Follow TV Tropes


Literature / The Boleyn Inheritance

Go To
A novel by the well-known Historical Fiction writer Philippa Gregory. Published in 2006, it is a sequel to The Other Boleyn Girl and a prequel to The Queen's Fool, and is narrated by Queen Anne of Cleves, Queen Katherine Howard, and Jane Boleyn, Anne Boleyn's widowed sister-in-law. While not as explosively popular as its prequel, the novel has still enjoyed great success, and according to The Other Wiki, is less historically controversial.

This book has examples of:

  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Combined with voyeurism on Jane's part; though it isn't physical, she watches Katherine have sex with Thomas Culpepper in order to get her kicks.
  • Berserk Button: What happens in Cleves when Anne bares so much as an inch more skin than she should.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Implied with Anne's brother William; he certainly has a complex about her sexuality. Averted to some degree in that Anne is revolted by his obsession and wants nothing more than to escape.
  • Brutal Honesty:
    • The Duke of Norfolk delivers one to Jane after Katherine is arrested and he no longer has use for her. He tells her how evil she is and that nobody would take her as a wife.
    • Also The Duke of Norfolk to Katherine when she is about to be taken to the Tower. The reason here is that she doesn't seem to realize that she will be executed for real.
  • The Caligula: Henry VIII. And how.
  • Catchphrase:
    • For Katherine: "Now let me see, what do I have now?" Becomes a Madness Mantra as the story progresses.
    • Advertisement:
    • Katherine also likes to say voila.
  • Deadpan Snarker: All of the main narrators have their moments, but the Duke of Norfolk probably gets the crown.
  • The Ditz: Katherine. She is smarter than other people think she is, but not by much.
  • Genre Savvy: Anne, after it's clear Henry will not remarry her after Katherine dies, keeps out of the way and ends up being very wealthy and well off...
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Jane Boleyn. Dear God, Jane Boleyn. To the point of having her husband and his sister beheaded on false evidence because he loved Anne more than her. And Jane's marriage with George was arranged.
  • Hypocritical Humour: Katherine, taking it upon herself to do a bit of Slut-Shaming despite the fact that she's been smuggling her lover into her dormitory too.
    Katherine (on hearing somebody in her dormitory having sex): Can't you be quiet? It's really shocking! It is offensive to a young maid such as me! It's shocking! It really shouldn't be allowed!
  • Advertisement:
  • Insane Troll Logic: The king's reasoning behind the accusation of several people once he decides to get rid of Anne. At once she conspires with the papists, then next time with the reformers. He can't keep a consistent story, but apparently he doesn't need to, as he can simply execute anyone for treason who disagrees with him in anything.
  • Insanity Defense: Jane tries this to save her from the execution. It doesn't work because the king just changed the law so anyone can be executed even if they are mad.
  • Mad Lib Thriller Title: While not a thriller, the title fits the pattern, and the numerous title drops make the phrase just as ominous as it would be in a real thriller.
  • Madonna–Whore Complex: Anne's older brother, so very, very much. Katherine also hints at one on King Henry's part; he is rather shocked by the idea that his sweet youthful wife is happy to go on top when they have sex, "like a Smithfield harlot".
  • My Girl Is Not a Slut: Henry VIII. And how. Also Anne's mother and brother, and Katherine's grandmother.
    • Subverted when Katherine, having been told that meek virtue will please her uncle, decides to act suggestively in front of him anyway. He likes it and decides she'll fit in at court just fine.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Katherine uses this at one point to show that she is really fit to be at court.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: After her divorce, Anne decides to pretend that she doesn't understand/care about the king's politics so that she can be clear of any accusations of treason.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. At one point a a lampshade is hung on it when Anne comes to court.
    "She introduces my maids by name and I smile at the unending line of Katherines and Marys and Elizabeths and Annes and Bessies and Madges."
  • Only Sane Man: Arguably, Anne of Cleves. Everyone else at court is either playing the game, or just crazy.
  • Switching P.O.V.: The story is narrated by 3 characters: Jane Boleyn, Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard.
  • Title Drop: Done several times in different contexts.
  • Too Dumb to Live: That's right, Jane, just encourage Henry VIII's wife to have an affair. What a fantastic idea!
  • What Does She See in Him?: A rather dark example concerning Katherine's attraction to Thomas Culpepper. Aside from being a conceited, arrogant prick, he's also a rapist who murdered his victim's husband when he tried to stop him. The Duke of Norfolk and Jane Boleyn ponder this, and conclude that Katherine is a Hormone-Addled Teenager who will screw Anything That Moves provided he's hot enough.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The Duke of Norfolk used Jane to be close to the Queen (either one) and help him in his plan. When things start to go wrong, he completely abandons her and leaves all blame on her. He even tells her that the promise of a French Count as a husband was just a lie to keep her working for him.
  • What's He Got That I Ain't Got?!: Revoltingly deconstructed when it comes to Henry VIII. Despite being fat, ugly and old enough to be the father if not grandfather of the women he marries, his vanity is so extreme he genuinely believes they adore him. This ends badly for both Anne and Katherine when he finds out they don't.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: