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Mademoiselle Boleyn

by Robin Maxwell

      The beautiful Mary Boleyn and her younger sister, Anne, accompany Mary Tudor as she travels to France to marry the aged French King.  Eight-year old Anne, who is charming and innocent, is already betrothed to James Butler, but now she becomes fast friends with the young Charles, who is the nephew of the Archduchess Margaret. The court intrigue is great fun to read about as Anne and Mary Boleyn grow into young women in France, and to Anne, it is all a great adventure. She is not to be disappointed, for her beautiful sister, Mary, has been handed a mission by their father, Thomas Boleyn: to let herself be seduced by the King of France in order to uncover his secrets. Mary does not want to be anyone's mistress, but women were not able to choose their own fate then. She decides to make the best of the situation, and proceeds to collect all the fabulous jewels and favors that she can acquire from the king.

Anne matures into a beautiful and daring young woman, who manages to manipulate everyone around her. Her bold escapades are thrilling and further the course of events that will take her to her destiny.  The excitement, romance, intrigue, and betrayal make a provacative backdrop for this galvanizing story.  Anne’s sexual awakening is inevitable, but she is determined to guard her virtue at all costs and avoid the lot that befell Mary.  Anne corresponds regularly with her beloved brother, George, and dangerously imparts court secrets to him, as ordered by her father.

I have always been fascinated by this period in history, and the fate of the wives of Henry VIII, but this is a chapter in the life of Anne Boleyn that I had not previously discovered.  Robin Maxwell's research is impeccable and her storytelling skills are faultless as she tells the exciting story of the young Anne Boleyn and her road to fame. This is my first Robin Maxwell novel, but it will certainly not be my last.  I'm so glad I discovered her fabulous writing.

The Book

New American Library / Penguin Group
October 17, 2007
Trade Paperback
0-45-22209-1 / 978-0-451-22209-1
Fiction / Historical
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The Reviewer

Beverly J. Rowe
Reviewed 2007
© 2007