Read The Lady in the Tower by Jean Plaidy Online


One of history's most complex and alluring women comes to life in this classic novel by the legendary Jean Plaidy.Young Anne Boleyn was not beautiful but she was irresistible, capturing the hearts of kings and commoners alike. Daughter of an ambitious country lord, Anne was sent to France to learn sophistication, and then to court to marry well and raise the family's fortuOne of history's most complex and alluring women comes to life in this classic novel by the legendary Jean Plaidy.Young Anne Boleyn was not beautiful but she was irresistible, capturing the hearts of kings and commoners alike. Daughter of an ambitious country lord, Anne was sent to France to learn sophistication, and then to court to marry well and raise the family's fortunes. She soon surpassed even their greatest expectations. Although his queen was loving and loyal, King Henry VIII swore he would put her aside and make Anne his wife. And so he did, though the divorce would tear apart the English church and inflict religious turmoil and bloodshed on his people for generations to come.Loathed by the English people, who called her "the King's Great Whore," Anne Boleyn was soon caught in the trap of her own ambition. Political rivals surrounded her at court and, when she failed to produce a much-desired male heir, they closed in, preying on the king's well-known insecurity and volatile temper. Wrongfully accused of adultery and incest, Anne found herself imprisoned in the Tower of London, where she was at the mercy of her husband and of her enemies....

Title : The Lady in the Tower
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781400047857
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 393 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Lady in the Tower Reviews

  • Skye Skye
    2019-05-17 10:46

    First I'd like to thank my good friend Marian for sending her copy from Canada; she is the expert on the Tudor time frame.This is a wonderful perspective of Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII's most notorious wife. Jean Plaidy presents a fictional version of Anne, told by Anne's point of view in epistolary fashion. While Anne is imprisoned in the tower, she writes the King a letter to appeal his mercy. Plaidy gives us a very kind and unusual viewpoint of this interesting and fascinating woman, who broke hearts and was the essence of Court during that time frame. However, the author takes great pains to advance the idea that Anne is often misunderstood and painted in a unfavorable manner. This is a great read for lovers of Tudor history.

  • Hannah
    2019-05-21 06:54

    It's been almost 10 years since I read this. In the interim, I've read more current novels by countless authors about doomed Queen Anne Boleyn. However, re-reading this has solidified my belief that no one has blended with documented factual information a better fictional account of Anne's rise and fall then Plaidy.This is a smooth and easy read with good characterizations and dialog. It's impossible for anyone to know how Anne really came off personality-wise, but novels written about her usually fall into 2 camps: those that portray her as a full-out bitchy shrew, or those that cast her as an intellectual femme fetale - wise beyond her time and greatly misunderstood. Plaidy weaves both of these aspects into her portrayal of Anne, and only near the end does it ring false for me (hence the loss of one star).I would highly recommend this novel for those readers who don't enjoy non-fiction history, but want to learn about this fascinating woman's life and times.

  • Gary
    2019-05-14 10:41

    Anne Boleyn was the second and most famous of Henry VIII's six wives.Henry's determination to marry her, in part, led to the separation of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church.Another reason was that Henry wanted the wealth of the Church in his own hands being a greedy grasping man.The book begins with Anne's incarceration in the Tower of London as she reflects on her life.We are taken back to when Anne was seven years old and traveled to France to serve in the household of Princess Mary, sister of Henry VIII, and wed to the King of France, Louis XII.We are given the colorful details Anne experiences and witnesses in the Royal French Court. Anne's beautiful sister Mary becomes mistress to the new king of France, Francois, but is sent back to England in disgrace , because of her lack of discretion at the French court.Mary was simply too trusting and simple to hide her indiscretions which were all too common in the French court, but were done in more secretive and hiding fashion, Mary Boleyn with her big beautiful blue eyes saw no evil, thought no evil and spoke no evil, but gave her love freely without considering the consequences.She was sent back to England and married to a poor nobleman, William Carey.Mary Boleyn later became mistress to King Henry VIII.She too was discarded by Henry who became infatuated with Anne, and became determined to make her his mistress despite her refusal.Anne's love with with a young and honest nobleman Henry Percy was destroyed by King Henry and Cardinal Wolsey.And eventually Anne enticed to marry King Henry in exchange for becoming Queen.Henry secretly married Anne in January, 1533. Henry's Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer pronounced Henry's first marriage null and void.Anne Boleyn was crowned queen in June and because of circumstances beyond her control was unpopular with the English people and had many enemies.Anne gave birth to Elizabeth in June.But Henry a cruel and selfish man had wanted a boy and soon tired of Anne.After she repeatedly failed to produce a male heir, Henry and his chief minister Thomas Cromwell had Anne framed for adultery and executed.Anne reflects in this book on all that passed and the target that could have been averted. She reflects that the way in which the king showed no compassion for his former mistress, Anne's sister Mary, after she was widowed and fell into dire poverty. He had discarded her and wished not to be reminded of her existence.Anne recounts how she should have had some insight into the nature of the King and what lay in store for her.She reflects that hypocrisy was second in nature to Henry and he used it so well because he believed it when he said it.Only just before her execution did she realize that behind his mask of geniality "bluff King Hal" was a selfish misogynistic monster and murderer.A tragic story of a woman who was chosen by Henry and stood no chance after he selected her as his paramour.Her great dignity and courage in the tower in the face of death, her great fear being only for the future of her three year old daughter Elizabeth, is extremely moving.I think Jean Plaidy is a far superior historical novelist to Philippa Gregory because Plaidy's novels are more historically accurate and pay greater attention to historical detail.

