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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

J LHLS Archives: July 2007

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Boleyn Inheritance
by Philippa Gregory
A Touchstone Book
Published by Simon & Schuster, 2007

Review by Ida Vega-Landow

I've been a fan of Philippa Gregory since reading her first book, "The Constant Princess". This touching historical romance about Princess Catalina of Spain who became Catherine of Aragon filled me with pride for my Spanish and my Catholic heritage, as well as some shame over the way that King Ferdinand of Aragon and his queen, Isabelle of Castile, treated the Moors, assimilating the best of their Muslim culture while driving them out of the country, even when they were settled well beyond Spanish borders. Just goes to show what can happen when fanatical Christian rulers are in charge.

"The Boleyn Inheritance" also shows what can happen when a fanatical ruler is in charge. I'd always thought old King Henry VIII was a fat, egotistical, male chauvinist pig whose claim to fame was starting a new religion because the Catholic Church wouldn't give him a divorce. Gregory suggests that there was literally madness in his method. Henry Tudor may have seemed like a jolly old soul, and is usually depicted that way in movies, but according to Gregory the running sore on his right leg, which he got in a riding accident, that never healed and always had to be drained, was usually swollen with pus and extremely painful, which put Henry into a perpetual bad mood. That may have been the reason why old Henry was so merciless with those who opposed him; the pain in his bad leg made him crazy. [more]

Posted by Ida Vega Landow @ 08:01 PM PST [Link]

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