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 not only an influential member of King Henry VIII s court circle she was one of his mistresses and perhaps the mother of two of his children In addition, the apparently prolific Mary was rud to have been also a mistressMary 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 not only an influential member of King Henry VIII s court circle she was one of his mistresses and perhaps the mother of two of his children In addition, the apparently prolific Mary was rud to have been also a mistress 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 With titles like Elizabeth and The Lady in the Tower, Weir has carved out a niche as one of the foremost biographers of British royalty.
Mary Boleyn The Mistress of Kings Mary Boleyn c was no less fascinating than her ill fated queen consort sister Anne In fact her own claims to fame are numerous She was not only an influential member of King Henry VIII s co

  • Title: Mary Boleyn: The Mistress of Kings
  • Author: Alison Weir
  • ISBN: 9780345521330
  • Page: 224
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Mary Boleyn: The Mistress of Kings”

    1. I think the real problem with biographies of lesser known women in history, is that there just isn't enough known information out there about them to make their biographies interesting. Women's lives just weren't recorded in any detail so there is often no "paper trail" to follow and we just don't know what they thought or even where they were at any given time, so a biography like this one comes pretty much down to speculation from very little hard evidence or the author has to admit that we ju [...]

    2. Correct me if I'm wrong, but biographies normally focus mostly on their subject, no? The vast majority of the pages in the book are given to whoever the author has chosen to write about. The biographee is supposed to emerge as a real person and not only a story by the end, and we are supposed to come away knowing a lot about him/herher.If those are the standards for biographies, I'd say this book kind of fails. I've read Philippa Gregory's "The Other Boleyn Girl" (but didn't enjoy it much), and [...]

    3. Rating Clarification: 2.5 StarsI've enjoyed reading Alison Weir's non-fiction books for a long time, but sadly have to say that I think she did her fans a disservice with the publication of this book.There is just too little known about the life of Mary Boleyn, and although I'm confident Weir did her best with the mountains of reference material culled by and available to her, this book suffered from far too much conjecture, speculation, and educated guesses. In the end, all Weir (and we as read [...]

    4. too too too much facts and names and no narrative- I do not need to read 10 pages about what year Mary might have been born

    5. Anne Boleyn this, Anne Boleyn that. Everyone always focuses on Anne. What about her sister, Mary? Alison Weir’s latest historical effort, contrives to bring some attention to Mary Boleyn.The book begins with a slow start, as the first chapter focuses on whether Mary or Anne was the eldest sister. Unless you consider this crucial information you just can’t live without or if you have already made up your mind on the statistic; then this chapter isn’t vital to the whole of the book and you c [...]

    6. Before you read this book, you need to decide whether you want a romanticized but historically inaccurate interpretation of what Mary Boleyn might have been like, or a serious historical biography that debunks myths and gives "just the facts, ma'am." If you are interested in the latter, then and only then should you dive into this book. I have been reading a lot about the Tudors and was perfectly happy to take a historically-based, no-myths-allowed look at what we know about Mary Boleyn, Anne's [...]

    7. Very informative, if you are interested in Tudor England. Well written and researched as all of her books are. She presents convincing arguments as to the misconceptions that have persisted over the centuries about "the Other Boleyn Girl".

    8. It doesn't grab you by the throat and shake you the way her Lady in the Tower does, but it is very, very thoughtful, leaving the reader pondering possible new angles of the Tudor court and Mary Boleyn.Also, I have never seen so many question marks in a book *ever*, which probably makes this the most honest history book ever.EDIT:Just bought a copy. Review of second-time-round thoughts to come. EDIT:For a long time, the British Historians Bathroom had graffiti scrawled on the stalls reading: ‘F [...]

    9. Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII had a love affair that catalyzed a political and religious revolution in England. But years 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 wives, Weir has set out to delve into the history of Mary Boleyn.The problem is, there isn't much history to delve into. We have two letters by her, and some information about her travels during young adulthood. But w [...]

    10. Since Philippa Gregory published the populist fictional novel The Other Boleyn Girl in 2002, the book has been turned into a BBC television series and a Hollywood movie, but as interest in Tudor England has experienced an upturn so too has the fog of myth and misconception surrounding the history. The blurb of this latest historical non-fiction claims to "[explode] the mythology" surrounding Mary Boleyn and "[uncover] the facts", and I must admit I was curious to see what conclusions Weir's rese [...]

