New official film tie-in edtion of this magnificent tale of rivalry and jealousy set in the volatile court of King Henry VIII. The Boleyn family is keen to rise through the ranks of society, and what better way than to place their most beautiful young woman at court? But Mary becomes the king's mistress at a time of change. He needs his personal pleasures, but he also needs an heir. The unthinkable happens and the course of English history is irrevocably altered. For the women at the heart of the storm, they have only one weapon; and when it's no longer enough to be the mistress, Mary must groom her younger sister in the ways of pleasing the king. Now this bestselling novel is brought to life as a major film, starring Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman as the Boleyn sisters and Eric Bana as Henry VIII. The cast also features Kristin Scott Thomas and Mark Rylance. Directed by highly acclaimed Justin Chadwick (BAFTA and Emmy nominated for 'Bleak House') with screenplay by Peter Morgan (Oscar nominated for 'The Queen'; BAFTA winner for 'The Last King of Scotland'). Key title / The novel is already a worldwide bestseller -- now the film will drive it to an even higher level of sales / Co-promotion of the book wherever the film is distributed, with competitions, sumptuous visual souvenirs and offers / An award-winning production team and a stellar cast, including Eric Bana as Henry VIII and Scarlett Johansson as Mary Boleyn / Author is well known to the public as a regular guest presenter on TV (One Foot in the Past, Travels with Pevsner, Time Team), as well as panellist on Radio 4's History Game, Round Britain Quiz and Quote, Unquote / Competition: Sarah Walters, Kate Mosse, Rose Tremain; Sarah Dunant; Alison Weir
Philippa Gregory, who went to school in Bristol, has a history degree from the University of Sussex and a PhD in eighteenth-century literature from the University of Edinburgh. She has worked as a journalist and for BBC Radio before becoming a full-time writer. She lives with her family in North Yorkshire.
Before Henry VIII ever considered making Anne Boleyn his wife, her older sister, Mary, was his mistress. Historical novelist Gregory (Virgin Earth) uses the perspective of this "other Boleyn girl" to reveal the rivalries and intrigues swirling through England. The sisters and their brother George were raised with one goal: to advance the Howard family's interests, especially against the Seymours. So when Mary catches the king's fancy, her family orders her to abandon the husband they had chosen. She bears Henry two children, including a son, but Anne's desire to be queen drives her with ruthless intensity, alienating family and foes. As Henry grows more desperate for a legitimate son and Anne strives to replace Catherine as queen, the social fabric weakens. Mary abandons court life to live with a new husband and her children in the countryside, but love and duty bring her back to Anne time and again. We share Mary's helplessness as Anne loses favor, and everyone abandons her amid accusations of adultery, incest, and witchcraft. Even the Boleyn parents won't intervene for their children. Gregory captures not only the dalliances of court but the panorama of political and religious clashes throughout Europe. She controls a complicated narrative and dozens of characters without faltering, in a novel sure to please public library fans of historical fiction. Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State Univ., Mankato Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
'It is a credit to Gregory that she is able to sustain interest in an epic-length tale when the ending is one of the most well-known moments in English history. The very believable dialogue and detail take you all the way into the claustrophobic privy chambers of the royal palaces!Gregory has launched herself into a popular period and produced something with that most underrated of virtues: readability.' THE TIMES 'This compulsively readable novel is a wonderful account of the Tudor court!This is the finest historical novel of this year' DAILY MAIL 'Philippa Gregory's books are always a good read' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 'This is an intelligent variation on a familiar tale [with] witty use of metaphor' TLS
Sisterly rivalry is the basis of this fresh, wonderfully vivid retelling of the story of Anne Boleyn. Anne, her sister Mary and their brother George are all brought to the king's court at a young age, as players in their uncle's plans to advance the family's fortunes. Mary, the sweet, blond sister, wins King Henry VIII's favor when she is barely 14 and already married to one of his courtiers. Their affair lasts several years, and she gives Henry a daughter and a son. But her dark, clever, scheming sister, Anne, insinuates herself into Henry's graces, styling herself as his adviser and confidant. Soon she displaces Mary as his lover and begins her machinations to rid him of his wife, Katherine of Aragon. This is only the beginning of the intrigue that Gregory so handily chronicles, capturing beautifully the mingled hate and nearly incestuous love Anne, Mary and George ("kin and enemies all at once") feel for each other and the toll their family's ambition takes on them. Mary, the story's narrator, is the most sympathetic of the siblings, but even she is twisted by the demands of power and status; charming George, an able plotter, finally brings disaster on his own head by falling in love with a male courtier. Anne, most tormented of all, is ruthless in her drive to become queen, and then to give Henry a male heir. Rather than settling for a picturesque rendering of court life, Gregory conveys its claustrophobic, all-consuming nature with consummate skill. In the end, Anne's famous, tragic end is offset by Mary's happier fate, but the self-defeating folly of the quest for power lingers longest in the reader's mind. (June 4) Forecast: Lovers of historical romances heavy on the history will relish this new entry from Gregory and perhaps propel it onto bestseller lists this summer. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.