  • Arleigh
    2019-05-18 09:04

    This is the book that started my obsession with Jean Plaidy–the first of her novels I read and my absolute favorite characterization of Anne Boleyn. Eight years have passed, and reading it again I stand by my initial delight in finding an admirable protagonist in Anne–after having been introduced to her by Philippa Gregory, with her not-so-flattering portrayal of Anne as a great intriguer with temperamental dominance.In The Lady in the Tower, Anne is imprisoned in the Tower of London, recounting her life in its entirety in an effort to distract herself from her present state. She details her early life at Hever, the years spent in the court of France, and her relations with James Butler, Henry Percy and Thomas Wyatt. All of this makes up the first half of the story and leads up to the Henry VIII’s entrance into Anne’s life.Losing her mother at a young age, Anne was precocious and wise beyond her years–well-prepared to join the King’s sister, who had become the Queen of France. Born into an ambitious family, court life suited her–though she loathed the position her sister had taken as François’ mistress (and later Henry VIII’s). She was aware of the gossip and ribaldry focused on Mary’s promiscuity and she was shamed and horrified at the indignity of it, and very determined not to follow in her footsteps. This, and a natural inclination to chastity, set her resolve that would one day hold off the King of England for seven years before their marriage.She gained a love of learning and was greatly influenced by the French King’s sister, Marguerite d’Angoulême. During Anne’s stay in the France, Martin Luther published his Ninety-Five Theses and the budding Protestant Reformation interested the young philosophically minded courtiers, Anne included. This influence would shape Anne’s future, as it set the foundation to the upcoming changes in Henry VIII’s religious policies, instituting the break from Rome and beginning the Church of England.Before joining the English court, her father, who was rising high in the King’s favor (thanks to his elder daughter), came home to ready for a visit from King Henry. Anne, pondering her dismal future as the wife of James Bulter, an Irish peer, is not impressed by the King and decides to play a trick on him when he happens upon her in the garden unannounced. She pretends to believe he is a gentleman of the court and proceeds to ridicule the court, comparing it to that of France. Thus both angered and fascinated, the King makes himself known and Anne deftly extricates herself by feigning her purpose to have been amusement, and not pretension.Plaidy stages Anne to meet James Bulter at court, where he is much taken with her, but she is indifferent to him–mostly because she has no desire to live in Ireland. When it is announced that there is to be no betrothal, she is relieved and believes there must have been a change in policy which negated the alliance. Her chance meeting with Henry Percy, the heir to the Earl of Northumberland, was different in that she was drawn to him and both were enamored of the other. Their forced split and her subsequent dismissal from court was a low point in Anne’s young life and caused the coldness she felt toward men, especially the powerful Cardinal Wosley and the King (once she learned he was the cause).As the first half of the book ends, Thomas Wyatt, a neighbor of Hever and childhood playmate of George and the Boleyn sisters, makes his feelings known to Anne. Though already married, he wished Anne to dally, but is much mistaken in his presumption that she will fall for his handsomeness, wit and flowery writing. Anne Boleyn will be no man’s mistress–and thus the chase begins for King Henry VIII…Anne finally gave in to the fact that Henry would not stop pursuing her, and if she could not have the life she wanted with Henry Percy, heir to the Earl of Northumberland, she could at least be the highest lady in the land. Though she did not love the King, she couldn’t help feeling elated by his attentions, and the continuing attentions of the bright young men at court. Here the book goes into detail about “The King’s Secret Matter” and the steps he was taking to divorce Katharine. There were many political obstacles between Henry and his heart’s desire, such as the ever changing alliances with either France or Spain, as suited the needs of policy.Wosley’s downfall precipitated Anne’s in that, for the first time, she lost a little of Henry’s regard when she gloated over the man’s demise. Though still infatuated with Anne, Cranmer and Cromwell were turning him onto the idea that the break with Rome was about power and wealth as much as his matrimonial affairs. His ever obliging conscience saw the need for reform only because it bolstered his own cause (and lined his pockets).Anne let her guard down after Katharine was sent away and she was named Marquess of Pembroke. Politically, this was Henry’s way of making Anne “fit” to be presented at the upcoming meeting with the French king, as she wasn’t the queen. It served little, however, when the Queen of France (who was from Spain) refused to accompany the court–and thus only the men of the two countries were allowed their entertainments and political strategics. Anne, however, came away from this event with something in her favor–she was pregnant.Henry finally thumbed his nose at the Pope and had his ministers declare his marriage to Katharine invalid. He and Anne had a small, quiet ceremony in January of 1533 and began planning for her coronation in May. This was a time of triumph for Anne, though it was to be short-lived. Before their daughter, the future Elizabeth I, was born, Henry’s eye was already roaming. There was an unnamed lady of the court who had caught the attention of the King, and Anne’s gossip hungry sister-in-law kept her informed of the affair. Anne, not known for keeping her temper, railed at the king and was quickly put in her place with the words, “You will close your eyes as your betters did before you.” This was the point where Anne found she had gambled much for Henry’s “love” and found it was not altogether as exciting as she’d once thought. She began to know the tyrant, and loathed him, but she was not ready to give up the fight for her place. She would swallow her pride and focus on bringing herself security in the form of a male heir.It was not to be–she suffered several miscarriages and the old pattern Henry had experienced with Katharine began to emerge. With each, Anne lost a little more of Henry’s regard, and because he was tired of her he began to look for a way out of the marriage. Anne finally realized her efforts were futile, but still she played the meek wife in hopes of bonding their marriage and conceiving another child.Meanwhile Henry met with Cromwell to devise a way to be rid of Anne. It is thought at first that he would divorce her as he did Katharine, but when Mark Smeaton and the men of the court were arrested, Anne saw that he desired a more permanent solution: treason and death. Until the end Anne was cool and level-headed, sending a letter that must have taunted him for the rest of his life:“Commend me to His Majesty and tell him that he hath been ever constant in his career of advancing me; from private gentlewoman he made me a marquess; from marquess to a queen; and now he hath no higher honor of degree, he gives my innocency the crown of martyrdom.”This characterization of Anne Boleyn is the most detailed and historically accurate fictional account this reader has encountered. It is the book I always recommend on the subject and one of my favorite novels of all time. Henry VIII’s complex personality is displayed magnificently, explaining his struggle of desire versus conscience. Anne is portrayed not as the calculated schemer and/or black-eyed witch of some embroidered fiction, but as a woman who was thrust into a tyrant’s world and made the best choices she could with what was presented and her own personality allowed.

  • Monkique
    2019-05-10 04:01

    Debo aceptar que uno de los personajes históricos que más me FASCINAN es Ana Bolena. Primero que nada para apreciar a esta mujer se debe uno quitar de la mente la idea que se da en el libro/película de La Otra Bolena.Ana Bolena no era una *evil bitch*. No, no creo que lo fuera, tampoco creo que ella fuera una santa, pero simplemente fue una mujer inteligente al principio, muy ambiciosa, segura de ella misma y de sus creencias y capaz de hacer que un hombre o mejor dicho que un rey se OBSESIONARA completamente con ella a pesar de no caer en el estereotipo típico de la belleza en esos tiempos, no digo que no fuera hermosa solo que Ana tenía el cabello negro, los ojos oscuros y no era tan blanca como se acostumbraba. Sé que lo que le hizo a Catalina (otra de mis personajes históricos favoritos) y a su hija María no fue nada noble y en su momento le toco vivirlo (o pagarlo como lo quieran ver) con todas las infidelidades de Enrique VIII casi al segundo de que Ana se convirtió en su esposa, aun así es más que obvio que todo de lo que se le acuso (adulterio, incesto y alta traición) fue inventado ya sea por sus enemigos o por Enrique VIII del cual puedes esperar cualquier cosa con tal de deshacerse de lo que ya no le estaba funcionado. Creo que su vida estuvo llena de ironías y una de ellas fue que a pesar de que Enrique quiera un hijo varón a como fuera lugar, para que su descendencia siguiera gobernando, fue Elizabeth I (Isabel I) su hija con Ana Bolena, la que es considerada una de las mejores monarcas y su reinado duro aproximadamente 44 años. Con respecto al libro de Jean Plaidy, es bastante bueno por el mismo motivo que no pone a Ana como la villana y te narra su supuesta historia desde que estaba en la corte francesa hasta su última noche en la Torre de Londres mientras espera ser decapitada. Mi única queja del libro es que la autora suele ser bastante repetitiva con algunos aspectos.

