Tag Archives: Mary Boleyn

Book Review: A ROSE FOR THE CROWN by Anne Easter Smith

The best way of telling a well-worn story is to freshen it up by introducing a new point of view. Phillippa Gregory did this brilliantly with the OTHER BOLEYN GIRL, the Anne Boleyn story told from the point of view of her sister Mary. In her debut novel A ROSE FOR THE CROWN, Anne Easter Smith has told the Richard III story from the point of view of his sweetheart Kate Haute, who was also the mother of his illegitimate children.

Ms. Smith does a wonderful job of drawing the reader in by portraying her humble heroine as an outspoken and lively girl who tries the patience of her parents, and has no idea how lovely she is. We follow Kate Bywood from her humble home in Kent, to her adoption by the Hautes of Igtham Mote, through two unhappy marriages, to her meeting with the teenaged Richard, Duke of Gloucester (who later becomes King Richard III), to the three children she bore him, to the end of their affair when he married Anne Neville in 1472.

The best recommendation I can make for this book is that it is hard to put down. Ms. Smith has done meticulous research, but by focusing on humble folk, has worn her learning lightly. I also want to commend Joanna Maslowska Maher, who did the cover design for Simon & Schuster/Touchstone. It is one of the most beautiful covers I’ve seen, and sets the stage for the treat that is within.

–Cynthia Haggard writes novels.  She is currently seeking representation for HE MUST BE SOMEONE,  a novel about identity, forbidden love and family secrets. For more on her creative writing, go to spunstories. (c) 2011. All rights reserved.

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Book Review: Philippa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl

51qevfktgql_sl160_Perhaps one of Philippa Gregory’s best-known novels – due to the recent movie starring Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johanssen and Eric Bana – this novel tells the story of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII and mother of the future Elizabeth I.  This novel is about a stormy relationship that ignited into a passion that destroyed the Catholic Church in England and ultimately led to tragedy when King Henry ordered the beheading of his wife Anne.

What was Anne’s crime? Although she was charged with incest and adultery, the real issue may have been her inability to bear Henry a son, and the resulting souring of their relationship.

What is brilliant about this novel is that it is told from the point of view of Anne’s sister Mary, who was one of King Henry’s mistresses before he embarked on an affair with Anne, and thus we are given a very different take not only on Anne, and King Henry, but also Anne’s brother George Boleyn, by someone who knew all these people very well.
–Cynthia Haggard writes short stories, novels and poetry.  During the day, she is a medical writer and owns her own business.  For more on her creative writing, go to spunstories.  For more about her medical writing services, go to clarifyingconcepts.  (c) 2009. All rights reserved.

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