Four point five stars
La Petite Boulain is historical fiction about the young years of the life of Anne Boleyn. The book opens in 1536 with adult Anne held prisoner in the Tower of London awaiting the final judgement on her life. Queen for only three years she is the scapegoat taking the blame for the fall of Katherine of Aragon, the fate of the princess Mary, the church reforms and the dissolution of the monasteries.
Surrounded by the eyes and ears of her enemy Anne looks back on her life, to where it all began. 1505 Hever castle, home of the Boleyn family. The family were well thought of at court. Henry VIII is crowned King and there is rejoicing at the birth of a baby Prince. But when the child dies a great sadness befalls the country.
Anne is sent abroad to the court of Burgundy to continue her education and perfect her courtly graces. First for Margaret of Austria, then as a lady in waiting for the Princess Mary Tudor when she is Queen of France and then for Claude, another Queen of France. Anne makes many friends in these courts and discovers the works of Martin Luther and many other authors who write about church reforms.
Anne meets King Henry of several occasions in her court roles, one most memorable was The Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520 when the kings of England and France met to form treaties. Soon after this Anne’s father demands she return to England and the story continues on the second book in the series.
The writing style is filled with rich descriptions of the era and Anne’s life immersing the reader in the Tudor period, which I enjoy reading about. We get to see Anne’s very thoughts and feelings towards her king from humble childhood beginnings to adolescent stirrings and admiration. But don’t think Anne only ever had eyes just for Henry, the ways of court life spun many admirers and potential lovers in intricate webs around her. It was down to her education in court ways and her personal beliefs which made her the woman she was to become. Everyone knows about Henry’s six wives but few perhaps know more about Anne than simple details gleaned from history lessons. This book offers a great incite into how she became the women we know as Henry’s second wife.
May 1536, London… a fallen queen sits waiting in the Tower of London, condemned to death by her husband. As Death looms before her, Anne Boleyn, second queen of Henry VIII looks back on her life…from the very beginning.
Daughter of a courtier, servant to queens… she rose higher than any thought possible, and fell lower than any could imagine.
Following the path of the young Mistress Boleyn, or La Petite Boulain, through the events of the first years of the reign of Henry VIII, to the glittering courts of Burgundy and France, Book One of “Above All Others; The Lady Anne” tracks the life of the young Lady Anne, showing how she became the scintillating woman who eventually, would capture the heart of a king.
La Petite Boulain is the first book in the series “Above All Others; The Lady Anne” on the life of Anne Boleyn by G.Lawrence.
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