  • Rod
    2019-04-23 04:04

    This makes up for trying to watch the Tudors on t.v.. (99% less sex - and much more history.)I listened to this because of the comments I heard that Anne Boleyn was somewhat helpful in kick starting the Christian reformation - but not really in a good or bad way. But necessary. This account takes us through most of Anne's life and shows us the struggles of attempting to do what she thought might be the noble thing. But it's best not to always trust your thoughts, better to get a 2nd or 3rd opinion, However - good luck getting any honest, or theologically correct, advise in the days of King Henry the 8th. Pretty much everyone was scheming and murdering to better their standing's in society. And the infamous Anne Boleyn fell for it hook, line and sinker. But many people are well aware of all that. I was glad Anne had some virtue on occasion. I'm sure many people see her as the Kingdom wrecker and nothing else. If it wasn't her - it would have been 5 other Bimbo's addicted to fame and luxury. History shows this clearly. But my interest in this tale is purely about William Tyndale: 1494–1536.He is the man mostly responsible for giving us the King James English translation of the Bible. This whole debacle happened around (and through) King Henry - not that Henry really cared in the slightest (although some pompous ass labelled him: "DEFENDER OF THE FAITH - it was granted on 11 October, 1521 by Pope Leo X to King Henry VIII of England" - Whoops! Did a Pope really do that??? Bhahaha.) Best not to trust Popes about important theological issues. Anyway, Anne Boleyn was very interested in theological discussions of the day and kept an ear open for Reformation tidbits and the writings of William Tyndale and others. Of course she (and Henry) used the Bible for their own lusty desires and failed to truly comprehend anything eternally significant - although Boleyn does seem to have a heart for Gospel truth near the Tower Events that put an end to her social significance. It would be great to see this lady in Heaven one day. Possibly this is similar to King David's Bathsheba affair - But Henry was definitely NO David.And i'm always fascinated to learn of Sir Thomas More (YES the Catholic church thought it wise to give the murderer of William Tyndale a Sainthood - and people wonder why i'm not Catholic???)"In England, however, under the 1408 Constitutions of Oxford, it was strictly forbidden to translate the Bible into the native tongue. This ban was vigorously enforced by Cardinal Wolsey and the Lord Chancellor, Sir Thomas More, in an attempt to prevent the rise of English 'Lutheranism'. Some Catholic defenders proudly boast that William Tyndale was put to death because he was a heretic AND NOT BECAUSE OF HIS ENGLISH BIBLE TRANSLATION - this is even more horrifying, since I haven't bothered to translate any bibles recently: But Tyndale and I share a great deal of theological beliefs...should I expect the Catholic church to come knocking on my door with pitchforks and a Noose? Hmmmm...And Anne Boleyn was caught up in the thick of this. May God have mercy. Now I have to figure out how the other wives died.

  • Rebekah
    2019-05-08 07:55

    I loved that Anne stressed that she loved her daughter dearly, often she is portrayed as hating the child who was not a boy. The care that she showed the child was very endearing. I’m not sure if it was believable that she wished to feed Elizabeth herself.“Then it occurred to me, it’s not easy to tread safely when dealing with Royalty.” If only Anne had remembered the lessons she learned while serving Mary in the French court when dealing with Henry. Plaidy wrote a much more innocent view of the Antics of the French Court the Robin Maxwell did in her book Mademoiselle Boleyn, although she too refers to Mary Boleyn as the English Mare, ready to be ridden by any man who wanted her. I like how she choose to have Henry suggest that Anne become his queen instead of his mistress. It makes Anne seem much less calculating then she is so often portrayed to be. I also like how Anne believes that it will never happen. Plaidy writes so many warning signs to the dangers to Anne ahead. It makes me wonder if there were signs there and she ignored them.

  • BAM The Bibliomaniac
    2019-05-13 04:39

    "We'll have no Nan Bullen!"Probably one of the best Plaidy novels. She does an excellent job of portraying Anne as a victim of circumstance, as a young woman who is swept up in the Majesty of an overbearing, petulant, hypocritical monarch. Considering the shadow that was cast on her reign there is quite a bit of source material available, which Plaidy utilizes to the fullest. Ranks up there with her Eleanor of Aquitaine, Katherine of Aragon, and queen Victoria novels

  • Marian
    2019-05-17 09:56

    The tempestuous love affair between Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn scandalized Christendom and altered forever the religious landscape of England.

