Friday, July 9, 2010

Book Reviews, Part IV (Elizabethan Era Historical Fiction)

What many people would call an obsession started with one book.

Out of curiosity, I read The Other Boelyn Girl by Phillippa Gregory.  I'd heard great things about it and wanted to read it before I saw the movie and while I'd always had an interest in the Tudor Dynasty, this book launched me into an entire year of reading about Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.  All of it historical fiction, of course.

First, I read a series of books by Diane Haeger.  Since all the plots pretty much run together, I'll forgo the individual synopses and just list them.

The Perfect Royal Mistress: A Novel
Courtesan: A Novel
The Queen's Mistake: In the Court of Henry VIII
The Secret Bride: In The Court of Henry VIII

Haeger has written many more than those listed above, but my library doesn't carry them all.  Her books are just as entertaining as Phillippa Gregory's, but like all historical fiction, many of the details are creations of the author's imagination.

My Goodreads and fellow blogging friend, Fran, noticed my budding obsession with the era and suggested that I try Robin Maxwell's books.  Fortunately, my library carried more of her books than Haeger's.  I read:

To the Tower Born
The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn
Virgin: Prelude to the Throne
Mademoiselle Boleyn
The Queen's Bastard: A Novel

I thoroughly enjoyed her books as well and found myself actually liking Anne Boleyn after reading them.

I got a little burned out on the Tudor dynasty, so I'm taking a bit of a break from books on the subject.  I'm sure I'll pick them back up at some point soon, though; I simply find Henry VIII and Elizabeth I too fascinating to ignore for long.

After all that reading, I never did see "The Other Boleyn Girl" movie.  Anybody know if it was any good?


  1. LOL at you never seeing the movie. After I read the Robin Maxwell books I was interested in that movie too so I wanted to read the book first. I started to read it but it seemed ENTIRELY different from Robin Maxwell's version so I stopped because I had enjoyed those books so much. I may still watch the movie at some point. I even DVRed it once but never got around to viewing it. Maybe next time I see it's going to be on I will make the time.

  2. The movie is very good, imo, but doesn't touch the rich details of the book. As is the norm for adapted-to-screenplay scripts, I suppose.
    I am also very into the Tudor and Elizabethian era historical fiction, so thanks for all the reading suggestions! I might see if I can get the library to reserve some of those for me, since I never manage to get to browse around on my own with all these durn KIDS to herd! :)