I received an advance review copy of this book from the publisher, and was intrigued to hear the “true story” about Mary Boleyn, the mistress of King Henry VIII and sister of the ill-fated Anne Boleyn. Anyone who has read The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory or watched Showtime’s The Tudors, is left with a confusing jumble of misinformation about Mary Boleyn. Alison Weir’s work of non-fiction is meticulously researched and for me, definitely set the record straight.
That said, I don’t think this book is for everyone. There is simply not much information available about Mary Boleyn, and so this work seemed to me more like a conversation – on the one hand this, and the other hand possibly that. If one is not well versed in the people surrounding Mary Boleyn, it would be easy to get lost. It is also not an exciting, rip-roaring story. It is simply the known and surmised truth about a woman who has been mostly lost to history. I recommend it for people who have read and watched movies about the life of King Henry VIII and the Boleyns, and are curious to learn what was accurate and what was not.
3 1/2 stars
Published in 2011