  • Xenia0201
    2019-05-21 08:57

    So often Anne Boleyn is painted the villian. This novel is fiction but I love the perspective the story is being told from. Anne is opinionated, educated, erudite and mysterious. I never believed she was an opportunist like her father, the Earl of Rochford. It is highly probable the Boleyn children were strongly encouraged to increase their status from parental pressure. In this depiction, Henry is the pursuer, and Anne holds him off, not only because she dislikes and blames him for dismantling her relationship with Henry Percy, but also because she was horrified by the actions of her sister Mary, who was a mistress to the king of France years ago, and was known as "the Great Whore". In this instance, we are led to believe Anne's virtue is more important to her than being a king's concubine, a truly progressive notion for that day and age. With Anne's cultured personality and exposure to strong female figures early in her youth (Henry VIII's sister Mary, who was Queen of France, and Mauguerite d'Alencon, sister of Francis I of France) it is believeable she could demonstrate the type of confidence and mystique that rendors men powerless. Unfortunately, Anne didn't wear it well within the English Court, without being born royal; she was regarded as haughty. After being raised to the Marquess of Pembroke, and then finally Queen, Anne failed to produce the male heir that Henry so desperately wanted. The king's wandering eye fell upon Jane Seymour and he sought to invalidate his marriage to Anne. Divorce proved to take too long, and was still too controversial with the decision laying with the Pope. Finding Anne Boleyn guilty of adultery was the quickest way to dispose of her. Very tragic tale; I happen to believe that Boleyn was guilty only of circumstance. How was she ever to refuse the king’s advances without fear for her life? She was doomed from the start. Someone needs to be in her corner after all this time; and this is a very plausible scenario.

  • Brittany B.
    2019-05-11 11:00

    Excellent!! One of the best Anne Boleyn books I've read to date. Jean Plaidy is an exceptional author who turned what could have been dry, boring history into a fantastic, page-turning novel! Very well researched and beautifully written. Highly recommended!! Audiobook: Anne Flosnick gave her best performance. Knowing her from historical romance novels, I found her narration of this story near perfect!!!

  • Nicole
    2019-04-29 03:00

    Anne Boleyn has always interested me and I finally have gotten around to reading some historical fiction depicting her story. The author of this book gets a wee bit repetitive at times but overall does a great job bringing the characters to life. I'm really enjoying this one - though I want to jump into the pages and rescue the Anne. What a story!

  • Elena
    2019-05-09 02:55

    I really enjoyed this book. It was the first I read by Jean Plaidy, and it will definitely not be the last. I recently re-discovered my Tudors obsession, and so I decided to pick a book about my personal favourite Henry VIII's wife, Anne Boleyn. Plaidy wrote a lot of Tudors books, and I really hope the others are as successful as this one.Plaidy starts the story when Anne is in the Tower, awaiting her death, and then goes back to the very beginning of her life, when as a child she goes to the court of France with the new Queen, Mary. At first I could not wait for Anne to return to England, but very soon I was immensely happy that Plaidy decided to focus so much on her time in France, also because this period of her life is often neglected in historical novels. I really enjoyed reading about her relationships with Mary Tudor (sister of Henry and Queen of France for a while) and Marguerite (Francis I's sister). I think the characterization of both women was beautifully done, and as the story progressed it was easy to see how Anne was influenced by them. I also liked that much focus was given to Francis I himself and his troubled relationship with Henry VIII.Anne's story in England was equally fascinating. The characters she meets are well portrayed, even if maybe a little more one-dimensional than the ones she interacted with in France. I liked the characterization of Henry VIII, and how Plaidy insisted on his ambiguous character - both naively childish and frighteningly cruel -, but I would have liked to read more about Katharine, Cromwell and Norfolk. As for Anne herself, I was completely happy with how Plaidy presented her. She acts much like the Anne Boleyn I imagine (though, of course, no one can truly know how she was like). She is not a complete bitch, nor she is unbelievably naive, but she has wits and is very aware of her charms, and not afraid of using them. She is vain and ambitious, she wants to be adored and to be at the center of the attention. However, she also has a terrible temper, and even if she is clever she is sometimes too impulsive and too foolish. The only thing I did not found entirely convincing was her obsession with her virtue. In the book, she is determined not to give herself to Henry because she does not want to be shamed like her sister Mary. This is realistic, I guess, but sometimes it seemed a little out of character. However, this worked for the story, so I did not mind very much. The pace is always quite engaging, and I found myself rarely bored, even if some parts were a little repetitive. The writing is simple, easy to read, even if a little fluffy sometimes. So yes, it is not a masterpiece, surely, but it is the best book I've read about Anne Boleyn so far. I think it is definitely worth the read if you like the historical period (I know I do!). Now I look forward to reading other Jean Plaidy books!

