ‘great love of the ages’ wasn’t so great. He ruined all their lives. Yes, it always comes back to Henry.

Exactly, because that’s the problem. We project our sensibilities and values on people who lived five-hundred years ago. That’s something I’ve rightly been accused of because it just doesn’t work. They are so different to us that they may as well be from another planet. Perhaps George and Jane were indifferent to one another. It’s a possibility, but we’re back to possibly and perhaps again.
By the way, Jane Rochford remains the bad guy in the Mantel book (had to get that in)!!

May 14, 2012
8:09 pm
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Claire
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Please tell me, do I need a crash helmet for reading Bring Up the Bodies? There is only so much banging on my desk or on my office wall that my head can take. Reading a recent article by Mantel, I don’t think I’m going to be that impressed with it. I know it’s fiction but I hate the same old Jane the jealous shrew who betrays George and Anne, Anne the tart who was asking for what she got because she should have known better than to flirt, blah blah blah. I know that fiction is fiction but I’d like someone to do these people real justice in a novel.

Debunking the myths about Anne Boleyn

May 14, 2012
8:56 pm
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Bella44
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^Hm, a crash helmet… possibly!
I’ve just finished it and yes Mantel sticks to some stereotypes but she does mention in an authors note that her portrayal of Jane Boleyn was perhaps harsher than it deserves to be and recommends Julia Foxes’ bio on her for a more balanced view. I have no problem at all when authors do this. I think I like Mantels work over a lot of other, more conventional, historical fiction authors as she always makes you think. It’s never a straight ride with her, plus she has an amazing way with words that draw you in immediately into the vipers nest that was the Tudor court. ‘Bring Up the Bodies’ is an odd book, as I don’t think there was one character that I could actually sympathize with, but I couldn’t put it down and even though I knew the end I was absolutely riveted.

May 14, 2012
9:13 pm
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Bella44
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Oh and another thing I think it pays to remember – this isn’t Anne’s story, it Cromwells and everything is seen through his eyes. So naturally when he was setting about destroying the Boleyns of course he wasn’t going to have the greatest love for them. If that makes sense Laugh

May 14, 2012
10:07 pm
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Louise
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Bella44 said

Oh and another thing I think it pays to remember – this isn’t Anne’s story, it Cromwells and everything is seen through his eyes. So naturally when he was setting about destroying the Boleyns of course he wasn’t going to have the greatest love for them. If that makes sense Laugh

The whole tone of this book is so anti Boleyn that it has to be Mantel’s viewpoint. She is simply projecting her opinions through a character. The bias is worse than in TOBG. Everytime Thomas and George Boleyn are mentioned it is to be insulted and belittled. Anne is cold, hard and calculating. How any man could love her is a mystery. The sad thing is that Mantel makes up ‘facts’ to show the Boleyns in as bad a light as possible, and projects morals on Cromwell that he didn’t actually have and are quite frankly ridiculous. Yet she chooses to leave out everything which doesn’t fit in with her fiction. I’ve not finished it yet but I’m dreading the end.

May 14, 2012
10:41 pm
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Bill1978
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although I do find the she uses words that I feel were not used in polite sociaty at this time.

I don’t know which words you are talking about Boleyn, but I can tell you that I was so surprised at the amount of times Anne and Mary said the terrible C word, that I actually did a bit of research on the use of the C word and it turns out during the early Tudor period it was a commonly used reference, not taboo like it is today. It’s started off Taboo-ish, became mainstream and then went back to being a big taboo word. So technically PG was correct in having Anne and Mary use it, which surprised me.

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