Jane Boleyn: The Infamous Lady Rochford

  • by Julia Fox
  • Narrated by Julia Barrie
  • 13 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Jane Rochford was the sister-in-law to Anne Boleyn and Lady of the Bedchamber to Catherine Howard, whom she followed to the scaffold in 1542.
Hers is a life of extraordinary drama as a witness to and participant in the greatest events of Henry's reign. Her supposed part in both Anne Boleyn's and Catherine Howard's downfall has led to her being reviled through the centuries.
In this fascinating biography, Julia Fox repudiates the idea of the infamous Lady Rochford, and Jane emerges as a rather modern woman forced by brutal circumstances to fend for herself in a politically lethal world.

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What the Critics Say

"Ecstasy. This bio offers a dramatic writing, new info and a moving re-examination of a woman wronged for centuries by historians." (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

This felt more like a text book than fun to read.

While very interesting and full of facts, if this had not been an audio-book I would never have ploughed through to the end. The 10 minute long explanations of how a dowery had been calculated nearly made me drift into another lane on the motorway one day!

Because she wasn't quite important enough to be recorded in documents at the time, there is a lot of supposition in this book about where Jane is at certain times, and who she would be with and why.

I think anybody reading anything about history understands this, which is why when you read six authors versions of the life of a Queen you will get six different accounts, as writers fill in the blanks themselves. At least that would have been entertaining.
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- Elaine Wood

Disappointing

The first half of the book really focuses on Anne Boleyn and the divorce. There are a few scant details on Jane Parker's origins and wedding to George Boleyn. Jane has gone down in history with the reputation of damning her husband George but reading this account it is presumed their marriage was a happy one. I would have appreciated a thorough discounting of Jane's infamy with more evidence and facts rather than a mere presumption. She does seem to have aided and abetted Catherine Howard in her clandestine love affair and here the reasons offered by the author seem more plausible. There are few ressources available which allow the author to really paint a portrait of Jane's character so she remains rather shadowy and flat. The author has to rely on the use of hypothetical clauses 'perhaps', 'maybe' 'could have' etc. to indicate her presence at various court pageants and events which took place during the first half of the book when the focus was really on Anne Boleyn. The description of these pageants was very detailed and full of suppostions too about how the Mayor of London may have gone about the organisation details. I couldn't help but feel that this was padding; on the other hand in its favour it does give a vivid depiction of the extravagance of the court and the Tudor Monarchy.
The depiction of Catherine of Aragon sounds accurate and is very moving - she definitely had a confirmed personality and exceptional courage in the face of adversity - traits that her daughter Mary would also display. While courtiers and officials were terrified of provoking the King's displeasure Catherine and Mary would never bend!
The narrator was excellent and although I have various doubts about the contents the author's style is flowing and readable so it was not an unpleasant book to listen to. If a reader is unfamiliar with this period of history he or she might find it a good introduction to the subject.
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- iris "I love history, crime and thrillers, biographies and almost anything by the BBC."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 21-09-2012
  • Publisher: Oakhill Publishing Ltd