IMMERSED IN THE BOLEYNS
My book club read “The Other Boleyn Girl” by Phillippa Gregory before I joined. The current selection is the follow-up novel “The Boleyn Inheritance” but everyone said I should read the first one first, if I could read 1000 pages in 4 weeks. The plan was that we would all go to the movie when it opened – and we did tonight.
So I have been immersed in the 16th century all month. The books read practically like romance novels, but have a sprinkle of history, politics, sociology and religion which give them some real historical heft. Of course, I was aware of Ann Boleyn – or Ann of a Thousand Days. I knew how it was all going to turn out, but I have gone to the internet to look up several things to put more of the story in context and to understand some of the terms used.
Women were treated abominably – big surprise. Women were treated badly throughout history, however we tend to think that especially true of the less educated and privileged. In this story we see that noble women were used as pawns to raise a family’s position. And they used the sexuality of these young women very openly. And by young, I mean 12 and 14 years old “sold” into marriage, offered as mistress to the King in exchange for money and property and rank. The movie ran through about 14 years of history in 2 hours and so condensed the story to a nearly unrecognizable degree. That is the problem with movies based on stories which are long and complicated.
I admired the way they changed it, but a lot of what made the book an enjoyable read was lost. The costumes were lavish, the settings were lovely. The mood of the movie was darker, more somber than the book. Not much of the merry making and courtly love were evident. In our book club discussion over dinner, we all agreed that we enjoyed the movie – but as usual, liked the book more.
March 3, 2008. Tags: Ann Boleyn, book, book club, book discussion, book gifts, bookmark, crown, dinner, HenryVIII, king, Mary Carey, movie, Prince, princess, queen, The Other Boleyn Girl. art, artist, custom gifts, decorating, design, Engraved gifts, functional art, hobbies, home decor, switch plates, Uncategorized.
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