  • Jessica
    2019-04-30 07:50

    Fascinating and intuitive first person narrative of the life of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII of England. I thoroughly enjoyed the author's take on Anne, especially the decision to write the novel as if Anne had written it while imprisoned in the tower before her execution. It is laid out in a chronological, conversational, and confessional manner; as a way of looking back over the span of her life, to determine where she made her fatal mistakes, and how she may have anticipated them, or avoided them. Anne is pretty, bright, mysterious, witty, vivacious, well-mannered, observant, provocative, and hot-tempered. She remains to me one of the most enigmatic women in history.

  • Katie Sommers
    2019-05-21 10:41

    Get in Anne's shoesSuch a great point of view. The author helps you get in Anne's head so you see her for more than a one dimensional person. She's not the historical monster she was made out to be.

  • Meghan
    2019-05-12 10:52

    I thought it was very good. I enjoyed how the story was told as a memory from the night before she died so throught the story she would give her own opinion on her past actions. It will absolutely keep me coming back for more Jean Plaidy.

  • Donna
    2019-05-13 04:04

    I first read The Lady in the Tower quite a few years ago and it has always been my favorite of all the books I've read so far about Anne Boleyn.

  • Sharon
    2019-05-21 04:48

    A interesting take on the Anne Boleyn story, you are expected to feel sorry for her throughout this story. I did enjoy it, but it is not the best telling of her story that I have read.

  • Trudi
    2019-04-27 10:58

    One of the best examples of historical fiction. All the drama and tragedy that is Anne Boleyn told in the first-person. Unique and wonderful.

  • Ana
    2019-04-27 04:59


  • Ruth Chatlien
    2019-05-09 05:40

    Repetitive and dry. I was disappointed.

  • Sarah Lawrence
    2019-05-13 02:49

    My favorite version of Anne Boleyn that I've read so far! Almost every other book I've read--especially the infamous The Other Boleyn Girl--play up the smear campaign that accompanied and brought about her downfall. Jean Plaidy, however, lets Anne have our sympathy even as we cringe (along with her) at her forwardness. Admittedly, I have read this book before. The first time it was lent to me by a friend in high school, and it's one of the few times that I can remember relating so strongly to some aspect of a fictional character. I did notice some odd repetitions on this read-through, though I forgot to flag them. There were occasional turns of phrase that would be repeated a page or two after its first use, and in a similar situation. I also found the occasional use of historical (or nearly historical) phrases a bit jarring, since the language came out a bit more stilted--in large part, I think, because people rarely talk the way they write. For example, when Anne arrives at the Tower of London, she falls on her knees and says, "Oh Lord God, help me. Thou knowest I am guiltless of that whereof I am accused." It smacks of a contemporary written account, both because of the language and because Plaidy doesn't have Anne speak often of her faith as a personal matter. But these are both small complaints for a book that I really do much so that I decided not to keep track of all the quotes I like, just a few choice ones. If you're a fan of Tudor history and historical novels, definitely give this one a go. Quote Roundupp. 193-- "I had no hard feelings toward those who had thought it necessary to bring this case."-- "You could not have been expected to have hard feelings against yourself," I reminded him. -- [Henry] frowned. That was one thing I had to learn about him. In the midst of the most blatant hypocrisy he could delude himself into believing what he was trying to make others believe. It was extraordinary that a man of his intellect could do that. It showed an unusual dexterity of the mind. p. 308It was in my nature to assume an excess of gaiety when the future might be fraught with danger. p. 341It was not as if I loved him. I knew him too well for that--though sometimes I felt a kind of contemptuous affection for him. He was such a strange man that one could not help marveling at him. It was that cruelty and selfishness alongside the sentimentality, the conscience which did in truth plague him, even though he manipulated it and set it going in the direction best suited to his needs.

  • Melinda
    2019-05-21 02:42

    History has been very unkind to Anne Bolyen. Most of the time, she is painted as the witch for enticing Henry VIII away from his loyal Queen of twenty years, causing the break with Rome and the closing of monasteries. But we never really got to know the real her, the woman behind that ugly reputation. Jean Plaidy has wonderfully woven a story about Anne and what shaped her character and lead to her rise and ultimate downfall. We start off with Anne, locked up in the tower, awaiting for her soon to come demise. And then, Anne starts telling her story from the very beginning, from when she was a child, right up until the day of her execution. Anne, naturally was an innocent, precocious and intelligent child. Who is quick to pick up on things and is able to be part of history. While in France, she learns of courtly love but is spurned but the tragic downfall of her sister Mary, who may have been far too giving of her attentions. The stain on Mary's reputation in France, forced Anne to become extremely guarded of her honour and reputation. As the years go by and Anne catches the attention of Henry VIII, you can feel and hear her struggling to push away Henry. Knowing that it could never be. She never aimed to be ambitious or seek to be Queen of England. But certainly the excitement and emotions of Henry soon overwhelmed her, and slowly she becomes ambitious and seeks the best for herself and her family. After all, since Henry Percy was taken from her, why not aim for the best, especially when Henry VIII was willing to move heaven and earth for her love. It's always been known that Anne was extremely loving and tender towards Elizabeth. Despite her struggles with carrying a male child to full term, you know she is extremely happy to have Elizabeth. The apple of her eye. It is moments with Elizabeth that you can still catch a glimpse of the happy and innocent woman she use to be, before becoming a bitter and spurned Queen. Overall, I love how Anne is represented. She is not a witch, nor an innocent victim. She took too many risks (some paid off, others not so much), and in the end faced the axe. But for all that she did.... she did manage to give the world Queen Elizabeth I.

