Blood Royal

Mollie Hardwick, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-02548-9
Dazzling pageantry, court intrigue and harsh twists of fate figure prominently in this skillfully told historical saga set mainly in 16th century England, and focusing on sisters Mary and Anne Boleyn. Their father, Sir Thomas Boleyn, a man obsessed with attaining prestige and royal recognition, manipulates his daughters mercilessly, oblivious to their tragic lack of foresight and restraint. As a result of his machinations, Mary and Anne are sent to France to serve the English princess Mary Tudor, bride of King Louis XII. Even in the licentious atmosphere of the French court, Mary's sexual wantonness gains attention. Disgraced beyond redemption, she returns home, bears two illegitimate children to King Henry VIII, marries twice and dies at 45. Anne, an outspoken beauty cursed with her father's ambitious nature, weds the fickle, notoriously cruel King Henry and gives birth to Elizabeth I. When he tires of her, Anne is unjustly convicted of adultery and beheaded. Hardwick ( Up stairs, Downstairs ) brings to these often-told events a fine grasp of historical details, against which she deftly presents a turbulent, moving human drama. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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