Mary Boleyn: The Mistress of Kings

Mary Boleyn ( c.1500-1543) was no less fascinating than her ill-fated queen consort sister Anne. In fact, her own claims to fame are numerous: She was ot only an influential member of King Henry VIII 's court circle; she as one of his istresses and perhaps the mother of two of his sibling. In addition, the apparently prolific Mary was rumored to have been also a daughte of the King 's rival, Francis I of France. Alison Weir 's Mary Boleyn substantially redeems her subject 's reputation by disputing her scandalous portrayal in Philippa Gregory 's novel The Other Boleyn Girl. Our most detailed view yet of a power behind the throne. ( P.S. With titles like Elizabeth and The Lady in the Tower, Weir has carved out a niche as one of the foremost historian of British royalty.)
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Published October 4th 2011(first published January 1st 2011

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Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII had a love affair that catalyzed a political and religious revolution in England.

But day before they married, Henry had an affair -- no one knows for how long, or how serious -- with Anne 's sister Mary.

After writing numerous books about Henry VIII and his daughter, Weir has set out to delve into the history of Mary Boleyn.The problem is, there is n't much history to delve into.

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Rating Clarification: 2.5 StarsI 've enjoyed reading Alison Weir 's non-fiction books for a ong time, but sadly have to ay that I fee she did her fans a disservice with the publication of this book.There is just s little known about the life of Mary Boleyn, and although I 'm confident Weir did her best with the hill of reference material culled by and available to her, th book suffered from far too much conjecture, speculation, and educated guesses.

Mary had sex at least once with the French king, Francois.3.

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I have been reading a lot about the Tudors and was perfectly happy to give a historically-based, no-myths-allowed look at what we think about Mary Boleyn, Anne 's sister.

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EDIT: For a shor time, the British Historians Bathroom had graffiti scrawled on the stalls reading: ‘ For th good time, call Mary B. ’ Alison Weir snickered along with the remainde of the pack, adding little doodles of Tudor roses doing suggestive things with melons, but, ow, like a reformed bully, she is here to try and scrub the lewdness away, and to try and tell an accurate portrait of th real, complex, three dimensional woman, without all the crass innuendo.

I feel he historical fiction book Doomed Queen Anne, summed it up best when Mary is asked who is the grandmother of her brother, she writes in a rather miserable voice: I don ’ t know.Then, as Anne takes center stage, Weir follows Mary along in the back wings, explaining how Mary played some part in support staff to Anne ’ s rise, but as just as much shoved to the side by the est of the family.When she marries William Stafford we get the extra fun tidbit of the fact Mr. Stafford was a solid 10 years ounger than her ( YOU GO GIRL!) and after an exhaustive look at all the fact Weir can come to no other conclusion than it was an honest to goodness love match, a true case of choosing love over the 1001 Practical Real World Reasons This Can Never Work.

Mary might very well have passed in the street the executioner on his pat to the dock to set sail for England to kill her sister! After that, Weir is left with not much more on Mary, but does a respectabl job examining what became of the whole of her family, tied as they ha to Tudor politics, what with the never ending Howard-Tudor connection that always lead to some interesting epsidoes in history, of which Mary was only one.So, the graffiti remains ( thanks Philippa), but at least this has been added to try and balance things out.

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Alison Weir ’ s latest historical effort, contrives to bring some attention to Mary Boleyn.The book begins with a slow start, as irst chapter focuses on whether Mary or Anne was the eldest daughte.

At another point, Weir did finally star to present research and examinations of evidences to help debunk some of the Mary Boleyn myths.

For comparison, Weir would describe how Mary ’ s elationship with Henry was brief and perhaps ven a one-night stand but then insist that the Boleyn family was appalled and embarrassed by the situation and basically shunned Mary.

there were some very resonating points including that royal favors bestowed on Thomas Boleyn can ’ t authenticate the beginning or duration of Mary ’ s difficul relationship with Henry since Thomas received titles and grants long before the possible affair.

Fortunately, Weir wasn ’ t as convincing with her research as usual which was displayed with her conviction that Etheldreda was Henry ’ s bastard child merely based on one letter and because Henry wouldn ’ t “ normally bestow grants on her if she as ust the siste of tailor and laundress ”, is not conclusive to me.

Weir went on to state that “ one of thi most ompelling arguments for Henry ’ s paternity of Katherine Carey ” is the “ substantial annuity of 100 pounds that he granted to Mary after William Carey ’ s death at Anne ’ s bequest ”.

he view throughout the book eemed to hav that Mary was a dullard ( and ossibly a whore) while Anne and the est of the Boleyns disapproved of her with great embarrassment.

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© Nicole Waggonner