  • Zoe
    2019-05-07 05:40

    Not a whole lot new to be learned or proposed about Anne Boleyn at this point, fiction or non-, but Jean Plaidy manages some novelty with speculation on her subject's early life at the French court. Her Anne isn't quite as calculating as Philippa Gregory's, and her opinion of Mary Boleyn is completely different. Plaidy presents Mary's "free and easy" behavior as a formative contrast to Anne, a reputation she works against all her life. Anne condemns Mary's way of life, but the author doesn't, presenting it as just part of her nature to be happy giving and receiving pleasure with no look for material gains. Anne describes herself as "sexually cold" and all about the unfulfilled chase.The description of Mary, as "being said to be all promise," is one of a few observations or statements repeated almost word-for-word a few times throughout the book. Another is of Anne's happiness and laughing in public during a stressful time "being almost a kind of hysteria," a description that comes up at least four times. I'm curious how the book was transferred to Kindle, whether those repetitions were in the original text. There are as usual a number of stupidly simple formatting mistakes that make me angry at Amazon, but thankfully fewer than most books.The let-me-write-the-story-of-my-life-since-I'm-about-to-die conceit seems to be the main through line of the author's Queens of England series, which I'm reading through in historical order. It starts out interestingly here, with Anne trying to see where she might have done differently to not be going to her death, but her conclusion of blaming it mostly on Henry since she never asked for his attention, and partly on the occasional appearance of her own ambition, comes out somewhat unsatisfying. I also found the story front-loaded with details with a skimming over later-life events, a frequent complaint I have with Plaidy. Here it's not an entirely bad thing since that's the part of Anne's life little addressed, but there could easily be more to her three years as queen than what feels like a short, inevitable downhill tumble from the moment of Elizabeth's birth.

  • Janna
    2019-05-21 08:41

    I first read this book when I was a teenager - at least 20 years ago now. It was just as entrancing this time around as it was the first!Plaidy's style isn't for everyone. I devoured her books as a teen and enjoyed the romance novel style these historical novels were written in. All of them are in first-person and from the point of view of the person whose story is being told. The Lady in the Tower is about Anne Boleyn, and she is telling her own story. In this way, Plaidy does bring history alive, at least for me. Her descriptions of famous historical people help me to envision them, and it's easy to incorporate any images I have from historical paintings with the picture drawn by her words.I did see some criticism of this particular book that said there were repetitions of blocks of text; I have to say that I did not notice that at all. For example, while Anne is probably overly concerned with her "sixth finger" she doesn't describe it in detail more than once, and while she talks about her sleeves being long to hide her finger more than once, she doesn't get into it in the exact same way every time. I suspect these people's editions were faulty (they often were reading e-books, so that could be the difficulty).Having read this book, I am definitely interested in purchasing more of Plaidy's work from the current re-issue HarperCollins has produced. The scholarship is thorough and more ways to learn history is a good thing! Obviously it is fiction, but it is interesting and entertaining, and so while you can't say that the conversations happened the way they're written, you can enjoy reading them and come away with a better understanding of the events surrounding Henry VII's marriages and the creation of the Church of England as a separate church from the Roman Catholic Church.Definitely a good read, and if you want to be educated (at least a little bit) while being entertained, this is a good choice.

