Mary Boleyn: 'the Great and Infamous Whore'

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Jonathan Cape, 2011 - Great Britain - 338 pages
35 Reviews
Mary Boleyn is remembered by posterity as a ‘great and infamous whore’. She was the mistress of two kings, Francois I of France and Henry VIII of England, and sister to Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife. She may secretly have borne Henry a child and it was because of his adultery with Mary that his marriage to Anne was annulled. It is not hard to see how this tangled web of relationships has given rise to rumours and misconceptions that have been embroidered over the centuries. In this, the first full-scale biography of Mary Boleyn, Alison Weir explodes much of the mythology that surrounds her subject and uncovers the facts about one of the most misunderstood figures of the Tudor age. Her extensive, forensic research has facilitated a new and detailed portrayal, in which she recounts that, contrary to popular belief, Mary was entirely undeserving of her posthumous notoriety as a great whore or the ‘hackney’ whom the King of France famously boasted of riding. Weir also presents compelling new evidence that almost conclusively determines the paternity of Mary’s two oldest children. In this astonishing and riveting book, Alison Weir shows that Mary’s story had a happy ending and that she was by far the luckiest of the Boleyns.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - PhilSyphe - LibraryThing

Alison Weir is one of my favourite authors, though she wouldn’t be if all her books were as off-topic and tedious as this one. Having had similar experiences with this author’s “biographies” on ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gayla.bassham - LibraryThing

I really liked this book. It's a new angle on the well-covered area of Tudor history, and I really enjoyed Weir's explanations of how she reconstructed Mary's life, and where and why she disagreed ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Alison Weir was born in London, England on July 8, 1951. She received training to be a teacher with a concentration in history from the North Western Polytechnic. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked as a civil servant and ran her own school for children with learning difficulties from 1991 to 1997. Her first book, Britain's Royal Families, was published in 1989. Her other books include The Six Wives of Henry VIII; Children of England; Eleanor of Aquitaine; Henry VIII: King and Court; Mary, Queen of Scots; and Isabella. Her first novel, Innocent Traitor, was published in 2006. Her other novels include The Lady Elizabeth, The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn, The Captive Queen, A Dangerous Inheritance, and Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen.

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