    11. Well, then.My life is a lie--as is everything I thought I knew about Mary Boleyn. Turns out Jean Plaidy's thoughtful portrait of her as this sweet, vague bed-hopper is just not on--unfortunately, nor is Plaidy's portrayal of Anne as a clever, intuitive person seeking to avoid sexual promiscuity because of what happened to her sister. Shame, because that was my favorite portrayal so far.But helasAnne's a bitch. On the plus side, however, Mary's not a whore. Much. And she actually had a really ado [...]

    12. Obscured by the Henry and Anne Boleyn epic love saga, the story of Mary Boleyn has been lost to us,much of historical works relegating her to an insignificant character, popular as Henry's discarded mistress,in her family's sudden rise to fame and the cataclysmic fall that soon followed. Although this can be due to the fact that much of Mary's story is left incomplete in contemporary Tudor archives and only a few of her letters survive, it can be hard to identify, through the prejudiced voices o [...]

    13. I read this book because I was asked by the publisher to copyedit it (which I do freelance, for several publishers). More precisely, in this case, to "unanglicize" the English version of Mary Boleyn for the American edition. Though while editing I'm more involved in the text than the average reader--albeit less than usual on his assignment, which had been edited before and thus called for no "styling" from me--I do actually read the books I edit. (I'm asked about this often.) And as a reader, my [...]

    14. This is quality I've come to expect from Alison Weir's royal biographies. Little is known about Mary, and there's much more conjecture than fact, but Weir was able to put together a detailed and reliable account of her life and the (tiny) part she played in Tudor history. I was surprised to see Weir listed Ethelreda Malt among Henry VIII's bastards, but whatever. A not-to-miss for Tudor junkies.

    15. A fairly good look at the life of Mary Boleyn, with some attempt at accuracy. Weir sifts through what is actually known about Mary Boleyn, and works hard to dispell most of the more wild stories. On the other hand, there is so very little that is confirmed fact, that there's a lot of repetition and padding in this. Depending on how much you actually know about the time and history of the Tudors, you might or not like this book. I found it to be fairly readable, but the best part was actually in [...]

    16. I didn't think I had much interest in this book. After being bored to death, by another book I was reading last night, I scanned the kindle looking for something else and this popped up. I decided to download a free chapter, next thing I knew I wanted to read the whole thing. I pretty much wanted to see if my beliefs about Mary coincided with Alison Weir'ster all the false information out there about The Boleynsank you Ms. Gregory. The author's findings and theories paralleled to mine. For a bio [...]

    17. My problem with this book is that Weir's summation of Mary Bolelyn's life is based on speculation. While Weir provides some interesting tidbits regarding Henry's affair with Mary's sister, Anne, she seemed to get bogged down with inconclusive research. I didn't need to read ten pages about the year Mary may have been born. In Weir's defense, Mary is merely a footnote in history, with little hard core evidence pertaining to her life. In this respect, I think Weir would have been wiser to write a [...]

    18. 5 starsThis book shows the exceptional scholarship of Alison Weir. Her research is both exhaustive and concise. In this detailed biography of Mary Boleyn, the eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Boleyn, Ms. Weir leaves no stone unturned. She talks of Mary’s genealogy and lifestyle. She discusses Mary’s relationship with her more infamous younger sister, Anne, and of the affairs she had with the French King Francois I and the English Henry VIII. She refutes certain writers, such as those with a par [...]

    19. An underwhelming read from one of my favorite historical nonfiction authors. I give Alison Weir props for trying to get the facts straight about Mary Boleyn's life, especially in light of the rampant myths spread by certain works of poorly written fiction (*cough*The Other Boleyn Girl*cough*). People will probably be drawn to this nonfiction book based on that alone (I know I was). Unfortunately, there's just not much here- and I can now understand why Mary Boleyn has been such an appealing targ [...]

    20. It was a little too dry for my taste. There were too many facts thrown at you so it was hard to wade through some of it with all the names and dates. However, if you are at all interested in that period of history it is worth the read . I definitely learned a great deal about Mary and how things were done then.

    21. Like all Weir biographies this delivered and more, for me.The historically sneered at 'loose' sister of Anne Boleyn, wife of Henry VIII's favourite Gentleman of the Privy chamber, was the daughter of an Earl-envoy and Countess-Lady-in-Waiting to both Queen Elizabeth of York and Catherine of Aragon.A queen's Maid-of-Honour, Mary was also the esteemed aunt of Elizabeth I. And the dearly beloved mother of two top ranking courtiers (her daughter Lady Knollys became chief Lady of Elizabeth's Bedchamb [...]

    22. I had been greatly looking forward to reading this book from the first moment that I heard Alison Weir was writing a book on Mary Boleyn. Mary has always fascinated me, I think she is an extraordinary woman and it seems as though there is so little known about her life. I was eager to start reading Weir’s book in the hopes that I would learn a little more about the mystery that is Mary Boleyn.Weir states that there is very little evidence at all to suggest that Mary was a “great and infamous [...]

    23. Did I need to read yet another Tudor biography? Apparently. I think I have all of Alison Weir's books or damn near all of them. She always does a fine job of marshaling together the facts, and if she doesn't have the humor of Antonia Fraser or the truly biting (delicious) wit of David Starkey, then she makes up for it in a solid presentation that doesn't leave too many questions. This is largely a book not so much about Mary Boleyn--because it becomes glaringly obvious very early on that you can [...]

    24. I recommend this book if you like biographies and straight history. The author's mechanics of good writing were excellent, but there was no 'feeling' in the read. It is hard step into the book and make readers anxious to turn the next page. To her credit, the book was very readable. Thank you, Ms. Were, for a good read.

    25. This my first venture into anything about the Tudors. I had a difficult time reading it and will tell you why. I think that the aim of this book is to set the record straight on Mary Boleyn. The author, Alison Weir is an extremely meticulous researcher. This is evidenced by the text of the book, bibliography and Notes and References. She, states that she researched the original sources as much as possible.Each fact about her family and Mary, herself was gone through with a fine tooth comb. Becau [...]

    26. *Disclosure: I received this as an Advance Uncorrected Proof via Firstreads Giveaway*I have to admit I had my reservations about this book when I started, it seemed to drag on and on about dates of ancestral homes and titles. I know that those are important for context later but they were given so woodenly it felt like a chore to wade through and assimilate that information. The 8 or 9 pages given to the discourse of who was the elder daughter, Mary or Anne was in my opinion too much. Understan [...]

    27. I have done quite a bit of research on the Tudors and that whole era so this topic was not new to me. I have read many books by Alison Weir and others on the Tudors and the Boleyns. Because I had a decent background into this time period and Mary Boleyn, this book was a little easier for me to understand and digest than newer readers. Alison Weird is a meticulous researcher and that shows in her writing style and the extensive bibliography and notes section. Alison Weir rightfully argues that th [...]

    28. The book is fine, however it's still based on nothing. There's too little known about Mary, and the main theme of this biography is, everything you thought you knew about her may be corrupted, may be not true, indeed it generally is not. Because it's a bunch of assumption, theories, even blatant fantasy. She was blonde to someone, brunette to others, and then she had a terrible reputation, she was jealous of her sister, she bore children to the king, she was here or there None of this is documen [...]

    29. Mary Boleyn’s story is full of drama, twists of fate and changes in fortune. She was probably the mistress of both Francis I of France and Henry VIII, who was her sister Anne’s future husband, but based on an exhaustive study of the historical record Allison Weir believes Mary may have had very little choice in the matter both times. She was married off to William Carey, a marriage that was arranged by her family and approved by the king, and there is some indication that her daughter with W [...]

    30. Weir’s comprehensive portrait of Mary Boleyn effectively dismisses recent misconceptions made about her in books like The Other Boleyn Girl. She was not just the notorious whore sister of Anne Boleyn, jumping into bed with kings, as Weir’s meticulous research proves. Mary’s prominent place in court was due to her father’s ambition, first as an attendant to Mary Tudor in France, then in the extravagant courts of Francois I and Henry VIII. Yes, she was the mistress to two kings, but she al [...]

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