  • Lea Ann
    2019-05-09 04:34

    I really wanted to give this book more than one star. It had the makings of good material, the story of Anne Boleyn from Anne Boleyn's point of view. However, there were major problems I saw with the story that made it one of the few books I read that have me severely questioning my policy of finishing a book I have started, no matter how painful it is.1.) Repetitive: The story is horribly repetitive. It seems like entire paragraphs where Anne is describing her sixth finger, her admirers, her worries over Henry, her sadness over Percy, are copied and added later to the story. I would get to one of those passages and think, REALLY? THIS AGAIN? It made me want to skip over those parts. They added nothing to the story. 2.) Consistency: The language of the story was totally inconsistent. It wasn't just a matter of the 20th Century narration not matching the 16th Century dialogue. That I might have been able to overlook. But instead, the narration vaccilates between a plethora of centuries. The dialogue was also victim to this problem. At one point Henry was calling Anne "Sweetheart" right out of a western movie and in the next Anne was beating her breast and screaming out "Why hast thou forsaken me?" I was asking myself the same question. 3.) Language: There was something just off about the language of the book. It may have something to do with the narrative inconsistencies (see above) but otherwise the language of the story did not flow and that prevented the story itself from flowing as well. If you are a die hard Tudor Historical Fiction fan, you may want to give the book a try, but hopefully you can put it aside if you don't care for it and not force yourself to read to the bloody end.

  • Sophie
    2019-05-12 08:44

    I used to love reading Victoria Holt's gothic novels. Although I wasn't as fond of the historical novels written under her pen-name Jean Plaidy, I didn't remember them as being boring or poorly written in any way. So when I saw this title available for audio download, I quickly checked it out. Unfortunately, I found it both boring and poorly written. It didn't seem like historical fiction really--more like a history lesson that someone attempted to breathe life into. The story is supposed to be Anne Boleyn's remembrances as she awaits execution (spoiler alert?), so naturally the story begins in narrative form. But when the story stayed in that narrative form, it quickly became dull. Basically, the novel consists of long passages of narration, interspersed with stilted, static, unlikely conversations. Not only that, but the author felt the need to repeat information over and over. And each time, she repeated the info as if it should be new to the reader--as if, for instance, she hadn't told us thirty times already that Anne liked to wear her sleeves long to cover the sixth nail on her hand. All in all, the book was a slog to get through. I wish a publisher would focus on bringing the Victoria Holt romances to audio, rather than the Jean Plaidy historicals.

  • Tania
    2019-05-17 06:44

    This is by far the most sympathetic novel I’ve read on Anne Boleyn, but that makes sense since it is entirely written from her point of view. Convincingly written from her point of view.Anne Boleyn arrived at the French Court of the King of France as an attendant of his new Queen, Mary, younger sister of King Henry VIII of England. Young Anne was only 7 years old. She remained in France until England made ready for war with them; she was called home at the age of 14. She then proceeded to become involved in the biggest scandal of the century, essentially bagging the married King of England and claiming the crown of the Queen. But for her inability to produce a living son, she may have kept it. Instead she lost her head and with it her crown.The character of Anne in this book insists she was an unwilling participant, though in the end she acknowledges her faults. She blames her youth for her troubles, though certainly other young people made better rules than she. Still it was an interesting perspective to hear her story from. There were some discrepancies between events as told in “Katharine of Aragon” and here, but it may just be the difference in voices, as one would be more likely to know truth in some situations than the other.

  • Noémy
    2019-05-22 07:57

    Obsessed might be too light of a word to describe my fascination with Anne Boleyn but really guys, this past few months she has been the only thing I wanted to read about. I haven't read that many works relating to her tragic past (there has been four or five only I believe) but each book had me craving more and more of her story. The 3stars were granted only because at times there were whole passages that were reapeated in a different chapter and I don't know if this was merely due to bad editing or if my copy (I read the ebook format)was to blame but it confused me a bit. It didn't take away my enjoyment of Plaidy's portrayal of Anne though: I loved how her characterization was so well-balanced; she wasn't just the evil seductress as so many have depicted her before but rather a very clever, bright and outspoken girl but too rash and ambitious for her own good. As wrong as some of her actions had been I cannot help but be completely engrossed in her life and affairs. She is such a fascinating historical figure to me, I don't think my enthusiasm and attachment to this personage will end anytime soon !

  • Veronica
    2019-04-30 02:47

    I loved the new perspective of Anne Boleyn in this novel. Most people assume that Anne was a conniving girl that just wanted to be queen. In this telling, Anne is nothing like that. She falls in love and that match is prevented. She later learns that Henry had something to do with the match being prevented. Also, she attempts to flee Henry's sight by leaving court and he simply follows and promises to divorce the Queen to have Anne. We don't know if the King really did prevent the match for Anne, but good chance is that he was aware of it. Anne is hung up on being completely virtuous. Mary is portrayed as a very promiscuous girl in France and England. Anne sees that Mary is sent from France for being too promiscuous and vows to never be anything like Mary. This is what eventually prevents Anne from becoming Henry's mistress.As much as I liked this different portrayal of Anne, I just don't see it being true to her. Anne is the woman that Henry turned England upside down for. Everyone refers to her as a passionate, spitfire type of person. I can't see such a passionate person being so completely hung up on virtue as she is.