Saturday, January 28, 2012

#65 New Authors: Pray for Reign

I have what you might call an obsession with King Henry VIII and Tudor England. I read everything I can get my hands on, as long as it's historically accurate (Books like Phillipa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl annoy me because some idiots actually take them to be accurate. I eviscerated a girl in one of my literature classes who truly believed that George and Anne Boleyn almost had sex but they couldn't go through with it... because that's what she saw in the movie. *Facepalm*).

Kindle has opened up a whole new world for me. I can sample books for free to see whether or not they're worth reading, and then download them if they are. If I'm incredibly lucky, they're only 99 cents, like this little gem!

The book starts on the day before Anne's execution, but it quickly draws back into her memories so that the reader gets the full story. And, for a short fiction novel, it's got a lot of accuracy, which I appreciated. I especially liked the portrayal of Anne and George's relationship - incredibly close and loving, it's easy to see how some of their actions may have been interpreted in the worst possible way. Anne's feelings skirt close to impropriety at times, enough to make me uncomfortable, but the story sticks to the historically verifiable facts.

Most refreshing is the portrayal of George's wife, Lady Jane Rochford. I always feel bad for her because modern novels and movies tend to make her into a hateful villian who turns her husband over to the authorities due to malice and who wants him to die. Not at all historically accurate, by the way. Much neglected but very loving, and also a good friend to Anne, Lady Jane only told her questioners that Anne and George were close, not that she believed they were having an incestuous affair. The council took advantage of the siblings' closeness to paint Anne as a harlot, with the most awful sexual crimes they could imagine.

Obviously the novel can't be completely historically accurate, but it's much better than most fiction novels about Anne that I've read. The writing style flows and is easy to follow and I found myself very engrossed in a tale that I know very well. For 99 cents, this Kindle read is an incredible bargain.

1 comment:

  1. I have the same feeling about phillipa gregory, though admittedly I love the movie (cmon...eric bana..mmm)
    One of my favorite books is The Last Boleyn by Karen Harper. It's hard to find, but if you do, I think it's excellent. Definitely creative liberties taken, but it's the same story done better and slightly more true to 'reality'