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I have enjoyed other biographies by this author who usually combines scholarship with lively narrative. This book veers more to the former with a lot of genealogical lineages and historical detail less suited to an audiobook. After a slow start with too much turgid detail about Mary's family history the book becomes an eye-opening account of Mary Boleyn's life and dismisses many false beliefs about her reputation and gives a different slant on the turbulent Tudor period.
The reader is very good and helps the book crack along, despite all the detailed information and scholarly argument against other biolographer's works.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
What would have made Mary Boleyn better?
Having more actual facts about Mary Boleyn and not having every quote spoken in annoying voices.
What will your next listen be?
I'm going to steer clear of new historical non fiction around the Tudor Dynasty. I don't think there's much new information to be had.
I'll be looking for summer reading now :)
Would you be willing to try another one of Maggie Mash’s performances?
Not sure. The non-stop quoting in ridiculous voices drove me nuts from the start. If there are books out there without the relentless quoting then I'd he happy to give it a go.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
Disappointment and sometimes anger.
I was expecting a full bio of interesting facts about Mary's childhood and her relationships etc. However, the most used word throughout this book is "probably" along with others of that ilk (possibly, maybe, assume etc) and I ended up howling every time it was spoken.
The thing that annoys me most is that this feels like someone just turning out another "Tudor" volume because of the public's incessant interest when really there is no story to tell - certainly nothing we haven't learned from other sources.
And I felt like a sucker for falling for it.
Any additional comments?
After listening to this its clear that there is not an awful lot known about Mary Boleyn at all (which was the most interesting fact the book delivered to be honest).
Misleading and deliberately entitled to encourage people with an interest in Tudor history to buy it.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
If you don't know what a Historiography is, you're probably not going to like this work. This is not really a story, but an analysis of past bios and surviving documentation. If real history interests you and how historians and time interprets people then this is for you. If you want a seamless romantic story, historical fiction is what you should read.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up Mary Boleyn in three words, what would they be?
Phenomenal, riveting, and accurate
Any additional comments?
I adore Alison Weir's biographies. She does painstaking first hand research from primary sources and is unfailingly accurate in her representations of historical figures. This biography exposes a lot of fallacies passed along as fact for generations by less committed biographers. Weir tackles the problems of incomplete, damaged, and decayed records with aplomb and should be commended for refusing to pass along the information far easier to find in secondary and tertiary sources and instead doing her own research to obtain new and more accurate conclusions. Weir is a phenomenal biographer and a talented writer. The narrator, Maggie Mash, does a lovely job of making the figures come alive and I will be looking at more of her books in the future. I sincerely enjoyed this book and look forward to more of Alison Weir's fiction and nonfiction.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful