The Other Boleyn Girl – Fiction versus Fact

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3 thoughts on “The Other Boleyn Girl – Fiction versus Fact”

  1. Carla Luque says:

    I have to admit that, the first Tudor book I read was The Other Boleyn Girl. I was 10 at the time of reading it and thought every thing was true and great. Then I grow up and I read more veridic biographies about Anne and her family, However, I still think the way TOBG is written is really great, it captures you inmediatly. I knew it was almost all fiction, but now that I have read this article, I feel very dissapointed about Gregory’s lack of knowledge.
    Now that I am 15, I am very intrested in real history, not that kind of fantasy inGregory’s mind.
    Thank you very muy Claire for letting me know the truth about this fairy tale, because it’s only that, a nice well-written fairy tale.
    Your intelligence dear Claire, is brilliant. Remember you have millions of fans that are always expecting for your daily articles, so do I
    Best wishes Carla. (Possibly your most young reader)

  2. John Richard Michael Acworth says:

    I am the 14th generation down from George Acworth whose second marriage was to Margaret Wilberfosse, a wealthy woman, mother of Joan Acworth . Joan’s mother was a cousin of the Howard and Boleyn families.

    Joan Acworth had 5 children with Edward Waldegrave after 1542 before legally marrying him in 1556 in Smallbridge. after William Bulmer died in 1555.

    The village in Yorkshire is originally Acworth. Joan’s grandfather moved to Bedfordshire in the late 1400s as his father was on the Lancastrian side at the battle of Towton 1461 and convicted of High Treason and lost his properties. in Yorkshire.

  3. Mari Edwards says:

    Thank you for laying out the facts Claire. I admire your restraint in setting the record straight as I really could not bring myself to read another Phllippa Gregory book after reading her brutal character assassination of Anne. In The Other Boleyn Girl, Anne is portrayed as inherently evil – character arc is non-existent. By contrast, Alison Weir’s novel, Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession, paints a much more balanced portrait – she hints at a normal sisterly rivalry between Anne and Mary but also recognizes a loving, protective relationship between the two (she also wrote The Lady in the Tower, a historical biography about Anne). I found Weir’s depiction of Anne as a curious, intelligent young girl in the European courts delightful, and was haunted by her telling of Anne’s final moments. It is fun to try to get inside Anne’s head through historical fiction, something which we can’t ever do unfortunately, but at least Weir presents a fuller, much more nuanced and realistic picture of Anne than Gregory.

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