I've read several biographies of Henry 8 and his wives, all of them, so I figured I'd read a "historical novel" about them all. The author, Philippa Gregory, is known as the "Queen of Historical Novels." I'm not sure that's a title I'd want.
The book was very frustrating at first, because, silly me, I expected it to conform to ummm, history. But no. Gregory takes a few theories about the lives of Mary and Anne Boleyn and runs with them. Like the theory that Anne surrounded herself with gay courtiers, including her brother George, and this was one of the reasons she was executed.
And while I knew that Henry had had a daliance with Anne's younger sister Mary, I'd never read anywhere that Mary gave birth to two bastard children by Henry.
Finally, I gave up trying to reconcile myself to the history and just read it at trashy fiction. As soon as I read it that way, I started having a lot more fun with the book, because boy is it trashy. It was the perfect thing for me to read this weekend when I was awake in the middle of the night with asthma-induced insomnia.
The cover of the book claims that it is now a major motion picture starring Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansen and Eric Bana. I haven't heard about the movie yet, so I'm wondering if it is so bad that it went straight to video.